Jar Jar Binks is back on the big screen with the return of The Phantom Menace in 3-D. While the cast believed that Binks would become the breakout character when the movie was originally released in 1999, critics and Star Wars enthusiasts had a much different reaction. Suffice it to say, many were not big fans of the goofy Gungan.
Whether it was due to that audience discontent or the character simply not serving the story, Jar Jar’s role became progressively smaller in the next two films, with Binks only uttering two words (“Excuse me”) in Revenge of the Sith. Was the man who played Jar Jar, Ahmed Best, upset about his diminished role? “As an actor, yes,” says Best. “But as someone who understands film and as a filmmaker? No. George [Lucas] has to make his movie. And I’m happy to be whatever in any of it. And at the end of the day, it’s the story that matters, and if the character doesn’t fit into the story, there is nothing I can do. What ends up on the screen is what he says ends up on the screen. All I want to do is be able to facilitate his vision as best I can. That’s all I can do. I wanted to be in those movies more because I wanted to give him more. I felt like I could do a good job. And I did. I did the best job I could do.”
However, Best does share some behind-the-scenes intel about a deleted scene involving Jar Jar filmed for Revenge of the Sith that would have expanded upon what happened to Binks after he infamously got the senate to unknowingly grant a Sith lord emergency powers in Attack of the Clones. “In Revenge of the Sith, there was a scene that was cut where I’m walking down a long pathway with Ian McDiarmid before he is turned into the Emperor,” Best explains. “And Palpatine kind of thanks Jar Jar for putting him in power. It’s a really interesting scene, and it shows the evolution of Jar Jar from this fun-loving kid’s character into this manipulated politician. And it was an interesting arc for the character that I thought could have been explored, because the scene is really dark. But it just didn’t fit in the movie, which I understand. But yeah, George’s take on it is Jar Jar is now just a politician.”
Should this scene have made the final cut? And what do you think should have happened to Jar Jar? Hit the message boards and let us know. And to hear Best, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and George Lucas all weighing in on the character of Jar Jar Binks, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly.
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