View Full Version : Jar Jar Binks

Grand Admiral Jason
12 March 2002, 06:39 PM
Why does everybody hate Jar Jar Binks? I think hes funny, but to a certain extent.

Reverend Strone
12 March 2002, 07:45 PM
OMG. Grand Admiral- methinks you just opened yourself a world of pain.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
12 March 2002, 07:54 PM
Meesa thinks soo!

Meesa gettin outsa here!!

12 March 2002, 08:34 PM
Well... I have a couple of ideas...

I think that to a lot of people, Jar Jar stands out as a "living" example of Star Wars gone wrong.

Star Wars is a unique phenomenon. The original came out in 1977, and a lot of people, who were young kids at the time (like me) fell in love with it. Then ESB came out, and it was even cooler. Then ROTJ came out, which was great to some, but a step in the wrong direction to others (i.e. Ewoks). Either way, it was considered to be over.

But no. Fast forward a decade or so, and Lucas decides to make more movies. A whole generation of movie-goers, who by this time have graduated from school, gotten jobs, and grown up -- some even have wives and children by this time -- were ready to go back to the theater and recapture the magic. Expectations became high -- far, far too high for any film to ever live up to. When Episode I finally came out, it disappointed a lot of people, many of whom (IMHO) were expecting that this film woudl somehow transport them back to their own childhood and allow them to see the film through a child's eyes. Instead, they saw through adult eyes a child's film, and felt insulted. They had grown up. Star Wars had not.

I think a lot of people, especially in my age group, wanted a more adult, sophisticated story, one that would pander to the more adult sensibilities and a more jaded age, instead of pandering to the 10 and 12 year olds that they all once were. Thus the joke, if you want to know how good Episode I was, don't ask a Star Wars fan -- ask his kids.

Jar Jar Binks is the biggest and easiest example to point to of this. He's silly, goofy, and neither heroic nor charming. He really is a child himself, and not a particularly bright one at that. Fans of the series, most of whom have been longing for another Empire Strikes Back since the mid-Eighties, saw this as a travesty or a betrayal.

Added to the fact, I think Jar Jar is an extremely weak character. I can get into the idea of the "bumbling loser" a la Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton or the like. But those characters have at least some charm. Jar Jar, with his pidgin English and his high-pitched voice, just annoys a lot of people. Also, Jar Jar never gets any real characterization. A bumbling boob can be interesting if he gets a chance to be heroic later in the story; Jar Jar got no such chance. He's the same stumbling idiot in the last ten minutes that he was in the first ten. Not good storytelling. Jar Jar also gets associated with the weakest moments in the movie (the fart joke, the "bblbblbblbbl" Looney-Tunes dialogue). So, he is rather emblematic of all that was disappointing about Episode I.

I think, with some work, Jar Jar could be an interesting character, if he underwent a metamorphosis. After all, Luke was a whiny punk in the first movie, and facing down the Emperor by the third. (However, many people choose to ignore the latter part and just refer to Luke as a "whiner"; I imagine the same fate lies in store for Jar Jar.) Unfortunately, I don't think there's much hope for him, as I feel the pidgin English doesn't work, and Ahmed Best is a miserable voice actor.

So, that's my theory. Let the carnage begin :)

12 March 2002, 09:23 PM
When Episode I finally came out, it disappointed a lot of people, many of whom (IMHO) were expecting that this film woudl somehow transport them back to their own childhood and allow them to see the film through a child's eyes. Instead, they saw through adult eyes a child's film, and felt insulted. They had grown up. Star Wars had not.For what it's worth, Ep 2 seems to be a slightly more "grown-up" movie. And, from what I've heard, Jar-Jar has had some time to grow up, too. So we'll see what the flanneled one has done to him soon enough...

Rick Vogt
13 March 2002, 02:04 AM
:raised: ...well..........

I like Jar Jar............he's the goofiest alien ever......and when I'm having a really bad day....well....I can always say.."at least I didn't stick my tongue in something highly dangerous".

Seriuosly though, I liked Jar Jar, and I loved EP 1....and I was around when the original came out....I was 7 at the time. To a true Star Wars fan.....I think TPM was an excellent movie.......I don't go to the movies to get bi***y about the effects, or some other such nonsense. I go there to be entertained.......and "BELIEVING" the movie is a real possibility is one thing I leave to the writer and director.

That being said......Yes! TPM could have been better.....but I loved it anyway........being grown up doesn't mean we have to lose our imaginations.......or have to be picky about a favorite story line. Go, enjoy, and forget reality for a while...if you can do this I think you have no reason not to like TPM.......It's Just not as fancy as the others for a simple reason............The begining of something is hardly ever as climatic as the ending......As a setup to the original 3....with more to follow...I think things were done just fine.

And....... :p I still like Jar Jar! :D

13 March 2002, 04:50 AM
Jar Jar Binks? Meesa no like Jar Jar... dgswensen summed him up really well IMHO. I think that unlike many of the other characters in the movies, Jar Jar was just two dimensional. He never changed, he never developed, he just stayed his goofy, stupid self right up until the end. The fart jokes and looney-toons noises were just BAD and IMHO had NO place in a star wars movie. Let's face it, Jar Jar was there for the kids. Lucas wanted a movie that would make TONS of money so he decided to throw in stuff to appeal to as many audiences as possible. Little kids aren't looking for deep stories and character developement, they want a cute (stupid) character who does goofy stuff and gets himself into trouble. Even more annoying was the relationship between the two jedi and jar jar. Jar Jar screws something up and they are like "Oh, Jar Jar" "Ha ha ha ha". Never mind the fact that they are on a dangerous/important mission and he is a boob with no useful skills. I think that he brought the whole movie down by turning what could have been a great story into the jar jar binks show... Really, JJ is my biggest complaint about EP1.

Heck, I LOVE the ewoks compared to Jar Jar...

Reverend Strone
13 March 2002, 10:41 AM
Jar Jar did bring me one or two smiles during the film, but he also made me cringe at almost every other moment. To be honest though, I don't really mind the character. It was more the unrestrained way in which he was used. He could have worked just fineifI he hadn't had so much screen time. it would have made his occassional appearance more palatable, but I get the feeling Lucas just got indulgent with him and didn't listen to his better judgement, or that of his aides.

Anyways, Boss Nass annoyed me a thousand times more than Jar Jar. Thank goodness he was only in it for a couple of scenes.

darth maim
13 March 2002, 04:18 PM
I never really had a problem with the ewoks... They at least served a purpose of sorts. They actually helped engage in battle as well as show the customs of an alien species... Jar Jar on the other hand wasn't even a decent example of his species, he was a bumbling f*ckup. No one needed to see fart jokes in star wars... it's just out of place and seemed extremely forced and contrived. There was no character development with him at all and he was onscreen screwing around far too much. I watched the deleted scenes on the EP 1 DVD and was repulsed by what they took out because it "didn't further the story" but they left in the Jar Jar bullsh*t.

I don't get it.

14 March 2002, 04:38 AM
That's a really good point Darth... If you watch the deleted scenes there are some that would do FAR more to further the plot than jar jar's fart jokes. I agree with the ewok statement as well. At least the ewoks did something, jar jar was pretty much useless the whole movie. Every scene he was in was just someone preventing him from getting himself killed in a new and more stupid way.

14 March 2002, 06:11 AM
Mesa got a chainsaw.
Yousa people gonna die?
*Wrum wrum*
*Jastor creates a scene that would fit in nice in Braindead*


Reverend Strone
14 March 2002, 12:43 PM
I watched the deleted scenes on the EP 1 DVD and was repulsed by what they took out because it "didn't further the story" but they left in the Jar Jar bullsh*t.

I'm just thankful the Jar Jar stuff in the deleted scenes didn't make it to the film. It could have been sooooo much worse- that awful scene with the bongo on the waterfall? How did that even get off the page and in front of a camera?

14 March 2002, 11:08 PM
As Founder, and so far only member, of the JJLU (Jar Jar Lovers United), I can say I thought he was a good character. For all his bumbling, he was more fleshed out than Chewbacca was in ANH. Chewie really was just a walking carpet who threw tantrums. Nobody got up in arms about him. I love the big guy, but until he showed his complexities in ESB, he was just a Sasquatch with a Bowcaster, and caused more harm, at times, than good.

Although I will agree that the Fart jokes were absolutly unnessisary.

Talonne Hauk
15 March 2002, 08:57 PM
Jar Jar could have been an interesting character if the rest of the movie had been taken care of. Because Episode I was basically flawed to begin with, Jar Jar became emblematic of a larger problem. It wasn't so much that Jar Jar was so juvenile, it was that the ENTIRE movie was juvenile. I was almost 5 years old when the original movie came out, and needless to say, I loved it. And it respected my intelligence by not talking down to me. And you can't say that about Episode I. My nieces and nephews loved it, but I walked out going "Eh." But then my nieces and nephews loved the Pokemon movie, and Episode I was forgotten. If the movie had been as good as we know it could have been, Jar Jar would have been moot.

15 March 2002, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by Talonne Hauk
I was almost 5 years old when the original movie came out, and needless to say, I loved it. And it respected my intelligence by not talking down to me. And you can't say that about Episode I. My nieces and nephews loved it, but I walked out going "Eh." And how old are your nieces and nephews compared to you?

Not trying to be snide, but I am saying that your nieces and nephews may very well end up liking Episode I as much as you like the original trilogy -- then something else will come along when they are in their 20s or so, and it won't be as intelligent, well-made, or epic as when they were younger. And THEIR nieces and nephews will love that movie :)

Dark Knight
15 March 2002, 11:58 PM
I look at it like this. Jar Jar was a tool.

He was there for little kids to laugh at and another reason other than the scary red guy for little kids to go see the movie. It all comes down to Lucas seeking the almighty dollar. In my oppinion Jar Jar was a walking talking bumblin fart joke and i loathe him, but he served his purpose. But myself personally, If I could I would have Every character i play go into an irrational frenzious killing spree at the sight of a Gungan. Call it xenophobic if you will, but that's the taste I was left with in my mouth after witnessing what he's done to a great institution of movies.

And by the way Ewok's rule. Teddy bears with spears and bola's....who wouldn't love that.

Dark Knight
15 March 2002, 11:59 PM
And yes even though i was 4 at the time i cried when the Ewok died..........but I shed no tears for Gungans.

Talonne Hauk
16 March 2002, 12:15 AM
Interesting where you cut my rant off, dgswenson. Because the next line I talked about how fleeting my nieces and nephews love for Episode I was. And, as a matter of fact, they still love the original trilogy. My younger nephew, who's eight, thinks Han Solo is the coolest. (I love that boy. Takes after his old uncle.) So I do believe there is a perceptual letdown in quality between the movies I grew up with and Episode I. And that's why Jar Jar is villified. I mean, he could have been so much more. An awkward outcast who eventually unifies the people and cultures of his world. That's a rich character. But because Episode I was schlocky, Jar Jar was considered the root of it. Too bad. On a good note, though, Episode II looks to be more than making up for Episode I's letdowns.

Dark Knight
16 March 2002, 12:37 AM
Maybe this is just me but i dont think ep1 was that bad at all as a matter of fact the only real problems i had with it was Jar Jar and the excessive pod race scene ( i hate racing in any form) other than that the movie was good it had everything the other movies had. you had the starfighters, the the blaster fights, the lightsaber duels. It was all there. Yeah, Jar Jar sucked but i still really liked the movie.

16 March 2002, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by Talonne Hauk
Interesting where you cut my rant off, dgswenson. Because the next line I talked about how fleeting my nieces and nephews love for Episode I was ...So I do believe there is a perceptual letdown in quality between the movies I grew up with and Episode I...On a good note, though, Episode II looks to be more than making up for Episode I's letdowns. Please don't get me wrong, I was just curious -- not trying to defend Episode I or Jar Jar Binks to anybody. I'm not out to change anyone's mind, believe me. :) It's just that some people have real, tangible reasons for disliking the movie (many of which have been spoken here), but sometimes people have blinkers on about things being better in their childhood, by default, and things being less intelligent than they were in "those days."

And even I was fickle as a kid... one minute it was Star Wars; the next, G.I. Joe or Transformers or something. :) That's no reflection on Star Wars back then, just a function of kid-dom.

Personally, I think Episode I is more childish and innocent (if that's even a good word) than the other films, because it's Anakin's story, and Anakin himself is a child, and is innocent. I doubt very much Episodes II and III will have the same tone. Though it seems to be an unpopular idea, I think it was a deliberate decision on Lucas' part, rather than greed or "losing it". That, combined with 15 years of not directing a film, and the impossible-to-meet expectations of multiple generations of filmgoers.

None of this, of course, excuses Jar-Jar as a character, and I agree with you that he is a disappointment and could have been much more interesting than he was.

That said, I wish my nephew was as cool as yours. :) Mine is only interested in BMX bikes and MTV's <I>Jackass</I>. Sigh.

And yeah, I have high hopes for Episode II, as well, but I will say (sadly) that my expectations are significantly lowered from what they were during the TPM hype. Though maybe that's a good thing...

16 March 2002, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by Dark Knight
It all comes down to Lucas seeking the almighty dollar.
I dunno... I've never really been as convinced of Lucas' reputed greed as others seem to be.

For one thing, Lucas is pretty much set up for life, and has been for a long time, because of Star Wars. But he uses his own money to make the movies; it's not studio money and therefore the film's not at the whim of witless film execs or clueless focus groups. I think in the hands of the Hollywood mainstream, Star Wars could be a lot worse (can you imagine Episode I as directed by Michael Bay?)

That, and Star Wars is one of the only movies out there with no product placement -- no Qui-Gon drinking Pepsi, no Jar-Jar wearing Nikes. There's a reason why most other sci-fi movies are set 20 years in the future and rip off Blade Runner... they need the advertising money to help cover their budget. Ever see Demolition Man, with the dinner at Taco Bell and the actors singing the Oscar Meyer Weiner theme song? I'll gladly suffer some action figures on the shelves and Ewok lunchboxes if it will keep junk like that out of the movies, and allow them to be the big, epic stories that they are.

And lastly, this films ain't hay to make. The last one cost what, over a hundred million? That's not chump change. Sure, Lucas will make it back, but good for him. I don't think it would be very fitting of me to claim to love Star Wars, and spend lots of my own money buying Star Wars merchandise that I enjoy, and then turn around and begrudge every cent Lucas gets (from me!) because of it.

I don't mean to imply that Lucas should be off the hook for his gaffes in Episode I -- or the Special Edition, or even things in the classic trilogy I'm not that fond of. I just think most of the disappointments in Episode I are due to the fact that Lucas is older, with young kids of his own, and probably tailored Episode I to try to amuse them more than the aging fans that are his larger audience. If anything, his mistakes stem from being out of practice and perhaps out of touch, and not so much greed.

But all, of course, speculation on my part.

darth maim
16 March 2002, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by dgswensen
That, and Star Wars is one of the only movies out there with no product placement -- no Qui-Gon drinking Pepsi, no Jar-Jar wearing Nikes.

No they just show up on EVERY product out there for the better part of a year... The companies of course paying loads of cash for the privilege of doing so. This in turn drives fan boys out in droves to own every piece of starwars related goodness... (I for one remember having to drive around to multiple convenience stores to get the rest of the frickin pepsi cans)....

Now, this alone will pay for the cost of doing business... whoring himself to millions of kids with flatulance and other BS is just wrong.

16 March 2002, 06:33 PM
Yeah, I understand what you mean, my point was just that it keeps the merchandising out of the movie, which is far more preferable IMHO.

Nova Spice
16 March 2002, 09:43 PM
Just thought I'd throw in my two cents, but complaining about the STAR WARS movies seems to make STAR WARS worse off, than better. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter what we think and what we WANT. GL has created the STAR WARS Universe and has brought to us the prequels yet we complain and moan that it wasn't "GOOD" enough. Its almost like a starving boy griping because someone gave him only one cookie. To me, TPM was fine. I had no problems with the characters. My mom seemed to think that the "worst" character portrayed in TPM wa Qui-Gon Jinn. I personally sat back and was grateful that finally there was another STAR WARS movie and low and behold, two more would be arriving in the future. GL envisioned STAR WARS and he will complete it with Episode III. Jar-Jar represented happier times as Obi-Wan told Luke in ANH. "Before the dark times, before the Empire."
Jar-Jar didn't "grow up" because so many fans said he was stupid. He grew up because things are becoming more serious and a goofy character wouldn't fit in the darker Episode II and the extremely dark Episode III.
Basically, I just want to let everyone know that complaining doesn't help the situation. I'm grateful TPM, AotC, and Episode III are able to come to us and that STAR WARS will be complete. One day, everyone will pop in TPM and will say this is the film that starts it off and when they watch through Episode VI, they'll think, this is the film that ends it. Basically, cut GL some slack and try to be a bit more thankful every now and then.;) :)

16 March 2002, 10:45 PM
Nova, I agree with you 100%. Well said.

Talonne Hauk
17 March 2002, 12:47 AM
Now, I'll agree that George Lucas doesn't owe me a movie, any more than I owe him $9. But as it turned out, I did pay $9, and I saw a movie that didn't live up to my expectations. And I reserve the right to gripe about it, just as I reserve the right to gripe about any movie. And to be honest, I know it's not all Lucas's fault. Everyone who loves to second guess Lucas loves to talk about how he's a control freak, especially by pointing out how he's writing and directing these new movies. Unfortunately, back in '95, those chores were forced on him by FOX. Because FOX salivated over the idea of it being 100% George Lucas. Well, I love the work he's put out, but let's be honest, the man's strong suits aren't in writing dialogue or dealing with actors. And he knows it, too. He said as much in '95. But in order to have these movies underwritten, he did what he had to do. And Episode I suffered for it, plain and simple. Nova, it's funny that your mom had such antipathy for Qui-Gon. One of my biggest gripes about Episode I was that both characters that I really had any concern for died.

17 March 2002, 01:41 AM
I have no problem with Jar Jar. Ewoks neither. In fact I have an Ewok & a Gungan PC. Truth be told, the way Jar Jar acts in the movies is how I play a fair few of my characters in the RPG.

I can see some of the argument s about his character having little development, but neither did fan favourite Darth Maul. I think maybe Jar Jar should have been at little combat ready. Maybe a scene where Jar Jar faces Maul. Jar Jar panics, jumps backwards accidentally hitting a switch causing a droid arm swing out and clobber the Dark Lord. Jar Jar runs and we're left with an enrgaed Sith on the warpath unleashing dark energies totally anhililating the next person he crosses, lead to duel with Quin Gon.

For me the weakest character of Ep.1 was Obi-Wan.

17 March 2002, 07:03 AM
"But as it turned out, I did pay $9, and I saw a movie that didn't live up to my expectations"

perhaps you set your expectations to high.... I realized something upon comtemplation... most of the great love for the classic trilogy is because we view it through rose tinted glasses...

Talonne Hauk
17 March 2002, 08:10 AM
I was willing to give Episode I another chance, thinking the same thing, perhaps the bar was set too high. But I watched it in a marathon; the original three, and then Episode I. And I'm sorry, but it doesn't hold up as well as the original three. I looked at it as objectively as possible, and it plays like a dumbed down version. Luke and Han never shared a chuckle over Chewies flatulence. The first Death Star wasn't blown up by sheer dumb luck. Ewoks DIED, and still held their ground, as opposed to Gungans running like ninnies when the droids burst their bubble. The space battles made sense. Darth Vader actually epitomized evil by wantonly killing anybody, whereas Darth Maul (although I still find him intersting, albeit underused) just looked cool. and Jar Jar, (who is still the original subject of this rant/thread) never underwent any character development, just like every other character in the movie. If just a few of those glaring problems were fixed, the movie would have been much better. But the biggest problem is that a very vocal minority in our society feel that Jar Jar was a character who was portrayed in the same vein as Stepin Fetchit, and unfortunately, the comparisons hold up. Now, I thought the Neimoidians were too uncomfortably close to sounding Japanese. I didn't see Jar Jar as portraying a gross caricature until a black friend of mine pointed it out. And, unfortunately, it's there. I still maintain that if the movie itself had been produced under the strict high quality standards that the original three had been completed with, the issues of Jar Jar would have been moot. Because instead of watching the movie and feeling uncomfortable, people would have been transported to a place long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

17 March 2002, 08:45 AM
If you are going to look at the Star Wars movies objectively Talunne, then we shall.

Script - TPM is no better or worse than any of the classic ones, actually a bit better in my opinion.

Special Effects - TPM is far superior than anything in the original trilogy.

Acting - Again far superior in The Phantom Menace. This prequel cast is much better than the first. Sir Alec Guiness and Peter Cushing are the only ones in league with the current actors, along with perhaps Mr. Ford.

As far as space battles and such, and Vader being more evil than Maul. This is a very weak argument. This is a different era, period. Would people like Darth Maul if he acted just like Darth Vader? No way. To say he is not the same measure of evel because he does not Force Grip people is ludicrous. And the Death Star and the Trade Federation Control Ship were blown up in the same way......with the Force. So again, your argument is not valid since the whole point of both battles in EPI and EPIV is to show that similarities between Luke and Anakiin.

I know plenty of Japanese people as well, and they all love TPM and have never been offended by star wars. In fact, if you travel over to Japan you will see that they love star wars just as much, if not more, than Americans do. Lucas himself has a great admiration for the Japanese...basing the Jedi on Samuri philosphies in part. So the racist angle has no weight.

It looks to me that you are in the crowd who does not like The Phantom Menace because it is not the movie you thought it should be...i.e. it is not enough like the first trilogie. This is fine, it is a reason not to like the movie but not a reason to say the movie of low quality.

Oh, and by the way, Han snickers at Chewie after he grabs for the meat that sets off the Ewok trap in ROTJ. That is just as ludicrous for Chewie to do as anything Jar Jar did. "Great Chewie, always thinking with your stomach." Ring a bell? I suggest you wait until all the next three movies come out before handing out such judgements.

Reverend Strone
17 March 2002, 04:57 PM
Dirk, I cannot disagree with you more on all the stuff you just said.

But hey, that's cool. We all have different interpretations and expectations. I'm glad you enjoyed TPM so much and am kinda envious because it didn't do the same for me. Hopefully AOTC is going be the fix I and others like me need.

Now if we can just survive the next few weeks of anticipation...

17 March 2002, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by revstrone
Dirk, I cannot disagree with you more on all the stuff you just said.

I'm with you, revstrone. People have varying opinions of movies. Some form their opinions based on comparisons with other things they've seen.

Dirk, you have your opinions, we have ours. Just because they differ doesn't make us any less informed, more biased, or less capable of forming educated opinions than you. Please don't go around grouping people into clusters of "this" or "that" without realizing that not everyone sees things like you do.

As a stand alone movie, Phantom Menace was entertaining for people generally below the age of 22. There was some rather tasteless humor in it, and there were characters who proved to be annoying. Certain aspects of the movie were entertaining for all, but as a complete movie, it wasn't a movie that I sit down and watch over and over.

As a "continuing" story (even though it's a prequel), it doesn't stand up to the quality of the previous movies. Plain and simple. Perhaps it will fit into the whole story when Episode 2 and 3 come out, but until then I can only base my opinion on the movies that have been made already. In that regard, it is of a lower quality than any of the other three movies.

Mind you, this is all my opinion, just like you have yours. You like everything about the movie, I dislike many things about the movie.

So, to everyone: Let's watch the judgement of others. Realize that everyone has opinions, and will form opinions, based on the information they currently have. Just because those opinions differ doesn't give you the right to tell people to hush up, or that they are all misguided.

Talonne Hauk
17 March 2002, 09:26 PM
Thanks for coming to my defense guys. I was about to raise the Great Fist of Doom...
Dirk, I admire your passion. I don't want you to take my crticisms of the movie personally, after all, you didn't make it. Or did you?:raised:
Anyhow, if I may address a few points you raised:
1) As far as acting is concerned, name actors don't make a great movie. A director is far more important because he frames the shots and evokes reactions from the actors. I've done both, in local theater, and the director is much more important in terms of how the final product comes out.
2) You may be right about my Vader and Maul comparison. Maul had to be sneakier. But he still didn't create a real menacing effect to me, and that may have been due to his lack of screen time. I don't know. But I think you would have to agree that he was a tremendous waste of potential.
3) I didn't see Anakin concentrate on firing his shot like I saw Luke with his. I did see Anakin fumble with the controls, saying "Oops" quite a bit. So I think I'll stick with my dumb luck theory.
4)I have been to Japan on business trips. And I know how much the revere Star Wars. That's why I thought Lucas may have been opening the door to some backlash from them due to his portayal of the Neimoidians. Fortunately for him, that didn't happen. Unfortunately for him, the African-American audience took issue with his portrayal of Jar Jar Binks. Now, I thought at first that was crazy talk. But a black friend of mine watched it with me and pointed out Jar Jar's loping gait, his dialect, and general subservience and lunacy. Many of these were stereotypes from such old comedy acts of Stepin Fetchit and Amos n' Andy. Coupled with Jar Jar's general goofiness, it combines to make a rather large insult to a very vocal audience. Lucas, as a film student, should have known better. On a side note, many people I know have referred to Neimoidians as the Japanese aliens.
5) Han never laughed at Chewie for springing that trap. As I recall, he was exasperated with him for "thinking with his stomach". But even if Han laughed at him, I think that laughing at a character flaw is much better than laughing at a fart.
So Dirk, we disagree. That's too bad. I'd still buy you a popcorn and soda at the multiplex if we saw Episode II. Hey, think of it this way. The Phantom Menace is still the 4th best Star Wars movie ever!

17 March 2002, 11:02 PM
I've heard that Neimoidian / Japanese argument a lot, and that Jar Jar is "obviously" Jamaican or African-American. I've also heard that Watto is "obviously" speaking Yiddish, or Turkish, or Arabic, depending on which pundit is doing the writeup. Frankly, I find it offensive that anyone could look at a computer-generated creature like Watto and say, "oh, he's greedy and stupid and look at his big hooked nose, he must be Jewish." I think that speaks far more to <I>their</I> racism than it does to Lucas'.

Or, allow me to cite a slightly different example. I know a person who recently saw Lord of the Rings and hated it, not because of the content of the story, but because it had "too many white people" and the Orcs were "obviously" intended as Native American stereotypes vs. the Aryan invaders, and thus the entire movie was a glorification of the white man's slaughter of the Indians. You don't agree? Well, you must be either racist or clueless, right? Because it's "obviously" true and therefore irrefutable.

But this is nothing new. You can still read to this day people ranting about A New Hope's similiarities to Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will. And wasn't it David Brin who said all Star Wars was just a racist, fascist, totalitarian abomination? (http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/feature/1999/06/15/brin_main/index.html. Again, people just see what they want to see. This is no different than the people who want Sam and Frodo in Lord of the Rings to be gay, or relate Sauron to Osama bin Laden.

Granted, this is all just the opinion of a young white male who doesn't get offended when he sees lots of young white males being portrayed as greedy, xenophobic, clueless, cruel, idiotic, homicidal, and / or sex-crazed dolts in movies pretty much constantly... maybe I Just Don't Understand. So, take it as you will.

Bleah... please pardon my rant, it's late and this issue always gets me started... my apologies if I offended anyone.

18 March 2002, 09:43 AM
I already sounded off my opinion of Jar Jar, so I won't go into that again... But since you bring up Phantom Menace... Dirk, I respect your opinion, but I completely disagree. As far as I was concerned Episode 1 barely deserves to carry the Star Wars name. I went in wide-eyed and hoping for another star wars movie and walked out thinking perhaps that I had judged the Ewok Adventure to harshly... And this is mostly my fault. I think I put too much focus on the movie and got too excited before it came out. Maybe I set my own standards so high that NO movie could ever come close to what I wanted to see. But then again, maybe the movie just lacked in many areas. Maybe AOTC will be better (god I hope so). And I reserve the right to complain about it after the fact if it doesn't. I disagree with those who say that GL did us a favor by making the movies. Do you honestly think he cares what we thought? He makes the movies for one reason and one reason only: MONEY. Phantom made him money so he was happy. Attack is probably gonna make him money, so he could care less what the fans think. I have to politely disagree with everyone who thinks GL is just making the new movies "for the fans".

The only thing I have to say about the racism arguement is that people often see what they want to see. I think people would be complaining regardless of what was in the movie. I'm pretty much in agreement with dgwswensen on this issue, so I'm not gonna rehash what he said...

I don't mean offense to anyone (if I've caused any), and I seriously doubt anyone is gonna say anything to change MY opinion, so I think on this we're gonna have to agree to disagree... :rolleyes:

Talonne Hauk
18 March 2002, 02:43 PM
Because the Watto comparisons are to numerous ethnic groups, I tend to dismiss them. But then again, I'm a big American white guy, so I can afford to. The point really is; if the movie hadn't been such a disappointment to so many people, they wouldn't have picked it apart character by character for its flaws, which is why Jar Jar is so villified, the subject of this thread. I honestly don't think Lucas meant to offend anyone with Watto and Jar Jar. But the Neimoidians might be a different case. Take the names of the major Neimoidians, Lott Dodd and Nute Gunray. Lott Dodd is an amalgamation of Senators Trent Lott and Christopher Dodd. Nute Gunray is a reference to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan. (Reagan/Gunray) Couple this with the fact that Lucas is known to host Democratic Party fundraisers, and this raises eyebrows. Now this isn't wild speculation on my part. This is actually documented from a source at LFL in '99. I read it in my local paper, the Chicago Sun-Times. Which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns FOX. So I think it's probably reliable. So if the Neimoidians are greedy villains, and they have the names of Lucas' political nemeses, why do they also have a Japanese accent? Lucas subtitled many aliens speech in the first trilogy, why didn't he do it this time? Now, back in '96, I worked a night job, and I had nothing but plenty of time on my hands to surf the internet, and read wild rumors. So this next bit of information may not be true, but I think it sheds some light on the subject. When Lucas was setting up funding for these new movies, he tried going through a Japanese bank, because at that time the Asian economic crisis was at full tilt, and banks were looking to fund profitable projects at favorable rates to help buoy their expenditures. But the bank Lucas went through wouldn't finance his smaller side projects, and wanted a big piece of the pie and controlling interest over the content of the movies. So Lucas said no, and stuck it out with FOX, instead of doing it independently, which is what he wanted. So are the Neimoidians accents and characterizations a retaliation due to this poor treatment? I don't know for certain, but I suspect it.

darth hottie
18 March 2002, 04:45 PM
On the Neimoidians he definately used an asian dialect (I forget which one he named) but he said so in the DVD for phantom menace when they are talking over the movie.

darth hottie
18 March 2002, 04:48 PM
sorry I forgot to say that basically he said he tried several different dialect patterns and it just fit the size and image of the race better than the rest. He didn't say "I hate the Japanese so I went ahead and made the bad guys japanese sounding". To follow this logic would be to say that lucas thinks all fat people suck and are greedy villains because Jabba was fat.

18 March 2002, 07:38 PM
Funny thing is that I see Palptine as more like Clinton than Nixon.