Michael Jackson Wanted to Play Jar Jar Binks in 'Star Wars,' According to New Interview
Ahmed Best, the man behind Jar Jar Binks -- the universally reviled, arguably racist caricature from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace -- recently gave a lengthy interview to Vice. It's essential reading for Star Wars fans, but there's a segment of it that's essential knowledge for any American with a pulse.
This mind-blowing tidbit deals with Michael Jackson, the late King of Pop. As a connoisseur of children's films and fantasy in general, Jackson was interested in joining the cast of the Star Wars prequels during the '90s. And not just with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo. No, according to Best, Michael Jackson wanted the role of Jar Jar Binks.
Let that sink in for a moment. Once you've collected yourself, read this explanation.
"Me, Natalie Portman, and George's kids, we were at Wembley arena at Michael Jackson's concert," Best tells Vice. "We were taken backstage and we met Michael. There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as 'Jar Jar' and I was like, That's kind of weird. Michael was like, 'Oh. OK.' I thought, What is going on? After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. I'm having a drink with George and I said, 'Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?' He said, 'Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like "Thriller."' George wanted to do it in CGI. My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he wanted that."
As insane as it is imagining Michael Jackson in full alien makeup trailing Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson while delivering lines like "Meesa your humble servant," this wouldn't be entirely without precedent. Aside from "Thriller," Jackson took on a heavy dose of makeup to portray the goofy, loose-limbed Scarecrow in the 1978 Wizard of Oz reimagination The Wiz.
Regardless, we can all be grateful the Force guided MJ away from that irritating, pointless role. As C-3PO once said, "Thank the Maker."