Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Watch "George Lucas Discusses the Jar Jar Binks BACKLASH with Robin Williams" on YouTube

On Tue, Oct 18, 2022, at 3:04 PM Albert  wrote:
Interesting discussion. George Lucas points out that fans hated C-P3O in the first movie, Ewoks in the second movie, and Jar-jar Binks in the 4th movie. As for me, I had few qualms about C-P3O except that I am not a fan of the "Barney Fife" line of characters. When you have to provide comic relief using a bumbling, incompetent character, I cringe. This might be due to my military background.  There's no room for comic relief unless your willing to let let people die for a laugh. Imagine if your surgeon used Barney Fife as a comic relief role model while conducting surgeries. Now, it's not so funny, especially if your the patient.

I agree with Lucas about the Ewoks. I hated them. They felt out of place. It seemed too far fetched to have 2 foot teddy bears defeating the most technologically advanced military force ever assembled in the universe. Of course, the Star Wars universe was no longer catering to their original fan base, but rather their new up and coming fan base.

Jar-jar Binks was the worst of all. I have no need for a bumbling, animated "Jamaican" alien. Especially one who looks like Bugs Bunny had taken a direct hit at ground zero, melted, morphed and mutated into a Jamaican alien. I remember thinking what could be a worse character than Ewoks. Jar-jar. WTF George Lucas? Lol

The Ewoks came about because of a lack of funding.  George Lucas wanted to do a planet full of Wookies, which he was able to pull off in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  I would have thought that Lucas would have had all the money in the world to make his third movie, but the way expensive movies get financed is complicated, involving multiple producers providing funding often through loans.

We got 11-year-old Warwick Davis playing the main Ewok, Wicket, and as a result, he went on to play other parts in Star Wars and other movies like Willow and Harry Potter.

It was always Lucas' intent to have the Empire defeated by a bunch of "primitive" people.  There is a little bit of an anti-technology theme in Star Wars, like when Luke turned off his targeting computer.

I wasn't thrilled about the Ewoks, but the only thing that really bothered me was their singing at the end of the original movie, which felt super cheesy to me.  Fortunately, they took this out later but added an even worse musical number in Jabba's Palace earlier in the film.

I don't feel like we should be bothered by accents in Star Wars films, because the placement of accents was deliberate by Lucas to make alien characters feel different from other characters.   The character Watto the junk dealer has his own accent, and some people have described him as a Jewish stereotype.  I'm not sure that he is.

A friend of mine complained about the series Rome because everyone spoke in an English accent instead of anything that remotely resembled Italian, but I pointed out that had the series been made in Australia, almost everybody would be speaking with an Australian accent.

It made sense to me that not all the characters in a science fiction movie would be of equal intelligence nor follow the same behavioral norms.  The Gungans seem to be less intelligent and more warrior-like, but if you have a planet with two sapient species, they are not going to be the same.  Part of what makes Star Wars interesting is different species interacting with each other.

I feel that you need comic relief in an otherwise almost over-the-top serious movie such as The Phantom Menace.   I don't see the portrayal of Jar-Jar as outrageous, over-the-top, or insulting to the audience.  However, I do feel that way about the musical number in Jabba's Palace.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

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