Today for the first time in a long while I watched The Phantom Menace and I felt compelled to write something about what I felt was wrong with this film. But what? Well, what else could there be to talk about? I want to talk about that weird looking fish-kangaroo with spaniel ears: Jar Jar Binks.
Ah Jar Jar, everyone’s favourite Star Wars hate figure. With his stupid face, his stupid voice and the allegations of him being a racist creation, it is safe to say people hate this Gungan. However in today’s post I’m asking the question, why is there so much hate for him, he’s not that bad is he? Well to start off with, I have attached a picture of him just to remind you all of what he looks like (yeah, like you need reminding):
OK, so maybe that is not a real picture of Jar Jar Binks, but that’s simply down to the fact that the real Jar Jar wasn’t nearly as well rendered as my version (but that’s late 1990’s CGI for you, I’m afraid). However the amazing thing that I realised is that if you were to stick eyes onto those Jars and add a little pinch of terrible Microsoft Paint skills to it, it actually starts to look like him (well at least a little anyway):
Getting back on track (and offering my sincere apology for that terrible drawing I just did) I would like to argue this: Jar Jar Binks did not make The Phantom Menace a bad film. The Phantom Menace was a bad film irregardless (yes, sorry I just used the word ‘irregardless’ please don’t hate me grammar people) and it was bad because the script and the storytelling were just simply awful. However, there’s also someone else (more so than poor Jar Jar) that made this film awful and I have no idea why he doesn’t get as much stick (or indeed more stick) than the big JJ. The person? Jake Lloyd of course and his terrible acting abilities. Who? Precisely, unless you are a big Star Wars fan or indeed Jake Lloyd himself, you probably wouldn’t know who Jake Lloyd was even if he came up and punched you in the face. Jake Lloyd is responsible for playing the terrible Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace (that is ‘terrible’ in both acting terms, as well as in fictional terms as Anakin grows up to be one right horrible dude). Jake Lloyd is a lot worse than Jar Jar and you know why? Well because Anakin Skywalker is integral to all of the Star Wars movies from episodes 1 – 6 (as the character is in all of them in one guise or another), all Jake and his mate Hayden Christensen did was an absolutely brilliant job of screwing up the back story of one of the greatest (in fact sod it: Greatest) movie villains of all time with their terrible acting abilities. So thanks a lot Jakey and Hayden (although I will blame Hayden a lot more than Jake as he played Anakin in twice the amount of films and was actually an adult and presumably therefore a ‘more experienced actor’ in comparison to young Jake).
But I’m not actually going to leave it there, I’ve got another reason as to why I dislike the portrayal of Anakin in The Phantom Menace as well as in the other two movies of the prequel trilogy. Hayden and Jake’s acting abilities physically exist in real life and they can unfortunately be used again at any moment and at any time. Jar Jar’s acting abilities don’t exist in real life, he’s a CGI creation, sure he may or may not be based upon an actor in a suit acting the part and then being turned into Jar Jar on a screen, but all that would take time, effort and money. Therefore I don’t want to be angry at Jar Jar because he doesn’t really exist and I don’t ever really get angry at things that don’t exist because it’s just a waste of time, hence why I’m never angry at the Easter Bunny, Santa…or God.
Just one more thing before I go, Jar Jar also turned up in Episode Two and Three and were people angry? No. Did he ruin the films by simply being there? No (although they were still not great films, but you can’t blame Jar Jar this time). However, did people chuckle to themselves and go ‘oh my god that’s Jar Jar’ and then feel a weird sense of nostalgia? Yes, a lot probably did.
So therefore in conclusion, do we all truly hate Jar Jar? Probably not. Should we all be hating the guys who portrayed Anakin Skywalker in eps 1-3? Hellas yeah!…Or should that be Halla(s) yeah! (Star Wars reference FTW!).
The above post I also posted on the blog ‘Matt’s Blog of Nothing‘. ‘Matt’s Blog of Nothing’ is my own personal blog which I usually use to blog on when I’m not talking about film and TV. It’s the blog I use to talk about stuff that is completely unsuitable to be put on this blog, you know why? Because I’m usually blogging complete and utter nonsense and Chris wouldn’t let me put it on this blog. Find it here (yeah OK it’s the same link as above, I’ve no idea why I posted it again). Now all we need is Chris to make his own personal blog and then you’d all get 3 blogs for the price of 1. I’m sure we’d all like to see Chris’ opinion on the world outside of film and TV, let us all peer pressure him guys. PEER PRESSURE!