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‘Star Wars’ Bravely Faced Intense Hatred so That Marvel’s Thanos Could Snap Wanda Into Dust in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Few fictional characters are so hated as Star Wars’ Jar Jar Binks. However, as actor Ahmed Best underlines, it’s thanks to the goofy amphibian that MCU fans could gasp in horror as Thanos choked Loki to death and proceeded to turn powerful Avengers, including Wanda, to dust.

Jar Jar Binks made his Star Wars debut with 1999’s Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The movie was considered the worst in the franchise for a long time until Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker proved things can always get worse. One of the reasons for The Phantom Menace hate was Jar Jar Binks, a comedic relief who is loud, clumsy, and definitely underrated.

Fans despised Jar Jar Binks so much that Best, who helped bring the character to life, received a wave of hate mail and racist messages. This disgusting reaction even pushed the actor away from Hollywood for a while. Still, nowadays, Best realizes how his work in Lucasfilm helped define modern blockbuster cinema.

Jar Jar Binks helped usher in the era of photorealistic digital models

jar jar binks looking forward
Photo via Lucasfilm

Jar Jar Binks is a fully digital character who moves and speaks like a flesh-and-bone being. This impressive result came from Lucasfilm’s research in motion capture technology. While mo-cap became the rule of blockbuster cinema, in 1999, Lucasfilm and Best were making magic. There was nothing like Jar Jar Binks before The Phantom Menace, and the technology used to bring the character to life would eventually lead to ultrarealistic 3D models such as The Lord of the Rings’ Gollum (Andy Serkis), Avatar’s Navi’i, and of course, the MCU’s magnificently detailed characters such as Thanos. 

As Best perfectly sums up in an interview for The New York Times:

“You can’t have Gollum without Jar Jar. You can’t have the Na’vi in ‘Avatar’ without Jar Jar. You can’t have Thanos or the Hulk without Jar Jar. I was the signal for the rest of this art form, and I’m proud of Jar Jar for that.”

It’s interesting to notice all these franchises would go on to break records and make cinema history. The Lord of the Rings is the most awarded trilogy in Hollywood, Avatar holds the biggest box office ever, and the MCU is the largest and most ambitious cinematic universe ever. Jar Jar Binks walked so all these IPs could run, and it’s about time Star Wars fans recognize the importance of the character for Hollywood.

It’s a shame that Best remained in the shadows for so long after the poor reaction to Jar Jar Binks. Fortunately, the actor was partly redeemed by his The Mandalorian cameo and the retroactive love Jar Jar Binks got from a number of fans.

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