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Michael Jackson Wanted to Play Jar Jar Binks in ‘The Phantom Menace’

Jar Jar Binks
Lucasfilm

Mesa deeply confused.

In an interview with VICE, Ahmed Best, best known as the man who appeared in three less-than-enthusiastically received Star Wars prequels as the less-than-beloved Jar Jar Binks, says that while he was the one who ended up winning the role, there was a far more famous superstar who really wanted to play everyone’s ninth-favorite Gungan. And that man was Michael Jackson.

Shamone. This can’t be true, can it?

Best says it is. Here’s the story he told VICE:

Me, Natalie Portman, and George’s kids — we were at Wembley arena at Michael Jackson’s concert. 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.

Let that one marinate for a second. Michael Jackson. Wanted to play Jar Jar Binks. In prosthetic makeup. In Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

The mind boggles at the sheer idea. Alas, George Lucas was too intent on using computers rather than makeup for his creatures, and now that J.J. Abrams is in charge and interested in practical effects, Michael Jackson has sadly passed away. It was not to be. It would have really been something.

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