Yousa might be surprised to learn that Michael Jackson wanted to play Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequels, according to Ahmed Best, the actor who ultimately played the lovable, completely uncontroversial Gungan theoretical comedic relief.
"That's what George told me," Best said. "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."
Michael Jackson was a reclusive, preternaturally odd living legend on the verge of staging a comeback when he died in 2009 at the age of 50. No album has ever sold more than his 1982 classic Thriller, which also includes hits like "Beat It" and "Billie Jean," and which we will now spend the rest of the day listening to. He collaborated with Lucas in the mid-'80s for Captain EO, the short 3D film that played as an attraction at Disney theme parks.
Best ultimately won the role, which he first played in 1999's Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace and repressed in two sequels as well as in other media, like the Clone Wars animated series.