Jar Jar Binks is perhaps the most universally hated character in the whole Star Wars series—if not all of sci-fi. But would it have been better (or at least tolerable) had The King of Pop played him? It sounds like a weird hypothetical, but Jar Jar actor Ahmed Best has recently revealed that Michael Jackson was actually in talks for the role. In fact, he was extremely interested!
In an interview with VICE, Best revealed how he got the part and the famous entertainer didn’t.
“Me, Natalie Portman, and [director] George [Lucas] and his kids—we were at Wembley arena at Michael Jackson’s concert. We were taken backstage and we met Michael,” Best stated. “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.'”
He continued,”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.'”
Ahmed believes he was ultimately chosen for the role because Lucas was concerned that a star of MJ’s magnitude would outshine the film. In the end, it’s probably for the best that Jackson wasn’t Jar Jar. If the character was half as annoying as it ended up being in the final film, it would have been a serious blight on his career, up there with….all that other stuff.