Jar-Jar Binks may be the most hated character in the Star Wars universe, but an interview with actor Ahmed Best revealed he wasn’t the only one in line to play the character. Apparently, pop superstar Michael Jackson not only wanted the part of Jar-Jar, he wanted to portray the character using practical special effects—something George Lucas, who ultimately decided to render the character entirely with CGI, disagreed with.
“Me, Natalie Portman, and George’s kids were at Wembley Arena at Michael Jackson’s concert.” Best says, talking to Gavin Godfrey of VICE.
“We were taken backstage and we met Michael […] 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 after-party. 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.“