I don't get it, Why did George decide to cast Samuel L. Jackson?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Cantina, Jun 27, 2003.

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  1. Cantina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 1
    One of the cool things that I like so much about the Star Wars films is the fact that the cast is made up of great relatively no-name actors and actresses - that is until Episode 1.

    I haven't really understood why exactly George decided to have such a popular star-powered actor as Jackson play Mace Windu, the second most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. To me, it just seems unlike George. Everytime I see Sam appear in a scene, I can't help but feel that he stands out like Sean Bradley in a Chinese restaurant. Sure Lucas may have wanted to broaden his viewing audience by choosing an African American actor, but why such a high profiled actor like Jackson?
    Can someone explain this to me?

    - Cantina





  2. Latorski Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2002
    star 4
    He probably felt he was the right actor for the role.
  3. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    Probably because he felt like it, and also having someone like him asking to be in a Star Wars film in the first place is a good thing. It's a fan's dream come true, especially if that fan is a good actor...
  4. KosmicKnine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 4
    having someone like him asking to be in a Star Wars film in the first place is a good thing

    Yeah, I think Sam Jackson's really, really wanting to be in it had a lot to do with him actually getting a part.
  5. rpeugh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    Lucas has said that Sam being a well known actor almost cost him the part. BUt actually, I think TPM, AOTC, and Pulp Fiction are the only movies in which I saw the CHARACTER and NOT Samuel L. Jackson. When I look at movies like XXX and 187, I see Samuel L. Jackson. When I see the prequels, I see Mace Windu. And dont forget that the OT didnt use ALL unknown actors. Werent Guiness and Cushing considered to be pretty well known at the time? Atleast in Europe?
  6. The_Anakin_Wannabe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2003
    star 4
    I think Mace is a pretty weak character. In my opinion only Samuel L Jackson could have made the character work. I think it was a good decision.
  7. Defiant07 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Samuel L. Jackson begged GL to give him a part, he also requested the Purple lightsaber to let everyone know that he is confused about his sexuality.
  8. Green_Destiny_Sword Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2001
    star 4
    I don't think there was anything wrong with hiring him. I'll always associate Nat Portman with the Professional, but I think of her as Padme when watching the PT.

    I just wish Samuel L. got to actually raise his voice in these films! Is there anyone better at screaming and going ballistic?
  9. Yazid_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 4
    First, he's a good actor. Second, Mace is like a bad ass Jedi, perfect for Jackson's expertise.
  10. Jedi_Learner Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 5
    Samuel L. Jackson is a good actor when he is given a decent script for his character and that we actually care about. Shame this didn't happen in my opinion.
  11. ultimatejedi90 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2003
    star 2
    cause he's one bad mutha...
  12. baggles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    The casting of Sam is no different than casting Billie Dee.

    But atleast Sam is playing a character. Billie basically played the same persona that already made him famous.

  13. DARTH_CHINA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Well, GL had a weak moment. :p

    SLJ sucks in Star Wars.

    That's all.
  14. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    Samuel L. Jackson wanted a role in SW, GL decided to cast him as a Jedi Master. No big deal.

    Considerably, the character of Mace Windu does not get a lot of screen time in either TPM or AOTC. But I still love him :D
  15. PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 3
    This, from the Official Site, might help. It's from an interview with Samuel L. Jackson.

    "You were already a major star when you took a part in Episode I that was basically an extended cameo. Why did you originally take the role of Mace Windu?

    That was the role George gave me. I pretty much campaigned to be in this movie. I knew he was shooting it, and folks ask you a lot who are some of the directors that you haven't worked with that you want to work with. I generally don't think about things like that, but I knew he was doing this film and I was doing this interview show in London, so I said, 'George Lucas. He's doing some Star Wars movie and I'd really like to be in it.' Apparently, somebody told him.

    Robin Gurland, the casting director, heard about the show and told George. Robin is totally responsible for all my Jedi success and for me being here.

    I was pretty much willing to be a stormtrooper, just as long as I knew I was in the movie. I didn't care if anybody else knew, I just wanted to do it. And I was fortunate enough that George actually created this particular character for me to do. I didn't find that out until I got to London. Once they started fitting Jedi robes on me, I was like, 'Hey who is this guy? This is gonna be cool.' So there was no way I was not going to do it."

    I don't mind Samuel L. Jackson being cast, since he can be a brilliant actor is some of his roles. I just don't understand why, other than personal friendship and admiration, Lucas cast him in the major, pivotal role of Windu or written the role just for him. I don't think the character of Mace Windu, at least how SLJ plays him, is suited to him. I think he plays him too "seriously," with those too forced facial expressions of concern and grave intonations in an almost muffled voice. He is not James Earl Jones and shouldn't try to be. Jimmy Smits is trying to do the same with Bail Organa.

    While I don't think SLJ should have played "stormtrooper no. 132," I think he should have played a role more suited to his talents, someone with an undercurrent of menace and mystery. Perhaps, he could have been in the role that eventually became Dooku or Maul. SLJ would have made a powerful Sith Lord, much more interesting than the one-dimensional Maul. But who knows, if the role of Mace Windu is revealed to be substantially different in Episode III, my opinion of the casting of SLJ as Mace may change.
  16. AdamBertocci Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2002
    star 7
    SLJ would have made a powerful Sith Lord

    If Lucas made the villain a black guy, the 'racism' critics would have a field day... and keep it going for the next 20 years.

    He got in enough trouble having a black guy voice Vader.



    Rick McCallum loves you!
  17. Latorski Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2002
    star 4
    It's hilarious that people think the only reason SLJ is in SW is because he lobbied for a part. Lucasfilm would have been inundated by 1000s of actors and agents for parts in these movies. One person got a significant role.
  18. Yoda_Aint_Love Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2003
    sam is the man mace windu and ewan mcgregor are the highlights in these films.


    http://www.urbansoundz.net/starwars/index.php?s=
  19. halibut Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    One of the cool things that I like so much about the Star Wars films is the fact that the cast is made up of great relatively no-name actors and actresses - that is until Episode 1.

    What about Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing?
  20. PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 3
    AdamBertocci wrote, "If Lucas made the villain a black guy, the 'racism' critics would have a field day... and keep it going for the next 20 years. He got in enough trouble having a black guy voice Vader."

    I agree. However, he got that anyway because of the Neimodians' (sp?) Asian accents and Jar Jar's Jamaican tongue (okay Jamaicans don't have tongues as long or with as much dexterity as Jar Jar's). He even got blasted for Watto's Italian accent. No matter whom he cast as a villain, in both TPM and ATOC, he gets criticized. In TPM, as I agree, Maul was criticized for being action, acrobatics and strength over substance and intelligence. In ATOC, Dooku was criticized for being too old and for being derivative of Christopher Lee's past roles, specifically Dracula, not to mention a carbon copy of Saruman. In other words, Dooku's characterization was not considered creative enough. Lucas will get it from all sides, no matter what he does.

    Edit: spelling
  21. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    What about Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing?

    Don't forget James Earl Jones and Billy Dee Williams.
  22. Green_Destiny_Sword Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2001
    star 4
    If Lucas made the villain a black guy, the 'racism' critics would have a field day... and keep it going for the next 20 years.

    Yep. If made him a shucking and Jiving, sambo-slave sounding Black man, then he sure would. But hey, what director would ever make a character like that in the 21st century?? lol.

    He got in enough trouble having a black guy voice Vader. [/]

    PPOR.

  23. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Guiness played in that famous WWII movie about his unit getting captured in Japan. And then he dedicates himself to building a bridge for the Japanese while in prison camp, as a way of maintaining pride/dignity. He even thwarts an attempt to blow the bridge and rescue him. And then comes the "what have I done. . ." part.

    Anyway, as to why he created an important role for Jackson, I think it made a lot of sense. He's a famous actor--one of the best on the project--and he's going to get paid more per minute of screen time than others, in all likelihood. If you had a famous actor, wouldn't you strengthen your movie by actually using his talents? Makes sense to me. At least don't let him go to waste.

    And if everyone in the Galaxy is white, and one of the black ones is a gambling tow-timer and the other is a major villian, yes, I guess I'd say there was a problem with how things were being portrayed. And you really have to admit that the Nemodians were in many ways Asian caricatures.
  24. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    Yup. If made him a shucking and Jiving, sambo-slave sounding Black man, then he sure would. But hey, what director would ever make a character like that in the 21st century?? lol.

    You'd be surprised how much they would attack TPM or AOTC is Sam was the villian. Look at the Clones from AOTC. There was a group of critics who claimed AOTC was racist because of the Clones, because they "looked" mexican. The actors who portrayed the Clones and Jango were not mexican. But none the less, they stated that because the Clones "looked" mexican, that is was a racial stereotype. Critics can be ignorant fools.
  25. DamonD Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, surprise surprise, eh? :)

    There was criticism of ANH at the time due to there being no black leads or supporting characters, and Darth Vader being voiced by a black guy (James Earl Jones).
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