PT Influences on the creation of Jar-Jar

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by The One Above All, Sep 13, 2017.

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  1. The One Above All Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2017
    I've seen it stated elsewhere that he was influenced by a number of classic cartoon characters, like Goofy and Donald Duck. But, what do you think? Can you see influences from any other animated characters? For example, I, myself, can see a few Daffy Duck influences in there.

    I should also state that I don't intend for this to be a bashing thread. I merely decided to start it since I have an interest in the history of animation, especially Golden Age Warner Brothers and Looney Tunes. Voice your criticisms of his character if you must, but keep it civil.
    Last edited by The One Above All, Sep 13, 2017
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  2. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    I believe Jar Jar was influenced by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. In terms of body language, it came from Ahmed Best himself.
  3. realjim949 Jedi Padawan

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    Aug 22, 2017
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    Goofy, I can see. Buster Keaton, no. I’m not sure if anyone here is actually familiar with Buster Keaton, but his style of humor is about as far away from Jar Jar Binks as you can get. Keaton was famously called the Great Stone Face. He’d perform all sorts of crazy stunts, everything would fall apart around him, and he’d maintain this deadpan expression as though nothing out of the ordinary was happening. A house fell on top of him? No biggie.

    Jar Jar, by contrast, is very demonstrative and prone to wild gesticulation. Quite the opposite of Keaton. A Keatonesque character would be someone who would get shot, and then just calmly brush it off as if nothing had happened and say, “Don’t worry. It’s an insignificant bullet.”
  4. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Aug 6, 2016
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    Yeah. Buster Keaton was never an excitable, hysterical walking disaster area. His whole thing was his stoic demeanor as things happened TO him and how he deftly negotiated or shrugged them off.

    Comparing Jar Jar with stoneface is like comparing Vader with Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Sep 14, 2017
  5. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 7, 2009
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    It's not a matter of opinion:

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    It's physical humor, of which Keaton and Chaplin were known for. And it's well documented that Lucas was influenced by them for the creation of Jar Jar.
  6. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Aug 6, 2016
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    Luke Skywalker and Han Solo's characters must be based on Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton et al then.


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    Yes slapstick used to happen in all those character's movies. It happened to lots of different characters in lots of movies - WC Fields , Laurel And Hardy, and beyond.

    But the character is not influenced by Keaton. Or Chaplin.

    The obnoxious characterisation is more like Jerry Lewis or Lou Costello's.
  7. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 7, 2009
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    ?! No, they don't do physical humorous antics, unlike Jar Jar, whose character and antics were based on Keaton and Chaplin performances as confirmed by Ahmed Best, George Lucas and the movie itself.

    It is. That's a fact stated by the actor and creator of the character and made evident in the finished work, not sure why you're denying reality. But then again, considering the false equivalence you made earlier, I guess honest discussion is not something you're ready to have.

    Fortunately facts don't change, not matter how much denial one likes to live in.
    Last edited by Alexrd, Sep 14, 2017
  8. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Aug 6, 2016
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    That is just physical action used in certain scenes that's no different than Han hanging upside down with his legs caught in the wires of the Skiff at Carkoon. Or Luke falling and hanging from the Cloud City, or both of them in the Ewok trap on Endor.

    The characters themselves and the context determine the comedy or drama of the scenes they exists in.

    It is. That's a fact stated by the actor and creator of the character and made evident in the finished work, not sure why you're denying reality. But then again, considering the false equivalence you made earlier, I guess honest discussion is not something you're ready to have.

    Fortunately facts don't change, not matter how much denial one likes to live in.[/quote]

    Chaplin's Tramp and Keaton's stoneface (and the James Finlayson characters, if I can namedrop a fellow scot) are completely different characters. The only common thing is the type of action that they were prone to getting into. WC Fields, The Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, all completely different characters of which you can find screenshots with the same kind of action like you've provided and which already I did with Han and Luke. Since Han and Luke can be seen getting into the same scrapes and the same gags being used then I guess I can say their characters are influenced by Chaplin, Lloyd and Keaton as much as Jar Jar was.


    You don't seem to understand what defines a character. Those screenshots do not define those characters.

    The fact that Jar Jar is a speaking character in a talking picture makes comparing his character to those silent comics even more absurd.

    Jar Jar is far closer to the obnoxious, accident prone characters that Jerry Lewis played. In fact he's essentially a cartoon character. There's no getting around that. Like Roger Rabbit. (except Roger's funny)

    I provided screenshots of Luke and Han in the same kind of action you've used to define how Keaton influenced Jar Jar and you've ignored them. So don't think about insinuating that I am being dishonest.
  9. heels1785 JCC/PT/New Films Manager

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    Debate, don't attack each other. Thx.
  10. cubman987 PT Book Club Host - PT Trivia Host

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    The difference is that Han and Luke in those positions was not done for humor, while the Jar Jar ones were. It's very clearly stated, numerous times that Chaplin and Keaton influenced the character. I don't know how you can tell the people responsible for creating the character where they got their inspiration from.
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  11. Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 10, 2005
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    This link should interest you:

    THE CINEMA BEHIND STAR WARS: THE KID

    "Ahmed Best’s motion-capture performance of Jar Jar perfectly captured the exaggerated physicality of Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars. Where the droids in the classic trilogy brought us Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy-style humor, Jar Jar brings us the stylings of the great humorists from a generation prior.

    Taking Lucas’ inspiration for Jar Jar’s character one step further, Charlie Chaplin claimed that the walking style of his Little Tramp character was based on an old drunk he knew in London named “Rummy” Binks. Coincidence? I doubt it."
    Last edited by Lulu Mars, Sep 14, 2017
  12. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
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    I'm not debating what people said. I'm stating my opinion of the character.

    I've seen many people and characters through the years use the same gags as Keaton and Chaplin, but that does not define their character.

    If Lucas says that the monolith from 2001 influenced Darth Vader then that would be "true" since he said so, but I would be right to point out that being that colour and being monolothic doesn't define the character.

    I'm pretty sure Han hanging from the skiff by his toes and the rebels hanging upside down in the net was done for humour.

    The point is that those moments done define the character and neither do the shots of Jar Jar where Lucas copied gags from Keaton and Lloyd films define the Gungan.

    Jar Jar's persona is nothing like Keaton, Lloyd or Chaplin.
    Jar Jar does not walk anything like the tramp.
  13. Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master

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    He didn't claim that he does.
  14. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    Well if Lucas was influenced by Chaplin in creating Jar Jar, then he wasn't influenced enough, in my opinion.

    Even the influences on R2 and 3PO have always been overstated through the years. That may have been in the conception of what types of characters they should be. But they became quite different once Tony Daniels got the role.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Sep 14, 2017
  15. cubman987 PT Book Club Host - PT Trivia Host

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    Being inspired by or influenced by doesn't mean it's going to be the same exact thing. There are clearly elements where you can see some inspiration, maybe even a little homage, and in the end it's certainly not exactly how Chaplain or Keaton would have played the part but their physical style of comedy was what they based the physical style comedy on for Jar Jar's character.
    Last edited by cubman987, Sep 14, 2017
  16. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

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    :rolleyes:
  17. realjim949 Jedi Padawan

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    Just because it’s slapstick doesn’t make it Keatonesque.

    And yes, I fully believe that George Lucas cited Keaton as an influence on Jar Jar. I can’t read his mind, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he did set out to create a Keatonesque character. He failed. Jar Jar is not Keatonesque, regardless of anything George Lucas says.

    I can definitely see Jar Jar emulating Goofy. He does share quite a bit in common with Goofy. The dialect, the slapstick, the obliviousness, the gait, the floppy ears, etc. Buster Keaton? No.
  18. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

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    *Inpsired*

    This is the key word here.
  19. Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master

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    There's also a difference between character and situation.
    The character of Jar Jar was inspired by Goofy, but the situations he was put in were inspired by artists like Buster Keaton.
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  20. Martoto77 Jedi Master

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    They copied a few Keaton and a few Lloyd gags for the mocap and animation of a few action moments. That seems to be as far as the influence went.
  21. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

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    The sort of pratfalls and physical comedy on display with Jar Jar are very reminiscent of Buster Keaton. People have even been kind enough to post clear screenshots undeniably showing how much they are akin. The fact that Jar Jar happens to have a different personality than Keaton did has very little or nothing to do with the manner in which they both fall down, run into trouble with objects in the environment, and otherwise find themselves in physically comedic situations.

    Something can be visibly influenced by something else without necessarily sharing every single one of its qualities. Jar Jar was also influenced by Bugs Bunny, who in turn was influenced by Buster Keaton. Surely Chuck Jones must have been lying or mistaken when he made such a claim, though, since Bugs Bunny is a sarcastic wiseacre while Buster Keaton is nothing of the sort.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Sep 17, 2017
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  22. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

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    Gah..I hate using phone. Autocorrect is the worse:(
  23. realjim949 Jedi Padawan

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    Aug 22, 2017
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    @Lulu Mars said it best: “The character of Jar Jar was inspired by Goofy, but the situations he was put in were inspired by artists like Buster Keaton.”

    The character of Jar Jar Binks is nothing like Buster Keaton, even if they’re sometimes in similar situations. Bugs Bunny is a direct descendant of the trickster rabbit archetype from African folklore (controversially appropriated by Disney in the form of Br’er Rabbit). Lucas could’ve made Jar Jar’s personality more like Buster Keaton or Bugs Bunny (and I have a feeling that if Lucas had done that, the character would’ve been received more positively). But he chose to make Jar Jar more like Goofy. That’s just a fact.

    EDIT: Just watch this cartoon and tell me that this sort of clumsy buffoonery had no influence on Jar Jar:

    Last edited by realjim949, Sep 17, 2017
  24. Dread Pirate Roberts Jedi Padawan

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    Feb 28, 2017
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    I think we have established that both Goofy and Buster Keaton influenced Jar Jar. Now it's just semantics.

    What about that voice though? If I'm correct, Ahmed Best used that voice to read to his younger siblings and suggested using it for Jar Jar. I think George Lucas's response was essentially, "Yeah, okay that's good enough." I wonder if he regrets not finding a professional voice actor. I've always liked the voice, but I understand it isn't universally appreciated.

    I've also heard people say it sounds Jamaican.
  25. The_Phantom_Calamari Jedi Grand Master

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    That's basically what everyone's been saying, dude. But the situations Jar Jar gets into and the way he reacts to them physically is an essential part of his character. You can't separate the two.

    No, his personality is not much like Buster Keaton's. Personality is only one aspect of a character.

    No one is saying that Goofy didn't have a strong influence on Jar Jar. Literally no one said that.

    But no, Bugs Bunny was indeed influenced by Buster Keaton (as well as by many other sources, which seems to be the concept that's tripping you up), just like pretty much every other animated cartoon character created during that time period, including Goofy himself.
    Dread Pirate Roberts likes this.
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