PT Thinkin' 'Bout Jar Jar

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Cryogenic, Feb 3, 2013.

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  1. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    It's not really extreme, he was an incredibly ill conceived character. I have nothing against characters that are meant for comic relief if they are executed well. Jar Jar is just a horrible character.
  2. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    I dunno. The saga is like some prog rock symphony and Jar Jar is like some quirky rockabilly number of novelty song thrown in there -- but with purpose -- to remind us of how odd, grating, weird, silly, light-hearted, scatter-brained, and cool all this is.

    I dig Jar Jar on so many levels. Like his surrealistic plasticity, which is a bit of an affront to the ingrained view, at that time and still now, that Star Wars should be hyper-real, at least in its visuals, and be perfectly believable and free of surreality or outrageous extremes.

    Beyond that, try to notice some jarring moments in Episode I -- particularly for Anakin: physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. George strongly hints at a few, like the way that podracer part is rattling around, jarring itself and Anakin's concentration, or when Anakin fires those plasma-based torpedoes into the TF reactor core (he goes "Whoa!" and visibly bobs from side to side).

    Or how Jar Jar punches a big fat hole through the fabric of this movie on the level of "colonial narrative", being as "other" as Darth Maul would be on that landing platform on Coruscant: the only non-human character; and completely blanked by his planet's own senator (the same man, ironically, employing Maul and other alien lackeys -- e.g., the Neimoidians -- to do his dirty work).

    And as the poor frog on the road that you ignore at your peril? This is a great rhyme with Luke first encountering Yoda -- who he doesn't know is Yoda -- in TESB. Same kind of setting: swamp land, a "hero" protagonist getting irritated by a native, thinking themselves totally above this creature who professes to help them, trying to get rid of them, etc. In Jar Jar's case, the motif is obviously more pronounced, and his effects on the story (in contrast to his loud, improbable persona) are -- for the most part -- latent and subtle. Could Jar Jar -- relatively free of attachment and malice, even for those who rejected him: i.e., his own people -- have become a "feel first, think later" Jedi to rival Yoda?

    Lucas toys with audience perception all the time. Watch as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan look equally clumsy with their robes experiencing drag in the water. Observe their need for respiratory devices. Now look as Jar Jar unabashedly jumps in (making only a small splash) and swims effortlessly in front of them: this territory his to revel in. Do people notice these things? Do they care? No, but they're there. Jar Jar, to me, is a mythical, pure-hearted character who undergirds and elucidates so much, functioning as helper and foil on thousands of levels.

    And wouldn't you just love to have someone as lovably unburdened and non-judgemental as Jar Jar in your life? I know I would. He's just an amazing character, through and through, to me. I did once attempt some structured discussion of Jar Jar in another thread -- and while it didn't go entirely to plan, there are some nourishing tidbits in there:

    The Jinx of Binks -- Role and Function of Jar Jar
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Feb 7, 2013
  3. SHAD0W-JEDI Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3
    Not a big fan of Jar-Jar, but not in the "Jar Jar" - hater class either.

    And if you want chapter and verse as to why, I would honestly have to go back and watch TPM again, but overall, the character "just didn't work" for me. I got, I think. what they were going for with him, and I don't necessarily mind a bit of comic relief, but for me, he just hit too many wrong notes. I think his "Cringe-to-Laugh" ratio was too high for my tastes. And his "comic" scenes on the battlefield were, to me, an unwelcome distraction from what could have been a much more powerful sequence (I am not one who insists that SW be "grim and gritty" either, by and large. Just saying that the Jar Jar bits were SO over the top silly, they broke the moment for me, in many spots).

    I must confess that the Gungan speech patterns also didnt work for me, and that may have contributed to my reaction to Jar Jar. Too often, when Jar Jar spoke, I was having those "Thats so wizard Annie" moments, again and again.

    Not a very profound analysis, and not a detailed one - sorry. But overall, My reaction remains about what it was on first viewing - he has a few moments, but overall found him a bit of a distraction, at best.

    Shadow
    Last edited by SHAD0W-JEDI, Feb 8, 2013
  4. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    To me, the main problem with Jar Jar was that I didn't find him funny and I didn't laugh.
    With a comic-relief sidekick that isn't funny, this becomes a problem.

    I didn't hate him or was very annoyed with him but since he is in so many of the scenes, he becomes a bit distracting and I felt the time spent on him could have been better spent elsewhere. His "Funny" antics in the battle scene didn't help, it just removed some of the drama.
    Also for the first half of the movie I could not understand what he was saying and kept wanting to rewind the movie and go "what did I just miss?"

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
  5. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    I do wish Jar Jar was given a few lines or something in ROTS instead of some depressed looking cameo.
  6. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Why?

    The declination of Jar Jar, in my opinion, parallels the waning life force of Padme, and the recession of Naboo in the prequel/saga narrative, which is obviously the planet that both characters originate from, with each subsequently binding themselves to Coruscant: Naboo in mechanized, monstrous form, sealing the demise of these political players, who are both "alien" to the relentlessly dull, frigid, soul-sapping leviathan of the decaying Republic. Even Palpatine seems like more of a "good guy" to begin with; as if even his metaphysical corruption isn't solely internal but is in some way linked to the grandiloquence of Coruscant and its bloated institutions.

    This is epic political commentary. It may also be a million other things.

    In their first scene together in TPM, Obi-Wan warned Jar Jar that if the TF found them, they would be crushed, ground into tiny pieces, and blasted into oblivion. Well, that sorta happens to Jar Jar by the end of III: we see him wrecked, broken -- a sad clown -- and even a little bitter in his final moments behind Padme's casket. His last appearance, back on Naboo, in the mournful air of a state funeral, associated yet again with the troubled queen he once inspired to action, but he now in his heavy robes of office, and her, dead, forever still, is profoundly affecting (to me, at least). Jar Jar's eyes, in particular -- it's always in the eyes -- have a searching quality, like he is trying to recover the past and resolve it with the present. While everyone else effects a stoic gaze, Jar Jar still cannot help showing his emotions, yet it isn't the puppy sadness he had when Qui-Gon passed: there's a hint of disillusionment now, leaving him scarred, and perhaps only a flicker of what he once was.

    That final scene... stirring. It's about the interconnectedness of people, of life, and how a myriad of choices and impulses -- felt and seen; or thinly imagined and unseen -- and unlikely bonds come and go in a quixotic ebb and flow, changing us and the world around us, for good and ill, in ways we cannot possibly know. And with the dark, gloomy taste of tragedy in the air, we should remember the crushed visage of this singular Gungan: our final snapshot of an individual once bursting at the seams with energy and vigour, now crushed like a bug under the cold hands of fate. Bye, bye to the putty minstrel of ambiguous intellect who was once both the lowliest and the luckiest being in the universe; hello to a fallen universe of machine greys and hardened beings who must find water and learn to swim again.
    FRAGWAGON and Random Comments like this.
  7. Darth kRud Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    "Meesa gonna die"

    [IMG]
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  8. Darth kRud Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Jar Jar Derrida.
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  9. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Fan-made and on display at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco -- apparently, George Lucas can (literally) take a joke. :cool:

    The Pharmakon Menace?

    Someone should try probing the saga using Derridean principles. [face_party]
  10. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Opening scene in VII is of Leia thawing out Jar Jar.
  11. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
  12. Heywood_Floyd Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2013
    I've always been on the fence about Jar Jar. I never found him as annoying as others did, but I never really understood his role that well, either. It always seemed to me that Jar Jar was more of a character for children...stepping in poop or getting his tongue held onto were mannerisms there to make kids laugh. OPs first post has helped change my mind though.

    Side note: I always thought it odd that Jar Jar, being a swamp creature, could handle the hot and dry climate of Tatooine.
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  13. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    Okay. But I am wondering about the rest of those fans who do react with extreme regarding Jar Jar. Heck, I don't like the Ewoks. But even my reaction to them aren't that extreme.
  14. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Thanks, it was partially my intent -- or my hope -- to cause a small perceptual shift by re-evaluating Jar Jar from the ground up. I decided to plunk down with some new thoughts in my opening post because Jar Jar is one of my favourite characters. I was glad to part back the foliage, so to speak, and find something new to talk about, since I recently got inspired and was keen to find a new angle for Jar Jar and the TPM character relationships. If other people wanna skip over what I've said without giving it a moment's contemplation, well, that's fine, too. It's what I've come to expect from the Star Wars fanbase. But anyone that seriously reads my comments and takes heart... that makes me feel better. It feels like I've contributed something. Again, my thanks.
  15. Heywood_Floyd Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Well you brought up something I'd never considered before, and it helps me like his character a lot more now. So thank you!
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  16. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    I feel like the only thing that really ruined Jar Jar in TPM is an overabundance of slapsticky moments. The rest is all true and the OP's post is really insightful.
    DarthRelaxus likes this.
  17. Flavia Serem Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2013
    star 1
    My point: Jar Jar is disgusting and annoying
    and clumsy [face_tee_hee]
    I think it's a good characterization.
  18. Master Elaine Nega Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2013
    star 1
    I think all this Jar Jar bashing is unfair. C' mon, he' s added for comic relief. Many movies had funny fools in them so that they look more positive. In fact, adding a funny fool is a quite widely spread plot device to make things look less pessimistic. Of course, they might be slightly annoying sometimes, but their main goal is to easien that " everything is bad" atmosphere. Imagine the movie without Jar Jar: " The TF invaded Naboo, it' s bad, the Jedi and the Queen are stuck on Tatooine, it' s bad, a Sith showed up, it' s bad, the Senate is corrupt, it' s bad, the Queen' s forces are outnumbered, it' s bad, the Naboo have won, but Qui - Gon is dead, it' s very bad... " . Don' t you think it' s a bit too overloading? I' m not speaking about the minor coincideces( which, we know, in fact, aren' t coincidences, they are the will of the Force XD), without which the Jedi would probably get caught by the Droid Army, Anakin and Qui - Gon would' ve never met, and Amidala would' ve left without an army.
    Also, overloading movies without a relief usually tire people. The reason I didn' t like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 was exactly because it was too overloaded. The director did too much focus on the darkness coming, while in the book JKR managed to create an atmosphere " no matter how bad things seem to be, there is still good in this world, and this good is worth fighting for" . When watching the movie all I wanted to say is " come on, we' re shooting Harry Potter, not Hamlet or some other Shakespeare tragedy" . I' m telling to let you understand that over - dramaticizing isn' t always good either. It' s a difficult balance, and the amount of dramaticizing is individual for each story. For example, too many jokes in the same " Hamlet" would look stupid, while making a huge drama out of a positive film like " Enchanted" (if you doesn' t know, it' s a fantasy romantic comedy which was released at 2007) would also look weird. So I don' t think we would like to see Star Wars as a completely dramatic tragedy. Even ROTS, which is, on my opinion, the most tragic film in the saga, still had a little humor in it. So I' m saying this that Star Wars might be tragic at times, but this tragedy mustn' t overload the audience. That' s the reason Jar Jar is there.
  19. lbr789 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2013
    star 1
    Well said. =D=
  20. janstett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2004
    star 3
    If you've seen fan edits like most notably The Phantom Edit, wherein Jar Jar is almost completely removed, it actually tightens up the story and nothing of consequence is lost.

    Logic dictates, if it was that easy and beneficial to remove, it was never that integral or important to the story to begin with. In other words, Jar Jar was cynically tacked on to appeal to 5 year olds late in the process and that is why he is so easily removed.

    Kurusawa's "Seven Samurai" is often cited as a major influence on Star Wars. In it, two bumbling peasants try to recruit Samurai to protect their village. The pair are very similar to the role of R2 and 3PO and are some degree of comic relief. The equivalent of Jar Jar in the world of Seven Samurai would have been Bozo the Clown in full nose and makeup honking his horn with every step.
    Last edited by janstett, Mar 31, 2013
  21. QsAssistant Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 2
    I don't hate Jar Jar like most do. The only time I really hate him is when he's made General of the Gungan army to when the TPM ends. The rest of the film and AOTC I don't mind him.
  22. Master Elaine Nega Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2013
    star 1
    No, I haven' t seen edits and I don' t want to. I like the movie as it is and don' t want any changes. Yes, it might be easy to remove him, but who said it is beneficial? Why should I lose a reason to laugh, or at least have a funny sarcastic thought inside my head? And I disagree that it tightens up the story. Also who said it won' t depress the story? I don' t want another HP and DH part 2 mentioned above, which is all about darkness. I' m not a fan of Jar Jar, but I don' t hate him either, and I don' t think removing him will make the story so much better. If you wanna a remake of TPM, I' m waiting to see what will you do in case you shoot it. Blabbing about how bad the movie is is the one thing, shooting one is totally different. Also, I' d like to mention Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is one of my favourite shows. Despite a generally serious plot, there are lots of childish and lighthearted moments( after all, it' s a cartoon) , which are also easily removable. You might think it' s for children, but I, despite being a teenager, also enjoyed it. It has seriousness, but it' s also positive and comical at times. There are also lots of adults among fans. One of my friends, who is now 19, also likes it. As I remember, 3 years ago they made a film adaptation. They removed all the positive jokes, made a more serious atmosphere. It also had other faults, but i don' t think they are necessary to mention here. And guess what? Fans bashed it totally. I would also like to mention that the original trilogy had enough lighthearted moments itself( take a friendly giant Chewie and Ewoks, the small teddy bears that managed to gain victory ower Stormtroopers without even having a technology) . So childish moments aren' t always bad. Don' t be so serious about it.
  23. janstett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2004
    star 3
    As someone who saw the Phantom Edit, I'll say "me", for starters. If you haven't even seen one of these efforts I don't think you can comment on how good or bad it is. At very least try it and see if you agree or disagree.

    The point is Jar Jar is easily excised from TPM and it actually helps the movie's pacing. Therefore, he was never integral to the story in the first place. He's like vinyl racing stripes on a car, or a room tacked onto a house. He was never part of the initial design and was tacked on as an afterthought. It's logical to conclude Jar Jar was a cynical, tacked-on attempt to appeal to kids to sell cereal/toothpaste/bedsheets. And he can be "peeled off" without any real loss, and in fact is a case of "addition by subtraction".
    Last edited by janstett, Apr 1, 2013
  24. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Without him, how are they getting to the "Gungan secret place"?
  25. Jcuk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 4
    I agree. I have my own thoughts on THAT character, but how were they going to get there? You can't just delete them from the film altogether? It's impossible.
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