Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jar Jar Binks: Awesomeness in Disguise?

No, I'm not really that insane. I still think Jar Jar is possibly one of George Lucas's biggest mistakes. Not only was he the most obnoxious creature ever created, he could be considered a racial slight. But that's a whole other blog topic.

Today I want to talk about an article I read that one of my guildmates pointed out. This person very eloquently sums up why the Star Wars prequels (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith) may indeed be better than the originals, including the addition of the highly flawed Jar Jar Binks.

I won't quote it all, but it's here if you want to read it in full, which you should. The gist of it is that the reason the prequels are so much better is because they are more complex.

"A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" reflect the Cold War milieu in which they were created, offering up a comforting us-vs.-them story told in bold strokes lacking nuance, complexity, or intellectual ambiguity.

And it's true. If you think about it, you know very clearly who the good guys and bad guys are. (Except Boba Fett. I know he has a softer side that he hasn't shown yet.) Luke, Leia, and even Han are all clearly good at heart. Vader and the Emperor, not so much.

The prequels, in contrast, offer a completely different tale. The good guys are the ones in charge, and the good guys are the ones who inevitably let evil take control (kudos to George Lucas for giving Jar Jar the big hand in that). The prequels are scary for today's American, because they show us a possibility for our future. I personally liked the prequels anyway. They may be slightly cheesy, but they offer new insight into the Star Wars universe. This article made me look at them in a new light.

Did you read the article? What did you think about the prequels before you read it? Did it make you look at them in a different light?

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