There aren't many Star Wars fans out there who don't fervently agree that Jar Jar Binks in George Lucas' The Phantom Menace is in fact one of the worst and most despised characters in movie history. And it is this which makes the following piece of information even more bizarre.
Because it appears that before actor Ahmed Best took on the role of the gangly space alien, a certain King of Pop was eyeing up the part for himself.
Indeed, it has been revealed that Michael Jackson was apparently very keen to play the annoying, seven-foot-tall goofball!
Ahmed Best revealed this during a recent trip down memory lane in an interview with Vice. He admitted that once, at a Michael Jackson concert with actor Natalie Portman and director George Lucas's kids, they were taken backstage to meet the pop star. Then something quite weird happened:
"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."
Just hang on a minute, can you picture this for a second?
Our beloved Michael in full Jar Jar Binks make-up and uttering ridiculous lines such as "Meesa Jar Jar Binks!" and trotting along after the other Jedi?
Thankfully Lucas shot down the idea and the part eventually went to Best, who adds:
"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."
Now, while Michael playing Jar Jar would have potentially been one of the most hilarious things ever, in retrospect the fact that he didn't get the role seems like a very lucky escape.
Unfortunately, soon after the release, the goofy space alien, intended to be a light-hearted source of comic relief for the audience just like C-3PO or the Ewoks in previous films, was dubbed one of the most annoying movie characters ever. I mean, the character even inspired film critic Daniel Kimmel to title a book he wrote "Jar Jar Binks Must Die..."
And even to this day, the barrage of hatred continues. But it does make me wonder, would our loathing have been less had a very high-profile pop star been responsible for that bumbling Gungan monstrosity? Could Michael have improved on whatever character Lucas had Jar Jar in mind to be?
While your mind boggles, fuel your annoyance with the following fan-made video: