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Michael Jackson Campaigned For The Role Of Jar-Jar Binks In The Phantom Menace. No, Seriously

Michael Jackson certainly reached the pinnacle of fame as the "King of Pop" with hits like "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal" and "Bad." However, his dedicated fandom may have stepped back a little if his campaign to portray one of the most-hated characters in the "Star Wars" galaxy was successful.

The original "Star Wars" trilogy wasn't without some colorful figures, including C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and Yoda (Frank Oz). But all of these characters were — and continue to be — generally well-received by audiences. The same isn't true for Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), a Gungan from the planet of Naboo, who made his debut in George Lucas' first prequel trilogy installment, 1999's "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace."

Though Jar Jar is well-meaning and even climbs the ranks to hold a seat in the Galactic Senate, his clumsiness and often unintelligible way of speaking ("Exsqueeze me!") hasn't made him a fan favorite. On Reddit, u/Yunners said, "He's too distracting. His unnecessary slapstick antics take away from the semi-seriousness of the rest of the film. Imagine throwing Roger Rabbit into an episode of 'DS9' or SpongeBob into an episode of 'Firefly.'" U/HaveABeer described Jar Jar as a "cringe-worthy rabbit-lizard that only a five-year-old could think is funny."

This character may not have gone over well with the masses, but that didn't make the sting of not getting the part hurt any less for Jackson.

George Lucas didn't like Michael Jackon's prosthetics vision for Jar Jar

In an interview with Vice, Ahmed Best revealed that, upon landing the role of Jar Jar Binks, he had no idea that his competition for the part was rather high-profile. He learned the truth at Wembley Stadium, where he, George Lucas, and Natalie Portman, who plays Padmé Amidala in the prequels, went backstage at a Michael Jackson concert to meet the artist.

"George introduced me as 'Jar Jar' and I was like, 'That's kind of weird.' Michael was like, 'Oh, OK.' I thought, 'What's going on?' After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. 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.'"

This wasn't part of Lucas' vision for Jar Jar, who is actually the first 100 percent CGI character to appear in a live-action film. Additionally, said Best, the presence of such a massive superstar in the galaxy far, far away may have been distracting: "My guess is, ultimately, Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he [Lucas] wanted that."

"Star Wars" creatives aren't entirely opposed to having some famous faces in the films, but their scenes sometimes don't make it to the big screen. As reported by Insider, Princes William and Harry shot some footage as stormtroopers for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," but it was scrapped. Even royalty isn't safe from being excluded from the iconic franchise, so Jackson shouldn't have felt too bad.