You won’t find many people to argue against the claim that Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is one of the most annoying characters to ever hit the big screen. He’s a bumbling cartoon of a character who has no place in the Star Wars universe, and that’s a nice way of putting it.
Thankfully, the man who played Jar Jar Binks, actor Ahmed Best, hasn’t taken the criticism personally according to a new interview. But the more fascinating stuff in the interview is some of the trivia that Best revealed, including the fact that international pop superstar Michael Jackson originally wanted to play Jar Jar Binks, insight into the audition process and how he tried to protect Jake Lloyd from the harsh reviews of the movie and his performance.
Read more about the Michael Jackson Jar Jar Binks connection after the jump! Read More »
The odds of successfully surviving Star Wars Bits is approximately 3,720 to 1. Here’s the lowdown on all the Star Wars goodies you can find out about after the jump:
- Go behind the scenes of Star Wars Rebels second season premiere
- Is Ben Mendelsohn in Star Wars: Rogue One or not?
- Ewan McGregor bashes Kylo Ren, wants to return as Obi-Wan
- Phantom Menace star Jake Lloyd arrested
- Greg Grunberg hypes up Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Lando Calrissian comic book hits shelves in July
- Disney Infinity 3.0 retail exclusive details
- Sketches of Han Solo, Poe Dameron and Finn from Vanity Fair
- How much will The Force Awakens make at the box office?
- Star Wars Insider sparks debate about Luke in The Force Awakens
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Last month I received a cryptic e-mail inviting me to a private screening of a new Star Wars film edited by Topher Grace — which is funny because I had no idea there was a new Star Wars film in the works, with or without Grace’s involvement. I was told the screening was a secret private event arranged only for friends only and was asked not to talk about it beforehand. The event was held somewhere in the Hollywood area in a a screening room filled with filmmakers, editors, actors, actresses and only a few press friends. I was told I could blog about it afterwards if I wanted, so here goes…
For those of you who don’t know, Topher Grace is a film geek. He loves the Star Wars films, the Back to the Future movies and all the same signature titles of any film geek who grew up in the 1980s. He recently became interested in the editing process and wanted to learn more about the art form. Instead of cutting a short film, he wanted to use something he was more familiar with.
His idea was to edit the Star Wars prequels into one movie, as they would provide him a lot of footage to work with. He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels’ (C-3PO) audio book recordings. He even created a new opening text crawl to set up his version of the story.
The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace’s fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace’s Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available.
Whats most shocking is that with only 85 minutes of footage, Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith. While I know the missing pieces and could even fill in the blanks in my head as the film raced past, none of those points were really needed. Whats better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.
UPDATE: The movie still isn’t online but Topher Grace has published a trailer of his Star Wars Prequel edit online, watch it here.
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There’s only so much that we can get out of seeing a 3D trailer in 2D, especially when the film in question is something as well-known as The Phantom Menace. But on the off chance you didn’t see the trailer for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D on screens this weekend in front of The Three Musketeers, you can now check it out below. Read More »