Published Jul 23, 2015This week, reports have spread around the internet confirming that Michael Jackson did not, in fact, write the song "Do the Bartman" from The Simpsons. But here's a new curious factoid about the late King of Pop and his forays into film and television: he wanted to play Jar Jar Binks from the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
This news was revealed by Ahmed Best, the actor who ended up scoring the role of Jar Jar. A year ago, he mentioned on Reddit that he had originally beaten out Jackson for the role, and now he has explained the full story in an interview with Vice.
According to Best, he learned this piece of information when he went to a Jackson concert at London, UK's Wembley Arena. He attended the gig with co-star Natalie Portman and director George Lucas and his kids, and they all went backstage to meet the singer. We'll let Best take it from here:
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 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.'" 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.
Jackson may not have gotten the role he wanted, but given how universally derided the character of Jar Jar Binks became, heesa probably lucky Lucas went with another actor.
The latest Star Wars film, the JJ Abrams-directed The Force Awakens, is due out on December 18.