George Lucas explaining "Jar Jar Binks" to Robin Williams

Which makes us wonder what became of the poor Stormtroopers.

I think we can guess:


Given how the Empire likes to name its military units (Snow Troopers, Beach Troopers, etc), I expect those guys on the Forest Moon of Endor wondered why they were designated Buffet Troopers.


hey now. it was jar jar’s motion to the senate that made the empire possible.

without the riveting character development we were given how could we have been so deeply moved by the pivotal choice he had to make?


I have heard people complain that the fight where the Ewoks overwhelm an entire legion of the Empire’s best troops is kind of cartoonish. Which is true. It’s not that they couldn’t, but really it should involve charging them in huge numbers, pouring in over the heaped dead bodies of other fallen Ewoks until finally the blasters run out of energy, and then slowly bludgeoning the now-helpless troopers to death inside their armor.

Somehow when I say that, nobody actually thinks it would have made a better movie, though. :man_shrugging:


I’m clearly in the minority, but I soon became irritated by Williams showing off his accents. Though this was hardly a deep conversation it felt (to quote WedgeAntilles above) “…like I’ve stepped out of the story in order to take a slapstick break.”


I was thinking that he was doing a masterful job in keeping the conversation as light and fun as possible, within the context that George was saying utterly stupid things.


The story I heard is that Lucas originally wanted Endor to be the home planet of the Wookees, and that an army of maurauding 8 foot tall hairy beasts would be a totally cool and believable way to take on a few platoons of stormtroopers, but casting was afraid they wouldn’t be able to find enough tall actors to play a convincing army of them.


The belief that Jar Jar would be a hit was a pretty funny throwaway in the movie Fanboys, about a group trying to break into Lucas’s ranch to see Episode 1 before its release.

Fanboys - Seth Rogen Tattoo on Make a GIF


The Ewoks were shit. Everyone knew at the time.

My favorite part of that video is Robin Williams poking fun at Yoda:

“Syntax have none.”

Damn, here’s young Robin for your viewing pleasure:


At the time ROTJ was released, a leaked screenplay draft, years of leaked trilogy storylines, and a comic book series had all presented the idea that the Ewoks were originally planned as a colony of Wookies, and most deep fans were really looking forward to seeing that. Instead, they got teddy bears. It wasn’t so much hatred of comedy as it was disappointment / disillusionment. Most of us got over it, until the Ewok Adventures showed up. As exciting as ROTJ was, it already felt more childish than Empire, and the focus on the Ewoks characterized that.


This hones in on it. Jar Jar is pure saccharin. Lucas is saying it’s for kids, but kids don’t like being talked down to. If you were a kid in 1977, witnessing Han shooting first or saying Chewbacca might rip someone’s arm off after losing a game made you feel like a grownup. C3PO was in some ways the opposite of Jar Jar: annoyed at everything with major stick up his ass. Really, a tool wielded by R2D2. Which brings us to another point: “They don’t like cute” is BS. R2D2 was generally the cutest thing in every episode.

Part of that Uproxx piece of interest:

Lucas: Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie.

Dude. The entire thing revolves around mysticism. Without that you have no movie.

Late in this Robin Williams conversation, Lucas seems to try veering around the specter of racist and anti-Semitic tropes (“accents don’t make the stereotype…”) but in the end says “that’s part of the tools of the writer.”


I quite enjoyed the accents, but I do take your point. Robin Williams was brilliant, but at the same time I don’t think I would have liked to sit next to him on a 24hr marathon bus trip.


This is true.

Although the main issue was that Lucas wanted to focus on a “primitive” society defeating the Empire. Having already established Chewbacca and therefore wookiees in general as being able to use technology at least as competently as the Empire, he had to change it up.


Wookiee = wook + iee
Ewok = iee + wook or ee + wok


Also the mythic hero’s journey. Lucas wouldn’t shut up about Joseph Campbell. “Only a movie” my arse.


Lucas seems conveniently unaware that the one really good Star Wars film, the one everybody likes, wasn’t written by him. All the weird childish and racist shit is from the movies he wrote.

Leigh Brackett wrote Empire, which is a fact in serious danger of being lost to history. Don’t let Lucas write, and the movies are good. Easy peasy.


And the only thing that saved the original Star Wars from being a completely unwatchable mess was the editing team’s comprehensive re-edit based on negative feedback from an early screening to Lucas’s director buddies. They basically singlehandedly created a coherent plot through the magic of rearranging scenes and planning some V/O. Marcia Lucas in particular was responsible for making the trench run into, you know, a climax. My understanding is that it’s important for films to have one of those.

(h/t BoingBoing)


the simpsons adult GIF


Something like that is why Tom Bombadil appears in the text of The Fellowship of the Ring

… but then again, they had sense to leave him out when they were making the movie :thinking:


He must be surrounded by yes-people who don’t rock the boat. Piss off certain directors and end up with no work.