The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar Obi-Wan Qui-Gon

Star Wars Weekly: Jar Jar's lament and 'Everything is New' in Rian Johnson's trilogy

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Jul 6, 2018

Time again for STAR WARS WEEKLY, the SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the most important news of the week from a galaxy far, far away. Think of us as your own personal Star Wars Holocron.

JAR JAR'S LAMENT

Ahmed Best was plucked from relative obscurity and cast as Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace. This was a role coveted by Michael Jackson, but Best won it. And he acted his heart out, bringing to life the first photo-realistic computer-generated character to the screen, interacting seamlessly with live action actors. Were it not for Jar Jar, Gollum might never have happened.

But when The Phantom Menace came out some of the fans of Star Wars didn't immediately recognize the importance of Jar Jar Binks like we did, which you can read all about here.

The reaction was, to put it mildly, hateful. And Ahmed Best went through a lot of abuse from toxic fans.

This week, he posted this up on his Twitter:

And it's heartbreaking. It calls to mind the toxicity that Kelly Marie Tran has been facing and it's unacceptable. Fortunately, most of the feedback he's gotten from this post has been positive, though not all of it.

Hopefully, those who purport to be Star Wars fans will one day learn the lessons the movies teach and realize this sort of toxicity isn't welcome anywhere, let alone fandom.

CHRISTOPHER MCQUARRIE IS CURED OF STAR WARS

Speaking of this toxicity, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie got hit with both barrels of that particular shotgun after making a comment about the social commentary and inherent social justice messages in The Twilight Zone. Once Rian Johnson chimed in, though, the twitter thread became a pile on about The Last Jedi.

McQuarrie, a talented filmmaker and writer who worked on The Usual Suspects and the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Fallout claimed to be cured of his desire to work on Star Wars.

It's a shame to think that there are people who haven't even tried to participate in the fandom that are being treated in this way. James Mangold (who is rumored to have signed on to write and direct a Boba Fett that may or may not exist and may or may not be on hold) weighed in, too.

Perhaps James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, said it best, though:

"EVERYTHING IS NEW"

But there are filmmakers doing great work in Star Wars and one of them is Rian Johnson. Along with his producing partner, Ram Bergman, he's hard at work on a brand new trilogy. What is it about? When is it set? Who will be in it? When is it coming out? We have no idea. But, Bergman did give an interview with From the Grapevine and offered us the assurance that it would all be new and from the ground up. When asked about the timeline? "I can't tell you because we don't know yet," he told From the Grapevine. "Maybe in two years; it's just in the early stages.

You can read the full interview here.

REY'S LIGHTSABER TRAINING

Twitter user @StarWarsStuff put together a video comparing Rey's training moves on Ahch-To to Kylo Ren's moves on Crait and it looks like there's a lot of credence to the idea that Rey plucked a lot of her Jedi training right out of Ben's head.

Not convinced? Watch the video:

RON HOWARD'S IMDb

I'm leaving you this week with a tidbit from Solo that I think flew under the radar. Back before the release of the film, Ron Howard sat down with Funny or Die and they put him through the paces on his IMDb profile. This video is funny and heartwarming and it makes you just want to root for Ron Howard.

If you do want to continue rooting for Solo, go see it again! It's still in theaters — I saw it for my 12th time just today!