In his acceptance speech for the Disney Legends Award, George Lucas revealed the inspiration for the much-hated Jar Jar Binks … and it’s Goofy. The lovable Goofy, whose humor stylings debuted in 1932, who remains an endearing favorite to this day? Really?
Okay, A Goofy Movie is technically 20 years old now, so maybe Goofy fandom has flagged a bit, but still! Goofy’s still one of the greats. Jar Jar Binks, on the other hand … ?
I guess I can see the resemblance. Both of these wacky characters have unusual accents, although Goofy’s seems more like a speech impediment than a maybe-racist caricature. (Not sure if that makes it better.) Plus, they’re both clumsy characters that rely on slapstick; plus, I can’t deny that Jar Jar’s got a toothy grin.
I’d still much rather watch A Goofy Movie than any of the Star Wars prequels, and I doubt I’m alone there. Still, I feel bad heaping hate on Jar Jar, since I’ve never quite been able to pinpoint what I dislike about him. I don’t mind that he’s a character “for kids” — when done well, slapstick characters can be great. Maybe it’s the Uncanny Goofy Valley in which Jar Jar resides? He’s so close, and yet … so far from funny.
What do you think? Do you love Goofy and hate Jar Jar? Or vice versa? Or both???
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]