“In Defense of Jar Jar Binks” is sure to hit a few hot buttons with the geek crowd. Truthfully I would skip the article completely if not for the need to find the Shakespeare reference in it.
If your geek pride is too strong to stomach the idea of somebody defending the place of Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars movies, let me get right to the Shakespeare – the author makes the argument that Jar Jar is the clown, and compares him to Lancelot the Clown from Merchant Of Venice. The clown, he says, “provides useful commentary, lessons, and above all, laughs…”
I don’t think anybody faults the movie for having a comic aspect. It’s when it turns from dramatic to comic on the whole that there’s a problem. The original movies had their comedy, after all. But somewhere around Return Of the Jedi and the Eewoks, George Lucas decided that family-friendly cute-and-cuddly comedy was better box office gold than smart alec Han Solo and Chewbacca banter, apparently.