Attack of the Clones,  Prequel Trilogy,  Revenge of the Sith,  The Phantom Menace

Scrubs star Donald Faison likes the Star Wars Prequels and is fine with Jar Jar

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In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Donald Faison says that he likes the Star Wars Prequels as much as the originals and that he’s “fine with Jar Jar”.

“When you hear the story of what Ahmed Best went through playing Jar Jar, you grow in appreciation for what he did in the movies”, he adds.

Click here to watch the video.

Faison is best known for his roles in the TV series Scrubs and The Exes. He’s also a voice actor of Star Wars Resistance.

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  • Cryogenic

    “When you hear the story of what Ahmed Best went through playing Jar Jar, you grow in appreciation for what he did in the movies”, he adds.

    Some of us appreciated Ahmed and Jar Jar from the start. I know I did.

    Others always take a little longer to climb the learning curve and see the light, sadly (and some never do)…

    • Cryogenic

      @ Alex:

      Well, I subjected myself to the actual video, just now, and to be fair to Donald Faison, he is specifically asked what he thinks of Jar Jar, after saying he also likes Episodes I, II, and III, and not just the original films. The host/interviewer is clearly putting him on the spot because Faison dared to say he likes the prequels. That doesn’t come across just from reading the text.

      Furthermore, when the host puts the original question to him, as to which movies he prefers, Faison gets immediately interrupted and is needled by one of his co-stars, who loudly says into her microphone, “Four, five, six, that’s it… for me, for me”. Faison is clearly more softly-spoken and introverted than the loud-mouthed star that interrupts. So I can respect him taking his time and answering sincerely.

      Even when Faison says he’s fine with Jar Jar, the same co-star has to again interrupt by speaking loudly and declares, “See… We diverge on those points. Fully. And that’s okay, ‘cos I love him.” It’s then when Faison says, “When you hear the story of what Ahmed Best went through playing Jar Jar, you grow an appreciation for that, you grow an appreciation for what he did in the movies.” He has to start that sentence over about four times before everyone else simmers down enough to hear him, but he persists nonetheless. He obviously wanted to make a point in that moment and school his castmates. I appreciate him trying to give a serious response in the midst of casual derision and a flippant ambience. Again, that doesn’t really come across in the text.

      The host’s condescending question about how Faison feels about Jar Jar, as well as him being interrupted by a co-star, multiple times, no doubt intended as “banter”, echo the cavernous snark, condescension, and outright vitriol prequel fans have endured online, and even in “real life”, for the past twenty years — the same crap that helped railroad Ahmed Best’s career and took him to the brink of contemplating suicide. Any time anyone speaks up in defence of the prequels (you know, even a casual fan), the very least they can expect to hear in response is something along the lines of, “But surely, you don’t actually think Thing-X or Thing-Y was *good*, do you?” Hence the interviewer trying to throw Faison by bringing up Jar Jar.

      While I feel awkward bringing the topic up, I also can’t help noticing, given how often Jar Jar has been maligned for being a “racist stereotype”, that the person the interviewer is addressing, and the co-star that interrupts, both happen to be black. I suspect a part of the interviewer’s psyche was looking to shake Faison up and extract a negative or guarded response from him by lobbing the Jar Jar curveball. Given the accusations thrown at Lucas over Jar Jar, and the implication that liking the prequels is tantamount to endorsing problematic characters and questionable filmmaking decisions, trying to “gotcha” someone with the Jar Jar ambush is not only lame but pathetic, and in this particular instance seems designed to stifle a Hollywood personality from honestly disclosing their feelings.

      How often have these tactics been used when the prequels are brought into a discussion, and how often will they continue to grime up discussions on or about them? I wish Faison has given a stronger response, something alone the lines of, “I see Star Wars as a visionary work of entertainment, and I think Jar Jar is a terrific character, through whom many clever and interesting points are made. I wish people were more open-minded. I admire George Lucas and Ahmed Best and I hate what they went through. I don’t think the reaction to Jar Jar speaks positively for the human race as a whole, but I hope, in time, people will gain a deeper appreciation of these films and their eminence as works of modern mythology.” Then again, I guess that’s what I’d say; and in context, I can see that Faison’s own response was nicely understated and subtle.

      I think there needs to be a prequel version of Godwin’s law articulated somewhere. As any online or prequel discussion grows longer, the probability of the prequels or Jar Jar being mentioned in a negative way approaches 1. And there should probably be an equivalent law or adage that recognises that there are plenty of closet prequel fans out there. They’ve just been silenced by smarmy, sub-racist bigots, charlatans, and bullies who think an orthodoxy represents enlightenment, when it only means people are running from the task of thinking for themselves and taking refuge in a false consensus.

      • Slicer87

        Not just silenced, but brainwashed to varying degrees. Many people will adopt perceived popular views even if those views run counter to their own deep personal beliefs.

        Also the internet is not a good representive of reality, as it is pretty much a self selection biased sample. Sadly so many people view the internet as reality, and it probably is some peoples’ reality.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        Very well said. I can’t write about it any more eloquent than that.

        Way to go Donald Faison!

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        Thanks. I’m just a humble Jar Jar fan and I do what I can.

        @ Slicer:

        Oof. Your remarks there hit a little close to home. I spend half my life on the Internet. Still, your points are noted.

        I’m not sure that anyone has ever been a complete individual at any point in human history. We are all social animals immersed in a pool of political and cultural forces. You might say these forces surround us and penetrate us and bind us all together. Attachment of the sticks. We are each a sort of interdependent Mobius strip:

        https://nosubject.com/Extimacy

        While the Internet may not be representative of “reality”, it also depends what you mean by reality. As a wise Jedi once said, your focus determines your reality. So yes, the Internet represents a limited slice of some wider plane of panpsychic reality, but the vast matrix of views and interactions that are expressed, and which people have online, continue to reverberate beyond the online realm. The Internet, in short, has been influencing the “external” world for quite some time. And today, as in “The Matrix”, the young of our species are born into it — gone is the time when people could be born without the Internet already existing and without it having embedded itself so deeply in our global civilisation.

        Of course, there was a time when the Internet existed yet its influence was considerably less encompassing and grandiose than it is today. At an earlier period in our recent and increasingly cyber-dominated history, the membrane between digital and physical, and the virtual and corporeal, was much thicker and a lot more rigid. By and large, these realms were rigidly demarcated, and it was a task even “connecting” to the Internet, much less finding things to do on it.

        When, in 1999, for instance, people complained about Jar Jar and set up websites devoted to their puerile fantasies involving his sadistic torture and violent annihilation, they were on the beginning of a culture-jamming crusade (setting up a website was a pretty new thing), and also expressing (back then) fringe sentiments. Gallup polling conducted by phone that same year, for example, placed Jar Jar as people’s third favourite character of those sampled in North America, behind Qui-Gon and Anakin. The same polling found that the majority of those sampled also rated the film as either “excellent” or “good”. But the online-driven hatred soon took over and supplanted (or at least drowned out) that early positivity for Jar Jar and the film, and a few years later, the hate brigade had basically won. Suddenly, you were meant to hang your head in shame if you unreservedly liked the film or Jar Jar, and more or less delete yourself from the Internet if you found the prequels more satisfying and artistic than other vaunted works of cinema and fantasy entertainment.

        I don’t think it can be purely coincidental that the Internet itself was rapidly on the rise during the era of the PT, with many people downloading the original TPM trailer on dial-up, while broadband access was becoming the norm by the time ROTS came out. Around then, social media was also beginning to erupt, followed by the smartphone revolution. And now we are firmly in the era of “Big Tech” and the corporate dominance of no more than a dozen major companies, plus ads, metrics, surveillance, and censorship. Political actors recognise the power and growth of the Internet with increasing alacrity and fervour. Establishment news media is in decay; bloggers, vloggers, and other forms of independent media are taking over. Algorithms, bots, and black propaganda are now becoming synonymous in people’s minds with filtering and swaying opinion. And data (producing it, gathering it, and manipulating it) is the oil of the 21st Century. It’s both an exciting and a frightening time.

        So what is reality anymore? Does the Internet itself even have a single reality? All has changed. All is changing. Jar Jar has truly become the key.

      • Slicer87

        The net seems to be a matrix of different realities. For some people, like SJWs, anti SJWs, etc, the net is their reality. But most normies don’t seem to be all that aware or care about the various net politics that make up the world view of some net users. Most people just use the net for communicating with family and friends or look up information.

        With Star Wars, I was not aware of the supposed widespread hate of the PT until I join a movie forum, then the Jedi council forums. Offline, I hear very little hate of either the PT or ST. Through, after the Disney buyout, I have seen a uptick in PT hate seeping into the offline world. Mainly various nonSW Disney media like its shows such as Blackish and Schooled bad mouthing the PT, acting like everyone holds that view. Parts of the net acts as echo chambers for various groups and subgroups. This can lead people into falsely beleiving their views are widespread and held by a majority of the population when in reality its just a small subset of the population.

        Guess I am old fashioned in that I don’t consider thd net as part of my reality. It was not around for most of my childhood, and probably why I don’t have that close of a connection with it. That I just instinctively seperate net reality from real world reality, but the two are becoming more blured.

        Then again, perhaps the net is justing shining light on the darker side of human nature. Fandoms and so called nerd and geek culture have had some toxicity long before the net came to be. I remember hearing about a woman who used to pubulish one of the first SW fanzines, but rage quit after the release of TESB because she hated that Leia chose Han. Thhere are also old 80’s usernet post of fans complaining about the Emperor coming from nowhere and that Vader was no longer in charge of the Empire. Even Mary Sue was a early pre net, troll style parody of bad Star Trek fan fiction that is the archtype of modern online fan fiction. Nowadays, the net acts like a megaphone for such exploits and views, broadcasting, amplifying, and enhancing fan toxicity. So if marketers use online fan media to gage IP performance, they are going to get biased snd skewed results. Its very similar to a style of mob rule, except the mob isn’t as big as it seems.

      • jpieper668

        GOD ARE PEOPLE THIS STUPID?! Vader was never in charge of the Empire did these Imbeciles Forget That The Emperor was mentioned a few times in ANH?

      • Stefan K

        @jpieper668
        Quite interestingly, the original concept of ANH (at least in the old novel introduction) was a rather powerless puppet Emperor controlled by the military. This was obviously changed between ANH and ESB.
        The old concept is IMHO compatible with the statements in the movie itself about the Emperor: He may have officially dissolved the Senate, but that may have been initiated by the real rulers.
        Anyway, I also have read the interpretation that Vader was on a far lower power level in ANH than in ESB: He reports to Tarkin about Obi-Wan and is not giving orders when the Death Star is attacked. You can of course find in-universe explanations for his “promotion” between ANH and ESB, but you can also argue that Lucas thought of Vader as a powerful, “exotic” and evil adversary in ANH, but still only a “fashion accessory” of the Empire.

        Okay, and now enough of this off-topic subject…

  • Slicer87

    You remember the news I posted in the other thread where Disney shit on Palps? Well in a lead in comic for Episode 9, they have Ackbar’s son reveal that Ackbar was a deadbeat father. What is wrong with Disney? Why do they keep shitting on all the classic characters for? Probably just a lazy crutch to prop up Disney’s lame OCs.

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