Ahmed Best, the voice behind Jar Jar Binks, revealed in an interview with VICE that Michael Jackson originally wanted to play the character—but with his own personal touch, (via Rolling Stone).
“Me, Natalie Portman and George [Lucas]'s kids—we were at Wembley arena at Michael Jackson's concert,” Best says. “We were taken backstage, and we met Michael. There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as 'Jar Jar,' and I was like, 'That's kind of weird.' Michael was like, 'Oh. Okay.' I thought, 'What is going on?’ After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big after-party. I'm having a drink with George, and I said, 'Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?' He said, 'Well, Michael wanted to do the part, but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like Thriller.’ George wanted to do it in CGI. My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he wanted that.”
Due to the incessant shamming Jar Jar has received over the years, it’s probably for the best things didn’t work out for Michael.
“At the end of the day, it is the movie business, and if the character doesn't work for the people who watch the movie, then the character doesn't work,” he admits. “I can't take that personally. It's up to the filmmaker to make sure that not only does the film work for the filmmaker but it also works for the audience. So, because he wasn't a fan favorite, I can understand why he was scaled back. And, narratively, they moved on to something else. There's really no room in Revenge Of The Sith for him; that was a very dark story. There was nothing about it that needed to be comedic, which was Jar Jar's whole purpose. Jar Jar's whole purpose was to bring light and levity. By that time, there was none.”
Would you like to have seen Michael assume Jar Jar’s role? Do you think he could’ve saved the character from a demoralizing future?