Michael Jackson Almost Played Jar Jar Binks In 'Star Wars'

The first episode of "Star Wars" could have been way different.
Rick Stewart via Getty Images

Jar Jar Binks could have been even more bad.

In an interview with Vice, Ahmed Best -- the actor who played Jar Jar Binks -- told writer Gavin Godfrey that Michael Jackson had been up for the role he ended up winning.

Best claimed that George Lucas introduced Jackson and the Jar Jar actor to each other along with Natalie Portman and Lucas' kids at the backstage of an MJ concert. Best was introduced as "Jar Jar" by Lucas. After this encounter, Best remembered Lucas explaining himself, with the director apparently saying, "Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like 'Thriller.'"

As Best continues in the interview, "George wanted to do [Jar Jar] in CGI," and then finished the story given to Vice by saying, "My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he wanted that."

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About a year ago, Best had made a similar statement in a Reddit AMA. When asked if he had any competition for the role, Best responded, "Michael Jackson really wanted to do it but George picked me." At the time, it was unclear if he was joking.

HuffPost has reached out to Lucasfilm for further comment, but did not receive a response by the time this article was published. Similarly, Lucasfilm was also asked to provide a response to HuffPost's feature from earlier this year that claimed the band *NSYNC secretly played Jedi Knights in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones."

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Our 20 Favorite 'Star Wars' Characters

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