A very popular saying among Disney aficionados is that it all started with a mouse. But since the early days of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, a number of other people have contributed to the decades of Disney magic. From Imagineers to filmmakers to administrative personnel, this elite group is honored biennially at the D23 Expo as Disney Legends. Featuring the likes of Jim Henson, Annette Funicello, Robin Williams, Julie Andrews, Steve Jobs, Lea Salonga, and the Sherman Brothers, this hall of fame program was designed to honor extraordinary and integral contributors to The Walt Disney Company since 1987. And at this year’s D23, recipients of the Disney Legends award included composer Danny Elfman, soap opera star Susan Lucci, animator Andreas Deja, Captain Jack Sparrow himself Johnny Depp, and the man behind ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ George Lucas.
After being introduced by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, Lucas took the stage to accept the esteemed award. While his speech addressed his love of the House of Mouse, the legendary filmmaker also used the time to drop an interesting fact about the controversial Jar-Jar Binks. Apparently when the character was first conceived, the Gungan was based on the clumsy but lovable Goofy, who was a favorite of Lucas. Though a few faint cheers came from the audience, the fan reaction to Jar-Jar hasn’t improved much since his first appearance in ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ where he was widely panned. Despite all that, Lucas continued to reassert his love for Binks regardless of what the legions of ‘Star Wars’ fans think. You can check out his Disney Legends speech below courtesy of Inside the Magic:
For those of you that aren’t as loving towards Jar-Jar as Lucas, let me just remind you that ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ director J.J. Abrams is on our side. If he had his way, the character would have met his demise in ‘Episode VII’. Also, Lucas stepped down as the head of Lucasfilm when Disney acquired the company, so no matter how much he likes Jar-Jar, I don’t see him popping up in anything ‘Star Wars’ related anytime soon.
So while you have some piece of mind, what do you think about Jar-Jar Binks being based on Goofy? Does that change your perception of the character? Let us know in the comment section.