Thursday, January 22, 2004

Lileks takes a look at a really, really strange children's book starring Jar Jar Binks:

    Jar Jar is hungry.

    He goes to the market

    To find food.

    Eventually he finds frogs for sale, which is good because Gungans love frogs. But of course so do children, which is why the sight of dead frogs hanging from ropes might be unnerving. Anyway, Jar Jar eats one. The frog seller says he has to pay for it; Jar Jar promptly vomits out the frog, which bounces all over and lands in Sebulba’s soup. You all remember Sebulba. (That’s Tatooine for “scrotal cyst,” I think.) Sebulba pushes Jar Jar down, and Jar Jar is scared! Note: Jar Jar hasn’t had a word of dialogue, nor will he. None of this meesa gonna yowza boss nazz is de nizzle shizzle minstrel talk. Jar Jar closes his eyes, because he does not want to see Sebulba punch him.

    “Stop!” someone says.

    It is Anakin Skywalker!

    “Do not hurt Jar Jar,” says Anakin. “Jar Jar is a friend of the Hutts.”

    The Hutts are bigger and meaner than Sebulba.

    Now Sebulba is afraid.

    WTF? What is this? It’s bad enough that Lucas invented Jar Jar in the first place; it’s bad enough that they made childrens’ books with him, but Anakin is DARTH FRICKIN’ VADER. To have him show up and dispatch the bully by suggesting that Jar Jar has mob connections is so totally farged I can’t even begin to untangle the moral idiocy of the story. Boil it down: young Damien from “The Omen” saves Rastus McWebfoot from a beating by claiming that the Corleones have his back.

Sounds as weird as the "Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Nice Fat Policeman" book I found in an antique shop last summer. That book seemed like the perfect choice for the obese pedophile on your Christmas list; maybe you could put it in a gift pack with that creepy-looking Peter Pan movie that came out last month.

ANYway, Lileks diagnoses the biggest flaw in Episode One -- we're supposed to cheer the adventures of Hitler when he was a boy, without any indications of his future turn toward the dark side. We're supposed to get a little of this in Episode Two, with Anakin's slaughter of the Sand People who have just kidnapped, tortured, and killed his mother, but, well, that DOES seem like the kind of thing that would provoke a strong reaction in most people.

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