1. Due to the increased amount of spam bots on the forum, we are strengthening our defenses. You may experience a CAPTCHA challenge from time to time.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Notification emails are working properly again. Please check your email spam folder and if you see any emails from the Cantina there, make sure to mark them as "Not Spam". This will help a lot to whitelist the emails and to stop them going to spam.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. IMPORTANT! To be able to create new threads and rate posts, you need to have at least 30 posts in The Cantina.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Before posting a new thread, check the list with similar threads that will appear when you start typing the thread's title.
    Dismiss Notice

Whats wrong with Gungans?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Captain Sabalan, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Captain Sabalan

    Captain Sabalan Nerd Vigilante

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Posts:
    817
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Trophy Points:
    13,174
    Credits:
    4,320
    Ratings:
    +3,841 / 15 / -1
    Earlier this week I created the Thread "What's wrong with Ewoks?" Now I am asking those who hate or dislike Jar-Jar Binks and the Gungans to please explain there reasons why.
    I myself thought the Gungans were very Interesting people. I liked there weapons they use especially these. phantom_menace-balls.jpg

    Jar Jar was indeed a stupid, clumsy accidental trouble-maker. But I like him for that. I also like how many droids he killed just by trying to get his foot unstuck from one.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Great Post Great Post x 1
  2. Shawshank

    Shawshank Rebel General

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Posts:
    599
    Likes Received:
    653
    Trophy Points:
    4,137
    Credits:
    1,156
    Ratings:
    +1,289 / 48 / -65
    I never had a huge problem with the Gungans (though they're manner is speaking always annoyed me.)

    My problem was always with Jar Jar because (if Mike is reading this thread he'll enjoy this) when I was 10 years old I couldn't stand the sound of his stupid voice, I hated poop jokes, and in the middle of everything cool going on there'd be another random Jar Jar slapstick routine. So incredibly annoying to me.

    Unfortunately for the Gungans, Jar Jar was the face of the race.
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. Javi-Wan Kenobi

    Javi-Wan Kenobi Rebel Commander

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Posts:
    341
    Likes Received:
    472
    Trophy Points:
    2,892
    Credits:
    2,292
    Ratings:
    +681 / 6 / -2
    ^This
    (Only that I was around 18 years old first time I saw Jar Jar, so I suppose I hated poop jokes even more than a 10 years old kid...)
     
  4. Fooled Trooper

    Fooled Trooper Rebel Official

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Posts:
    421
    Likes Received:
    2,288
    Trophy Points:
    8,639
    Credits:
    3,594
    Ratings:
    +2,542 / 23 / -4
    Nothing wrong with Gungans...Jar Jar is the problematic subject...I hope to see a badass Gungan in the Sequels... :p
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Rebo

    Rebo Nearsighted Whill Guardian
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Posts:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    4,603
    Trophy Points:
    14,747
    Credits:
    6,071
    Ratings:
    +7,328 / 99 / -40
    I gave my reasons in the Ewok thread, but I''ll summarize here. Mostly as others have said, the main problem is Jar Jar. George attempted to make a new C3p0 for comic relief, but I think he was too removed from his own kids childhood or just too old to remember how to appeal to kids and adults alike. Unlike 3P0, he went overly childish in the humor and mannerism taking you out of the tone of the movie.

    The Gungans in general were nicely conceived but poorly executed. The underwater city and themes of symbiosis were nice. But poor effects and accidental/subtle racism makes them a bit difficult to watch (Note: I don't think George was being intentionally racist, but the Gungans accents and mannerisms were unfortunate to say the least).

    As others have mentioned, I would love to see JJ redeem the Gungans with a good character in the ST, but I doubt it will happen. Too much baggage at this point. At most we may get background Gungans if we go to Naboo, but I'd venture a guess they stay away from Gungans and Naboo altogether.
     
    • Wise Wise x 1
  6. Kibble

    Kibble Rebelscum

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Posts:
    167
    Likes Received:
    124
    Trophy Points:
    607
    Credits:
    551
    Ratings:
    +247 / 22 / -13
    Not to mention the other racist cartoon aliens from The Phantom Menace, like the evil cowardly oriental Fu Manchu people, and the greedy Jewish trader alien!
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Clouded Clouded x 1
  7. Rebo

    Rebo Nearsighted Whill Guardian
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Posts:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    4,603
    Trophy Points:
    14,747
    Credits:
    6,071
    Ratings:
    +7,328 / 99 / -40
    Very true. Of the 3, the Gungans were possibly the least offensive. So at least they have that going for them? :)
     
  8. Pobody's Nerfect

    Pobody's Nerfect Jedi General

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Posts:
    722
    Likes Received:
    16,360
    Trophy Points:
    146,837
    Credits:
    14,474
    Ratings:
    +17,681 / 60 / -13
    I think Gungans were originally made to represent the poor and oppressed, those people living on the margins of society. They lived underwater because the humans on Naboo wouldn't make a place for them. Boss Nass' anger towards the Naboo expresses the problem succinctly - "Wesa no like da Naboo! Da Naboo tink day so smarty. Day tink day brains so big."

    The Naboo thought they knew it all. They never imagined they'd need Gungan help for anything. And the Gungans didn't like feeling inferior. Who would?

    When the droid army attacked, the official Gungan response was "Meh. They never appreciated us before, so why do anything to help them now?" Obi Wan pointed out that "What happens to one of you will affect the other. You must understand this."

    Yes, I'm certain Boss Nass did understand this.I bet he knew it much better than the Naboo did. Remember it was the Naboo who thought they didn't need the Gungans, not the other way around. Boss Nass understood, but he didn't offer help because he and the Gungans were already fighting a war against racism.

    All through human history the powerful have sent the marginalized to fight their wars for them. Here in the United States we recruited battalions of Native American and black soldiers to fight our wars for us long before we gave them voting rights. I believe these were the types of situations George Lucas was attempting to address with the Gungans. The Gungan accent was never meant to be racist; it was meant to give the audience a clue to understand that the Gungans represent the marginalized, forgotten, and best-left-unmentioned living among us.

    Just how far removed from Gungans were the rich and powerful of Naboo?

    JAR JAR: Whosa are yousa?

    PADME: I'm Padme.

    JAR JAR: Mesa Ja Ja Binksss...

    PADME: You're a Gungan, aren't you?

    The Queen of the planet has to ask Jar Jar if he's a Gungan. Apparently she's never met one before.

    Think about that for a moment. These two races live in a simbiotic circle with one another, sharing a planet together, yet the Queen of one race had never met a member of the other race. That, my friends, is how to define a marginalized segment of society.

    After Naboo fell to the Trade Federation Queen Amidala had to humble herself and ask Boss Nass for help. Being approached as an equal instead of as a cockroach was all Boss Nass and the Gungans ever wanted - "Yousa no tinken yousa greater den da Gungans? Mesa like dis. Maybe wesa... bein' friends."

    What's wrong with Gungans? Nothing, in concept. Many things, in execution. And everything, in Jar Jar.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Great Post Great Post x 1
    • Wise Wise x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. Captain Sabalan

    Captain Sabalan Nerd Vigilante

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Posts:
    817
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Trophy Points:
    13,174
    Credits:
    4,320
    Ratings:
    +3,841 / 15 / -1
    Do you mean those Trade Federation aliens? what is the jewish alien your talking about?
     
  10. Kibble

    Kibble Rebelscum

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Posts:
    167
    Likes Received:
    124
    Trophy Points:
    607
    Credits:
    551
    Ratings:
    +247 / 22 / -13
    "Watto"
     
  11. Captain Sabalan

    Captain Sabalan Nerd Vigilante

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Posts:
    817
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Trophy Points:
    13,174
    Credits:
    4,320
    Ratings:
    +3,841 / 15 / -1
    I sensed nothing jewish about him.
     
  12. Cole

    Cole Force Sensitive

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Posts:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    4,099
    Trophy Points:
    13,807
    Credits:
    5,238
    Ratings:
    +5,515 / 125 / -33
    The aliens in TPM are not "racist". They have accents. That is all. Showing that groups of people share speech patterns is NOT racism.
     
    • Wise Wise x 2
  13. Kibble

    Kibble Rebelscum

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Posts:
    167
    Likes Received:
    124
    Trophy Points:
    607
    Credits:
    551
    Ratings:
    +247 / 22 / -13
    Mind tricks don't work on me, only money!

    He's got the big nose, the curly sideburns, east european-sounding accent, and otherwise looks exactly like caricatures of Jews from like the 1800s.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Wise Wise x 1
    • Clouded Clouded x 1
  14. Captain Sabalan

    Captain Sabalan Nerd Vigilante

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Posts:
    817
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Trophy Points:
    13,174
    Credits:
    4,320
    Ratings:
    +3,841 / 15 / -1
    Just because Watto is greedy does not mean he has any similarity to Jews. I think we are on a rabbit trail here so let's not talk about this anymore and get back to gungans.
     
  15. DEKKA129

    DEKKA129 Professional Slinger of Balderdash

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2014
    Posts:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1,586
    Trophy Points:
    8,249
    Credits:
    2,696
    Ratings:
    +2,473 / 24 / -4
    Am I the only one who thought Watto sounded more Italian than anything?

    As for the Gungans, I've always been rather indifferent to them. I was never sold on their pidgin English, and I still marvel at the fact that Lucas creature designers came up with an aquatic race with stumpy elephant feet rather than feet that look like they might conceivably be used for, oh, I dunno, swimming...

    ...but on the other hand, they did work okay as a marginalized race that proved to be much more valuable as allies than as forgotten "untouchable" types living out of sight in the swamps. Plus, they did have a pretty badass army.

    Unfortunately, that badass army was upstaged during the big land battle by the tiresome antics of Jar Jar. I won't mince words on this one... I can't stand Jar Jar. Never have been able to. The whole concept of the Jar Jar character was both ill-conceived and ill-advised, and my understanding from having watched the Making Of documentaries on the TPM DVD is that even Lucas' "inner circle" on the production didn't seem to cotton to the idea. But, since Lucas was the boss, there wasn't much they could say against it. (I just remember some very awkward silences in the documentary after they'd watched either some Jar Jar scenes or the rough cut of the movie.)

    Here's the thing. If you're going to have a comic relief character, you need a comedic actor to play it. Period. Ahmed Best is a good mo-cap actor, but he's not a comedian. The ILM animators who created Jar Jar are VERY good at what they do, but again... they aren't comedians. Comedy requires very specific talents and instincts, and without that in the mix, a comic relief character is just going to fall flat.

    And boy did Jar Jar fall flat. No pun intended. And he was just EVERYWHERE in TPM, upstaging everyone else, and "spoiling the atmos" and all that. A good comic relief character isn't supposed to be a distraction. It's supposed to add some comedic texture to an ensemble. Look at Walter Brennan in "To Have and Have Not", for instance. A great comic relief character who gets some laughs, but who also serves as a foil for the main character, and who is naturally likeable despite being kind of a screwup. Brennan had excellent timing and the ability to modulate his performance to fit the needs of each scene he was in.

    Jar Jar, on the other hand was just GREAT BIG ALLLLLLLLLLL THE TIME. There was no subtlety, there was no modulating his performance, and there was no sense of comedic timing there. And the bits and dialogue that were written for him didn't help matters at all.

    As others have pointed out here, the fact that Jar Jar came across so badly to so many moviegoers often tends to bleed over onto the Gungans as a whole, and I think it's easy to dismiss them right along with Jar Jar. I think they're better than their most obnoxious member, but not to the point where I'm all that jazzed to see them in the ST. IMHO, J.J. and company should let them be and not try to "rehabilitate" them in Episode 7 or the other ST films.

    (Your mileage may vary...)
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 1
  16. Rebo

    Rebo Nearsighted Whill Guardian
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Posts:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    4,603
    Trophy Points:
    14,747
    Credits:
    6,071
    Ratings:
    +7,328 / 99 / -40
    An accent based in racial stereotypes that portrays those who use it as less intelligent and more primitive than the race they live along side with? I'm sorry, but the Gungan accent is pure stereotype, and perpetuating stereotypes is racism.

    If you don't want to believe its offensive that's fine. But I have a friend who is Jamaican and won't watch the prequels because she found the Gungans offensive. My litmus test for racism has always been that if it offends the race being portrayed or discussed then it is racism whether the speaker/writer meant it offensively or not. In this case, it offends so I think George crossed a line.

    Now I don't think he did it with any malicious intent. George is steeped in the traditions of old Hollywood where these stereotypes have been perpetuated for generations. I have no doubt he thought he was pulling from old character archetypes and didn't stop to think about where those archetypes had been pulled from. That makes me not blame him or label him as racist, but I still think the characters are inadvertently so.
     
    • Wise Wise x 1
  17. Cole

    Cole Force Sensitive

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Posts:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    4,099
    Trophy Points:
    13,807
    Credits:
    5,238
    Ratings:
    +5,515 / 125 / -33
    Alright. I'm not trying to be offensive or cute or sarcastic or anything. Just my thoughts. But Jamaican is not a race. It's a nationality. It's people are known (by perhaps a false stereotype?) to have a distinctive accent. Now, to me, Gungans don't sound like "stereotypical" Jamaicans. I don't know if that's why your friend was upset or not. I don't know what race the Gungans are unintentionally stereotyping. Black? White? Latino? Asian? I've never heard anybody talk like a Gungan. Now about them showing the Gungans as "primitive". Well, compared to the Naboo, the were more primitive in a sense. Just like here on earth, there are more "advanced" cultures and more "primitive" cultures. The Maasai are "primitive" compared to the dwellers of New York city. Not better or worse. Just a different lifestyle, different technology, different circumstances, different history. Primitive is not a bad word. It just has negative connotations in some people's minds. I don't think they were portrayed as "less intelligent" (except for Jar Jar). TPM showed that the prejudices between the two cultures of Naboo was unfounded when they came together and helped one another. That sounds like anti-racism. No race is better than another. We can learn a lot from each other. That kind of thing. As far as the gauge for "if it's racist or not" being based off if someone is offended...I don't know what to say. It seems to me that people are just waiting to jump out and scream racist any chance they get, founded or unfounded. I'm not a fan of walking on eggshells, and running every little thing through the "will this offend anyone?" filter. But that's just my opinion. People see what they want to see, I guess. Racism is terrible and idiotic. But I still see no racism here.

    All that being said, I hated Jar Jar and didn't really care for the Gungans, as a whole, either. But I did think that their underwater city was pretty awesome.

    It's just my opinion.
     
    #17 Cole, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Wise Wise x 1
  18. Rebo

    Rebo Nearsighted Whill Guardian
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Posts:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    4,603
    Trophy Points:
    14,747
    Credits:
    6,071
    Ratings:
    +7,328 / 99 / -40
    LOL. First. I never said Jamaican was a race. Arguing semantics like that serves no purpose. Racism, bigotry, prejudice....spending time debating which is which serves no function to those that are offended by it. I was just sharing an anecdote with you of someone who was offended by the movie.

    As for the Gungans. They may not be directly mimicking any specific race, but they are drawn from a particular entertainment stye ...the minstrel show. The minstrel show in the late 1800's and early 1900's focused on featuring black characters (played exclusively by white people in black face) as loveable buffoons. They showcased American or Caribbean blacks as primitive, dim-witted, clumsy characters with thick accents and speaking in horrifically broken English for people to laugh at. (Sound familiar?) These stereotypes can be found throughout early Hollywood in cartoons and movies. Although they stopped being played in blackface after people began to realize how offensive that was, they continued to be portrayed all the way up until the civil rights movement when racism in black characters became more subtle. And the people that always defended these stereotypes would use arguments like, "well how can it be offensive if they are lovable and funny?". But in the end, people realized it was wrong because it showcased them as lesser beings, only worthy of being laughed at.

    I know everyone wants to jump to defend George here. I truly believe that the Neimodians, Gungans, and Troidarians were intended to be loving references to those characters types as they existed in the 30's epics he was trying to emulate here. These were characters of his childhood, not intended to be hateful in any way. But Georges lack of social awareness seems to have given him blinders as to why those characters existed in the first place. It was like a copy of a copy. If a young child dressed up in blackface not knowing why its offensive, you'd still tell them to take it off even if in the end you don't blame them for any intended racism. That's how I see the Gungans. George was mimicking characters that were mimicking other races in offensive ways. He's not a racist, but his inspiration was.

    In the end, I'm sorry but I vehemently disagree with your blaming of political correctness or eggshell walking as the reason for people being offended by things like this. It is easy for current generations to forget the history and engrained culture of racism as it existed in America for hundreds of years. Things seem fine now to those who weren't a part of that history, but for those on the offended side, things like Minstrel shows aren't as easily forgotten. In the end, its not up to you, me or George to decide who can and who can't be offended by these old racial stereotypes. Its up to the individual themselves to decide whether they find these offensive or not. And its not like my friend is alone in this. Do a quick google search on Star Wars and racism and see what comes up. These characters clearly bothered some people, which is enough for me to call it offensive.
     
    #18 Rebo, Oct 25, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
    • Wise Wise x 1
  19. Voxx

    Voxx Jedi Hero of Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Posts:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    9,459
    Trophy Points:
    96,307
    Credits:
    19,803
    Ratings:
    +14,649 / 168 / -62
    The Trade Federation aliens (Neimoidians) were Asian.
     
  20. Mike

    Mike Rebel General

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    Posts:
    288
    Likes Received:
    346
    Trophy Points:
    4,337
    Credits:
    842
    Ratings:
    +627 / 38 / -37
    That's pretty funny!

    Like I said in the Ewok thread, I am not arrogant enough to think I know how every 10 year old thinks, thus why I made sure to point out that I was aware that there are some kids that would not like that type of humor. I just think that if you took a poll of most children in that age range, most (not all) would say they either liked Jar Jar (Ewoks) or didn't really care. Obviously, in my opinion, you would fall in the minority of that group that hated him.

    Gungans were fine. They served their purpose in the story.

    Now Jar Jar... He didn't bother me (surprise surprise). First of all, I was 25ish when I saw TPM, and I guess I am pretty immature because I did laugh when Jar Jar got his face stuck in the energy binders. I still crack a smile when I see it.

    Just as the Ewoks, Jar Jar was geared towards kids, so I wasn't going to (and won't) analyze him to death. I am not going to break down whether toilet humor geared towards kids works for me (as an adult) or not, because it's not meant for me (as an adult). I'm not going to let humor geared towards kids in a family movie ruin a movie for me. I just don't see the point in over analyzing it. That's just how I am, obviously other people feel differently.

    That's why last weekend when my family went to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and toilet humor involving puke started to fly (pun intended) it didn't ruin the movie for my wife and I. We understood that humor is geared towards our kids, while the stripper joke that went over our kids heads was there for the adults. I'm not going to over analyze whether the puke scene and subsequent jokes after worked for me, because it wasn't for me, it was for my kids, and they liked it. We all walked away enjoying the movie, even though there were specific aspects geared to only certain age ranges.

    OK... I will admit it, I laughed at the puke too...
     
    • Great Post Great Post x 1
Loading...

Share This Page