It's no mystery that a lot of Star Wars fans think the prequels were a huge mistake, and one of those mistakes is a Gungan by the name of Jar Jar Binks. Actor Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace still stands by his work and thinks that the creation of Jar Jar has paved the way for modern motion capture performances in Hollywood.
Andy Serkis had recently released a video on Wired following the history of motion capture performance, which started out with his work on Gollum in Lord of the Rings. A fan had pointed out that the Best's performance of Jar Jar—which came out two years before Serkis'—should have been included in the timeline.
"Thanks for the love today especially the Star Wars fans. Jar Jar is bigger than just me or my performance. As much as we actors are on the front line when it comes to the success or the failure of characters we play, what's more important is the accomplishment of bringing the work to the screen. Jar Jar helped create the workflow, iteration process and litmus test for all CGI characters to this day on some days the code was being written in real time as I was moving. To deny Jar Jar's place in film history is to deny the hundreds of VFX technicians, animators, code writers and producers their respect. People like John Knoll, Rob Coleman and scores of others who I worked with for two years after principal photography was ended to bring these movies to you. There's a joke I like to use when talking about this stuff, Jar Jar walked so Gollum could run. Gollum ran so the Na'vi could fly. Thanks for lifting me up today."
Though Jar Jar is widely reviled as a character by a lot of fans, there's no doubt that Best helped pioneer in a cinematic art form that continues to evolve and be used to this day. It's such a shame that Jar Jar is being remembered more for being ‘annoying.'
As it stands, Star Wars continued to use more motion capture characters in their movies to this day. The sequel trilogy gave us characters like Supreme Leader Snoke and Maz Kanata, and Rogue One gave us Alan Tudyk's fantastic K-2SO. Hopefully in the future Lucasfilm will make amends with Best and have him play a mo-cap character that people won't actively hate.