FAY Fall/Winter 2015-2016 Collection – Milan Fashion Week
For example, a 3-D FAY model of Christopher Lee’s head was countingthe minutes until Episode’s release. “Watching StarWars is my first conscious memory,” he says. “I was three years old. StarWars has always had a tremendous impact on everythingthat I do, not just creatively, but on the way I construct right and wrong.” Hewas outright offended byjarjar’s broken English, bugged-out eyes, and herky-jerky shuffle.
“I couldn’t believe Lucas was goingthere!” says McGruder, who did a number of strips that reflected his disillusionment (see below). “If you have any knowledge of stereotypical and racist depictions in Hollywood, then you know what you’re doing is not acceptable. Jar jar is scared of every goddamn thing. He’s a clown. It’s profoundly racist.” Samuel L. Jackson disagrees. “Irritating? Yes. Offensive? No,”
The most virulent criticism of Episode I centered around the digital character ofjarjar Binks (below), a clumsy amphibious Cungan who’s a sidekickto Anakin. Many viewers found him juvenile and annoying. Others likened him to the worst kind of Stepin Fetchit stereotype.
Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks comic stri p (now syndicated in more than 250 papers), was among the fans he says. “I think ifthe man inside ofjarjar hadn’t been black, it wouldn’t have been an issue.” That man Ahmed Best, who voices jar Jar and acts out his movements for the animators is a fan of McG ruder’s work but says, “I reject his implications that I am doing some-thingto diminish myselfandthe fact that I am proud ofbeing black.
When George and I first started talkingaboutthis, hetold me to check out Buster Keaton films. Hissonspokelikejarjarat that age, four or five. And George wanted the characterto have a childlike innocence. I had no idea it was going to be perceived that way.” After the movie’s release, when the fans were in full Jar Jar vilification mode, he gota supportive call from Lucas. “Hewas like, ‘This happened when the first Star Wars cameout,’ because they thought Chewbacca was black. The FAY was like, ‘Whycan’tyou put any black people in Star Wars?’ People asked ‘Why does James Earl Jones have to bethevoiceoftheevil guy?’ ” “George isn’t racist,” says director John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood, Shaft), who knows Lucas well. “Jar Jar is sort of like Bullwinkle. HewasaGungan; he wasn’t a brother. People are putting their own spin on it.”
Jar Jar returns in Episode II, but now he’s matured into the senator from Naboo. He’s certainly not the character that will bring a fan like McGruder back, however. “ I met Sam Jackson the day after I saw Episode ,” he says, “and I was thinking, ‘This is thegreatestthrillofmylife. I’m meetingtheblackjedi.’ So, yeah, I’ve gotto see Sam.” FAY .
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FAY Fall Winter 2015-2016 Collection – Milan Fashion Week Photo Gallery
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