What’s your Jar-Jar Binks?

George Lucas created the Star Wars franchise, one of the highest-grossing entertainment franchises ever. When he sold it to Disney in 2012, they paid over $4 Billion for it.

George Lucas also created Jar Jar Binks. Not only did he create the character, but in April 2019, he named Jar Jar Binks his favorite Star Wars character.

If you aren’t familiar with Jar-Jar Binks, he’s a CGI alien modeled after the Disney character Goofy, who adds comic relief to the 3 Star Wars prequels. Fans universally panned the character as a distraction to the plot. Others have gone further, describing the character as reflecting highly racist tropes.

How do experts get it so wrong?

George Lucas had a strong vision for the prequels. He had piled success on top of success and thought he had earned the right to his opinions.

When you are on top of an organization, you can become isolated from differing opinions. Consider this from Rob Coleman, the film’s visual effects supervisor. He was in charge of bringing Jar-Jar to life.

“When I read the script the first time, I had a reaction similar to what many of you had when you saw the movie,” Coleman admitted at a 1999 Visual Effects Society seminar. But Lucas remained insistent: kids would love Jar Jar.

“I only had one audience member to please, and that was George Lucas,” Coleman continued. “If he was happy with what we were doing with Jar Jar, then I was happy.”

Star Wars: Jar Jar Binks – What Went Wrong by Ryan Lambie in DenofGeek.com

Rob abandoned his own opinions in favor of his boss’s views.

We need feedback from strong voices.

If there isn’t a healthy way to disagree with the boss, you will eventually have a Jar Jar Binks moment.

  • How often are you asking for feedback and the only things you hear are positive?
  • When was the last time you changed your mind based on feedback from your team?
  • Do you support folks who are willing to voice unpopular opinions?
  • Who has the ability to tell you “no?”

Hit reply and tell me about a Jar Jar Binks moment you’ve experienced. What did you learn to prevent yourself from doing it again?

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