Monday, May 14, 2012
William Tooker-"Not A Fool For The Fool-Jar Jar Binks"
Not A Fool for the Fool
Jar Jar Binks.
Okay, now that you've trashed your monitor, bought a new one and come back...we probably agree. Now, we can try to play the highbrow card and cast him as the comedic foil for "The Phantom Menace" but he in no way approaches the Fool of "King Lear." Lucas did it for the kids, his kids as I understand. Now on the one hand i say what an awesome and loving dad who tributes his franchise to his little ones. All parents should be so wonderful. Now that I've given a good man his props here's how i feel about the character.
Dress it up in literary terms all you like but characters like this have always annoyed me, even as a child. I think its lazy storytelling and suggests that the lead characters don't have a lighter side. Humor can be laced through drama and it usually makes things more effective. A lead character who can crack a smile and be vulnerable as well as being intense illustrates more potently how serious the situation is. The "Comedic Foil" character who exists solely to lighten the mood is limited to 1 dimension, and takes something away from the others, I'm not saying we need to ban characters who are cut ups, that's not nearly the same as being a worthless walking punchline.
Hawkeye in M.A.S.H. was a cut up, and a truth teller ( and yes, I heard you grumbling about that aspect of the fool character) but he still had depths, and the respect of others. Jar Jar never really functioned as a truth teller, and he was a flimsy, easy replaceable device to meet the other Gungans. C 3PO and R2D2 performed the function of outsider/observer and truth teller without the addition of Aqua Goofy.
Dickens got paid by the word in his day, but now we value the economy of words. Give me the madman, the prophet, or the wizened child. But for the love of god, no more childish idiots.
William Tooker lives in Ohio where he labors away in the tech support coal mines of Hilliard. He has written the Horror Novel "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" and is currently working on his ongoing Series The Invisible Society. Will is also co-founder and head writer of Creephouse Comics with Kevin Gentilcore as well as the Writer for Matt Campbell's Mythica saga from CCP Comics. Will also has projects going in film and video and wants his work to be seen on your book shelf.