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In the Fanboy movie, there is this scene where a man proudly shows a Jar-Jar Binks tattoo he got.

For those who don't know about Fanboy, the action takes place before the release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and that guy was just thinking Jar-Jar would be the best thing since sliced bread. (Most people now wish they could slice Jar-Jar like bread, but that's another story.)

Did the hype around The Phantom Menace get to the point where some people actually though Jar-Jar Binks would be awesome?
Was there a big merchandising campaign around this character?
Is there someone that actually got a Jar-Jar tattoo before seeing The Phantom Menace?

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I got a Jar-Jar Binks bust in a cornflakes-box. But then again, I had every other main Ep1 character too. That's all the marketing I remember. – bitmask Mar 13 '12 at 21:56
    
Look at the original trailer for Episode I youtube.com/watch?v=I6hOlI9cg4o -- Jar Jar here was misleadingly subdued and actually looked like he'd be a pretty awesome Chewbacca-like sidekick who didn't speak much. I remember thinking he would be awesome just based on this trailer. – Josh 3 hours ago
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I don't know that anyone was convinced that he would be awesome, but he had a similar amount of marketing push behind him as all the other characters had. I don't recall him having a highlighted push of any sort, but there was plenty of Jar Jar being pushed on fans. Some examples:

He also had his own Tone Poem commercial

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I'd have to agree. While his face was around a lot, it was no more than any other character they were pushing. It just seemed like Jar Jar was around more. – Tango Mar 14 '12 at 0:45
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It's also worth noting that Jar Jar got some extra attention due to the fact that he was billed as the first all-digital main character in a feature length film. – phantom42 Mar 14 '12 at 2:25
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OMG I remember seeing that tongue candy in the store and thinking I hope someone was fired for coming up with that idea. – Chad Mar 14 '12 at 13:36

As I recall, despite there having been CGI characters before (e.g. Jurassic Park), Jar Jar was the first fully-integrated CGI cast member in a film. He would interact physically and verbally seamlessly with the rest of the cast. He was a technological marvel in film making. The technology behind him and the rest of the film were heavily promoted. The original trilogy set a very high bar for special effects in films and the new films did the same.

So his (well-deserved) hype was more about the underlying technology. Technology that would lead to Gollum, Benjamin Button, and Kevin Flynn, to name a few.

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True, but the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were a mixture of practical effects and CGI. I also already mentioned that he was the first all-digital main character. – phantom42 Mar 15 '12 at 18:46
    
Was Jar Jar created using motion capture, or was he fully CGI? – maguirenumber6 Jan 25 at 7:50
    
@maguirenumber6 it seems that originally, he was going to be a suit with replaced/enhanced parts, and ended up being fully motion capture – phantom42 16 hours ago
    
@Phantom My main takeaway from that was that Jar Jar was actually a slightly camp black dude. Mind somehow blown. – Janus Bahs Jacquet 15 hours ago

I recall watching an interview with Lucas before the release. He was very excited about the character. He was also quite ticked when all the criticism was leveled at Jar Jar after the release.

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