May 19, 1999, was a pop culture milestone: Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, the first Star Wars movie in 16 years, opened in the United States. More than two million people took the day off of work to see it. And what did those fans get after all the hype? A movie that drew mixed reviews at best.
And as the summer rolled on, one name kept popping upon news reports and on Internet message boards: Jar Jar Binks. His primary role was to provide comic relief. What went wrong?