Q: Sure, now everyone loathes Jar Jar Binks. But how did the South Park movie get in a jab at the computer-generated goofball when Phantom Menace opened just weeks before?
A: ''We saw the first Phantom trailer way back in January,'' says Trey Parker, who cocreated South Park with Matt Stone. ''We were like, 'This is the new Ewok! This is what's going to ruin the new movie!''' The irreverent duo ran to their word processors and cranked out a riff on Jar Jar's signature line ''Yousa say peoples gonna die,'' which they plopped into a scene featuring the wholesale slaughter of a platoon of soldiers. ''Paramount didn't get it,'' says Parker, ''but we kept it in there.'' Even more presciently, they put the line in the mouth of an African-American soldier foreshadowing charges that Jar Jar is a Stepin Fetchit stereotype. How'd that happen? ''Luck,'' laughs Parker, adding ''We didn't know that [Jar Jar] was going to be racist just annoying.''