Let me start off by saying that I will limit my bias as much as possible in this article. I feel very strongly about the Star Wars prequel trilogy; as does every true fan. One of the most polarizing aspects of Episodes I-III is Jar Jar Binks. The Gungan outcast turned delegate to the Galactic Senate seemed to have been forgotten in the vastness of the galaxy far, far away. Now, thanks to a new book by Chuck Wendig, we know what happened to Jar Jar Binks.
From Empire’s End: Aftermath:
Since children started coming in by the shipload as refugees, the Gungan has served them, performing for the kids once or twice a day. He does tricks. He juggles. He falls over and shakes his head as his eyes roll around inside their fleshy stalks. He makes goofy sounds and does strange little dances. Sometimes it’s the same performance, repeated. Sometimes the Gungan does different things, things you’ve never seen, things you’ll never see again. Just a few days ago, he splashed into the fountain’s center, then pretended to have the streams shoot him way up in the air. He leapt straight up, then back down with a splash. And he leapt from compass point to compass point, back and forth, before finally conking his head on the edge and plopping down on his butt. Shaking his head. Tongue wagging. All the kids laughed. Then the Gungan laughed, too.
The clown, they called him. “Bring the clown. We want to see the clown. We like it how he juggles glombo shells, or spits fish up in the air and catches them, or how he dances around and falls on his butt.”
The adults, though. They don’t say much about him. Or to him. And no other Gungans come to see him, either. Nobody even says his name.
A refugee boy named Mapo encounters a Gungan performing for kids on the streets, clowning around in a fountain twice a day while being studiously avoided by the grown-ups. “Meesa Jar Jar,” says the clown when Mapo introduces himself. The clown distracts the orphan from his own sadness by popping his eyes and bulging his cheeks, but is hiding a sadness of his own.
The boy then asks Jar Jar why no one talks to him.
“My no so sure.” The Gungan makes a hmm sound. “Mesa thinks it cause-o Jar Jar makin some uh-oh mistakens. Big mistakens. Der Gunga bosses banished me longo ago. Mesa no been to hom in for-ebbers. And desa hisen Naboo tink I help the uh-oh Empire.” He stares into the distance, suggesting he knows more than he’s saying.
Wow. Even those that hate him the most cannot deny how sad this is. Reduced to entertaining the refugee children of Theed on Naboo, Jar Jar Binks may be paying for his sins the best way he knows how. After all, he was the one who called for the expansion of emergency powers to Chancellor Palpatine in Attack of the Clones. We all know how that worked out.
One moment, you’re swimming around on Naboo. The next, you’re enabling a dictator and being accused of being a Sith all along. You know how it goes.
This latest book is canon and is part of the new universe Disney has created. Buy it here on Amazon! Also, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi opens in the US on December 15, 2017. Also, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is due to hit DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD this spring.
What do you geeks think? Is Jar Jar a Sith Lord in hiding, à la Ben Kenobi? Or, is he really a simpleton that got swept up in things he couldn’t understand? Let us know!