Wait, stop, come back! This will be worth it I promise.
This is an article I have been planning for ages. In fact, I came up with the stupid title before I really sat down to think about it, and now I am here and I have to justify one of the stupidest titles I have ever come up with.
Jar-Jar Binks is the much maligned Gungan who many people felt ruined The Phantom Menace. Firstly, let me state that His Holiness George Lucas ruined The Phantom Menace. But people still blame Jar-Jar.
So what is it people hate so much about him?
He is the comedy sidekick in the movie. So he is slapstick and clumsy. People hated that. He trod in do-do and spoke like, well I am not even sure what he spoke like. The thing is, it’s a kid’s movie at the end of the day, and the younger kids found him funny. He is the Yin to the stiff Jedi Yang. To keep the kids interested in a film with a lot, and I mean a whole lot of politics and trade federations it needed something to make the kids laugh. And laugh at him they do. Have you ever watched The Phantom Menace with children under 10? They laugh at him. That is his job. Many grownups hated the Ewoks, but as a kid watching the films I loved them. Cute little man eating teddy bears that they were. They were there to sell toys and get the kids to watch, and we did. In our millions.
His voice, well yes it could be a little grating, but I think that we forget how often we quote him. OK so he is not Yoda, but he speaks in a strange way like Yoda did. The only problem was that he spoke no wise words really. But we have all said ‘How wude’ in his voice at least once.
I admit, so far I have won nobody over, so let’s look at everybody’s favourite Gungan a different way.
He was the first humanoid character in a Star Wars movie to be solely CGI, in any movie I think. This is a really big thing when you think about it. He was the father to all CG characters to follow. If Mr Lucas hadn’t spent all that time and money investing in Jar-Jar, then would Gollum have looked so good? What about the big blue space cats of Avatar and their multipurpose love tails? Certainly Marvel would not be the force (see what I did there?) it is now. Would cinema be where it is today without Jar-Jar? Realistically, we would be a few years behind. Jar-Jar was ground breaking.
And so with this we have to look at his story, the impact he made on the Star Wars universe.
We first meet him in the forest on Naboo, being all clumsy and silly while every single one of the local fauna does a run for it from the onslaught of the battle droids. He is saved by the charismatic and delightful Qui Gon Jinn. Promptly he is thrust into the world of the Jedi by means of a life debt. The Jedi need to meet with Queen Amidala, something they cannot do without Mr Binks. So the entire story arc of Star Wars is started by Jar Jar Binks. He introduces the Jedi to Amidala, then journeys with them to meet Anakin. So basically no Jar Jar, no Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, Ben ‘Kylo Ren’ Solo and no Rey (possibly). Basically, no Jar Jar, no Star Wars. Who is it who pushed the vote of no confidence and brings up the weakness of Chancellor Valorum? Once again Jar Jar, so no Jar Jar, no Emperor, no Death Star, well you get my drift. The entire story of Star Wars is because of Jar Jar. Funny Jar Jar Sith Lord theories aside, he is the trigger point for the entire Star Wars universe. Like him or hate him, you cannot get away from the fact that Star Wars needed Jar Jar.
Thank you for reading,