Jar Jar Binks: Three words that send a shiver through the spines of just about any Star Wars fan. For many people, the calamitous Gungan summed up everything that was wrong with George Lucas’s Star Wars prequel trilogy. Since then, Jar Jar has become the stuff of legend, his reputation going far beyond the realm of a simple scapegoat.
The backlash against Jar Jar Binks was so strong that his role was greatly reduced in Episodes 2 and 3, causing many to speculate over his fate. Not long ago, that speculation was taken to a weird new level when a fan theory gathered steam, suggesting that Binks was actually a Sith Lord in disguise. That wasn’t actually as ridiculous as it sounded, though. It was Binks, after all, who gave Chancellor Palpatine the emergency powers he needed to weaken the influence of the Republic senate.
Now, though, the speculation over Jar Jar’s fate can end, because a new Star Wars novel reveals what the Gungan is up to during the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. While he’s not a Sith, his actions in the Republic Senate have definitely played a big part in his story.
The conclusion to Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series is soon to be hitting shelves, and it’s set to contain a number of cutaway scenes that reveal how familiar faces and planets are dealing with life in the wake of the Empire’s collapse. One such cutaway, sees a young boy arriving wandering the streets of Naboo when he spots a Gungan street performer entertaining crowds with some silly tricks.
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. Hefalls 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, thing’s you’ll never see again. Just a few days ago, he splashed into the fountain’s center, ten 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.
It soon becomes clear that the Gungan is none other than Jar Jar Binks. It turns out, Binks’ political folly has given the rest of the Gungan community cause to suspect he was an Imperial sympathizer, and he’s been banished from his people and forced to perform tricks just to scrape together a living.
Here’s what Binks responds with when the boy asked him how he ended up as a street performer.
“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.”
For those who didn’t necessarily hate Binks, this might be conceived as a terribly sad tale, but for others, it will likely be cause for celebration. Perhaps we can now all put this whole thing to bed?