Character Spotlight – Jar Jar Binks

Hello, friends! I apologize for not posting in a week or two. I have been enjoying some much needed time off of School, as well as enjoying some lovely Turkey and family time. I have also been working on a trailer for my fan fiction that I will be posting sometime soon along with the first chapter of my fan fiction as a tease. 😉

Today, I would like to write about one of my favorite characters in the Prequel Trilogy, Jar Jar Binks. I have decided that due to its high theological content, I need to give myself some more time to write my post on C.S. Lewis’s – Till We Have Faces, but don’t worry, friends, I will still be posting on it. It is just going to take longer than I expected.

Now, you might be asking yourself right now, “Why Jar Jar Binks?” In truth, he is labeled the most annoying character in all of Star Wars, yet I find him a very fascinating character that is given an excellent character arc and plenty of development throughout the first three Star Wars films and in the Clone Wars show.

However, I invite you to ask yourself: what makes him annoying? Is it the funny way he talks or walks, or is it his clumsy theatrics that actually got him banished from his home before the Phantom Menace takes place.

In this post I would like to take a deeper look into this Gungan and show that even though he is “different” he is one of the most underrated characters in Star Wars. By the end of this post, I hope that the next time you watch Jar Jar on the screen you will see him in a whole new light!

Before we get started, I need to give my disclaimer. This post will have spoilers for Star Wars Episode I, II, and III, as well as the Clone Wars show and the fate of Jar Jar.

Okie day, with out further ado, let’s get right into it! Allons-y!

Jar Jar’s Timeline:

Jar Jar Binks’s first introduction into the Star Wars Universe was in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which I wrote a post on a couple of weeks ago. He is saved by the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for the rest of the movie he is along for the ride.

He appears again in Episode II: Attack of the Clones as Representative Binks. It is in this position that he gives his famed (or perhaps more laughed at) senate speech that puts in motion the Clone Wars and in essence saves Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padmé, and the rest of the Jedi from begin killed during the first battle of Geonosis.

During the Clone Wars Jar Jar continues to serve the people of the galaxy in efforts for peace alongside Padmé and eventually Master Mace Windu.

The last appearance of Jar Jar in the films is in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith where we see him in Padmé funeral procession.

Earlier in the films we see him with the Chancellor often, but Padmé’s funeral is where he is shown visually the most.

After the Battle of Endor and the fall of the Empire, he was once again exiled by his people. They believed that he had aided in the Empire’s rise, so he was therefore reviling to his people and the Naboo. He spent the rest of his days on Naboo an outcast once more, performing as a clown in the streets of Theed for children.

“Desa hisen Naboo tink I help the un-oh Empire. My no know.”

Jar Jar Binks to Mapo on Naboo in 5 ABY

Jar Jar’s Character Arc:

The character arc of Jar Jar Binks if looked at closely, is truly remarkable and is a picture of extraordinary character develop. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a closer look, and perhaps you will see why I think the Gungan Jar Jar Binks has a better character arc and development than Rey from the sequel trilogy…

First off, let’s look at the Jar Jar from the very beginning of the Phantom Menace: clumsy and barely understandable when he spoke. Seriously, even I had a hard time understanding him and had to strain in order to know what was being said.

Okie day, now let’s look at Jar Jar at the end of the Phantom Menace. The Naboo and the Gungans had a long history of disagreeing and not getting along. While helping the Jedi and Queen Amidala remove the Trade Federation from their planet, Jar Jar’s actions unknowingly unites the Naboo and the Gungans. For this act he is made a general of the Gungan army.

See any character development yet? If not, let’s move on to Attack of the Clones. 😁

Sometime before Episode II takes place, Jar Jar is elected by the Naboo to represent the Gungans on the Galactic Senate, and he is henceforth known as Representative Binks! I love that!

He is deeply trusted by Padmé, so much so that she even trusts Jar Jar to represent Naboo in the Senate while she secretly returns to Naboo with Anakin to escape the assassination attempts on her life. It is while Padmé goes on her adventure with Anakin that the Republic’s Clone Army is discovered and needed to aid the Jedi, who are dangerously outnumbered on Geonosis. It is therefore up to Jar Jar to urge the Senate to grant the Chancellor emergency powers, so that the clone army may be used to fight against the separatist threat on Geonosis. This is when he gives his Senate Speech.

Emergency powers are granted to the Chancellor, and the Clone Wars begin. Unfortunately, these powers furthered Palpatine’s power over the Republic and contributed to the smooth transfer from the Republic into the Empire when the time came, yet I don’t blame Jar Jar. His actions were true-hearted and were not meant for evil. In fact if Jar Jar had not done this than Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padmé, and the rest of the Jedi on Geonosis that day may have died.

It is also interesting to note that during his speech it is a lot easier to understand him than it was when we had first met him. Character development indeed…

During the Clone Wars he does not do anything “monumental,” but he does have a great influence on all who he touches, literally. One of my favorite episodes with him is actually a two-parter in season six. He is paired up with Mace Windu in these episodes, in which he has to save the Queen of Bardotta, Julia, who is actually in love with Jar Jar! It is super adorable, and it makes my heart smile so hard! 😄

Once again in these episodes, Jar Jar’s kind actions unknowingly unite two people groups that had been at odds with each other, in this case, the Bardotta and the Jedi.

This concludes Jar Jar’s character arc. I said earlier that I believe that Jar Jar Binks has a better character arc than Rey in the sequel trilogy, and no, this is not being harsh. It simply is true.

Let’s look at Rey for a moment, and ask yourself: what do we know about Rey from the beginning of The Force Awakens to the end of The Rise of Skywalker? Nearly nothing with the exception of her parentage, she is the daughter of Emperor Palpatine (I have serious objections to this by the way *tries to contain anger*). I really do hate to say it, but Rey is a very flat character, and by flat I mean that she has close to no character arc or development. Yes, she has a lot of emotions (What is with the screaming while she fights that never seems to go away? You would think that the more she trained the more composed she would become, but we don’t see that. In fact it seems she just becomes more and more angrier and uncontrolled as the trilogy goes on), but that does not make a character who he or she is. Do you follow me?

Alright, now let’s go back to Jar Jar Binks. In the beginning of the Phantom Menace he is a clumsy outcast with no sense of direction. At the end of the Phantom Menace he is a General, leading an army to victory, and unites two stubborn people groups through his humble actions. In Attack of the Clones, he is a representative that is trusted by one of the most well-regarded senators in the Republic, Padmé Amidala, and he gives his senate speech in front of the entirety of the Galactic Senate, and through his seemingly “annoying” actions he begins one of the most monumental wars in the galaxy’s history all while saving Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé on Geonosis. At the end of Revenge of the Sith we see him, a respected Senator, in the front rows of people, solemnly walking in the funeral procession of Padmé Amidala. This swamp-rat, outcast, annoying Gungan certainly has come far, hasn’t he?

But, he is still Jar Jar Binks, and no one can ever change that. He still walks like a dude bro, talks in his slang, and drops plates every now and then, but his heart is humble, kind, and loyal, always loyal, to Padmé, Anakin, and Obi-Wan to the very end.

This is what makes his fate the final grace note to his character arc. Him performing in the streets of Theed as a clown for the littlest of children is Jar Jar, humble, good-natured, always happy to see you, Jar Jar, but he is also always ready to do his job, and do it to the best of his abilities.

He really is quite the character…literally…😉

Conclusion:

This concludes my defense…I mean character spotlight post on Jar Jar Binks, who in my opinion has one of the best character arcs in Star Wars. I hope that after reading my post you will not just see him as a bumbling Gungan, which he is and always will be, this is apart of his character too, but a Gungan that is always ready to complete his task, bring people together, and best of all, bring a smile to the faces of those around him with his good-natured attitude.

Oh, and I could literally listen to him say “Obi!” all day! Seriously, if you haven’t seen Attack of the Clones go and watch it right now. I always enjoy it!

Well, that is all for now, friends! I hope that you enjoyed this post, and I apologize once again for not posting in some time. I promise that I will not keep you waiting too long for my next post! 😁

Until next time,

Time Lady of Coruscant 😉

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