Jar Jar Binks: bumbling moron or a threat to galactic peace?

Paul Hazelton

Possible spoilers ahead

Remember the “Star Wars” character Jar Jar Binks? You know, the annoyingly clumsy Gungan who contributed absolutely nothing to the plot? Well, me-ssa about ta blow-ssa your mind with a theory that’s beeen-a rolling around-ssa Internet.

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via GIPHY

Well, not me-ssa, exactly. I enviously relinquish all credit to Reddit user “Lumpawarroo,” who originally proposed this sinister new theory. According to him/her, Jar Jar, far from being an innocent dope, is actually a highly manipulative and powerful Sith lord. Now, if you’re as cynical as I am, that sounds completely ridiculous. But before you fling this copy of the Collegian into the nearest trash can, let me explain.

Despite being clumsy, Jar Jar Binks has displayed some jaw-dropping agility. In “Episode 1: The Phantom Menace,” for instance, when Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi first reach the lake housing the Gungan’s underwater capital, Jar Jar preforms a 20-foot somersaulting swan-dive into the water. Aside from being a totally b*tchin’ move, it would have been unlikely unless he had command of the force. This would allow Jar Jar to force jump, and there’s further evidence of this throughout the movies.

Later in the film, Jar Jar exhibits an uncanny knack for stacking up bodies on the battlefield and dodging death. During the final battle on Naboo, we witness him massacre a large swath of droids, seemingly by accident. In the same scene, he dodges a blaster bullet that he couldn’t possibly have seen or heard. So, did Jar Jar really sidestep blaster rounds, blow up tanks and kill dozens as a result of sheer luck?

Lumpawarroo says no, postulating that the much-hated Gungan’s fighting style is eerily reminiscent to that of Zui Quan or Drunken Fist wushu. This appears to fit with the overarching theme of the series that both the Jedi and Sith’s combat styles are inspired by martial arts. This idea coupled with his possible force sensitivity suggests that maybe it’s not due to luck at all. But as interesting as that is, it proves relatively little in the way of Jar Jar being a force-wielder, much less a Sith lord.

However, if you watch Jar Jar throughout the films, another disturbing pattern becomes apparent. In multiple scenes, we can clearly see him mouthing the words of other characters, sometimes while waving his hand in their direction. In any other circumstance, this would be considered a Jedi mind trick, but because Jar Jar is such a benign and idiotic character, we, along with the Jedi, brush this off as either mere coincidence or sloppy animation. And maybe that’s all it is, but if that’s true and none of this is central to the story line, why would the animators waste time and therefore money rendering these subtle actions?

Even more unsettling is that Jar Jar Binks continues to stumble into positions of power over the course of the storyline. First, he befriends Jedi, then he becomes a general in the Gungan Army, then an adviser to Padme and then a senator. In fact, he is the one that convinces the Senate to abandon democracy and grant ultimate control to Emperor Palpatine, who is later revealed to be the Sith lord himself. Similarly, Qui-Gon and Padme would have never encountered young Anakin on Tatooine without Jar Jar’s shenanigans. In other words, Jar Jar finds Darth Vader.

Additionally, Jar Jar influences Anakin multiple times in the movies. At one point, he suggests to Anakin’s already-infatuated mind that Padame is “pretty hot.” He also passively teaches Anakin to disregard Jedi authority by mocking Obi-Wan and the force. Both of these manipulations end up pushing Anakin toward the dark side.

Now, perhaps we’ve all been overthinking the subject, but maybe we’re not.

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The actor who plays Jar Jar tweeted after Lumpawarroo’s post, “I will say this, it feels really good when the hidden meaning behind the work is seen. No matter how long it takes. #TPM”  

While none of this definitively proves that Jar Jar is a Sith, it at the very least points to Jar Jar being a much more complex character than the one-dimensional moron we all believed him to be. I, however, remain skeptical, particularly about Lumpawarroo’s final claim that Jar Jar will be the Sith lord “Snoke” in the new film “The Force Awakens,” which comes to theaters Dec. 18.

But, as he states, it would be a genius move by Disney. The last few universally-despised films would pay off overnight if Jar Jar is revealed to be the most manipulative, powerful Sith lord the series has ever seen. One thing’s for sure, I can’t imagine anyone more terrifying than Darth Jar Jar as the head of the Sith.

*The full theory can be found here.

Collegian Columnist Paul Hazelton can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @HazeltonPaul.