- "Moi moi, I love you!"
"You almost got us killed. Are you brainless?"
"The ability to speak does not make you intelligent."
- ―Jar Jar Binks and Qui-Gon Jinn
Jar Jar Binks was a Gungan male military commander and politician who played a key role in the Invasion of Naboo and the Clone Wars that culminated in the fall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire. Once an outcast from Gungan society due to his clumsy behavior, he regained favor with his people by helping secure an alliance between the Gungan boss Rugor Nass and Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo, an alliance vital in ending the Trade Federation's invasion of their shared homeworld. In the years that followed, Binks became a Junior Representative for his people in the Galactic Senate, serving alongside Amidala once she became the planet's senator.
Ten years after the Naboo Crisis, growing tensions between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems threatened an outbreak of full-scale galactic war. In the absence of Senator Amidala, whose life was under threat by Separatist assassins, Binks was convinced by Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine to propose that the chancellor receive emergency executive powers to raise a Grand Army of the Republic. The proposal passed, leading to the outbreak of the Clone Wars, during which time Binks participated in a number of diplomatic missions for the Galactic Senate.
The emergency powers Binks proposed were ultimately used by the chancellor, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, to amass total power and transform the Republic into the Empire. In the years that followed, Binks once again became an outcast on Naboo due to his role in the rise of the Empire. By the time of the Battle of Jakku, Binks was a street performer in the capital city of Theed, where he was scorned by adults but beloved by the children who came to watch his antics.
The Invasion of Naboo
- "You were banished because you were clumsy?"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
Boss Nass banished Jar Jar Binks from his home of Otoh Gunga, an underwater city that lay beneath the Mid Rim planet of Naboo's Lake Paonga, for crashing his personal heyblibber submarine. During the time of the Trade Federation's invasion of Naboo, Binks was out foraging for food when he stumbled across OOM-9's invasion force. Panicking, he bumped into the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, an ambassador who had been sent to resolve the crisis between the Naboo and the Federation. Jinn saved the Gungan from being run over by a passing Multi-Troop Transport. As a result of this act, Binks believed that he owed Jinn a life debt and insisted on following Jinn, much to the Jedi's annoyance. Both Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, needed to contact Queen Padmé Amidala in the capital Theed but had no way of reaching her. Despite fearing for his life, Binks reluctantly agreed to take them there.
Upon reaching Otoh Gunga, Binks was arrested by his old friend Tarpals and brought before Boss Nass, the city's ruler. Since he had unlawfully returned to his home city, Binks faced punishment. However, Master Qui-Gon, who needed a guide to take them to Theed, convinced Boss Nass to commute Binks' punishment, stating that the Gungan owed him a life debt. Nass reluctantly complied and provided them with a bongo submarine to travel through the planet's watery planetary core. After two perilous escapades with an Opee sea killer and a Colo claw fish, Binks and his companions reached Theed, only to discover that the city had already been occupied by Trade Federation forces.
After Master Qui-Gon and his Padawan Kenobi managed to free Queen Amidala and several of her entourage, Binks and his companions fled aboard a Naboo Royal Starship. Despite escaping the Trade Federation's naval blockade, the Royal Starship sustained damage to its hyperdrive, forcing them to land on the desert planet of Tatooine. This marked Binks' first trip off-world. Binks joined the two Jedi and Amidala when they disembarked from the cruiser to visit Mos Espa to obtain parts. They tried to buy the parts from a Toydarian dealer named Watto, but Watto refused to accept their Republic credits.
While returning to their starship, Binks was accosted by a local Dug podracer named Sebulba, who was angered when Binks accidentally ruined his meal by spitting out the leg of a Gorg rather than pay for it. A local human boy named Anakin Skywalker defended Binks and offered the Gungan and his companions shelter at his family home, where he lived with his mother, Shmi, and his protocol droid, C-3PO. Binks and his companions learned that Anakin and his mother were slaves and that the boy wanted to compete in the upcoming Boonta Eve podracing event.
Later, Master Qui-Gon made a bargain with Watto to sell him the parts and free Anakin if the boy won the Boonta Eve race. Qui-Gon also discovered that Anakin was Force-sensitive and decided to train him as a Jedi. Despite a challenging race, Anakin won the Boonta event, and Watto reluctantly supplied the parts and freed Anakin. Binks' trip to Tatooine marked his first encounter with Skywalker. After making the necessary repairs to Queen Amidala's starship, Binks and his traveling companions traveled to the galactic capital, Coruscant. Following a failed attempt to get the Galactic Senate to end the suffering of her people, Amidala turned to Binks, who revealed that the Gungans had a Grand Army.
Armed with this information, Queen Amidala and her Jedi protectors traveled back to Naboo. Binks visited Otoh Gunga only to discover that his people had evacuated to a Sacred Place. After leading them there, Queen Amidala convinced the Gungans to put aside their difference and join forces with the Naboo to oust the Trade Federation's droid army. Boss Nass agreed and subsequently promoted Binks to the position of Bombad General. During the Battle of Naboo, General Binks led his forces against the Federation's droid army at the Great Grass Plains. The droid army overwhelmed Binks' forces and forced them to surrender. However, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory when Skywalker destroyed the Droid Control Ship orbiting Naboo, disabling the Federation's droid forces on Naboo.
Searching for treasure
- "…a treasure mappen! To a sobig powerful Gungan relic? Will you be helpin me find it?"
- ―Jar Jar Binks to Queen Padmé Amidala
Boss Nass sent Binks a map leading to a soshinyday blobball. Binks asked Queen Padmé Amidala to help him collect the blobball. Queen Amidala said that she wished not to intrude into Boss Nass' territory, but Binks replied that it was Boss Nass' idea. Eventually, she joined Binks for the hunt. A few minutes later, Binks and Queen Amidala rode kaadus through a jungle, where they ran into a cluster of slitherfish. They escaped by bringing in light, which frightened slitherfish. When they entered the cave where the blobball was located, they faced many obstacles before reaching the blobball. When Queen Amidala lifted it, a gundark entered and tried to kill them both. Binks screamed, which defeated the gundark because it had keen hearing. They then both delivered the blobball to Boss Nass. When Binks and Queen Amidala arrived, Boss Nass ate it and revealed it was just an old Gungan delicacy.
The Separatist Crisis
- "It's-a clear desa Separatists made a pact wesa desa Federation du Trade. Senators! Dellow felegates! In response to this direct threat to the Republic, mesa propose that the Senate give immediately emergency powers to the Supreme Chancellor!"
- ―Representative Jar Jar Binks
Ten years after the Naboo crisis, Jar Jar Binks had ascended to the position of Representative in the Naboo delegation to the Galactic Senate. In transitioning to his new role, he notably had to learn Diplodialect.
Representative Binks rose to prominence after the now Senator Padmé Amidala was forced into hiding after a series of assassination attempts on Coruscant. At the request of Amidala, Representative Binks agreed to stand in for her in the Senate. In her absence, however, Binks was easily manipulated by more experienced politicians, and as they preyed on his innocence, they convinced him that the creation of a Grand Army of the Republic was a course of action that Amidala would have taken. In fact, the creation of an army was exactly what Amidala had been fighting against. Feeling that it was his duty to act in her stead, he suggested that the Senate give the now Supreme Chancellor Palpatine the emergency powers required to create the Grand Army of the Republic. The motion passed, and soon afterward, with the First Battle of Geonosis, the Clone Wars began.
The Clone Wars
Battle of Mimban
- "Mesa'd being grand proud to, cap'n."
- ―Jar Jar Binks to Rex
Jedi Master Laan Tik was the commander of the Battle of Mimban. When Tik died, Binks took command. Several hours later, Binks saved Clone Captain Rex using Laan Tik's lightsaber. At first, Rex thought it was Laan Tik, but Binks revealed it was him. Rex then took the lightsaber from Binks for safekeeping.
Mission to Toydaria
Following the Separatist invasion of Ryloth, Representative Binks traveled to the planet Toydaria with the Alderaanian Senator Bail Organa to ask King Katuunko for permission to use the planet as a supply staging base for Republic forces to relieve Ryloth. Their negotiations with King Katuunko were complicated by the presence of the Trade Federation's Senator Lott Dod, who convinced the king to deny the Republic access to Toydaria's facilities on the grounds that such military activity would violate the planet's strict policy of neutrality. In private, however, Katuunko was sympathetic to the plight of the Twi'leks of Ryloth and agreed to load Senator Organa's ship with provisions if the Senator could conceal Toydaria's involvement. While Binks distracted Senator Dod during a banquet, Organa loaded his ship with supplies for Ryloth. Following this event, the king announced that he would reconsider his government's policy of neutrality.
Negotiations on Rodia
- "I think Jar Jar's dead, Threepio."
"Oh, not again."
- ―Padmé Amidala and C-3PO
Later, Representative Binks accompanied Senator Amidala and C-3PO on a mission to Rodia to ensure the planet's allegiance to the Republic. Senator Amidala was a close friend of the Rodian Senator Onaconda Farr, whom she referred to affectionately as "Uncle Ono." However, Senator Farr had already made a deal with the Separatist leader Nute Gunray, who offered to deliver food supplies to Rodia in return for securing the planet's allegiance. Senator Amidala was promptly taken prisoner by Gunray, who wanted to execute her.
Binks tried to communicate with some jungle natives, and in response, a fruit was flung at C-3PO. Binks and C-3PO were then attacked by several Separatist B1-series battle droids and a crab droid. While attempting to escape, Binks accidentally destroyed Amidala's yacht with a magnetic crane, ruining their chance to call for help. He donned a Jedi robe Amidala had stored in her back closet, which led the droids to mistake him for a Jedi. While fleeing the Separatist droids, Binks fell down a grate that led to the sea. Meanwhile, C-3PO was captured and thought that Binks had died.
After escaping a Kwazel Maw, Binks attempted to rescue Amidala, only to discover that she had already escaped. Later, Binks caught up with Amidala only to be spotted by a B2-series super battle droid. Fleeing underwater to escape the droid's thermal detonators, he encountered the Kwazel Maw again but managed to befriend the creature, which he nicknamed "Bogey." He and Bogey rescued Senator Amidala and C-3PO and defeated Nute Gunray's battle droids. Shortly, Republic reinforcements arrived on Rodia and arrested Nute Gunray. Senator Farr revealed that his collaboration with the Separatists was only a ruse to trap Gunray. Despite their efforts, Gunray later escaped Republic custody with the aid of the bounty hunter Asajj Ventress and the traitorous Senate Commando Faro Argyus.
Dealing with pirates
- "He's probably going to get himself killed."
"Don't worry. He's smarter than he looks."
- ―A clone trooper and Commander Stone on Jar Jar Binks
After the Separatist leader Count Dooku was captured by a Weequay pirate gang led by Hondo Ohnaka, the Republic agreed to pay a hefty sum as a reward for capturing the Sith Lord. Representative Binks along with the Gran Senator Kharrus were dispatched to the Weequay pirates' lair with a bounty of spice as a ransom for Count Dooku. However, one of the pirates, Turk, decided to deal with the Separatists and shot down the shuttle carrying Binks and Kharrus. The pilots and Kharrus were killed in the ensuing crash, leaving Representative Binks in command of the surviving clone troopers.
Binks and the survivors evaded pursuit by Turk and his men by hiding near several acid geysers. While his clone charges wanted to wait for reinforcements, Binks decided to fight the pirates. He succeeded in taming several skalders and managed to defeat Turk and his pirates. They then made their way to the pirate base, where Commander Stone sent Binks to "negotiate" with the pirates, knowing that his ineptitude would be useful. Before the pirates could take him hostage, Binks managed to ram one of their tanks into another, shutting down their power grid. The Weequays attempted to kill Binks only to be restrained by the clone troopers. During the ensuing blackout, Dooku and the two Jedi Kenobi and Skywalker escaped while Turk was killed.
The Blue Shadow Virus crisis
Following the discovery of several Separatist droids on Naboo, Representative Binks and Senator Amidala along with C-3PO were summoned back to Naboo by Queen Neeyutnee, who demanded that the Republic assist them in eliminating the Separatist presence there. Binks was present when his companions interrogated a captured T-series tactical droid, which had its photoreceptors removed to confuse it. Through C-3PO, Binks and his companions learned that a secret laboratory was producing some sort of virus. Before they could extract any more information, Binks' clumsiness destroyed the droid.
Despite this setback, Binks noticed a blue bug emerging from the tactical droid's body. Deducing that the droids came from the Eastern swamps, Binks and Amidala traveled there to continue their investigation. During their travels, a local Gungan farmer named Peppi Bow attacked them, believing that Binks and his companions were responsible for the deaths of her herd of shaaks. After Amidala convinced Bow that they were not a threat, the farmer informed them that a nearby river was polluted. Binks and his companions then entered a swamp where they found a secret hatch.
They were captured by several Separatist battle droids led by a Faust scientist named Nuvo Vindi. He revealed that the Separatists had a secret laboratory on Naboo and that he had been developing an airborne version of the deadly Blue Shadow Virus. Binks and his companions were later rescued by the Jedi Obi-Wan, Skywalker, and his new Padawan Ahsoka Tano, who overpowered Dr. Vindi and his droids. During the struggle, Binks and Amidala stopped one of Dr. Vindi's droids from escaping into Naboo, thus containing the Blue Shadow Virus within his secret bunker.
Despite Dr. Vindi's capture, one of his servant droids hid one of the virus bombs and released the virus throughout the facility. The Jedi and the clone troopers locked down the facility, preventing the virus from spreading to the rest of Naboo. While Anakin and Kenobi traveled to the planet Iego to find the antidote reeksa root, Binks, Amidala, Ahsoka, and the clone troopers stayed behind to trap Dr. Vindi's remaining droids and to prevent them from reaching the surface. During the fighting, Amidala accidentally ripped her envirosuit while tackling Jar Jar to save him from blaster fire, exposing herself to the virus. Fortunately for Binks and his companions, Anakin and Kenobi returned with the antidote. Binks and his companions survived their ordeal in Dr. Vindi's laboratory.
War on Mon Cala
Following the assassination of the Mon Calamari King Yos Kolina, tensions broke out between the Mon Calamari and Quarren species, the two dominant species of the ocean world of Mon Cala. The Quarrens regarded Kolina's successor, Prince Lee-Char, as too inexperienced to rule. The Separatist ambassador, the Karkarodon Riff Tamson, stirred up trouble between the Mon Calamari and Quarren. In response, the Republic sent Senator Amidala and the two Jedi Skywalker and Kit Fisto to mediate between the two parties. With Separatist backing, the Quarren overthrew the Mon Cala Government and waged war against the Mon Calamari and their Republic allies.
The Republic was unable to commit sufficient Clone SCUBA troopers to Mon Cala and decided to dispatch Master Kenobi to seek the help of the Gungans, an amphibious species with a Grand Army. At Kenobi's urging, Binks convinced the Gungan High Council to send the Grand Army to relieve Republic forces on Mon Cala. Binks and the Gungan reinforcements arrived just in time to render valuable aid to Skywalker, Amidala, and Lee-Char. However, the Separatist Commander Tamson counterattacked by using his Trident-class assault ships to create whirlpools, which disoriented the Gungan forces. During the fighting, Binks and the Gungan reinforcements were captured by Tamson's Separatist forces.
Following their defeat, Representative Binks along with Skywalker, Amidala, and Kit Fisto were brought before Commander Tamson, who interrogated them about the whereabouts of Prince Lee-Char. During the interrogation, Tamson cracked Amidala's faceplate, but Binks was able to seal it by spitting slimy mucus onto her faceplate, which was generated by his Gungan physiology. Meanwhile, Prince Lee-Char and Anakin's Padawan Ahsoka succeeded in freeing the Mon Calamari prisoners and convincing the Mon Calamari and Quarrens to work together to drive out the Separatist invaders. During the ensuing battle, Binks and the other prisoners were rescued while Tamson was killed by Lee-Char. Following the fighting, Lee-Char was recognized as the new King of Mon Cala by both the Mon Calamari and Quarren species.
Strife on Naboo
As the Clone Wars dragged on, tensions grew between the Gungans and Naboo's human population due to rumors that the Gungans were planning to aid a Separatist invasion of the planet. Tensions further escalated when the ruling Boss Lyonie announced that the Gungan Grand Army would march on Theed, the Naboo's capital. In response to escalating tensions, Representative Binks arranged to rendezvous with his old friends Senator Amidala and the Jedi Knight Skywalker at Paonga. From there, they traveled to Otoh Gunga to confront Lyonie. Skywalker discovered that Lyonie was being controlled by a mind-control necklace that had been given by his new Minister Rish Loo, who was secretly in cahoots with Count Dooku.
During a confrontation between Lyonie, the Jedi, and Loo, Binks accidentally donned Lyonie's crown of office, causing Amidala and Skywalker to note his striking resemblance to the Boss. Skywalker then hatched a plan to use Binks, disguised as Boss Lyonie, to command the Grand Army to call off their attack on Theed. Skywalker's plan work, but Loo managed to escape. Shortly, a Separatist landing craft arrived and addressed Binks, believing him to be Boss Lyonie and thinking that everything was going according to Dooku's plan. Forced to maintain his role, Binks and his old friend General Tarpals boarded the ship to "coordinate the attack" only to discover that the Separatist commander was the cyborg General Grievous.
Flustered and terrified, Jar Jar Binks stalled for time while dispatching Tarpals to inform Amidala of Grievous' presence. At Amidala's advice, the two agreed to shut down the General's droid forces and capture him. Grievous quickly deduced that Lyonie was an impostor but the two Gungans succeeded in disabling the Separatist droid army. The Gungans then attacked Grievous and managed to capture him following a fierce struggle that ended with the death of Tarpals, Binks' best friend. However, the Gungans were forced to release General Grievous after Count Dooku succeeded in luring Skywalker into a trap and holding him ransom. Despite this setback, Binks was praised by both Boss Lyonie and Queen Neeyutnee for restoring peace between the Gungans and the Naboo.
Mission to Bardotta
Following the near civil war on Naboo, Representative Jar Jar Binks was called upon by the Galactic Republic to deal with a new crisis on the planet Bardotta. Several Dagoyan Masters had mysteriously disappeared. There was a prophecy that if the Masters were not returned, a great darkness would descend on the planet. Distrusting the Jedi Order for inducting Bardottan children, Queen Julia had requested a special meeting with Binks to discuss the crisis. Despite the queen's request that Binks travel to Bardotta alone, the Jedi Master Mace Windu suspected something was afoot and accompanied Binks by posing as his servant.
Binks met with the queen, but she was kidnapped during the meeting. In response, the remaining Dagoyan Masters convened the Bahk-tov Council, where High Seneschal Peteen informed them of a prophecy that if the queen was not found within three rotations, she would be gone forever and an era of darkness would descend on the galaxy. Binks and Windu also learned from another Council member named Savatte that the prophecy originated from the malevolent Frangawl Cult, whose shrine to the demon Malmourral was underneath the Dagoyan temple. While exploring the catacombs below the temple, Binks was captured by a Frangawl cultist, who blew a glowing powder into his face which temporarily made him invisible.
The cult members placed Binks in a cage suspended above a lava pit, where he found the other captured Dagoyan masters, who informed him that they were to be sacrificed to Malmourral. Binks managed to contact Master Windu with his comlink and transmit his location. However, the Frangawl cult leader discovered it and had it destroyed. Binks also encountered Julia, who revealed that the Frangawl cultists were stealing the Force from the Dagoyan masters. The Frangawl cultists then attempted to sacrifice Binks. However, Master Windu arrived and managed to fight off the cult members and free Binks. However, the cult leader escaped the planet with the queen in a starship. In response, Binks vowed to rescue Queen Julia with the help of Master Windu.
While traveling through space, Binks recounted to Master Windu how he had witnessed the cultists sacrificing one of the Dagoyan Masters and extracting the Living Force from his body, which they stored inside a living sphere. Based on this information, Windu deduced that the cultists would extract the Living Force from Queen Julia and used his Force powers to track her. Their travels took them to a market square on the moon Zardossa Stix. Amidst the crowd, Binks caught up with the screaming Julia but found himself cornered by several of the cultists. Binks managed to flee his pursuers and tried to pursue the group with the captive queen. During the ensuing chaos, Windu saved Binks from being gunned down by a cultist armed with an EWHB-12 heavy repeating blaster.
Continuing their pursuit, Binks and Windu were set upon by an animal trainer and his two gundarks. During the fray, the trainer relieved Windu of his lightsaber using his whip. Binks then punched the trainer and retrieved the lightsaber with his tongue, and returned it to the Jedi Master. Windu managed to stun one of the gundarks and kill the other. Binks continued the pursuit, but the cultists escaped in two speeders. After questioning the trainer, Binks and Windu continued their rescue mission on an eopie and dalgo. Meanwhile, the cultists arrived at a Zardossan temple, where they were joined by the Nightsister Mother Talzin, who wanted to sacrifice Queen Julia in order to steal her Force energy.
After tangling with the temple's stone guardians, Windu and Binks stormed the temple. While Windu and Mother Talzin fought, Binks used one of the stone guardians' weapons to blast the cult members and to free Queen Julia from her bonds. While Binks grappled with the cult leader, the planets aligned and a beam of energy blasted through a series of lenses. While the cult leader was killed by the blast of energy, Julia pushed Binks out of harm's way. The Force sphere fell from its pedestal and shattered, releasing a powerful explosion. Binks along with Windu and Julia survived this explosion and escaped the temple. Following her rescue, Queen Julia thanked Binks and Windu and expressed hope that these events would lead to a better understanding between the Bardottans and the Jedi.
Fall of the Republic
During the last days of the Galactic Republic, Jar Jar Binks continued to serve as the Gungan Representative on the Naboo delegation. Following the Battle of Coruscant, Binks was among the many politicians who greeted Chancellor Palpatine after he had been successfully rescued by Kenobi and Skywalker. Later, Binks was present in the Chancellor's office along with the rest of the senators when they presented the Petition of 2,000 to Palpatine and Anakin, acting as his personal bodyguard.
Binks was present in the Galactic Senate Chamber when Palpatine transformed the Galactic Republic into the first Galactic Empire, thus changing the Galactic Senate into the Imperial Senate. Following the death of his colleague and close friend Senator Amidala, Binks was among the chief mourners attending her funeral, along with Boss Nass.
Age of the Empire
During the occupation of Mon Cala, the Jedi Padawan Ferren Barr had his droid Endee show a holographic image of a list of files compiled in his previous exploits. Among these was a file on Binks that was placed directly under a file for Darth Plagueis and above the file for Amidala.
New Republic era
- "Desa hisen Naboo tink I help the uh-oh Empire. My no know."
"I don't think you helped the Empire. Maybe you just don't belong anywhere, like me."
- ―Jar Jar Binks and Mapo on Theed during the Galactic Civil War
Because of his role in abetting the rise of the Empire, Binks was once again exiled by his people. After the Battle of Endor and the rise of the New Republic, he performed in the streets of Theed as a clown who was popular with children but not so much with their parents. Many Gungan and Naboo adults refused to speak to him or say his name. Binks entertained the children by performing numerous antics including wagging his tongue, juggling glombo shells, spitting fish up in the air and catching them, dancing around, and swallowing and flushing out water through his ears.
In 5 ABY, Binks encountered a young refugee boy named Mapo while performing in Theed's Plaza of the Catalan. Mapo was a charge at a nearby orphanage who had been badly burned after the Empire had bombed his home on the fuel depot Golus Station. Due to hideous burns, Mapo found few people who were willing to talk to him, let alone adopt him. After Binks caught a pik-pok fish with his long tongue, he asked the boy where he came from. Mapo related how he had lost his parents during the Imperial bombardment of Golus Station. Taking pity on the boy, Binks did another trick by swallowing water and spraying it out through his ears.
When Mapo told Binks that nobody talked to him, Binks revealed that he was an outcast because many Gungans and Naboo believed he had helped the Empire. A sympathetic Mapo opined that he did not think that Binks had aided the Empire, and suggested that they were both outcasts. While Binks appeared to accept his fate, Mapo pointed out that he had a low chance of being adopted due to his disfigurement. When Mapo suggested that the two could go nowhere together, Binks replied that that was a "bombad"—or great—idea. When Mapo asked Binks if he could teach him to be a clown, Binks gratefully accepted Mapo's request and the boy's friendship.
- "Speaking of Naboo sardine fritters, did you know that Senator Jar Jar Binks and Lord Vader were the same person?"
Personality and traits
- "What is to become of Jar Jar Binks here?"
"Hisen to be pune-ished."
"I saved his life. He owes me what you call a life debt. Your gods demand that his life belongs to me now."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn and Boss Nass on the fate of Jar Jar Binks
Jar Jar Binks was often regarded by his peers as clumsy and annoying, traits that led many people to deride and underestimate him. His clumsiness led to his banishment from his home city of Otoh Gunga. On another occasion, his tendency to grab food with his tongue got him into trouble with a local bully on Tatooine named Sebulba. Despite these flaws, Binks was also capable of being brave, loyal, and dependable. Binks played an important role in turning the tide of the Invasion of Naboo by helping Queen Amidala to win the support of the Gungans in driving out the Trade Federation invaders. Due to his role in the Battle of Naboo, the former Gungan outcast won much respect among both his people and the Naboo.
Despite his good and humble nature, Binks was naïve and easily manipulated. Chancellor Palpatine exploited Binks' naïvety by convincing him to support the creation of a Grand Army of the Republic, which enabled Palpatine to destroy the Jedi Order and to establish the first Galactic Empire. Binks was also good at making friends, as shown by his friendship with Master Qui-Gon Jinn and in winning over a Kwazel Maw called "Bogey" during a mission on Rodia. On other occasions, Binks was able to use his humble, unassuming nature to outsmart stronger foes.
Binks was also dependable in the most challenging of situations. On one occasion, Binks displayed courage when he impersonated Boss Lyonie during a mission to stop the Separatists from turning the Gungans against the Naboo. Later, Binks displayed much courage, loyalty, and endurance when he and Mace Windu took part in a dangerous mission to rescue his friend Queen Julia of Bardotta from the malevolent Frangawl Cult. Binks' actions helped restore relations between the Jedi Order and the Bardottans.
Due to his role in aiding the rise of the Galactic Empire, Binks was ostracized by many Gungans and Naboo after the Battle of Endor. While not comprehending the gravity of the situation, Binks was vaguely aware of the reasons he had been ostracized. Binks was popular with refugee children due to his funny antics and a good sense of humor. Binks found an unlikely friend in the form of the disfigured refugee boy Mapo, who was one of the few people willing to speak to him. After Mapo opined that Binks was not to blame for helping the Empire, the Gungan gratefully accepted the boy's request to receive training to be a clown.
Skills and abilities
- "Can you teach me to be a clown, too?"
"Bein clowning is bombad, too. My teaching yousa, pallo. Wesa maken the whole galaxy smilin, huh?"
- ―Mapo and Binks; the latter found redemption in his work as a street performer and clown
As a Gungan, Jar Jar Binks was capable of living comfortably both on land and underwater. He had a long tongue which he used for grabbing food and other objects. Binks also knew how to pilot a bongo sub and had a good navigational knowledge of Naboo's watery core. While Binks was not a skilled fighter, he was courageous, loyal, and dependable under even the most difficult circumstances. On one occasion, he used his slime to seal Senator Amidala's damaged faceplate during a mission to Mon Cala, saving her from drowning in the oceans of that watery planet. Binks was also good at communicating with animals, as shown when he tamed several skalders, beasts of burden which provided him and his clone trooper comrades with transportation.
Following the Battle of Endor, Binks was cast out by the Gungans and ostracized by the Naboo. Homeless, Binks found work in Theed as a clown and street performer. Binks' funny antics and acrobatic exercises in a water fountain made him popular with refugee children.
Behind the scenes
Jar Jar Binks was played by Ahmed Best in the prequel trilogy. Viewer response to the character in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace was deeply negative: Best stated the criticism "hurt me emotionally and it was hard to take at the time, [although] it wasn't debilitating for me. I just put my shoes on and went back to work." In response to the negativity, George Lucas jokingly titled the first draft of Episode II Jar Jar's Great Adventure.
Because of the negative criticism that the character received in both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, during the development of Revenge of the Sith Ahmed Best recommended George Lucas kill off Jar Jar by having Anakin Skywalker hack him to pieces. Although Lucas rejected Best's idea, Jar Jar's role in the finished film was reduced to just a cameo with two lines. According to Best, there was going to be a scene in which Palpatine thanked Binks for granting him the emergency powers that allowed him to take over the galaxy, but it was deleted from the final cut.
Jar Jar's fate following the events of the prequels was finally revealed in 2017 when Binks made a cameo appearance in Chuck Wendig's novel Aftermath: Empire's End, the final installment of The Aftermath Trilogy, which is set after the events of Return of the Jedi. According to book reviewer and author Chris Taylor, Binks' popularity with children and ostracism by adult Naboo and Gungans was a subtle commentary on the polarized attitudes towards the character within the Star Wars fan community.
In late October 2015, a Reddit user by the name of "Lumpawarroo" speculated that Binks was originally written as a major antagonist of the series, as Darth Jar Jar, and a prominent collaborator with Sheev Palpatine, before being redacted from the villain's role due to the character's initial (and ongoing) negative reception. The post quickly became viral and received significant media coverage internationally by independent bloggers and major news outlets like Forbes, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The New York Times that included analysis of his actions during The Phantom Menace. After the speculation went viral, Ahmed Best tweeted his thoughts on how it "feels good" when the truth comes out.
- "These men have prejudice deep within their hearts, For looking upon me, they see savagery. A 'native,' 'local,' 'piteous,' 'buffoon'; With such dark slurs they slander my whole race."
- ―Jar Jar Binks
In William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First, Jar Jar Binks was portrayed as a wise character who played the role of the clown publicly to those such as the Jedi to mask his cunning insights regarding culture and politics. He was cast out from Gungan society for his radical opinions regarding uniting the Gungan culture with that of the humans of Naboo, but maintained to Qui-Gon Jinn that he was ejected due to being "clumsy." While he played the role of the fool, his frequent asides revealed his true nature and his contempt for those who would to his face refer to him using terms such as "native" or "buffoon." Despite this, he joined with the Jedi in the hopes of obtaining the greater understanding between the two cultures which he sought.
In the LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales episode "Exit from Endor," Jar Jar Binks is swept into space during the escape from Naboo. Later, in "Gambit on Geonosis," he is seen floating outside the Second Death Star.
- Disney Infinity 3.0
- William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First
- William Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh: Star Wars Part the Second
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Exit from Endor" (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Gambit on Geonosis" (Appears in flashback(s))
Notes and references
- Jar Jar Binks on Wikipedia