The 6 Times Jar Jar Binks Was Totally Awesome
I don’t hate the Star Wars prequels. There, I said it. I’m not ashamed of it. I saw all three of them in the theaters and enjoyed the experience each time. Those movies have awesome lightsaber battles, cool spaceships, and they really flesh out the whole Jedi/Sith mythology.
I also don’t have any problem with Jar Jar Binks.
Everybody hates Jar Jar Binks. It’s fashionable to hate Jar Jar Binks. But you know what, I never have. I didn’t mind him in The Phantom Menace, and I don’t mind him now. Granted, I totally understand what people don’t like about him and the prequels. I get it, I really do. But me, personally? I don’t mind Jar Jar at all.
In fact, there are at least six occasions in the official Star Wars cannon where Jar Jar Binks is totally awesome! Don’t believe me? Join me after the jump!
6. That time he brought government representation to his people
No taxation without representation! Do you know who said that? Baby America! And it’s just as important on the planet Naboo as it is here on Earth. Did you know that Jar Jar Binks was the first representative of the Gungan people to sit on the Intergalactic Senate? Jar Jar doesn’t make many appearances after The Phantom Menace, but when he does show up, that cat is a full-on senator! For the first time in the history of his people, the Gungans are rising up from the ocean depths and joining the rest of the galaxy, all because of the diplomatic prowess of Senator Binks.
5. That time he engineered global peace for his people
Speaking of diplomatic prowess, Jar Jar also oversaw peace in his time. The Gungans were a largely isolationist society when we meet them in The Phantom Menace, a position they had held for countless centuries. The human natives of Naboo looked down upon the Gungans, the two societies keeping to themselves. But through Jar Jar Binks, the two great kingdoms finally came together in peace and unity. Jar Jar made it possible, bringing together Queen Amidala and Boss Nass. That big parade at the end of Phantom Menace wasn’t just about defeating the Trade Federation, it was about bringing planet-wide peace to the divergent races of Naboo. No wonder they made him a Senator.
4. That time he took out a tank with his bare hands
Jar Jar Binks may be a bumbling goof, but he became a general of the Gungan Grand Army by the end of The Phantom Menace. That’s no minor matter. Jar Jar led his people into battle against the superior forces of the Trade Federation’s droid army. And while he mostly spent his time on the battlefield bumbling around — as he is wont to do — Jar Jar Binks also takes out an entire tank single-handedly. Binks jumps onto the top of the tank, uses a boomer to disabled the pilot, then hangs from the cannon barrel, his weight causing the hover tank to turn and crash into the ground! Watch the scene again, that totally happens.
And as it turns out, Jar Jar Binks would become the mortal enemy of all tanks. He goes on to take out several during a battle with pirates during the Clone Wars TV series, which is definitely still part of official canon.
3. That time he helped defeat General Grievous
Speaking of the Clone Wars, one of the vilest, most powerful villains in the entire war is the robotic General Grievous. You may remember him from Revenge of the Sith, when he escapes a crashing spaceship while it’s still in space! And where it takes no less than Obi-Wan Kenobi to defeat him — and Kenobi got lucky! But did you also know that Grievous was defeated once before, by Jar Jar and the Gungans?
In one of the most epic battles of the entire show, Grievous and Separatist spies have invaded Naboo in an attempt to turn the humans and Gungans against one another. But Jar Jar and his allies see through the trap and turn the tables, leading to an amazing, rain-soaked battle between Grievous and Gungan General Tarpals. Remember him from the final battle in The Phantom Menace? Ever wonder what happened to that guy?
He went one-on-one with General Grievous and sacrificed his life to ensure the villain’s defeat!
Jar Jar and a host of other Gungans are watching from the side, and when Tarpals makes his sacrificial play, he calls out to Jar Jar to strike the next blow. Sure enough, our hero leads his people into hurling boomers at Grievous, incapacitating him and taking him prisoner. Now, I may not be a Clone Wars historian, but I’m pretty sure the only time Grievous was ever taken prisoner by the Republic during the war was when Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans took him down.
2. That time he led his people to help liberate an entire planet
Speaking of Jar Jar Binks leading his people during the war, this is one of my all-time favorite moments from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Let me set the scene for you: the Jedi and the Republic have been called to the planet Mon Cala, home of Adirmal Ackbar, to help turn the tides of civil war. The Republic are backing the Mon Calamari, while the evil Separatists have sided with the Quarren. The Separatists fight dirty, with overwhelming weaponry and numbers, and soon the Jedi and the young king Lee-Char are imprisoned. The Quarren and the Separatists are going to round up the Mon Calamari people and force them into slavery.
Heroes outnumbered, army decimated, water planet…who are you gonna call? The freakin’ Gungan Grand Army, of course! Skip ahead to 35:00 in the video below.
Like fish angels from Heaven, this mighty army rains down upon the oceans of Mon Cala, filling the waves with pro-Republic forces. There were no Clone Troopers available to help, especially since they would need aquatic gear. So Yoda and the Jedi Council turn to the Gungans to help. At first, the new Gungan Boss hesitates at the request, but then Jar Jar stands up and tells him that the time for thinking has passed, and that the Republic needs their help. The Boss immediately changes his mind and orders the Grand Army into battle!
It’s glorious. And you can see that scene at 28:40.
1. That time he doomed the galaxy
I like to think this moment was George Lucas snickering in the face of all the Jar Jar haters. It’s the moment at the end of Attack of the Clones when Jar Jar Binks rises in the Senate and makes the motion to grant supreme executive power to Chancellor Palpatine, kicking off the Clone Wars and, eventually, the Empire. Jar Jar Binks does that. He makes the first fateful move in creating the freakin’ Empire!
This is what the politics of The Phantom Menace were building towards. Everybody complains about having to sit through senate hearings, but those are crucial to show us that Palpatine’s plan to seize power wasn’t about fighting or force (lower case). Palpatine became the Emperor through shrewd manipulation and politics. He became Emperor by making it something the people wanted to happen. That’s how you keep power.
It’s like Amadala says: “This is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.”
That’s how a true badass takes power. And little old, annoying Jar Jar Binks played a crucial role in making that happen.
Though he probably regretted it later.
Posted on July 22, 2015, in Lists of Six!, Movies, Star Wars and tagged Attack of the Clones, Jar Jar Binks, Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars Prequels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Phantom Menace. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.