Jar Jar Binks
|Jar Jar Binks|
|Star Wars character|
|Portrayed by||Ahmed Best (voice, motion capture, some body close-ups, the films, video games, and episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
BJ Hughes (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 2008 series)
|Position||General in the Gungan Grand Army, Representative of the Gungan race, Senator of Chommell Sector (substituting for Padmé Amidala)|
|Affiliation||Gungan Grand Army, Galactic Republic, Galactic Senate, Delegation of 2000, Galactic Empire, Imperial Senate, New Republic|
Jar Jar Binks is a fictional character from the Star Wars saga created by George Lucas. He appears in the films Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in which he was portrayed by Ahmed Best in most of his appearances. His primary role was to provide comic relief for Episode I, which generally met with negative comments from both critics and viewers. Jar Jar was voiced by Ahmed Best, and was almost completely computer generated.
Jar Jar Binks first appears in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as a bumbling, annoying, foolish Gungan from the planet Naboo. Banished by his tribe through Boss Rugor Nass for his clumsiness, he is nearly killed by a Federation transport, only to be saved at the last minute by Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Qui-Gon and his padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), persuade Jar Jar's tribe to release him to their custody as a guide. He later goes with the Jedi and Queen Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) to the planet Tatooine, where he meets and befriends Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd).
Jar Jar later appears in the film's climactic battle scene, where he leads his fellow Gungans, as a general in the Gungan army, in defeating the Trade Federation. For his boxing prowess, Padmé gives him a ceremonial medal.
Jar Jar's role in Attack of the Clones is much smaller, but his actions are significant. Ten years after helping to save his planet, he is a delegate to the Galactic Senate and as such, plays a role in bringing his old friends, Obi-Wan and Anakin (Hayden Christensen) back to Coruscant, where he greets them with enthusiasm. Later, on the behalf of the Naboo, he gives a speech to the assembled Senate in favor of granting Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) vast emergency powers. This action gives Palpatine the necessary power he needs to subsequently overthrow the senate and bring the galaxy into the dictatorial control of the Sith's Galactic Empire.
Jar Jar appears in only a few scenes in Revenge of the Sith, and has no dialogue (besides a brief "'scuse me" at one point). He was originally given some dialogue in the beginning, but this was cut. He is most prominently featured in Padmé Amidala's funeral procession at the end of the film.
It has been claimed that in the final/celebration scene of the special edition DVD version of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Jar Jar can be heard shouting, "We'sah free!" over the rooftops of the large celebrations happening on Naboo after hearing the death of Palpatine at the hands of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker who fulfills the prophecy as the chosen one and the defeat of the Empire. However, sound designer Matthew Wood has stated in an interview with the Forcecast that it was he, rather than Ahmed Best, who provided the voice for the line, and that in the script it was attributed to a generic celebrating Gungan, not specifically Jar Jar.
Jar Jar Binks is a supporting character in the animated series The Clone Wars, once again voiced by Best, although BJ Hughes voiced the character in a handful of season one episodes. In this series, he is a Senate representative who accompanies the main characters—Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, and Padmé—on their adventures. He and master Mace Windu have an adventure of their own, where they had to search for missing elders and rescue a princess, who was Jar Jar's past love.
Even before the release of The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar Binks became the subject of a great deal of media and popular attention, though not in the way his creators intended. Binks became symbolic of what many reviewers such as Brent Staples (The New York Times), David Edelstein (Slate), and Eric Harrison (Los Angeles Times) considered to be creative flaws of the film. The character was widely rejected and often ridiculed by people who felt that Jar Jar was included in the film solely to appeal to children. One fan, Mike J. Nichols, created and distributed, free of charge, a modified version of the film, entitled The Phantom Edit, which cut out several scenes featuring what Nichols dubbed 'Jar Jar antics.' The character was also lampooned on an episode of the television show South Park entitled "Jakovasaurs", in The Fairly OddParents (Episode: "Abra-Catastrophe!"), The Simpsons (Episode: "Co-Dependent's Day"), as well as the parody Star Wars episodes of Robot Chicken, in which Best reprised the role in voice-over form.
Along with film critics, many have also accused the film's creators of excessive commercialization directed at young children (a criticism first leveled with the introduction of Ewoks in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi). Star Wars creator George Lucas stated that he feels there is a section of the fanbase who get upset with aspects of Star Wars because "[t]he movies are for children but they don't want to admit that... There is a small group of fans that do not like comic sidekicks. They want the films to be tough like The Terminator, and they get very upset and opinionated about anything that has anything to do with being childlike." Rob Coleman, who was the lead on the Industrial Light & Magic animation team, warned Lucas that the team thought Jar Jar's character came across poorly. Lucas told him that he specifically put Jar Jar in the film to appeal to small children twelve or under.
Allegations of racial caricature
Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal described the character as a "Rastafarian Stepin Fetchit on platform hoofs, crossed annoyingly with Butterfly McQueen." Patricia J. Williams suggested that many aspects of Jar Jar's character are highly reminiscent of the archetypes portrayed in blackface minstrelsy, while others have suggested the character is a "laid-back clown character" representing a black Caribbean stereotype. George Lucas has denied any racist implications.
Video game appearance
- According to Jar Jar's profile, he will appear in The Clone Wars.
- Lucas, George. "Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith Script". IMSDb. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- Staples, Brent (June 20, 1999), "Shuffling Through Star Wars", The New York Times: WK4
- Edelstein, David (May 19, 1999), "Dark Side Lite", Slate, archived from the original on March 6, 2000
- Harrison, Eric (June 21, 1999), "Even an Insider Found Jar Jar, Well, Jarring", Los Angeles Times: F6
- Harrison, Eric (May 26, 1999), "A Galaxy Far, Far Off Racial Mark?", Los Angeles Times: F1
- O'Ehley, James, Jar Jar Binks Must Die!, retrieved 2008-08-09
- Robot Chicken: Star Wars at the Internet Movie Database
- "Star Wars: Lucas strikes back". BBC News. 14 July 1999. Retrieved 2007-02-07.
- Even Some At Lucasfilm Hated Jar Jar, IMDB Studio briefing, 1999-06-21, Retrieved on 2007-03-13.
- Morgenstern, Joe (May 19, 1999), "Our Inner Child Meets Young Darth", The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition): A20
- Patricia J. Williams: "Racial Ventriloquism". The Nation. June 17, 1999. Archived from the original on September 20, 2006. Retrieved June 11, 2006.
- Ford, Paul J. (2001), "A further analysis of the ethics of representation in virtual reality: Multi-user environments", Ethics and Information Technology (Kluwer Academic Publishers) 3 (2): 113–121, doi:10.1023/A:1011846009390.
- Okwu, Michael (June 14, 1999). "Jar Jar jarring". CNN. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- Thomas, Emma (November 6, 2013). "‘This is the Star Wars we deserved’: Fans’ joy at leaked deleted scene that shows Jar-Jar Binks DIE in The Phantom Menace". Daily Mail. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jar Jar Binks|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jar Jar Binks.|
- Jar Jar Binks in the Official StarWars.com Encyclopedia
- Jar Jar Binks quotes from IMDB
- Star Wars Episode I in the Internet Movie Database
- Ahmed Best at the Internet Movie Database
- Collection of negative Jar Jar comments from major media sources.
- Jar Jar Binks on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki