Jar Jar Binks was the first Gungan to represent his people in the Galactic Senate, first serving as a Junior Representative along with Senator Padmé Amidala, and then, after her death, serving as full Senator himself. Like most Gungans, Jar Jar was lanky and spoke Basic with a unique accent. Despite being naïve and clumsy, Jar Jar Binks contributed greatly to the fate of the Galactic Republic, both for good and ill. He was a General, Representative, and later a Senator.
Jar Jar was also one of Qui-Gon Jinn's companions during the Invasion of Naboo, traveling to distant worlds such as Tatooine and Coruscant, an activity not taken up by many Gungans. On his return to Naboo, He served as a General for a short while in the Gungan Grand Army, and was a joint commander of the Battle of Grassy Plains with General Ceel. Binks later helped his people colonize the nearby Naboo moon Ohma-D'un. During his career as Junior Representative, he acted as Amidala's proxy and proposed giving Supreme Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers in order to deal with the Separatist Crisis. Binks continued his public service even after the death of Amidala, taking her place as Senator.
Behind the scenesEdit
Jar Jar Binks is a fictional character from the Star Wars films The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. His primary role was to provide comic relief. Jar Jar was voiced by Ahmed Best. He is almost completely computer generated, and is a Gungan from the planet Naboo.
Upon 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 (New York Times) considered to be inherent creative flaws of the film. The character was widely rejected and often ridiculed by sections of the series' hardcore fanbase, who felt that Jar Jar was clearly 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 unnecessary scenes featuring Jar Jar Binks. The character of Jar Jar Binks was also lampooned on an episode of the television show South Park entitled "Jackovasaurus" 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 fans have also objected to what is perceived as excessive commercialization directed at young children in the Star Wars series (a criticism first levelled with the introduction of Ewoks). 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."
Additionally, 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. After that, the issue was dropped.
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 writes that many aspects of Jar Jar's character are highly reminiscent of the archetypes portrayed in blackface minstrelsy, while others have suggested that the character is a "laid-back clown character" representing a black Caribbean stereotype.
- Collection of negative Jar Jar comments from major media sources.
- Star Wars Episode I in the Internet Movie Database
- Ahmed Best at the Internet Movie Database