Jar Jar Binks looking scared

Jar Jar Binks

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Jar Jar Binks is a fictional character introduced in the Star Wars prequel trilogy as a Gungan, an amphibious life form from the planet Naboo. The character was poorly received by fans of the franchise, with many speculating he was created solely to appeal to younger audiences. In October 2015, a fan theory began circulating online that Binks was secretely a Sith Lord who would be revealed in the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


On May 19th, 1999, the film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, in which Binks is introduced as a clumsy alien humanoid from the planet Naboo, who is saved by Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn after being banished from his tribe. Binks went on to appear in the prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, where he becomes a politician and famously delivers a speech to the Galactic Senate granting Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers.


On March 31st, 2011, the Improv Everywhere uploaded a fake prank video in which a man wearing a Jar Jar Binks mask is assaulted on a subway train (shown below, left). On February 16th, 2013, YouTuber Tim Fryer uploaded a montage of Star Wars clips titled "The Worst of Jar Jar Binks," featuring the "Trololo" song playing in the background (shown below, right).

On November 5th, YouTuber withmorten2 posted a clip from The Phantom Menace edited to appear as if Binks dies (shown below, left). Within three years, the video gained more than 2.8 million views and 3,200 comments. On April 27th, 2015, YouTuber murdockmotion uploaded a parody version of The Force Awakens trailer titled "Star Wars: The Binks Awakens" (shown below, right). Within eight months, the video received upwards of 1.6 million ivews and 770 comments.

Allegations of Racial Caricature

As well as the negative reception from fans of the Star Wars movies, Joe Morgenstern, a writer for The Wall Street Journal, described Jar Jar as "Rastafarian Stepin Fetchit on platform hoofs, crossed annoyingly with Butterfly McQueen." Patricia Williams, a proponent of critical race theory, considered Jar Jar reminiscent to the portrayals of blackface. On June 14th, 2009, CNN[1] published an article about the character, which reported that Lucasfilm and Ahmed Best had denied racist claims against the character. On January 3rd, 2015, the YouTube channel Nerdgasm Channel uploaded a video detailing the reasoning behind whether Jar Jar could be considered a racial caricature (shown below).

Sith Lord Theory

On October 30th, 2015, Redditor Lumpawarroo submitted a post to the /r/StarWars[2] proposing that Binks is actually a "trained Force user" and "Sith collaborator" who would be revealed as an antagonist in the upcoming film The Force Awakens. The theory connects specific events in the prequel trilogy to make the case that Binks was working with Darth Sidious. Within two months, the post gained over 37,130 votes (98% upvoted) and 6,500 comments. Several YouTubers subsequently created videos explaining the theory (shown below). On December 7th, The Force Awakens producer Kathleen Kennedy confirmed in a news conference that Binks would not appear in the upcoming film.[3]

Appearance on Drudge Report

On February 2nd, 2017, conservative blog Drudge Report[4] ran an image on their front page of missiles being launched. In the image, a there is a small picture of Jar Jar Binks among the missiles' smoke.


The image was taken from a 2008 post on the blog "WhatTheCrap"[5] that was mocking Iran's hoax photo of a missile launch that year. It's unclear if the image is used intentionally or not, though several media outlets including Gizmodo,[6] The Verge,[7] Mediaite,[8] and more reported it as a blunder. As of 3:15 the same day, Drudge Report still had the image on the front page.

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