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Jar Jar Binks
Biographical information
Homeworld

Naboo[1]

Born

52 BBY (17BrS)[2], Naboo

Physical description
Species

Otolla Gungan[1]

Gender

Male[1]

Height

1.96 meters[3]

Hair color

None[1]

Eye color

Orange[1]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)

Rise of the Empire era[4]

Affiliation
"I feel that there is more to you than meets the eye, Jar Jar Binks."
―Padmé Amidala[src]

General, Representative, and later Senator, 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 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, Binks 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. He also later helped his people colonize the nearby Naboo moon Ohma-D'un. During Binks's 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.

Biography

Early life

Young Jar Jar
A young Jar Jar with his father, George.

Born to George R. Binks and his wife in Otoh Gunga, Jar Jar was raised in his family traditions to be a great whaler as his ancestors had been for hundreds of years. Due to his clumsiness and ineptitude, however, Jar Jar was never able to become what his father had wanted him to be. Once, while on an expedition to hunt a whale in the southernmost seas of Naboo, George ordered his son to hold the wheel steady; Jar Jar, however, let go. This caused their ship to crash into the whale which resulted in the ship sinking to the bottom of the ocean.[7]

A month later, George, his wife, and Jar Jar were all stranded on a desert island. This caused George to lament over what could have been; he called his son an imbecile and attempted to commit suicide. When Jar Jar offered to swim for help—a task which would have taken fifty years if it was possible at all—George first called him a fool, telling him that he would be eaten within a day, but then had a moment of clarity and told him that it was a good idea. Jar Jar was about to jump into the water when George's wife reprimanded him and stopped George from allowing him to do so. Though what happened to George and his wife is unknown, Jar Jar later found his way back to Otoh Gunga.[7]

Life in Otoh Gunga

"You were banished because you were clumsy?"
Obi-Wan Kenobi[src]
Jarjarport
Jar Jar Binks.

Kicked out of all of Otoh Gunga's schools and not able to turn to his parents for guidance, Binks hopped between job after job throughout his youth. His clumsiness inevitably got him fired before sunset. Once, Jar Jar was working as a street-side shudderup musician when a passerby paid him money to stop the music. That is when he was discovered by local lawbreaker Roos Tarpals.[1]

Tarpals was the leader of a small band of young thieves. Jar Jar was given the job of distracting security patrols while Tarpals and his gang pulled off various scams. Unlike the other thieves, Tarpals treated Jar Jar like a valued team member and a friend. This friendship ended when Tarpals enlisted in the Gungan Grand Army. The band soon scattered and Jar Jar again began searching for his place in life. Fortunately, Boss Rugor Nass, ruler of Otoh Gunga, arranged new employment for Jar Jar, partly out of respect for his parents, and partly on the request of now-Captain Tarpals. When Jar Jar accidentally freed all of the animals in the Otoh Gunga Zoo Nass sentenced Jar Jar to six months of hard labor in the Quarry penal colony.[1]

Nass commuted the sentence when Jar Jar saved him from drowning in an out-of-control Bongo. Jar Jar also saved the life of Nass's niece, Major Fassa. Fassa pledged a life debt to Jar Jar who was embarrassed by her devotion, but excited about a chance at romance. He was both disappointed and relieved when Boss Nass revoked the life debt on a technicality.[8]

Later, Boss Nass threw a lavish party at his mansion and gave Jar Jar a job in the kitchen. However, Jar Jar destroyed the gasser oven. The explosion cracked the bubble wall and flooded the party. Jar Jar tried to save Boss Nass's luxury heyblibber, but ended up crashing it instead. Boss Nass was outraged, and decided that he had had enough. In the Gungan Council Chamber of Judgment, Nass, along with his peers, enforced the Nocombackie Law, banishing Binks and preventing him from ever returning to Otoh Gunga upon pain of death. Jar Jar tried to hide in Otoh Gunga but Captain Tarpals found him in Chef Marshoo's restaurant scrounging for scraps. Tarpals apprehended him and prepared to take him to the surface, however, he was ambushed by Marshoo and several thugs. Tarpals was knocked out in the scuffle, but Binks saved him. The hapless Gungan pleaded with Tarpals for clemency, but was ignored. Tarpals then escorted Jar Jar to the shores of the Lianorm Swamp, the place of Binks's banishment.[9]

Blockade of Naboo

Meeting the Jedi

File:Jarjarmeetsjedi.JPG
Jar Jar meets Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
"You almost got us killed. Are you brainless?"
"I speck."
"The ability to speak does not make you intelligent. Now get out of here.
"
Qui-Gon Jinn and Jar Jar Binks[src]

One day in 32 BBY, Binks went out foraging for food, when he stumbled across OOM-9's Trade Federation invasion force. Panicking, he bumped into Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, an ambassador who had been sent to resolve the crisis between the Naboo and the Federation and the Jedi saved the Gungan's life from a MTT. Binks, despite being an outcast, adhered to the Gungan principle of 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 Amidala in Theed, but had no way of reaching her. Binks suggested that they go to Otoh Gunga, his old home, but quickly regretted mentioning it. The Jedi persuaded him to take them there, but Binks rightly feared for his life.[4]

File:Jar Jar Binks-ST.jpg
Jar Jar under guard in Otoh Gunga.

Upon reaching Otoh Gunga, he was arrested by his old friend, Tarpals, and brought before Nass. The Jedi bartered with Nass, and persuaded him to provide them with transportation to Theed. Following that, Nass sentenced Binks to death, but Jinn quickly interceded, citing that Binks's life belonged to him, due to the Gungan life debt system. Nass had Binks freed and sent along with the Jedi to Theed. Binks was dismayed over the fact that he had to tag along with the Jedi, but he figured that he had a higher chance of survival with them than in Otoh Gunga.[4]

Upon reaching Federation-occupied Theed, Binks watched as the Jedi rescued the Queen, and escorted her to safety. Jinn convinced the Queen to go to Coruscant, to plead her case to the Senate, a choice that would result in Binks leaving the planet for the very first time. While the Queen's ship got past the Federation blockade of the planet, it sustained mild damage, and lost its hyperdrive capacity, leaving it only enough power to reach Tatooine, the only planet in the area devoid of Federation presence.[4]

Beyond Naboo

"This sun doin' murder to mesa skin…"
―Jar Jar Binks[src]
File:Jarjarorangegoo.JPG
Binks is confronted by Sebulba.

Upon reaching Tatooine, Jinn, Binks, Amidala (disguised as a handmaiden), and R2-D2 ventured into the city of Mos Espa in search of new parts for the ship. They came across Watto's Shop, which had the parts they needed. However, they had no way of purchasing them, due to the Republic Credit's lack of use in backwater planets like Tatooine. At Watto's Shop, they encountered a young boy, Anakin Skywalker. After leaving the shop, Binks crossed paths with Sebulba, a thug who threatened to beat Binks to a pulp. Only the timely intervention of Skywalker saved him. Skywalker was but a poor slave, nonetheless, he offered the group shelter and hospitality when they were caught in a sandstorm. At his home, they discovered that he had a talent for podracing, which Skywalker thought would be a good way for Jinn and Amidala to get the money required for the new hyperdrive.[4]

Binks was more than willing to help in the enterprise, offering to perform maintenance on Anakin's podracer. Whether or not his efforts were of any help was irrelevant; Skywalker appreciated the assistance. On the day of the Boonta Eve Classic Race, Binks continued to assist, and observed the race from a special platform reserved for the racer's family and friends. Binks was thrilled when Skywalker won, mostly at the prospect of being able to leave the inhospitable Tatooine.[4]

If Binks was taken aback by Tatooine, nothing could prepare him for Coruscant. A sprawling ecumenopolis, Binks was out of his depth in the capital, and understandably retreated to the sidelines of the political action taking place. He stayed at Senator Palpatine's apartments in the 500 Republica, eagerly awaiting the chance to return home. The chance came when Amidala was refused aid in the Senate, and decided to take matters into her own hands. She formulated a plan, based on Binks's mention of a Gungan Grand Army, and decided to take the fight to the Federation.[4]

General

"So, wesa make you 'Bombad General'."
"General?! (faints)
"
―Boss Nass and Jar Jar Binks[src]

Upon returning to Naboo, Binks discovered that Otoh Gunga had been evacuated due to a major battle. He knew of the Gungan sacred place however, and took the Queen there. Upon meeting Nass, she made an alliance with him, unifying the Gungan and the Naboo people after years of bitter hatred and isolation. Nass was most pleased with the new alliance, and attributed it all to Binks, much to the latter's embarrassment. As a "reward," Nass appointed Binks as joint commander of the Gungan Grand Army, giving him the rank of Bombad General – a decision that made him faint with shock. Shortly after the promotion, Amidala revealed her plan: The Gungan Grand Army would draw OOM-9's army out of Theed, leaving the capital relatively unprotected. She and her task-force, along with the Jedi, would first liberate the Theed Hangar, allowing pilots to take their starfighters and attack the Droid Control Ship, hopefully deactivating all of the droids in the Federation droid army. Then, her task force would enter the Palace and capture the Federation Viceroy, Nute Gunray.[4]

File:Generaljarjar.JPG
General Binks at the head of his army.

Binks led the army out to the Great Grass Plains, where, on General Ceel's order, they would wait for OOM-9. The battle droid commander did not disappoint, and he duly attacked the Gungans. They held up a solid defense against the mechanized army, but sheer numbers overwhelmed them, forcing Ceel to call for a retreat. During the chaos, Binks accidentally sent a cascading wave of energy balls into a pack of B1 battle droids and Armored Assault Tanks, which slowed the Federation advance for a while and allowed some Gungans to escape. However, Binks and his old friend, Tarpals, were rounded up and captured. Shortly after their capture, however, young Anakin Skywalker, who had accompanied them from Tatooine, destroyed the Droid Control Ship, and deactivated all of the droids. The Gungans rejoiced, knocking over the limp droids and celebrating.[4]

However, the victory was not without bitter loss. Qui-Gon, Binks's savior and friend, had died at the hands of the Sith Lord Darth Maul, releasing Binks from his life debt, and many Gungans had fallen at Grassy Plains. But their deaths were not in vain. Amidala had succeeded in her mission and had successfully re-taken Naboo. Binks joined in the celebrations and looked forward to a new era of peace.[4]

Clone Wars

"It's a clear desa Separatists made a pact witha 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[src]
Jarjarsenate
Representative Binks in the Senate.

Following the Battle of Naboo, the new alliance between the Naboo and Gungans expanded to include a Gungan Representative to support the Senator for Naboo in the Galactic Senate.

He was elected to take this position on a "no new taxes" platform.[10]

Jar Jar served as Gungan Representative in 22 BBY before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, along with now-Senator Amidala.[5]

When Amidala was forced to go into hiding following a series of assassination attempts, Representative Binks stood 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 an army for 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 Supreme Chancellor Palpatine the emergency powers required to create a Grand Army of the Republic. The motion passed, and soon afterwards, with the Battle of Geonosis, the Clone Wars began.[5]

During the Clone Wars, Jar Jar was re-elected with wide popular approval, despite the fact that his opponent (another Gungan) brought up his record of clumsiness, political errors, and service in 'war.' His aides tried to convince him to run for President, and he may have been contacted by Darth Sidious.[10]

Mourning for Padme
Representative Binks was one of the thousands who attended the funeral of Padmé Amidala.

Jar Jar Binks continued to represent the Gungans in Naboo's senatorial delegation throughout the Clone Wars, though his accomplishments in politics were never as significant as his vote on the Military Creation Act. He had also apparently learned to keep his mouth shut after the "Emergency Powers" debacle, learning from his substantial mistake that had lead to one of the bloodiest wars in galactic history. After the death of his friend and colleague Padmé Amidala, he was one of the chief mourners at her funeral on Naboo along with Rugor Nass, and succeeded her as Senator of the Chommell Sector in 19 BBY.[11]

Galactic Empire

After the formation of the New Order, Binks was considered an ally of the new Emperor, and an Imperial Holovision report shortly after the end of the Clone Wars mentioned that he had personally sent Senator Binks to an undisclosed location.[6]

During his time in the Imperial Senate, "Senator Jar Jar Binks Commemorative Drinking Cups with Flexible Straws and 'Talking Action'" were produced, and were even available on worlds as distant as Tatooine.[12]

After Jar Jar's retirement, he married and later fathered a son who they named Abso Bar Binks. He was a kind father and always tried to bring presents home to both his wife and children, but the presents were always confiscated by the Empire at checkpoints. This led his son to join the growing Rebellion and join the crew of the Tantive V.[13]

Some time after the Imperial subjugation of Naboo and the death of Queen Apailana, a retired trooper from the 501st Legion said that several of Naboo's ambassadors were sent home in various states of dismemberment. It is unknown if this statement referred to Senator Binks as well.[14]

Personality and traits

JarJar masher
Jar Jar demonstrating his clumsiness.
"I knew he was invited to attend, I don't know what I was thinking even bringing it here."
Kime Enanrum after Jar Jar broke his sculpture[src]

Jar Jar was clumsier than most of his fellow Gungans, which was the reason why he was banished from Otoh Gunga. He would often explain his dislike, lashing out with his long tongue. Like all Gungans, he spoke with a peculiar Basic dialect, which sometimes made him hard to understand.[4]

He often held a certain irreverence for his superiors—often making faces behind their backs, but he would still obey their orders. He was socially active, trying to communicate with sentients around him, and making new friends. He had some aptitude mechanically; he was able to perform maintenance on Anakin Skywalker's pod. As a diplomat, he helped unite the Gungans and the Naboo in 32 BBY. For that of his deed, he was promoted to general. He would lead the Gungan army against the battle droids, destroying many of them, even if sometimes by accident.[4]

As a politician, he successfully represented the Gungans for several years, but when he had to take the role of senator, he was easily manipulated by Palpatine's cronies, though Binks did not realize it.[5]

Behind the scenes

Jar Jar Binks was an entirely computer-generated character, voiced by Ahmed Best,[4][5][11] who also provided the voice for the games Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing[15] and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.[16] During the filming of the prequel trilogy, Best appeared on set in costume to provide a reference point for the other actors. Best also voiced Binks in 2006 for Star Wars creator George Lucas' entry into Steven Colbert's "green screen challenge" for his show The Colbert Report,[17][18], and as a parody of the character in 2007 for the Robot Chicken: Star Wars special.[19] The character's name came from Jett Lucas, son of George Lucas.[20]

Wiki-shrinkable
Wookieepedia has a collection of quotes related to Jar Jar Binks.

Many fans pinned their disappointments with The Phantom Menace on Jar Jar and his comedic antics, which both fell flat of their targets and even offended some viewers.[21][22][23] Possibly as a result of fan hostility, Jar Jar's role in Attack of the Clones made him a pivotal part of the story, as the one who inadvertently helped Palpatine lay the foundations of the Galactic Empire, while minimizing his screen time.[5] His role in Revenge of the Sith was further reduced to two scenes and only one line.[11]

Many Star Wars fans express their distaste for the character of Binks in a variety of mediums. One such group of disgruntled viewers were prompted to create a fan film named "Jar Jar's Walking Papers", which depicts the much desired death of Jar Jar.[24]

The Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace game says that Jar Jar was imprisoned upon his return to Otoh Gunga and Obi-Wan Kenobi rescued him before leaving together for Theed. This plot was invented to give an additional action in the Otoh Gunga mission, but the movie does not show that this event occurred, so this event is non-canon.[25]

In Failing Up With Jar Jar Binks, Binks being elected after promising "no new taxes" is a reference to American president George H. W. Bush and his 1988 election promise of "no new taxes."

Possible family

JarJar negtc
Jar Jar Binks.

According to an ambiguously-canon Star Wars Tales comic, George R. Binks, Jar Jar's father was a proud whaler named George R. Binks. Jar Jar's father, in contrast to his son, is shown in this story to be a dignified, intelligent character, who despairs at Jar Jar's foolish antics.[7]

Jar Jar's fate

The Liberation of Coruscant mission of the Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns game, features a sprite identified as Jar Jar among the skyscrapers of Coruscant, seen only if the player decides to explore the whole game map with an air unit or by using cheat codes. This is a superficially canonical indication that Jar Jar was alive and well, and living on Coruscant, during the New Republic era. It may also be only an "Easter egg" like many featured in the game, and thus dubiously canonical. (For example, Clone Campaigns features sprites of C-3PO and R2-D2 appear near a crashed escape pod on Tatooine during a Clone Wars-era mission.)[26]

In the Naboo celebration scene inserted into the end of the 2004-version of Return of the Jedi, several Gungans are seen taking part of the celebrations. One Gungan voice, which sounds strikingly similar to Jar Jar's voice can be heard chanting "Wesa free!".[27]

Appearances

Non-canon appearances

Sources

Notes and references

External links

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