The most hated of all the 'Star Wars' characters lives on in a new novel
In the Star Wars canon, there are few characters more disliked than the Ewoks, those mumbling teddy bears who effectively bring down the galactic empire by accident. But then there’s Jar Jar Binks, a character so reviled by almost everyone that the pitiable fate doled out to him in a new Star Wars novel is being spread across the internet with utter Schadenfreude.
The clumsy Gungan, one of the major supporting characters in The Phantom Menace, has appeared a couple of times since the 1999 film launched the prequel trilogy. In Episode III, Binks can be seen paying tribute to his one-time senatorial colleague Padmé at her funeral, as well as a handful of Clone Wars episodes.
But despite rubbing fans up the wrong way during his debut, it’s the part Jar Jar plays in the political machinations of Star Wars that has really frustrated viewers, as the naive Gungan gets gaslighted into proposing the war powers act that essentially goes on to create the evil Empire.
Having accidentally laid the groundwork for the deaths of millions at the hands of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, the ultimate fate of Jar Jar Binks will now be revealed with next week’s publication of a new canonical novel called Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End.
*Spoiler warning for any Anakin anoraks intending on reading the novel*
In Chuck Wendig’s tale, the conclusion of a trilogy that bridges the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, readers will learn that Jar Jar was plagued with personal guilt for his political naivety, as well as shunned and derided by his fellow Gungans. Back on Naboo, Jar Jar is reduced to the role of a street clown, who encounters a refugee boy named Mapo.
“’Meesa Jar Jar,’ says the clown when Mapo introduces himself.
The clown distracts the orphan from his own sadness by popping his eyes and bulging his cheeks, but is hiding a sadness of his own.
‘Jar Jar makin some uh-oh mistakens,’ the Gungan says, explaining why he isn’t wanted anywhere either. ‘Desa hisen Naboo tink I help the uh-oh Empire.’ He stares into the distance, suggesting he knows more than he’s saying.”
The character, whose linguistic style was seen as hugely controversial for being a mockery of African-American slaves, was popular with children in the 90s, so it’s possible that Wendig is poking fun at his own readers with his revelations about Binks.
But the biggest takeaway from the novel is that in the current movie timeline, Jar Jar binks survived the fall of the Empire and is still alive, meaning there is a slight chance that we haven’t seen the last of him yet.