SPOILERS for Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End ahead
After Return of the Jedi was released in theaters in 1983, fans were not done with Star Wars. For years there were books, comics, radio dramas, video games, and role playing games filling the void. In 1999, the first in a new trilogy of films was released, known as Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The visually stunning movie was not what fans expected, and many felt that it fell far short from its predecessors. One of the most common complaints was about a new character, a Gungan known by the name of Jar Jar Binks. Played by Ahmed Best, Jar Jar Binks was a clumsy and silly character, who spent the movie constantly apologizing for his various mistakes, though he proved to be a loyal friend and companion.
Intended to provide comic relief, Binks was almost universally disliked, at least by adults. Many fans felt that he was a character only children could love, and possibly existed for marketing reasons – to be adapted into toys that children would want to buy. His role in Episode II – Attack of the Clones was greatly reduced, but provided even more reason for fans to dislike him. Even though it was already known that Palpatine would rise to power and eventually become The Emperor from the earlier three films, the prequels largely existed to show how that happened – and it was apparently Jar Jar Binks’ fault. After all the negativity, the role was reduced to a cameo in Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. While he sometimes popped up in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, that series took place before Episode III, so Jar Jar Binks’ eventual fate has never been known – until now.
According to Mashable, author Chuck Wendig has been writing a series of Star Wars books which are considered canon – part of the official universe – known as the Aftermath trilogy. The third book, Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End is due to be released very soon, and it addresses what happened to Jar Jar Binks after he accidentally handed the galaxy over to the Empire.
Apparently Binks returns to Naboo, the home planet of Queen/Senator Amidala, where he becomes a street performer. Yes, you read that correctly. Jar Jar Binks dresses as a clown and performs for children on the streets of Naboo. He admits his real identity to a refugee boy named Mapo, and says that the people of Naboo blame him for the Empire’s rise to power, with very good reason.
Much like in reality, the adults of Naboo dislike and avoid Binks, whereas children are entertained by him. Since the most recent films in the series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have made no mention of Jar Jar Binks, it seems very likely that he will not reappear in any of the upcoming films, and that his clownish fate in Empire’s End is the final chapter of his story.
Star Wars Aftermath: Empires End hits shelves February 21, 2017.