There aren’t many characters in the Star Wars franchise as despised as the clumsy Gungan, Jar Jar Binks. To many longtime fans, Jar Jar is a punching bag; an easy target to bemoan the wasted opportunity of the prequels and the downfall of the saga. Moviegoers were so repulsed by his portrayal (which came under fire for being racist), that George Lucas had no choice but to diminish the Gungan’s role in the final two prequels. Though, the filmmaker did make Jar Jar partially responsible for the rise of the Empire, so Binks still had a significant part to play in the overall franchise.
In the years following the release of Episode I, it’s no surprise that Jar Jar’s presence has been close to non-existent, but he remains a topic of much discussion within the Star Wars fan community. Last year, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was still shrouded in its veil of secrecy, a theory made its way on the Internet suggesting that new villain Supreme Leader Snoke was actually Jar Jar, who was a co-conspirator of Emperor Palpatine’s. It was mostly played for laughs, but it didn’t stop people from envisioning what it would be like if Jar Jar was the embodiment of pure evil – including the actor who played him.
Ahmed Best, the man that portrayed Jar Jar in the prequels, was interviewed by YouTube user Jamie Stangroom, and the Darth Jar Jar topic was touched upon. Best provided his take on how Darth Jar Jar would sound, revealing that the Gungan would not use the species’ usual dialect, which is merely a façade to throw people off. The end result is something that sounds sinister and ominous, reminiscent of how Palpatine’s voice changed following his confrontation with Mace Windu. Even the version that incorporates the primary Gungan language is effective and somewhat scary.
It’s nice to see Best having a bit of fun involving his maligned character, with a strong sense of humor about the whole thing. The actor has mentioned in the past he was caught off guard by the negative response Jar Jar received, but that has not deterred him from reprising the role. Best has voiced Jar Jar in a number of Star Wars related projects since the prequels, including Robot Chicken shorts, the Clone Wars animated series, and the Disney Infinity 3.0 video game. However, it would appear that Best’s time with the property is nearing an end. He’s ruled out a return to live-action films, and it’s unlikely Disney would look to bring the character back in a future project now.
So if this is the last we see of Jar Jar, at least Best gets to go out on a high note, paying homage to an amusing fan theory and getting a laugh out of it. This may not completely repair his reputation with viewers, but it’s still a fun way to close the book on the Gungan as Lucasfilm moves away from that era of the series. Darth Jar Jar will never see the light of day in a future film, however, those who had faith in the hypothesis can get an idea of how it might have played out.
Of course, there’s always a chance Rian Johnson has Jar Jar serve as a judge in a New Republic course case for Star Wars 8:
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be on Blu-ray April 5, 2016; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Jamie Stangroom