Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best wanted Star Wars creator George Lucas to give his character some kind of closure by killing him off. Instead of allowing Jar Jar to go out with a blaze of glory, Lucas shuffled him to the background, leaving it to others to imagine a proper fate for the Star Wars universe’s single most-divisive figure. Far from shunning his legacy as the man behind one of pop culture’s most notorious characters, Best has embraced being Jar Jar and is actually writing a book about his connection to the character.
First appearing in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the comically bumbling all-CGI Jar Jar for a lot of people came to embody everything wrong with the prequels: that they were too silly, too aimed at children and too reliant on computer wizardry. Some even charged Lucas with employing racist stereotypes in conceiving Jar Jar, whose flapping ears gave him a semi-Rastafarian look and who spoke in “hilarious” broken English. After the backlash over Jar Jar, Lucas slashed the character’s screen-time for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, though Jar Jar did still play a major role in Star Wars lore by helping to enable Palpatine’s rise to the Emperor’s throne.
Speaking on Jamie Stangroom‘s podcast, Jar Jar actor Ahmed Best said he always wanted a more concrete ending to Jar Jar’s arc, and prevailed upon George Lucas to kill the character off in some spectacular way:
“I always complained to George when I realized that Sith was pretty much not going to have Jar Jar in it and they were moving very very far from me, I always complained to George that I didn’t get a good death! I wanted to really be just hacked to pieces in some kind of way…and George wouldn’t do it. I always said that Jar Jar’s fate was too open ended, I would have loved to have closed it in some way. I think everybody wants some kind of Jar Jar closure to happen, including me.”
Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars canon novel Aftermath: Empire’s End did offer some kind of resolution for Jar Jar: after the events of the prequel trilogy, the shunned Gungan returns to Naboo where he becomes a street performer, befriending a scarred refugee boy and teaching him how to be a clown. Best says he enjoyed Jar Jar’s redemption arc in the novel, calling it a “very somber, very dark eventuality” for the character. Best was not quite as high on J.J. Abrams’ joke about dumping Jar Jar’s bones somewhere in the desert of Jakku in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, saying this would only have opened up yet another can of worms. Best believes there’s almost a Jar Jar obsession when it comes to Star Wars fans:
“I’ve been trying to let him go for so long! But there is something out there in the zeitgeist of the Star Wars universe, they just want to keep him around! They want to forget about him, they want to hate him but they just want to keep him around, i don’t know why!”
Best also addressed the biggest Jar Jar theory out there, the so called “Darth Jar Jar” scenario, where the Gungan was actually a powerful Sith lord who only pretended to be a clownish yutz in order to throw off his enemies. Best has endorsed the theory in the past, hinting that some version of “Darth Jar Jar” was actually in Lucas’ plans before fan backlash forced him to scrap the character.
One wild outgrowth of the “Darth Jar Jar” theory holds that Supreme Leader Snoke, the Sith lord introduced in The Force Awakens and due to appear again in The Last Jedi, actually is Jar Jar or was somehow created by Jar Jar. Best seems to think there’s something to this idea as well, saying it would be cool if Snoke were actually a shape-shifter who transformed himself into Jar Jar, Mace Windu and other significant characters throughout the saga. In Best’s view of things (he does have a book coming out after all), it’s possible this entire Star Wars deal all boils down to Jar Jar Binks.
Source: Jamie Stangroom
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