In defense of Jar Jar Binks

StarWars.com Team | March 24, 2009

Not all fans find Jar Jar to be “jarring.” In fact, some people think the klutzy Gungan is pretty endearing. Bryan Young at Den of Geek takes a closer look at why Jar Jar is not only important to the story, but worthy of your affection.

Bryan Young writes:

Jar Jar Binks is the clown of the Star Wars films. And it makes sense to have him feature prominently in the first act. Looking to Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice, we see Lancelot the Clown featuring prominently in the early act of the play, providing useful commentary, lessons, and above all, laughs and largely disappearing later in the body of the work. Jar Jar works the same way, providing those laughs in the first movie, moving on to another purpose until disappearing completely by the middle of the saga.

Clowns aren’t anything new to drama. They’ve appeared back as far as our history of theatre goes. Why should George Lucas be demonized for remaining consistent with his use of classic myth, drama, and archetype? Jar Jar is the sad bunny you help on the side of the road who gives you the magic beans to slay the dragon at the end of the journey.

As far as in The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar is supposed to be annoying, and funny to the kids. That’s the point. We need to see past people for their annoyance and look at their inherent worth. Jar Jar saved the day and brought two nations of people together because just one person saw through the fog of annoyance. It’s a valuable lesson that would be well learned by those who seem to have the most hatred for Jar Jar.

Read the full essay here:
In defense of Jar Jar Binks (via Den of Geek)

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