On the Multiple Qualities of Jar Jar Binks

It is an unfortunate consequence of watching the prequel trilogy that many people develop an intense dislike towards a character of great significance. Namely, the Gungan Jar Jar Binks, is often derided due to his absolute clumsiness and ability to annoy the life out of everyone.

I personally see him in a very different light: he is annoying, and he is clumsy; but these two characteristics of his are very different from what makes him into one of the greatest people in the saga at all.

Namely, Jar Jar does not know treachery. He is loyal. He is a true friend. It might take some discussion to understand why this is so significant; if we consider that he is from a less advanced (technologically and probably, by socio-economic measures) species who have often clashed with the humans on his homeworld, that he accepts first Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and later Padmé Amidala as friends is significant on its own. If we add that he is also fiercely loyal, going out of his way to help his friends whenever they need his help, he proves to be a much better person, a much better friend, than the majority of people.

That the majority of his undertakings end in disaster is no fault of his : being graced with a quantity of bad luck that is otherwise unknown would make most others morbid — Jar Jar, however, manages to stride through and continue with his good wishes and will. Where most others would not even try because of fear, Jar Jar rises above this fear and acts to help, and that is what is important.

Jar Jar will undoubtedly be an annoying presence in nearly every cinematic appearance, but I tend to look past the annoyance — even imagining what he thinks can be saddening. If one were to consider looking at Jar Jar from his own self, then the following scenario can very easily happen : he puts his full concentration and strength out there to solve a problem/situation, with the best of hopes for the outcome, and the result is more often than not destruction. You try for the best, and what happens is the worst. A sincere (indeed, more sincere than most other things in that galaxy, I would imagine) try to help others, and yet the outcome is never as hoped.

Trying to say that he could do nothing is silly at this point. His character does not allow for that — how could he sit idly while his friends are in danger; how could he not try to do something ? He can’t be idle, so he tries to help, and almost never succeeds.

Jar Jar, in short, is the expression of a tragedy, and yet he goes on. That is why he is wonderful!

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