We Need To Talk About Jar Jar
Issue #131 preview!
With Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace hitting cinema screens in 3D, we felt there was no better time to leap to the defence of Jar Jar Binks, the childlike Gungan who became a lightning rod for criticism of the movie upon its original release. In the latest issue of Insider, noted Star Wars author Dan Wallace offers ten reasons why the lop-eared amphibian is worthy of taking his place among the greatest Star Wars characters. Check out four of them in this preview of the article...
Ahmed Best has always had a healthy perspective about Jar Jar, and to his credit he returned to the role for 2007's Robot Chicken: Star Wars, a special episode of the anarchic stop-motion comedy series. When Jar Jar somehow makes his way to the bridge of the Executor and greets Vader with the hated nickname "Ani," the Dark Lord of the Sith escorts his old friend from the room by way of an open airlock. With Jar Jar's body drifting in space, Vader can finally get some peace-until Jar Jar reappears at his bedside as a shimmering Force spirit.
The dialect spoken by Jar Jar and his fellow Gungans has a singsongy rhythm that can be quite pleasant once you get a handle on it. It also has more structure to it than you'd guess. After Episode I's release, writer Ryder Windham developed a Gungan glossary, for internal use, which set down the rules for sentence structure and provided English-to-Gungan translations of the numbering system and several common phrases. For a less rigorous (but much faster) experience, websites like jar-jar-binks.com will instantly shift any block of text that you supply into faux-Gunganese.
Jar Jar Binks in Carbonite
"What if he doesn't survive? He's worth a lot to me."
Jar Jar in carbonite has become visual shorthand for some fans' desire to keep this CGI sidekick on ice. But George Lucas' willingness to embrace the joke is all the proof you need that it's okay to like Jar Jar and still have a sense of humor about him. After two fans constructed a full-sized carbonite slab for Star Wars Celebration III, Lucas accepted it as a gift, and put it on display in the ILM reception area at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco.
A virtual carbonite slab pops up in the game The Force Unleashed, displayed between a taxidermied Salacious Crumb and the severed eyestalk of a dianoga garbage monster.
Jar Jar Junior
You didn't know that Jar Jar had a son? No worries - many fans may have missed the non-canon Star Wars Manga: Black, which has seen limited release outside Japan and the U.K. In Formalin's story "Tantive IV," Abso Bar Binks debuts as Jar Jar's heroic offspring, distracting Darth Vader long enough to give Princess Leia's ship a head start on delivering the stolen Death Star plans. Not only is Abso Bar Binks shown to be a scrappy fighter who doesn't take any flak from Vader, but he even looks good while wearing Leia's clothes. When Vader asks him why he bothers to fight the Empire, Abso Bar Binks delivers a heartbreaking anecdote about his dad's persistence at sneaking toys and other gifts for his son past an Imperial checkpoint. Oh, Jar Jar-even when you're not in a story, you still earn points.
Category: Features | Posted on: 31 January 2012