Geek Wisdom of the Week

By: Victor “Fiefo!” de la Cruz


Last week, one of the biggest news in Geekdom happened: LucasFilm (and LucasArts) was sold to the House of Mouse for the cool sum of $4.5 billion. Whether you agree or disagree with the decision of
George Lucas to sell to Disney, there’s no doubt that you felt excited for the possibilities for a new Star Wars trilogy.

Most people revere George Lucas for creating the original Star Wars films (Episodes IV, V and VI), but these same people also hate him for almost destroying the series with the prequel movies (Episodes I, II
and III). Most of the hate is caused by a particular Gungan named Jar Jar Binks. This week, there are not one, but two pieces of Geek Wisdom we can pull out of this reviled character.

On a side note, there doesn’t seem to be any video of Jar Jar actually giving the quote. So, the video that you can see above just shows how ridiculous the character is.

The Quote: “Meesa Jar Jar Binks”

The story behind the quote: When it was announced that George Lucas was actually going to create a new trilogy of films, people were thrilled. A new series of movies based on Star Wars? From George
Lucas himself? That was the best news ever. Then the Phantom Menace came out. To say that it didn’t meet our expectations was an understatement.

The experience of watching it only became worse each time Jar Jar Binks came on the screen. No one really knew what his purpose was. Was he supposed to be the comedy relief of the film? Nothing he did
was funny. Was he supposed to appeal to children? Kids who watched it wanted to become Jedi Knights, not some semi-aquatic, dopey-looking creature. And his broken English didn’t help. It made him just more
annoying since he just became difficult to understand.

Jar Jar Binks essentially became the symbol of what went wrong with Episodes I, II and III.

The Geek Wisdom we can take from it: I think that Jar Jar Binks was a good idea… on paper. He should have been a lovable character; a bumbling goofball that tries his best to do good things. You
know, like a faithful dog. But in the films, he comes off like an annoying, stupid loser of a jerk.

So, the first piece of Geek Wisdom: Even the best ideas can become bad ones if they are not executed

well. Jar Jar could’ve been popular character if George didn’t insert him in just to be comedy relief for children. If he decided to put much more depth to the character rather than the caricature that we got, he
would have been at least acceptable. But no. It didn’t happen. So a good idea became one of the biggest jokes in nerdom.

Second piece of Geek Wisdom: No one likes an annoying, stupid loser of a jerk. Don’t be like Jar Jar. Don’t be an annoying stupid loser of a jerk.

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  1. Jar-Jar highlights some of the main themes of Episode I, like symbiosis/working together, and things not being what they seem at first (“The Phantom Menace”).

    When we meet him, he’s out of his depth. His own people hate him; a Jedi Knight disparages him. Qui-Gon, the man who collects “pathetic life forms,” is the only one who sees value in this strange creature.

    Almost literally, Jar-Jar is a fish out of water.

    Later, Jar-Jar’s inability to keep a low profile directly results in the teamup of Anakin with Qui-Gon and Padme. “Your friend here was about to be turned into orange goo.” Would their paths have crossed again otherwise? Maybe, but as it plays out Jar-Jar served as the catalyst.

    Further on, Jar Jar is the single individual who manages to bring together the Naboo and the Gungans. “Wesa warriors. Wesa have a grand army. That’s why you no likin’ us, meesa thinks.”

    That statement shows a telling amount of awareness on his part. Jar Jar may be a clown, he may be naive, but he’s not a complete idiot. It’s appropriate that the outcast of the Gungans, themselves the outcasts of the Naboo, is the one person who manages to find the common ground between all parties.

    And so on and so forth. Yeah, he’s the fool character, too. If you find him annoying, well, you’re not alone — Obi-Wan would agree with you — but it doesn’t disqualify his importance as a character (or, within the movies, as an individual).

  2. You also can’t forget that it was Jar Jar who made the official request to give emergency powers to chancellor Palpatine. He may have thought he was doing to right thing even though he had know clue what he was actually doing. He may be an idiot, but he had some important roles.

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