There are many popular fan theories in the Star Wars universe, some of which are far more outlandish than others. One particular theory that still holds some weight among the fandom is whether the infamous Jar Jar Binks might, in fact, be a powerful Sith Lord masquerading as a complete and utter buffoon.
Though it might seem far-fetched at first glance, there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that it might hold water. Many of Jar Jar’s actions paved the way for things to come, including the rise of the Galactic Empire. The question is how deeply his actions impacted that chain of events.
10 His Clumsiness Might Be An Act
The driving force behind the Darth Jar Jar theory is that Binks was so absurdly clumsy and inept that it borders on an act. It would be the perfect cover-up for a Sith apprentice who wanted to infiltrate the Republic, since he’d be the last person anyone would consider as the culprit.
Qui-Gon Jinn immediately dismissed Jar Jar as unintelligent, and Obi-Wan called him a “pathetic life form.” His over-the-top clumsiness is an ironclad alibi. Sheev Palpatine managed to cloak himself in the guise of benevolence for years, while operating right under the Jedi Order’s noses. Could Jar Jar have done the same?
9 Palpatine Carefully Orchestrated Everything
The events that led to Qui-Gon Jinn discovering Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine, and Anakin eventually being corrupted and turned to the dark side, were carefully orchestrated by Palpatine from the beginning. He had a meticulously crafted plan that involved manipulating the entire galaxy, and nothing was left to chance.
Jar Jar’s integral role in Anakin’s adolescence and eventual downfall may not have been a coincidence. He may have started out as Palpatine’s eyes and ears on Naboo, only to get close access to the Chosen One early on. From there, Palpatine might have been able to further manipulate events, right down to the death of Qui-Gon.
8 He Dodges Death With Uncanny Precision
Although it’s disguised as klutziness for the sake of slapstick comedy, Jar Jar is frequently seen doing the kind of somersaults that only Force users are able to do. Naturally, he dumbs it down for the sake of effect, but perhaps there’s more to his imperfect acrobatics than meets the eye.
This has been seen as a hint that Jar Jar is Force-sensitive, yet hides his abilities unless called on. Plus, he seems to have an uncanny knack for avoiding death, as demonstrated several times during the Battle of Naboo against the Trade Federation’s droid army. Coincidence? Perhaps not.
7 He Infiltrated The Senate
At the beginning of Attack of the Clones, Jar Jar is revealed to have been elected as a junior representative of Naboo in the Galactic Senate. This was a major step up from the days when he was barely clinging on to his own skin. Perhaps his involvement at the Battle of Naboo was a test?
There’s no way that a being with the intelligence of Jar Jar Binks could gain a position of political power without having serious manipulation skills, or friends in high places. Perhaps Palpatine played a role in his election, in some way great or small.
6 He Gave Absolute Power To Chancellor Palpatine
A crucial part of Palpatine’s plan to take over the Republic and turn it into the Empire involved being given absolute power during a state of intergalactic emergency. The government representative who managed to get the Senate to vote in favor of giving Palpatine that power was Jar Jar.
Many critics of this fan theory point out that Palpatine and his aid would have had no need for subtlety when speaking about the emergency powers act while Jar Jar was near. They would have simply ordered him to do it. Either way, he’s directly responsible for the fall of the Republic, and the birth of the Empire.
5 He Uses Hand Gestures When He Wants To Change Someone’s Opinion
Whenever Jar Jar is trying to convince somebody of something, he gestures with his hands, just like any Jedi or Sith attempting to use the mind trick to change someone’s opinion. This gesturing is most prevalent, perhaps not coincidentally, when Jar Jar is trying to convince the Senate to give full power to Palpatine.
Granted, it would take a Sith Lord of enormous power to influence so many minds at one time, but it’s an interesting premise, nonetheless. Sith Lords dominate wills, whereas Jedi are only able to use subtle influence to sway the weak-minded. If Binks was a Sith Lord, he certainly rivaled Darth Sidious in this area.
4 He Mirrors Yoda In Interesting Ways
In The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke travels to Dagobah, Yoda initially acts like a bumbling buffoon in order to offset any preconceptions that he might be the last surviving Jedi in hiding. This mirrors Jar Jar, who is theorized to act like a bumbling buffoon to dissuade anyone from suspecting him of being an all-powerful Sith Lord.
Granted, Yoda’s con game was done specifically to test Luke Skywalker’s patience, and see if he had what it took to become a Jedi Knight. Still, his personality and mannerisms are another example of how Binks might have tried to get the spotlight off of himself, and keep it that way.
3 The Darth Vader Connection
After the Empire rose to power, many residents of Naboo and other galactic civilizations turned their eyes to him, believing he had allowed tyranny to infiltrate the Republic. Rumors began to circulate that he was secretly in league with Emperor Palpatine, and had been since the start.
Others even believed that Jar Jar and Darth Vader were the same individual. As preposterous as it sounds, it does seem as if many Star Wars characters also believed that Binks might have had relations with the Sith, if not an active member himself. This is backed up by content in the canon book The Legends of Luke Skywalker.
2 His Possible Redemption Arc
Not all Sith stay that way, as evidenced by many who held the Darth mantle in the past, such as Revan and Vader. Could Binks have gone through a similar epiphany? It’s quite possible, and there’s reason to believe it, given the events that followed the Empire’s fall.
During the era of the Battle of Jakku when the Empire finally fell, Binks was back on Naboo, making a humble living as a street performer. Ostracized from society for his implied role in the rise of the Empire, he took solace in delighting local children who loved his antics. If Binks was a Sith Lord, he may have renounced his ways after triggering so much misery and destruction, and came back to the light side.
1 Ahmed Best And George Lucas Have All But Confirmed It
George Lucas once claimed that Jar Jar was his favorite Star Wars character, referring to him as the “key” to the whole saga in the making-of documentary for The Phantom Menace. Meanwhile, actor Ahmed Best tweeted that “it feels really good when the hidden meaning behind the work is seen, no matter how long it takes.”
Could these two have known what was going to transpire the entire time, and left it up for fans to decide? It might be far-fetched, but it is possible. Either way, Jar Jar was more than he appeared to be. Whether that is good or bad, fans may never fully know.