Few characters in the history of film have been more derided than that of Jar Jar Binks, the infamous Gungun who first debuted in The Phantom Menace over twenty years ago. So imagine the surprise many fans faced when they logged on to Twitter this morning to see the controversial Star Wars figure trending.
But have no fear, Jar Jar isn’t trending because he’s popping up in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Instead, it seems like he’s only trending because people won’t stop asking why #JarJarBinks is trending, essentially multiplying the use of his name on the site.
Ok so all I figure for why Jar Jar Binks is trending is people asking why it's trending. All I want to know is how it got started. pic.twitter.com/hAig2OZ0HB
— Rob Edwards (@MISTAK3S) July 8, 2019
Jar Jar Binks trending because people are asking "Why is Jar Jar Binks trending?" is the most Jar Jar Binks thing ever. pic.twitter.com/1Aj7eQsTfd
— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) July 8, 2019
Seeing Jar Jar Binks trending and seeing that he's ok pic.twitter.com/RgHDTW0e8R
— BrillPro (@tomdog247) July 8, 2019
Some days I think I understand Twitter. And then some days Jar Jar Binks is trending simply because people are asking why Jar Jar Binks is trending. pic.twitter.com/zFRxQPO0hE
— Elyse Surette-DiMuzio (@elysesd_) July 8, 2019
People are wondering why Jar Jar Binks is trending. I say it's because he's the greatest Sith Lord ever and he far sided himself into the top trends. pic.twitter.com/EryAkJved3
— Chris Smolinski is drafting Shados Guise (@RamblingRiter) July 8, 2019
As of the time of writing this, Jar Jar Binks is still trending, with Twitter captioning the moment as so:
“The week just started and Jar Jar Binks is already back in the zeitgeist.”
So, how did this even start? Well, CNET believes they tracked down the culprit to none other than Mark Hamill himself. Apparently, early Monday morning, the Luke Skywalker actor tweeted a “what is your Star Wars fate?” meme board, in which your destiny within the Star Wars lore would be determined by your birth month and the first letter in your name:
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 8, 2019
So, for instance, my destiny in the franchise would be as a secret son of an unnamed Stormtrooper. Apparently, enough of those who responded had a first name that started with J, invoking the usage of Jar Jar Binks so much that the Gungun started trending, which kicked off a mini-phenomenon on the social networking site.
Of course, the character has also seen a surge of popularity over the last few years. While few agree that Jar Jar is a worthy addition to the Star Wars franchise, many of those who grew up with him at least have a soft spot for Ahmed Best, the actor who brought Binks to life via an entirely CGI performance. Best has recently opened up that his career and mental health greatly suffered after The Phantom Menace’s release as well, leading to widespread support for the actor amongst fans online.
While the fifteen minutes of Twitter fame is surely nice for the character, I think we can all give a little thanks tonight that Jar Jar isn’t likely to pop up in any future Star Wars movies any time soon.