The Star Wars franchise has a few characters that haven’t been taken to kindly by fans, and one of the most well-known is the Gungan Jar Jar Binks.
First appearing in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, this character brought upbeat humor to the franchise, similar to that which the Ewoks brought to the original trilogy. Unlike the Ewoks, fans didn’t immediately warm up to Jar Jar; in fact, the opposite took place.
If you’re new to the Star Wars franchise, or simply after a refresher, here is a history of the hate that Jar Jar received after being introduced to the franchise in 1999.
Why is Jar Jar Binks hated so much?
Put simply, the reason Jar Jar Binks is so hated stems from the very purpose the character was created.
Jar Jar was created by George Lucas to appeal to the younger viewers getting into the Star Wars franchise for the first time with the prequel series. Unfortunately, this did not go as planned.
According to many accounts, the character was able to succeed in appealing to younger viewers, but it would appear to have come at the cost of avid Star Wars fans.
From launch, Jar Jar was immediately hated and a key reason for this was the comic relief and humor that the character was designed to bring. The Phantom Menace is a movie that deals with many serious political themes and does get dark with its plot at times. Given this, Jar Jar’s comedy didn’t fit well with what fans were wanting, immediately turning the character into public enemy number one.
Sadly, the hate that the character received had severe consequences on actor Ahmed Best who played Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace. Speaking openly about the time, Best explains how the backlash that the character received greatly affected his own mental health.
While the character would continue to garner hate over the years, things would take a drastic turn more than 15 years after the premiere of the film.
How perception has changed on Jar Jar
In 2015 the internet began to change its tune about Jar Jar, thanks to an outlandish yet seemingly plausible theory that first appeared on Reddit.
This theory suggested that Jar Jar Binks was initially set to have a much greater role in the franchise as a Sith Lord, but wound up being reduced to what fans ultimately got due to the immediate backlash to The Phantom Menace.
The now infamous theory uses examples from the first prequel film to showcase Jar Jar’s force-sensitive abilities and art of deceiving the Jedi.
While this theory ultimately doesn’t seem to hold much weight, it did do enough to help the once hated space alien win over a ton of new fans as the Darth Jar Jar movement grew. This theory seemingly gave purpose to one of the most annoying characters in the history of Star Wars.