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Jar Jar Binks Is A Sith Lord: A Viral Star Wars Fan Theory Explained

Actor Ahmed Best was never the same after playing Jar Jar Binks in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" due to the fierce backlash his character and performance received. The reaction to Jar Jar was so severe that some fans made cuts of "Phantom Menace" that removed the character altogether or greatly minimized his role. However, as a sort of counterpoint to this colossal backlash, a viral theory eventually arose that proposed the controversial character wasn't actually a klutzy goon but a Sith Lord hiding his true nature behind an innocent exterior.

Reddit user Lumpawarroo developed this theory and posted it to the Star Wars subreddit in 2015, just before "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" premiered. It amassed over 70,000 upvotes. First, the post establishes that Jar Jar is capable of athletic feats typically restricted to Force users. Furthermore, the Gungan is demonstrably formidable in battle through what appears to be dumb luck but could be martial arts calculated to merely look sloppy. He also behaves in a manner that suggests he wields the Force for personal gain, appearing to manipulate others into granting him power or status, like the military rank of Bombad General, through Jedi mind tricks.

Of course, the most likely explanation for each of these behaviors is that Jar Jar and his story arc aren't all that serious. However, coupled with Emperor Palpatine's (Ian McDiarmid) ascent to Galactic Emperor, there's a compelling case to be made that Jar Jar is secretly a master manipulator with bad intentions.

The Jar Jar Sith Lord theory still has traction years after it first hit the web

Jar Jar Binks' secret identity as a Sith Lord is grounded in the fact that he and Emperor Palpatine are from the same planet, raising the possibility they knew one another before the events of "Episode I." A secret collaboration between the two could explain both Jar Jar helping elect Palpatine to his leadership position and the fact that Palpatine still hangs out with Jar Jar after he becomes the leader of the Galactic Senate.

Also supporting this theory is the notion that George Lucas wanted the prequel trilogy to mirror the original trilogy and may have set up the Gungan to be a reverse Yoda. Of course, Yoda appears to be a bumbling eccentric when Luke (Mark Hamill) first meets him, paving the way for Jar Jar to hide unexpected depths similar to Yoda's. The backlash against Jar Jar caused George Lucas to back out of his initial plan to reveal Jar Jar's evil powers, the theory goes on to argue.

This argument continues to inspire online discussion years after it first hit the internet. In fact, Ahmed Best himself has touched on the theory in multiple interviews. While he doesn't think Disney will ever canonize Darth Jar Jar, he hinted that there were once greater plans for his character, lending some credence to the theory without quite confirming specifics.