Star Wars | Darth Jar Jar Binks (Sith Lord) Theory Explained | A Deep Dive into the Popular Fan Theory
The Jar Jar Binks (Sith Lord) Theory: He's a Sith collaborator, using clumsiness to mask his manipulation of events for Darth Sidious. Non-canon fan speculation... or is it?
Jar Jar Binks is considered one of the most laughable and unnecessary characters in the Star Wars universe. He’s goofy, irreverent, and bumbles his way to a prime seat in the Galactic Senate, ultimately leading to Palpatine taking over the Galaxy and the downfall of the Republic. Yes, Order 66 and Darth Sidious’ rule is a direct result of Qui-Gon Jinn saving a random Gungan before the Battle of Naboo. That’s canon.
However, what if not everything is as it seems? A wild theory from Reddit user u/Lumpawarroo purports that Jar Jar Binks is actually a trained Force user who is working with Darth Sidious to rule the Galaxy. To add some much needed context to the theory, here is an overview of Jar Jar’s escapades during the Prequels.
Naboo and the Gungans' Backstory
Jar Jar Binks is a Gungan, an aquatic race from the planet of Naboo. This planet was originally home exclusively to the Gungan race. In 4000 BBY (before the Battle of Yavin), a humanoid race crash-landed and settled on the planet, naming it Nabu after one of their principal deities. This led to a series of wars between humans and Gungans which ended with the races living apart: the humans lived on land and the Gungans under the sea.
The humans expanded their territories to other planets, creating treaties within the Chommell sector (where Nabu is located), and becoming a hub of trade for the sector. Of course, Nabu would take advantage of these other planets when they saw fit.
While the humans thrived above the tides, it was a much different story for the Gungans below. Several tribes were in a fierce civil war. Boss Gallo, a Gungan leader, united many of the tribes to lead an attack on Spearhead, the home of the last holdouts of the civil wars. After the fall of Spearhead, Gallo used the infrastructure to create Otoh Gunga, the capital of the Gungan side of the planet. After these wars, the Gungans established themselves as a warrior race, ready to steadfastly defend their territory.
In 867 BBY, Nabu, now renamed Naboo, joined the Galactic Republic. Naboo continued to be home to wealth and prosperity, preferring to be a peaceful trading hub, a complete antithesis to the Gungans under the seas. Some notable groups from Naboo include the San Tekkas, the Amidalas, and, of course, the Palpatines.
The Trade Federation blockaded Naboo in 32 BBY. Queen of Naboo Padme Amidala and Gungan Boss Rugor Nass were forced into an unprecedented alliance to defend their planet. The people of Naboo, having no army of their own, were saved thanks to the Gungan army. The two leaders were able to unite the Naboo and Gungans for the first time in history. This also catapulted Sheev Palpatine into the role of Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.
Jar Jar Binks in Canon
The Phantom Menace
Most Star Wars fans are familiar with Jar Jar Binks. He was widely considered a nexus of all that was wrong with the Prequel trilogy. Despite all of that, he plays an important role in the fate of the Galaxy at large.
In 32 BBY, Jar Jar was exiled from Otoh Gunga for destroying Boss Nass’ personal submarine. A week after his exile, the blockade of Naboo began, thrusting the planet and Jar Jar into the limelight.
Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi were stranded on Naboo. Jar Jar stumbles into the Jedi, knocking them both over, which ends up saving Jar Jar’s life. This makes Jar Jar believe that he owes Qui-Gon a Life Debt, intending to serve him forever. Thankfully, this ends up paying off quickly as Jar Jar can take them to Otoh Gunga and get them to Naboo’s capital city, Theed.
Upon entering Otoh Gunga, it’s made clear that the Gungans are warriors. The gates are heavily guarded, protecting the city from harm. Jar Jar is considered enough of a harmful person to be arrested and brought before Boss Nass. Jinn convinces Nass to let Jar Jar act as their guide around Naboo, effectively commuting his banishment thanks to the Life Debt.
Jar Jar and company are able to free Queen Amidala and her retinue. They flee Naboo, headed for the Galactic capital, Coruscant. After some shenanigans involving a broken hyperdrive and a young boy on a desert planet, the crew reaches Coruscant where Amidala makes her plea to the Senate. She calls for a vote of no confidence in the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Finis Valorum. Even though the Senate would still provide no support for Naboo, Sheev Palpatine, Naboo’s senator, was able to use the sympathy of the Galaxy at large to become the new Chancellor.
Amidala was at a loss. It was up to her to stop the blockade. Naboo is a peaceful planet with no military. Luckily, the group has Jar Jar Binks, a man who can’t help but fail upwards. He casually reveals that the Gungans have a grand army large enough to defeat the Trade Federation. They return home to try and convince Boss Nass to join forces with the Naboo. After seeing that the Gungans are just as dependent on the Naboo as the Naboo are on them, Nass agrees to help them.
Nass then promotes Jar Jar Binks to the rank of Bombad General, one of the highest ranks in the Gungan Grand Army. According to some militagungs on the frontline of the Battle of Naboo, Jar Jar was gifted to them by the gods. Thanks in no small part to Jar Jar, the Naboo and Gungans were victorious over the Trade Federation, bringing peace to the planet once more.
Attack of the Clones
In the years after, Padme Amidala joined the Galactic Senate as a representative of Naboo. After Mon Motha suggested that Amidala should add an official representative from the Gungans to her retinue, she added Jar Jar Binks as a Junior Representative. This put Jar Jar in a place of power to help Naboo recover from the blockade. However, the two became pivotal players in two events that would change the face of the Galaxy forever: The Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars.
Since the Republic was so large, planets on the Outer Rim of the Galaxy were not as well supported financially or protected from crime syndicates. This growing unrest from the Outer Rim was exploited by the Separatists. The Separatists were a collection of planetary leaders who wanted freedom from the Republic. They saw the Senate as a corrupt oligarchy that gives corporations like the Trade Federation better representation than Outer Rim Territories and that the Jedi were a tyrannical police force used to crush dissent.
The Separatists amassed a large Trade Federation-funded droid army from the Geonosians. The Galactic Senate pushed for an equally large army to defend themselves. However, a very vocal faction of Senators, led by Amidala, were not in favor of an army, preferring to use the funding to assist planets affected by the Separatists. They were pacifists trying to prevent the escalation of war that would cost billions of lives.
Count Dooku, leader of the Separatists (and secret Sith apprentice), ordered an assassination on Amidala, which failed. Two Jedi, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, were assigned to protect Amidala, leaving Jar Jar Binks to act in her stead. Unfortunately for Amidala and her faction, Jar Jar was easily manipulated to join the other side. He took the Senate floor and called for a vote to give Palpatine emergency powers to create the Grand Army of the Republic, consisting of millions of clones from the planet Kamino.
The Clone Wars and Beyond
During the Clone Wars, Jar Jar continued to bungle his way to victory in several battles. He wielded a lightsaber on Mimban, battled pirates on Florrum, and helped settle a decades long civil war on Mon Cala.
The Clone Wars raged from 22-19 BBY, ending with the death of Count Dooku during the Battle over Coruscant. Jar Jar was seen in the group of Senators welcoming Palpatine back after his return from the battle. After that, Jar Jar isn’t seen in canon again until Amidala’s funeral.
Once the war was over, Palpatine was able to wrest control over the Galaxy from the Senate using the Jedi as scapegoats, saying that they were attempting to kill him to gain power over the Galaxy. Order 66 was executed, killing all the Jedi leading to Palpatine becoming the Emperor of the Galactic Empire with Darth Vader, a Sith Lord named Anakin Skywalker, as his right hand man.
For those who don’t know, Sheev Palpatine is the secret identity of the most notorious Sith Lord of all time, Darth Sidious. The Sith are an ancient order of Dark Side followers. The Dark Side of the Force is all about power, deception, and control. The Sith and Jedi are diametric opposites. Light vs. Dark, balance in the Force. Sidious wanted this power, not only to rule the Galaxy with an iron fist, but to also bring an end to the Jedi.
He was quietly manipulating the Galaxy through his political machinations this whole time. He instructed Nute Gunray of the Trade Federation to create the Blockade at Naboo. He trained Count Dooku as his apprentice and stirred up chaos in the Outer Rim. He goaded the Separatists into war. But, was it all his work or did he have help from a floppy eared dolt with a patois?
Darth Jar Jar Theory Explained
Now that the groundwork has been laid, how does the Darth Jar Jar theory actually fit? Are there more layers to Jar Jar than are put on screen?
Palpatine and Binks both hail from Naboo, albeit in different parts. While highly unlikely that the only two Sith in the Galaxy at the time were born on the same planet, the Force does work in mysterious ways. They could have trained together, or, even, Palpatine could have been trained by Jar Jar. He does have quite the physical ability. In fact, which of the two Sith Lords is from a race of warriors?
Jar Jar, from his earliest appearance, is seen to be incredibly athletic. After being saved by Jinn, he goes from prone on his back to kicking his legs in the air and jumping to his feet without using his hands. He does an impressive flip/somersault combo to dive into the waters above Otoh Gunga. He can keep up with the Jedi during their battles, even protecting himself while it happens.
During the Battle of Naboo, his antics may look like just running around and waving his hands. However, another fighting style that looks similar is that of Zui Quan or Drunken Fist wushu. Multiple times throughout the battle, he uses his long limbs and flexibility to his advantage, playing to the audience as a fool charging into battle. However, he is using a combination of Zui Quan and Force manipulation to dodge blaster bolts and take out B-1 Battle Droids with ease.
Outside of his physical Force manipulation, he can be seen using a familiar hand wave during important moments. In A New Hope, viewers are introduced to the Jedi Mind Trick, a wave of the hand that can manipulate a non-Force user’s mind to do their bidding. In two pivotal moments, Jar Jar waves his hands while talking about getting promoted. In the first, he is talking with Boss Nass before getting promoted to Bombad General. The second, and more sinister one, is when he is talking to Amidala shortly before she leaves the Senate after her assassination attempt. This small hand motion forced Amidala to abdicate her spot as Senator and give Binks the power to create the Grand Army of the Republic.
Throughout the saga, the Sith are seen needling the Jedi with thoughts of insecurities, manipulating them to the Dark Side or to make them do something stupid. Throughout The Phantom Menace, Binks: manipulates the Jedi to go to through the planet core, something he knows is dangerous and will likely get them killed; makes fun of Qui-Gon behind his back; plants seeds of lust toward Padme in young Anakin’s mind; goads Obi-Wan into not thinking rationally and following his emotions, the list goes on! Much like Palpatine, he’s working the strings from behind the scenes, putting the major players in the right place for their plan.
Connection to the Original Trilogy
The biggest point in favor of the theory is another character who is introduced as a bumbling fool but is later seen as one of the most powerful Jedi of all time: Yoda. In Empire Strikes Back, Luke travels to Dagobah to find an old Jedi hermit named Yoda. While camping on the planet, a small green goofball comes in and steals his stuff, makes a general muck of things, and talks in riddles with a strange accent. After a while, Yoda reveals himself to be a strict user of the Force and completely opposite of how he was portrayed at the start.
There is another theory that ties into Darth Jar Jar and that is the Ring Theory. The Ring Theory states that the Prequels and Original Trilogy are mirrors of each other. This tends to be true in broad strokes. The Phantom Menace and Return of the Jedi both have similar themes and story beats, so on down the line.
This all works to confirm that Jar Jar was a parallel to Yoda. They both speak in strange ways with strange accents. They both make a general mess of things before revealing their true natures. They both are responsible for setting a Skywalker off on their Force training. It all fits.
In order to make the Darth Jar Jar theory work, Binks has to be seen as putting on an act. He’s pretending to bumble and stumble in order to gain sympathy and lower people’s guards to manipulate them. Palpatine shows how important it is to play a role in order to get what you want.
Who really was the Phantom Menace?
In the End…
Obviously, in canon, Darth Jar Jar isn’t real. In Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig, Jar Jar suffered a terrible fate. For one, some people believed that he was actually Darth Vader (clearly, the author’s nod to this very theory). It is also revealed that he was exiled for a second time, this time permanently, due to his role in the fall of the Galactic Republic. He ends up as a street clown in Theed, performing for refugees and bringing smiles to the children.
Darth Jar Jar has had a major impact on Star Wars lore. It’s also caused a lot of good press for the character. In Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace, a series of plays retelling Star Wars in Elizabethan English, Jar Jar plays a similar role to that of his Dark Side counterpart, however in the opposite direction. He is exiled from Otoh Gunga for being a political radical, one who wants to unite the Naboo and the Gungans. He uses his bumbling persona to manipulate the Jedi into helping him bring peace between the two factions.
The theory is fun, but it’s nothing more than that: a theory. The full story is that George Lucas wanted to create a character that would make his kids laugh. That was Jar Jar. In fact, Lucas has even gone on record saying that Binks is his favorite character. Whether a Sith Lord or not, Jar Jar Binks certainly made a massive impact on two galaxies.
Jar Jar Binks Wookiepedia:
Clone Wars Wookiepedia:
Reddit Thread from u/Lumpawarroo:
Who is Jar Jar Binks?+
Jar Jar Binks is a Gungan from the planet Naboo in the Star Wars universe. He's known for his goofy and clumsy behavior in the prequel trilogy.
What's the Darth Jar Jar Binks (Sith Lord) theory?+
The theory suggests Jar Jar Binks is a trained Force user working with Darth Sidious to manipulate events leading to his rise as Emperor. The theory is speculative and not officially part of canon.
What happened to Jar Jar Binks in official canon?+
In official canon, Jar Jar's fate was explored in various media. After the fall of the Galactic Republic, he was exiled and became a street clown in Theed, Naboo.
What impact did Jar Jar Binks have in the movies?+
Jar Jar accidentally plays a key role in uniting the Gungans and Naboo, allowing them to defeat the Trade Federation in "The Phantom Menace." He later becomes a Junior Representative in the Galactic Senate during "Attack of the Clones."
What are the connections between Jar Jar Binks and Yoda?+
Both characters share some characteristics, like unusual speech patterns and initial bumbling behavior. Some theorists see parallels between the two and use it to support the Darth Jar Jar Sith Lord theory.
Is the Darth Jar Jar Binks (Sith Lord) theory confirmed as official Star Wars canon?+
No, the theory is not confirmed in official canon. It's a fan-created idea based on interpreting certain events and behaviors in the prequels.
Is there any official response to the Darth Jar Jar Binks (Sith Lord) theory?+
George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, has stated that Jar Jar was meant to be a comedic character for children. He has not confirmed the theory.