20 Years Later, Jar Jar Binks Moved Up from Star Wars Ruiner to Just Annoying

20 Years Later, Jar Jar Binks Moved Up from Star Wars Ruiner to Just Annoying
Image credit: Legion-Media

Guess time really does heal all wounds, because Jar Jar Binks has gone from apparently ruining Star Wars to just being a bit of a bother.

Back then, when flame wars regarding the prequel trilogy of Star Wars as a whole and The Phantom Menace in particular were in full swing, Jar Jar Binks was often used as an emblem of everything wrong with the movie, and quite a number of people claimed, with apparent earnestness, that his existence ruined the entirety of Star Wars for them.

Now, sure, Jar Jar was a pretty worthless character, a comic sidekick who, while spawning some funny Internet memes, was almost entirely unfunny by himself (except for little kids, perhaps), and had too much focus, while being superficial to the plot, only accidentally enabling some story developments through his bumbling stupidity and clumsiness.

But it is clear that at some point expressing hatred of him loudly turned into a sort of watchword for those, who were generally disappointed in the prequels, so poor Jar Jar got more heat than his supporting role deserved.

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But as years passed and flame wars abated (or shifted towards new grounds, with the release of the sequel Star Wars trilogy, which, in addition to the usual Internet cycle of "new = bad, old = good", was genuinely worse than the prequels), it became possible to evaluate Jar Jar more calmly.

So by now, while an opinion like "Jar Jar, while not a fantastic character, is not the series ruiner that everyone makes him out to be," still has to be expressed in an "unpopular opinions" Reddit thread, it actually happens to be quite popular, as evidences by a lot of upvotes.

And that is on Reddit, which was Jar Jar hate central, in large part thanks to its very voting mechanism (if you try to fight an opinion that is as strongly forced on a given subreddit, as opinions about Jar Jar were, well, most people just aren't going to see your posts).

In truth, problems with Jar Jar Binks as a character, in addition to being exaggerated, were at most a symptom of wider issues, which afflicted The Phantom Menace, and not even the biggest symptom, because the decision to make Episode I the kid-friendliest of them all was pretty conscious – if contentious – while things like frequently-subpar dialogue were genuine, clear failures to achieve what the movie tried to achieve.