The Jar Jar Binks Sith Lord Fan Theory Dissected

There is a lot that you can say about the infamous Jar Jar Binks, a "Star Wars" character first introduced in 1999's "Episode I – The Phantom Menace." Once universally hated by the fandom, he's got a certain ironic quality to him that he ends up being a great character in a roundabout way. This has led to not only a much-needed reevaluation of his actor, Ahmed Best, but it has also led to some entertaining and funny interpretations of Jar Jar as a character.

Perhaps there is no better example of these interpretations than the theory that Jar Jar Binks is a Sith Lord. Many might have heard this theory, usually as a passing joke, but there is extensive lore built around this very theory that demands your full attention. The first documented deep dive into this theory came from the Star Wars subreddit in 2015 by user Lumpawarroo, whose explanation of why they think Jar Jar was a Sith Lord is way more convincing than it should be. Admittedly, though, their explanation is a lot to take in, so let's break it down a bit.

His successes in battle can't be a coincidence

No matter how oafish and dimwitted he comes across, it's hard to deny that Jar Jar is extremely good at fighting for some reason. Seriously — he's able to somehow survive every battle throughout the prequel trilogy that he finds himself in. Lumpawarroo claims that this is because Jar Jar is a master in the art of Zui quan, or drunken boxing. According to the Taizu Shaolin Kung Fu International School, the primary movement of drunken boxing is called sloshing, an imitation of the bodily movements someone intoxicated by wine might make — although the motions might look haphazard, they are actually carefully choreographed and fluid.

Sound familiar at all? That's because this can easily be used to describe every movement that Jar Jar makes throughout the series. If, in theory, he is able to sense the movements of those around him like force-sensitive masters are able to do, then it could make sense that he utilizes drunken boxing techniques in order to appear clumsier than he actually is. This observation isn't even that hard of a reach, considering how the teachings of the Jedi heavily mirror those of Shaolin monks. The franchise dips its toes into all sorts of religious and spiritual teachings that this shouldn't be surprising to any viewer, casual or devoted.

The manipulation continues

Another point that Lumpawarroo makes is that Jar Jar is not only skilled enough in the force that he can predict movements, but he is also able to use Jedi mind tricks to control others. The official "Star Wars" website describes this force technique as "[implanting] a suggestion in the minds of those [the Jedi] encounter, encouraging them to comply with the Jedi's wishes." It doesn't take much to see how this ability can be used for more nefarious purposes.

Case in point is the fact that Jar Jar is somehow able to climb the political and social ranks of the Republic to become a senator, eventually gaining enough power to where he was able to grant Palpatine emergency power. Lumpawarroo suggests that the only way that Jar Jar could have ever gotten to this point in his life is through waving his hands and manipulating the minds of everyone he comes into contact with.

Of course, it's easy to assume that the Gungan was, like many others in the prequel trilogy, duped by Palpatine into building what would become the Empire. However, if you were to prescribe to the theories laid above, it's far easier to suspect that Jar Jar was actually working with him all along. Besides, it's not like Palpatine was exactly subtle in his motivations.

Is there any credence to this theory?

Surprisingly, this theory isn't entirely tinfoil hat material. In fact, there is more truth to it than pure fantasy. Back in 2016, Best was interviewed for the YouTube series "These Are The Actors You're Looking For," where he explained that the theory was brought to his attention. While the entire theory that Lumpawarroo presented may not have been accurate, he expressed gratitude that fans were able to pick up on subtle hints for a supposedly canceled storyline.

"What I can say about it is — and I kinda said this on Twitter — there's a lot about it that's true," he revealed. "Could Jar Jar have evolved into [a Sith lord]? I think the answer is yes. Because of the backlash, and rightfully so, Lucasfilm backed off from Jar Jar a lot. But a lot of the influence I put into the character mirrored a lot of what was already in the 'Star Wars' universe."

Considering the new embrace that Jar Jar and Best have experienced in the past few years, there's a chance that making this plot twist canon could be exciting to many fans that might have bemoaned the move back in the early 2000s. Perhaps one of the upcoming "Star Wars" television shows, such as "Skeleton Crew" or "Andor," will touch upon the story of a Gungan Sith lord who helped doom the Republic. Who's to say, but if there was any proper time to make this theory officially canon, it's now.