I’m sure at least some of you casual Star Wars fans out there have, at one point or another since the dumpster fire embodied by the prequels, wondered: “What ever happened to Jar Jar Binks?”
Despite his polarizing reception among viewers, he’s undoubtedly been an intriguing, even popular character because of how much people love to shit-talk him. He’s the alien they love to hate! And why wouldn’t they? That voice. That horrible accent. The overtones of cultural appropriation. His general, pervasive, consistent obnoxiousness that makes you wonder if the whole act is a gag and maybe underneath his all his clownish behavior, he’s a spy or an amazing warrior and not just this disappointing oaf we’re made to tolerate for the prequels.
Now, there’s a new novel out that might just help solve this debate. Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire’s End serves to shed some light on what happened to the hapless Gungan goofball—per Vulture:
The novel contains a section wherein we learn that the goofy Gungan was shunned for his political mistakes, and eventually took up a life on Naboo as a sad clown haunted by his guilt. Mashable describes the following scene between Jar Jar and a boy named Mapo thusly:
“Meesa Jar Jar,” says the clown when Mapo introduces himself. The clown distracts the orphan from his own sadness by popping his eyes and bulging his cheeks, but is hiding a sadness of his own.
“Jar Jar makin some uh-oh mistakens,” the Gungan says, explaining why he isn’t wanted anywhere either. “Desa hisen Naboo tink I help the uh-oh Empire.” He stares into the distance, suggesting he knows more than he’s saying.
Damn, I mean, Jar Jar Binks was just insufferable during Episodes I, II and III, but that’s a pretty shitty way for a once-adventurous (even if by accident) life to draw to a close.