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Jar Jar in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks with C-3PO in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘Bombad Jedi’

Note: Beware Spoilers ahead for many episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Over the past few weeks, I have been rewatching Star Wars: The Clone Wars via Netflix.  During this re-watch, I noticed that Jar Jar Binks, although still clumsy, annoying and not the brightest being in the Star Wars Universe, has a good heart and does the best he can to help his friends and especially, his people get through The Clone Wars. In addition, Jar Jar displays skills and abilities that are not apparent when we first meet him in The Phantom Menace. Therefore, this article will explore a few examples of Jar Jar’s maturity, growth, abilities and skills displayed during The Clone Wars series.

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks with his new friend in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘Bombad Jedi’
New Abilities
What impresses me the most about Jar Jar in this series is that his character is given additional abilities and skills not on display when we first meet him in The Phantom Menace. One of these is the ability to communicate and understand the behavior of many different types of creatures. In ‘Bombad Jedi’, Jar Jar communicates with a Rodian sea creature, who he recruits to help get rid of the Battle Droids who are threatening his friends, Padme and C-3PO. In ‘Gungan General’, Jar Jar observes the behavior of “The Beasties” on Florin, which saves himself and the Clones accompanying him from Hondo Onaka’s pirates and also provides them much needed transportation.

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks saves Padme with his ‘waterproof spit’ Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘Prisoners’
Utilizing His Natural Abilities
In the episode, ‘Prisoners’, Jar Jar along with Padme and Anakin were captured and interrogated underwater by The Separatists.  During the interrogation, Padme’s helmet is damaged and she is on the verge of drowning due to sea water pouring in.  Jar Jar displays a new ability, when he saved Padme from drowning, by sealing her helmet with his spit, which is so sticky that it creates a waterproof seal. 

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘Supply Lines
Representative for The Republic During War
In the episode ‘Supply Lines’, Jar Jar help Bail Organa negotiate with the Toydarians about helping get Republic relief ships to Ryloth, which is currently under a blockade by The Separatist Alliance.  These negotiations are made difficult by the presence of Lott Dod, The Trade Federation representative and a member of The Separatist Alliance.  Lott Dod succeeds in convincing the Toydarians that Bail and Jar Jar are lying about the purpose of the ships and the Toydarians refused to approve the request.  However, Jar Jar actually helps Bail convince King Katuunko, leader of the Toydarians, to help at least get the supplies they brought with them to Ryloth.  However, this needs to be done without Lott Dod knowing because this is a private decision on his part and not a public one of his government.  Jar Jar’s task is to distract Lott Dod and his cohorts while Bail gets the ships to Ryloth.  Actually Jar Jar does a good job of providing this distraction with a ‘traditional’ Gungan dance during a formal dinner with Lott Dod. It is through Jar Jar’s clumsiness and antics during this dance that allows these much needed relief supplies to get to the citizens of Ryloth.

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks and Padme in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘Bombad Jedi’
Friends Are VERY Important
Throughout The Clone Wars, Jar Jar is often accompanied by many of his friends or colleagues, especially Padme. In ‘Bombad Jedi’, we see Jar Jar accompanying Padme to meet her ‘Uncle’ on Rhodia for a diplomatic mission.  Yes, when Jar Jar is first introduced in the episode, he displays the same annoying traits we saw in The Phantom Menace.  However, when Padme was captured by Separatist Battle Droids, Jar Jar immediately began a campaign to rescue her despite his shortcomings.  Kevin Rubio, one of the writers on this episode says in a press release, that he wanted “ find a middle ground between the funny side of Jar Jar and heroic redemption...he is a fish out of water, and, yeah, can be goofy and stupid, but in context, it works.”  It is through Jar Jar’s actions, assumptions made based on his attire (Jedi robe left in a closet on board Padme’s ship) and his own ability to communicate with creatures that saves his friends and helps to capture a high ranking Separatist, Viceroy Nute Gunray.

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks and Padme in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘Bombad Jedi’
A Love Interest
In the Season 6 Episode The Disappeared Part I, we learn that Jar Jar has a romance with a Queen. Bryan Young from Full of Sith and provides his views of this newly revealed relationship of Jar Jar’s.

“It was fascinating to see Jar Jar in a romantic situation and to realize that it takes all kinds. Some might turn their nose up at that idea, but everybody loves somebody and Jar Jar is certainly worthy of love. The two episodes featuring him in "The Disappeared" did a lot to advance him as a three dimensional character and I would welcome more stories with him.”

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks and Mace Wondo in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘The Disappeared Part I’
Friend of The Jedi
In The Disappeared episodes, Queen Julia of Bardotta asks The Republic for help with the disappearance of the Dagoyan Masters and requested to meet only with Representative Binks to discuss the criss. Unfortunately, the missing Dagoyan Masters have a strong connection to The Force and The Jedi Council insisted that Mace Windu accompany Jar Jar to meet with Queen Julia despite the request. The Queen and her people distrust The Jedi, but Jar Jar, declares that Mace is his friend and is there to help him find out what is happening.  This strong defense of Mace and The Jedi convinces Queen Julia that Mace can stay and help the investigation.

jar jar binks in the clone wars
Jar Jar Binks as Boss Lyonie and Anakin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode ‘Shadow Warrior’
 Jar Jar Helps Save Naboo, Again
In the episode ‘Shadow Warrior’, Jar Jar is asked to impersonate Boss Lyonie, who is injured, to help stop a droid army set to invade Naboo.  During this impersonation, Jar Jar meets with General Grievous. Despite his fear, Jar Jar stalls Grievous while General Tarpol warns Senator Padme and the Naboo about the threat.  After the crisis is over, both the Naboo Queen and Boss Lyonie compliment Jar Jar about stopping another war between the Gungan and Naboo people.  Jar Jar only said to them:  ‘Mesa doing my best’. In the end is that all any of us can do?

No matter what you may have thought of Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones, watching Jar Jar in Star Wars: The Clone Wars series may help change your opinion. I know my friend Amy Wishman Nalan agrees with this and said the following via Twitter “I just think Jar-Jar in TCW is so relatable." If you have Netflix, you still have until March 5, 2017 to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars and see for yourself
Patty Hammond (@pattyBones2) is the Everyday Fangirl from Michigan who has a disguise as a mild mannered data analyst.  Patty is very active in the Star Wars community. You can find her posting about Star Wars and much more on her blog and of course on Twitter @Pattybones2.

All photo credits: Episode Guide

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