Jar Jar Binks

18 May

George Lucas' character Jar Jar Binks

Star Wars is the largest transmedia property in the world; a rich enterprise of story, creativity, and undeniable entertainment wrapped in movies, video games, books, tv shows and lifestyles.  Star Wars defined a generation and inspired millions of people to push the bounds of modern film-making; their influence on world citizens is simply endless.

This very influence was questioned during the introduction of the character Jar Jar Binks in the Episode I: Phantom Menace film. Jar Jar Binks is a clumsy, banished,  loud, annoying, Caribbean accented Gungan from Naboo.

While LucasArts strongly asserts that Jar Jar Binks was introduced for Comic Relief– many film analysts attribute the character and his actions to a modern day minstrelsy in a sense that it is capitalisizing on the stereotypical assumptions of black individuals by representing them as lazy, clumsy, uneducated and that any success is accidental and can be attributed to someone else.

Jar Jar Binks often doesn’t annunciate his words or pronounce things correctly, he’s often found doing favors and work for Qui-Gon and it appears that he admires him as a master or an owner. In the film, he actually surrenders himself to Qui-Gon as a servant.

The relationship exploits the racial ideals that were once held in America during the time of slavery.

While we are supposed to see Jar Jar Binks as a nationless individual in context of America, his portrayal in the film is representative of a particular race far more than we are able to examine with other aliens or droids.

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