So first, let’s establish Jar Jar as a skilled warrior. He manages to convince us that he’s a bumbling oaf in the midst of pitched battle… even though he’s always incredibly, amazingly successful. Whether single-handedly taking down a battledroid tank, or unleashing a barrage of boombas on their front lines, or precisely targeting multiple enemies with a blaster tangled around his ankle (!!!), we simply roll our eyes and attribute it to dumb “luck.”
But is it? Obi-Wan warned us otherwise.
This is one of the main reasons we as an audience hate Jar Jar so thoroughly; he shatters our suspension of disbelief, because we know that no one is really that lucky. We dismiss it as a lame, cliched trope– the silly pathetic oaf who always seems to inadvertently save the day.
As we know, the Jedi themselves are inspired by Shaolin Monks, and there’s a particular kung fu discipline that Jar Jar’s physicality is purposefully modeled upon which allows him to appear goofy and uncoordinated even as he lays waste to his enemies; namely, Zui Quan, or Drunken Fist wushu. This discipline seeks to imitate the “sloshing,” seemingly random foibles of a drunkard, but in reality the staggering and stumbling is the use of bodily momentum, deception, and unpredictability intended to lure and confuse opponents.
That’s all well and good, but even if Jar Jar is a secret Drunken Fist boxing master, that doesn’t make him a force user, right? Well, it should at least make us suspicious of his character period. It establishes that his over-the-top, childish antics are a veneer masking a more complex character than we’re led to believe. Jar Jar is just as effortlessly stealthy as his Jedi counterparts.
In addition to this kind of highly suspicious physical “luck,” I also believe that we’re given enough clues to justifiably suspect that Jar Jar is also a master of Jedi Mind Control.
We hate the way Jar Jar influences major plot points for the same reason we hate his physicality- it messes with our sense of realism. Two experienced Jedi on a serious mission would never actually bring someone that stupid along with them. No character that idiotic would ever really be made a general. They certainly wouldn’t be made a senator. How could anyone like Jar Jar really convince the entire galaxy to abandon democracy? That’s ridiculous.
These things are just the political version of his physical “luck.” Inadvertent, seemingly comical bumbling that just so happens to result in astoundingly positive results. But what if it isn’t inadvertant, and what if Jar Jar’s meteoric rise and inexplicable influence isn’t the result of dumb happenstance, but the result of extensive and careful use of force mind powers?
If you watch the prequels with the idea that Jar Jar might be a manipulative, dark character, you begin to notice just how insidious and subtle his manipulation is.
Examples: Jar Jar tricking the Jedi into traveling through the planet core (so that they need him). Jar Jar carefully causing a scene so that they run into Anakin. Jar Jar constantly mocking Qui-Gon behind his back while Anakin is watching (so that Anakin learns disrespect for Jedi authority early on). Jar Jar telling an 8 year old child that the queen is “pretty hot,” fanning the flames of the child’s infatuation that is exploited later on. I could go on.
Now if you lend even the slightest credence to my above points, and acknowledge the possibility that Jar Jar might not be an idiot, you’re almost forced to conclude that Jar Jar Binks and Palpatine were co-conspirators. If Jar Jar is putting forth an elaborate act to deceive people, it means he’s not a fool… and if he’s not a fool, it means his actions in Episode II that facilitate Palpatine’s plans are not those of an unwitting tool- they are those of a partner.
Remember- Palpatine and Jar Jar are from the same planet, which in the scale of the Star Wars universe is like growing up as next door neighbors. It’s entirely possible that they knew each other for years prior to The Phantom Menace– perhaps they trained together, or one trained the other. And Naboo is a really strange planet, actually; remember those odd ancient statues with the third eye? Naboo is the kind of place an “outcast” Gungan might find a Sith holocron or two.
But that’s just speculation. Let’s stick to what we know– what we know is that even after Palpatine is elected as Chancellor, years after Jar Jar has been “tricked” into helping elect him, Palpatine still hangs out with Jar Jar in Revenge of the Siths. Why? Wouldn’t he be a constant source of public embarrassment? This is the same character who can’t walk five yards without stepping in poodoo or squealing like a rabid donkey, right? What use does he have now? Why is he still at the right hand of the most powerful person in the galaxy? Could it be that in fact Jar Jar is the most powerful person in the galaxy?