Jar Jar is not a Sith Lord, and why fan theories are ultimately pointless

Fandom is a strange thing. From fan-fiction to trailer reactions, fans have let their love of a franchise or story overwhelm their good sense and shame. Not all “nerds”, “geeks”, and fans are completely irrational, of course. But love is not a rational thing. It is an emotion. And that’s where things get weird.

Star Wars fans are among some of the most devoted in the world, and that’s allowed some of them to forgive the most ridiculous aspects of the sci-fi juggernaut. Excluding Jar Jar Binks, of course. The ass-clown of the prequel trilogy is easily the most reviled character in genre fiction in the last 25 years, and the most polarizing of the original six-film sequence. If there’s one thing that everyone agrees on, it’s that the one irredeemable aspect of the controversial prequels was Jar Jar.

Until now.

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If you’re reading this right now, you may have heard of the fan theory that Jar Jar Binks is actually a Sith Lord, and was pretending to be a foolish bumpkin the whole time, and it was he who actually masterminded all of the saga’s dark turns. This theory originated on Reddit, and has since been sweeping fandom, as fans are suddenly convinced that the ass-clown who kept stepping in shit in The Phantom Menace is actually the real villain of the prequels. Various YouTube videos breathlessly proclaim the new gospel according to fan theories and rattle off the “evidence” that Jar Jar is Darth Plagueis, and may even show up in the new movies as the ultimate bad guy.

It’s all bullshit. Of course it’s all bullshit. All fan theories are bullshit.

Fan theories are not necessarily terrible; Some can be fascinating. But fan theories are usually pointless exercises in rationalization and conjecture. So, if you’ll oblige me, I’m about to not only debunk the Jar Jar fan theory, but I’m also going to explain why fan theories exist, and why almost all of them are pointless.

First and foremost, go familiarize yourselves with the theory, if you haven’t already. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Good, you’re back. Now, allow me explain why this is all so stupid.

Jar Jar can jump really high because he’s an amphibian, and clearly the evolutionary cousin of a frog. As he’s not mammalian or human in physiology, it seems to follow he would have similar talents to other amphibians.

Jar Jar is not a Sith Lord, and why fan theories are ultimately pointless

But the jump from the balcony? Continuity error.

He waves his hands whenever something happens, you say? I move my hands when I talk all the time. If you agree with me, does that make me a Sith master?

Jar Jar is not a Sith Lord, and why fan theories are ultimately pointless

Ahmed Best tweeted to confirm it! Yeah, he’s the guy who played the most reviled character in genre fiction. Why wouldn’t he jump on this theory to prove how important he was the whole time? Also, if he knew this secret, why did he sit on it for 16 years until some nobody on Reddit figured it out?

I could go on all day why this is stupid, but I’m going to skip ahead to why fanboys want to believe this ridiculousness.

The prequels sucked, and there’s no getting around it. They were a sharp drop in quality from the original trilogy. So this theory comes along that proves that the prequels were good all along and suddenly, all is right with the world again.

The prequels may have been the biggest pop culture disappointment of the 20th century, and Star Wars fans have been trying to find a way to square themselves with that ever since. This theory offers them a way to do that. Suddenly, the worst character of the saga is the most important, and the annoying jackassery was actually moving the plot along, and George Lucas goes from a well-meaning artist who didn’t know what he was doing and returns to being the creative genius we all thought he was before Phantom Menace came out.

In all honesty, that’s why most fan theories exist. Star Wars fans who subscribe to the Darth Jar Jar theory do like Star Wars, but don’t want to admit Phantom Menace and the prequels were garbage. So they make up and subscribe to a storyline that redeems it. In the end, most fans do this. You can do it with any film. I did it with the original Star Wars trilogy a few times. The difference is the extent.

I had a few ideas about a few things (I thought Tarkin was a veteran of the Clone Wars, that’s why Vader did what he said), but I enjoyed the movies just fine without them. It was just a way to connect the dots. Sometimes good movies leave gaps so viewers can fill them in.

Most other fan theories are meant to explain away a continuity error or some other failure. Another one I subscribe to is the multiple James Bond theory, that James Bond was a real spy once, and every time the man who plays him changes, it’s a different person because MI-6 is using James Bond as a codename. M and Moneypenny and Felix Leiter are also codenames in some versions of this theory.

While the theory does make it possible to say all the movies take place in the same universe (otherwise every recasting since Moore has been a reboot), continuity between the films is largely irrelevant. Calling back to my column about every film being a standalone film, as long as a movie is a good movie, the changing Bond really doesn’t matter. It’s just a way to justify the changing face of Bond and still have the films all take place in the same universe. The Darth Jar Jar theory is an attempt to enjoy something that’s bad without having to call it a guilty pleasure. It’s an almost religious need to have one’s faith justified.

I could spend the entire rest of this column debunking the claims one by one, but I won’t bother. The biggest reason I don’t buy it is because I don’t think George Lucas has it in him to do it. He is, after all, the creative genius behind Greedo shooting first, midichlorians, the stale Anakin/Padme romance, and the infamous Darth Vader “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Seriously, does Lucas seem like a guy capable or even inclined to play a long game like having the bad guy be the comic relief for the kids for two movies before revealing himself as the ultimate evil? He didn’t even handle Palpatine’s long game well; What makes you think he has this up his sleeve?

Jar Jar is not a Sith Lord, and why fan theories are ultimately pointless

The behind-the-scenes footage and material of The Phantom Menace show Lucas was really enthusiastic about Jar Jar, because he thought the kids were going to love him. If he would have always intended to have Jar Jar be revealed as the bad guy, it would have destroyed the series’ kid appeal, which doesn’t seem like a George Lucas thing.

If anything, he’s ramped up the “it was always meant for kids” rhetoric ever since. I seriously doubt Lucas had it in him to be that devious. This is the man who refused to kill Han Solo in Return of the Jedi because he said he didn’t think he could sell dead Han Solo toys. You really think he would base the trilogy’s storyline on such a “non-kid-friendly” turn?

Some people have even gone as far as to declare that the new trilogy’s bad guy, Snoke, is actually Jar Jar. I don’t claim to know the exact nature of this villain who hasn’t even been seen on screen (and will be played by Andy Serkis), so I have no way to refute this, so I will say this:

Of course Jar Jar isn’t Snoke. There’s a reason J.J. Abrams makes movies, and fanboys bitch on the internet: Connections.

Jar Jar is not a Sith Lord, and why fan theories are ultimately pointless

The other reason is he’s not stupid. Of course he’s not going to feature a Darth Jar Jar. He would have to be a fucking moron to base the future of the franchise on its most hated and polarizing character. So, no, fanboys. Darth Jar Jar will not be canon. Abrams himself has even joked about having Jar Jar’s skeleton in the background in The Force Awakens. Say what you will about his output so far, but the man seems to have his priorities straight.

So, in summary: There is no Darth Jar Jar. He exists only in your mind to help you cope with your affection for a bad movie. And that’s okay. It’s just a movie, and it doesn’t make you inferior to subscribe to some stupid fan theory. Do whatever you have to do to watch the movies you want to watch. Just leave the rest of us out of it, okay? I was more than happy to let this new Star Wars movie erase my memories of Jar Jar forever, and you just had to drag him back into the light in an attempt to justify his existence.

I’ve liked things that I can objectively call bad. I love a few movie series that have their own weak chapters. But I don’t jump through intellectual hoops to include them in my personal canon. I don’t watch any Alien movies beyond the second one. There are Godzilla films I don’t re-watch because they’re just not very good. But these bad chapters don’t taint the new ones in my mind, because I don’t pay attention to them.

Once again, if you like this theory, go right ahead and enjoy it, but just leave the rest of us out of it, okay? I look forward to your inevitable disappointment when Jar Jar is nowhere to be seen in the new trilogy and you have to come up with a new theory to justify why.

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  • CaptainCalvinCat

    “The prequels sucked, and there’s no getting around it.”

    Aactually, yes there is. You can always decide doing a controversial thing and actually liking that damn movie. And I have to be honest: I think – even if the idea is moronic – you gotta admit, that there is at least creativity in that theory… unlike bitching and moaning about a movie, that in 4 years will celebrate its twentieth anniversary and still nag about how bad it was.

  • Cameron Vale

    The biggest flaw in the theory is that it doesn’t really fix anything. As one of those replies to the theory pointed out, if Yoda had been written as an intrusive and annoying tagalong comic relief character whose Jedi reveal was put off until another movie, he would have been no less reviled than Jar-Jar. And it still faithfully preserves the cardinal flaw of the trilogy, that everything happens because of a single Sith so none of the characters have any agency and no real conflict is happening; just substitute Palpatine with Jar-Jar. And even sticking to The Phantom Menace, before Lucas supposedly changed the direction of the prequels, Qui-Gonn’s faith in the Force becomes an idiotic and crippling character flaw that makes him essentially a mindless puppet for the Sith.

  • Kevin Bosch

    “Darth Jar Jar” is not true and dumb!”

    Okay, fair, while I find it a fun thought exercise, I agree that fan theories can become annoying, especially when fans take them too seriously.

    “Oh, but ‘James Bond is a code name’ theory is totally real you guys!!!”

    • Nathan kerner

      If that’s meant to be a dig at me for entertaining a theory, please do remember that my point is that the theory is irrelevant, and doesn’t have any value beyond a thought exercise. continuity does not matter beyond a certain point. You never hear anyone mention what happened in Dr. No as if it were still continuity.

  • MichaelANovelli

    Jar Jar *was* important, though. He cast the deciding vote in the Senate to create the Empire!

    • Marsden

      That’s a good point. I always thought Jar Jar’s character arc was one of the very best portrayed of all of the characters. He’s a total fool and moron and is exiled for it. And through circumstances that he is completely undeserving of any good thing become a general, a war hero, a representative and then a senator. Tell me that isn’t a great arc. He’s like the Uber Gilligan. And I’m tired of hearing about how terrible the prequels were, it’s just old.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    I was never anti-Jar Jar. Aside from his “antics” screwing with the pacing of the first film, routinely destroying any tension building which is not the character’s fault, he’s just kind of there. An easy mark for general audience grievances. Plus the Star Wars The Clone Wars episode where Jar-Jar teams up with Mace Windu is easily one of the most disturbing things that has ever been presented as children’s entertainment… to be clear I consider that a good thing.

  • Well, now I’m curious. Who is the most reviled character in non-genre fiction in the last 25 years?

    • Chris Hedrick

      Bella Swan from Twilight? Ruby Rhod from the 5th Element? But that’s just my bias.

  • Cristiona

    Show us on the doll where the fan theory touched you.

    • Nathan kerner

      Good to see you brought the child molestation jokes out.

      And on the ass. The fan theory touched me on the ass. I threw my drink in it’s face, and then it told me I was just asking for it.

      Two can play that game.

      • Cristiona

        Well certainly seems to be plenty of butthurt.

        • Nathan kerner

          are all your responses one sentence of snark, or do you have something of substance to add?

          • Cristiona

            I suppose I could. I felt my general disdain was clearly presented and easily inferred from my choice of reply, but, sure, I can expand for the slow kids.

            Not that much expansion is necessary. The whole thing reads like you’re personally insulted by this or that fan theory (hence my original comment). It’s less an essay and more a foot-stamping tantrum. It’s the kind of thing I saw a lot of with Magic the Gathering nerds in college when you slightly misquoted something from Monty Python or whatever.

            But, hey, no skin off my teeth. This is clearly very, very important to you and your sense of self. So, whatever floats your boat, Cochise. I’d say “whatever makes you happy”, but… well… I think that ship has sailed.

            Or never came to port. Whichever.

          • Nathan kerner

            making fun of retarded people and culturally appropriating Indian names, really upping your game.

            Agony Booth asked my opinion. Here it is. You can do better by all means, post how you hate people for having a negative view of fandom and its pointless speculations. I’m sure it’ll be a concise masterpiece of opinion writing rife with molestation jokes.

            And I’m actually quite happy. I don’t need silly fandom to make me happy. But my opinion is apparently worth publication, so hey, keep the comments coming….engagement is something that really does make me happy.

          • Cristiona

            Wow. You’re just adorable. Misappropriating Indian names? Jeeze. I believe the current correct term is Indigenous Americans, you racist. Might also wanna check out a little film called The Warriors.

            I’m trying to parse that second paragraph, but it’s missing words and seems to be full of projection. Or possibly it’s a gross misunderstanding of my view. Or it’s a request for me to write something I don’t necessarily believe? Maybe a “walk a mile in my shoes” kind of thing? Gotta admit, I’m stumped Mr. Writer Man. Maybe you should go back to being offended on other people’s behalf. You’ve at least got that down pat.

            Oh, now I get it. You’re making a broad generalization about my opinion based on a narrow line of disagreement. You aren’t that important, dear. In fact, I have a rather dim view of fandoms in general because they tend to breed echochambers and groupthink, and they have a distressing tendency to effectively kill any innovation and creativity by stifling and slavish obsession. No, I wasn’t trying to charge in to save fandom from your post. I just thought your post was ridiculously hostile and you were taking things way too personally.

            Which, you know, is why I didn’t bother to make a more general point, and just commented on your article as opposed to the wider sociological aspects of fandom in general and Star Wars fandom in particular.

            In short, I thought your post was less an essay and more a foot-stamping tantrum (damn, but that sounds familiar).

          • Nathan kerner

            I’m not important and yet you’ve posted four times for a grand total of I’d say nine paragraphs. Your priorities sure seem straight.

            By the way, two stray rounds. One, I’m a history major, I can do this all day with you.
            Two, I’ve seen the warriors. it’s great, unlike any of your little barbs. But then again, you don’t care for my opinion according to your last tirade……

            And stay out of my shoes, they probably wouldn’t fit you anyway. The point was if you can express your opinion better than me in a format like this, by all means, go to it. I’m sure it will be completely analytical and not filled with any foot-stamping tantrums.

          • Eric

            “It’s the kind of thing I saw a lot of with Magic the Gathering nerds
            in college when you slightly misquoted something from Monty Python or
            whatever.”

            That’s what this is really about isn’t it. 😉 The Python geeks didn’t let you play in their reindeer games. And you, so smart and all.

          • Eric

            Sorry, obviously not @ Nathan but the other dude

        • Statalyzer

          Usually the first person to accuse someone of “butthurt” is the loser of the argument.

  • Pudding

    I generally have to agree. Oh btw, Deckard is not a replicant. Well, maybe he is. No he’s not.

    • Toby Clark

      I’ve seen that one pretty convincingly debunked. http://1000misspenthours.com/reviews/reviewsa-d/bladerunner.htm

    • NameWithheldByRequest

      Ridley Scott has an inexplicable tendency to ruin his masterpieces. Just like Prometheus ruined Alien and the Space Jockeys, I’m sure that the dreaded sequel will do the same to Blade Runner and the replicants.

  • maarvarq

    This article seems unnecessarily mean-spirited, i.e. I think you could have made your points without, for example, the sweeping generalisation of “All fan theories are bullshit”. I found the Jar Jar theory amusing, but I won’t ever watch The Panty Menace again except as the object of entertaining ridicule.

    • Nathan kerner

      to provide you with background, the mean-spiritedness came from personal experience. I subscribe to red letter media and Screen Junkies on youtube. So every time I look in my recommended videos, there are at least five or six star wars videos there.

      Well, as this fan theory began to gain traction, I kept finding videos about it in my recommendations. So I watched a few after avoiding them for about a month, and when I finally did, I realized that there were people taking these theories seriously, in a way that just forced me to shake my head.

      That’s what inspired me to write about the theory, because I’m actually fine with fan theories, but the thing is, they are just bullshit. They are just logical games played by fans that don’t actually mean anything or affect the film’s quality.

      I may come off as mean-spirited as you point out, but it was a genuine emotional reaction at the time of writing….

    • jgiac

      Yep. Nathan kerner didn’t debunk jack squat. “Jar Jar’s an amphibian.” So? Physics still exist in the Star Wars universe. Plus, absolutely no other Gungan in the film jumps that high, not even during the battle or when they’re all leaping for joy at the end of the film.

      Nathan says “The jump from the balcony is a continuity error.” Was Nathan in the editing bay? No? So he’s just conjecturing that. How does Nathan explain the fact that a droid was firing right where Jar Jar was in the previous shot, then turns and looks right at him in the next shot as if he’s noticing he’s in a different location?

      Nathan says “I move my hands when I talk and I’m not a Sith Master, so Jar Jar isn’t a Sith Master.” That’s like saying “I wear a robe sometimes and I’m not a Jedi, so Obi Wan isn’t a Jedi.” Do people immediately change their minds when Nathan moves his hands, like what happens in at least three different scenes with Jar Jar? Do people mimic Nathan’s mouth movements EXACTLY like what happens with Jar Jar? Nathan also apparently DOES think he’s a Sith Master, since he’s apparently read the minds and is speaking for the editors, all the theorists, George Lucas, and Ahmed Best.

      And that’s all of Nathan’s so-called “debunking.” He just pulled explanations out of nowhere without proving them or backing them up with ANYTHING, which is the very thing he was accusing the theorists of doing. Massive, epic failure on Nathan’s part.

      And no, I’m not someone who praises the prequels at all, with its wooden acting, overuse of CGI, and a pedophile queen. So Nathan’s blatantly lying about theorists’ motives, too. What about Nathan’s motives? Is he bitter because nothing he’s ever written has become popular or mainstream, as this theory has?

      Then Nathan turns right around and supports a far more IDIOTIC fan theory about Bond being a codename. Bond got married in Lazenby’s OHMSS, and Moore visits her grave. Brosnan and Lazenby both have the same family motto. So all these different Bonds drink the same martini, were commanders in the royal navy, were at Cambridge, and have the same banter with Moneypenny? It’s pure nonsense. They’re obviously all the same man, just with a floating timescale. The only exception are the Daniel Craig films, as that’s a reset timeline that’s impossible to fit with the previous Bond films. The codename theory creates more continuity errors than it solves. And unlike the Jar Jar theory, the codename theory winds up hurting the Bond character and the Bond film series, rather than helping as the Jar Jar theory does. The Jar Jar theory, even if you don’t believe it was Lucas’s intention (I don’t), still fills tons of massive plot holes and gives the films more substance and a sense of fun.

      Nathan says he “won’t bother” debunking the other claims. Well, of course he won’t. Because Nathan even failed to debunk the three points he DID barely touch on. After the original theory was posted, more points were found. There’s over a hundred totally different DIRECT EVIDENCE moments in the films and the Clone Wars series that support the theory, so Nathan would fail miserably at debunking those issues too.

      Nathan is so desperate for anyone, anywhere to support his side, he even emphatically backpats Pud’s vague assertion that “The theory isn’t true because Jar Jar didn’t reap the benefits.” WHAT? Jar Jar doesn’t serve at Palpatine’s side, because the theory is that Jar Jar is OVER Palpatine. You think Jar Jar should be rolling in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck or something? None of the force users do anything like that. They usually are just sitting on their asses in a swamp or a desert or a chair. If the theory is true, Jar Jar’s ultimate goal would be higher than himself. He would want the Sith to be in control, rather than the Jedi. He doesn’t have to be Jeoffery from Game of Thrones with people bowing down to just HIM, his ideals could be just a little higher than that, ya know?

      After realizing that absolutely nobody was praising his article (what a shock!), Nathan then evades responsibility and tries to blame Agony Booth for making the article, saying they asked him to write the article. Really? I find it hard to believe Agony Booth sent you an email that said “Hey Nathan, we love light-hearted articles here. So we want you to write a mean-spirited article debunking this specific fun fan theory, but be sure to half-ass it and don’t actually disprove anything.”

      And as you’ll read below, Nathan also evades accountability for his actions by claiming his empty hissy fit of an article was from “personal experience” and he says to theorists to “keep the rest of us out of it.” Well, Nathan, nobody printed out the theory, then held your mouth open and jammed it down your throat. If you don’t like it, ignore it. Don’t try to ride on the coattails of it with a lazy contrarian article in the hopes you’ll get more exposure as a writer. Your plan failed, Nathan, because in order for that plan to actually WORK, you’d need to have some talent to back it up, like the author of the original theory.

      The original theory posted on reddit was done with skill and plenty of supporting evidence to back up the claims. Nathan’s article, on the other hand, is pure amateur hour. In fact, this article is one of the worst ever posted on Agony Booth, which should be held to a high standard, considering the exceptional and truly talented articles that have been posted here in the past.

      Nathan then replied to this post with “Wow, I’m sure you get a lot of action from the ladies with posts like this.” Um, not only does your non-sequitur have absolutely nothing to do with any points raised here, it’s also just as hypocritical as your article. When a different poster did NOT go into detail about the points you raised, you ridiculed them for that. Someone now DOES go into detail, and you go “Huh huh you aren’t popular with women.” Which apparently is your idea of a clever retort and “talkin’ shit.” As far as popularity… do you REALLY want to go there? Your comment is coming from someone who posted a lengthy geeky diatribe about something as geeky as Star Wars on a geek site and… failed at it. THAT is what makes women wet, in your opinion? Honestly, are you actually twelve years old? Can’t take substantive criticism, so you evade all the raised points and talk like a grade school child in response? Are you going to back THAT up with anything, such as evidence or face-to-face physical actions? No? So what do you actually want in response, then? Someone to just call you a fat gutless virgin? Is that more your speed? Would you be able to prove otherwise? No? Sorry, anything you say about this post, you’re saying about yourself as well considering your article’s content. And you’re not a Jerky Boy or a shock jock any more than you are an article writer, so don’t try the “Internet Tough Guy pissing contest” approach at evasion, either. YOU started this. You’re just not willing to finish it. You can’t duck the issues by failing at being an alpha male behind a keyboard. Understand?

      Nathan then asks what the fan theory’s author’s name was. Beats me. Who cares? That has nothing to do with the theory itself. And the fact he posted it anonymously makes him even more respectable, as it shows he wasn’t doing it for name recognition as a writer. Did you bring this up because I referred to you as Nathan? I’ll change all the references to your name to “the writer of the Agony Booth article” if that’ll make you happy, I don’t mind either way.

      Okay, next update: At no point do I brag about getting all the action from the ladies. All I stated is that your comment regarding that is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to the article. Everything I stated had to do with the article itself and the writing. It’s just smoke-and-mirrors. If you wrote an article about our sex lives, then we can post articles about that. Maybe a Skype video debate of us getting our dicks sucked by all our lady-friends and we can compare the numbers… I dunno.

      Yes, Nathan, I do NOT believe that it was Lucas’s intent to make Jar Jar a Sith Lord. But the are people that DO believe that, and there is some evidence to support it. But that part of the theory I don’t feel is strong enough because I personally feel the evidence isn’t strong enough. But that’s only my opinion of it, and I don’t trash others that do feel that way.

      And no, I don’t think people who post their names are cowards looking for fame, I’m just saying I respect that the reddit poster was NOT trying to elevate himself with his posting. Even after the article hit mainstream, to my knowledge he still didn’t come forward. The theory has been discussed on things like Conan and other shows, and by coming out he could gotten major exposure and interviews! But he didn’t. I don’t know, it just seems like a humble gesture on his part.

      Why should I write a response article? I’m not wanting to turn Agony Booth into a Star Wars debate club. That’s like getting your leg cut off by a surgeon that was supposed to cut off your arm, and if you complain they say “Well, can you do any better?” And again, I didn’t post this because you felt the theory is bullshit. I agree on the surface it’s a claim that anybody (including me) would say “Whhhaaaat?” upon first hearing it. No, it’s because you said people who like the theory were in denial of how bad the movie is, and that you were going to debunk it… but didn’t! If you went through every point with the level-headedness of the original reddit post, you wouldn’t have heard a peep from me, and in fact I’d probably be on this board DEFENDING you. Heck, your Tarkin theory may stick in my head the next time I watch ANH.

      Everyone forgot about it? Sure, it’s going to die down. That’s the instant world we live in. Right now the current talk is about how cancer keeps killing all of our most talented celebrities. That will die down, too. But things like this leave residual impact. There are people that will never see TPM the same way again, even if (like me) they see the theory in a tongue in cheek retcon way that makes that flawed movie more entertaining.

      • Nathan kerner

        Wow, I’m sure you get a lot of action from the ladies with posts like this.

      • Nathan kerner

        Also, since i feel like talking shit, what was the fan theory’s author’s name?

      • Nathan kerner

        I see you edited your reply to address all the action you get from the ladies. Great. Well, since I’ve got time this morning, you shoot your own argument in the foot when you point out you don’t believe that George Lucas had any intentions of Jar Jar being a Sith Lord, and then you say the theory on Reddit was backed up by actual evidence. The problem being that if the writer of the movie was not making Jar Jar a Sith Lord, THEN THERE IS NO EVIDENCE, BECAUSE THERE CAN BE NO EVIDENCE. Jar Jar was never intended to be a Sith Lord, so he’s not a Sith Lord. That sums it up. I don’t know the Reddit user who came up with this theory, I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t have any evidence. He just saw a few things a built a backstory around it in his head. That is basically another form of fan fiction. And I love how you respect this guy because he hides behind an alias (frankly, since it’s the internet I don’t blame him) So I guess every author ever is a coward just looking for fame because they actually use their own names. I’ll tell the authors on the agony booth that you think them cowards because they use their own names. There are a few of them. Sorry your so butt hurt about this. So I’ll say what I said to another commenter: If you can do better, call the site’s editor and write a response. I’m sure he’d love to post your rambling essay of fan rage that turns personal and petty from sentence two. And I’m sure you’ll get all the praise and acclaim, and the aforementioned ladies will do cartwheels over it.

        Also, the fan theory had it’s fifteen minutes of fame, then the new movie came out, and everyone forgot about it. Except for people like you. So much for lasting impact.

        I write here here because I enjoy it, and they took a chance on me. So take it up with the website if it hurts your feelings so much. I also love how you call my article mean spirited, and then you publish twelve paragraphs calling me talentless and making personal attacks because I tossed a few bombs at your favorite fan fiction. But whatever, I can do this all day. So your move. I look forward to your Agony Booth article, which will no doubt be called “Nathan Kerner is a stupid head and i hate him” I’m sure it will be a masterpiece.

      • Nathan kerner

        sigh.

        Debunking Lucas’s intent is the ONLY debunking I need to do. If it’s not in the text or the subtext, then it’s not part of the story. I mentioned in my article the Tarkin theory. it’s not really a theory, just a thought. But it doesn’t affect the whole story, it’s just my imagination filling in the gaps. The Jar Jar fan theory doesn’t’ fill in the gaps, it rewrites the story entirely based on a few coincidences and suppositions.

        My father is a lawyer. The burden of proof is on the accuser. The accuser in this case is the fan theory itself. It’s based on no evidence at all, just supposition based the movies. I stand by my statement that it not being Lucas’s intent is the only thing that matters.

        The fan theory’s case, since you like using hypotheticals, is like someone being tried for manslaughter because they killed someone in negligence, but they change the charge to murder because the DA said there is all this “evidence” that the accused was an evil genius who just pretended to be stupid to have an alibi, and then using nothing but coincidences and lots of imagination to build one’s case. that was the whole point of the article. I don’t need to debunk it, because there is nothing there to debunk, and that fan theories, while fun, are completely pointless exercises in speculation.

        We know Jar Jar is not Snoke, unless Jar Jar hired a dialect coach and had a shit ton of plastic surgery. But that hasn’t stopped fan boys from unleashing a new slew of fan theories based on nothing but supposition. The reason i hate most fan theories is not only that they are pointless, but because they seem to stem from a fanboys need to outsmart the creators. The reddit user probably realized he had only fifteen minutes and coming forward wasn’t worth it. Believe me, I’ve seen his theories expounded upon by youtubers who made fools of themselves by acting like they received the lost Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Murry Chang

    This post is sufficiently cynical, I approve.

  • Kradeiz

    I generally don’t mind fan theories. Most of them are just harmless fun as long as a person doesn’t go overboard, and occasionally there turns out to be some validity to them. That in mind, I get why the Darth Jar Jar theory annoys some people. At first, I found the theory funny and endearing, but then I realized that a lot of people seemed to be taking it seriously, and just found it head-scratching.
    I mean, yeah, it would’ve been cool if it was true (though Lucas would’ve had to massively scale down the annoyance factor on Jar Jar), but like Nathan said, it wasn’t; Jar Jar was intended to be comic relief for kids, and the fact that he downplayed the character in II and III after fan backlash is further evidence. If Jar Jar was planned to be a super-important villainous mastermind, why diminish him to a few scenes in II and a cameo in III?
    As for the James Bond theory, I’m rather fond of that one, too. I’ve always liked the idea of a role or identity being passed on as the predecessor retired.

  • Dex_Meridian

    Genuinely asking and not trying to provoke: Is the thesis here “All fan theories are pointless garbage,” or is it something closer to “People who take fan theories seriously are really annoying”? I ask because I want the discussion you’ve started to continue. It’s an interesting topic. I disagree with the first statement, mostly because of the very thing you bring up: fan theories like the Bond codename are a fun thought exercise…and honestly I found Darth JarJar to be the same harmless fun. But I agree with the second statement, that people who have decided to become “truthers” and whisper desperately that Ferris Bueller is Cameron’s imaginary friend are just as annoying to me as Ant-vaxxers, moon hoaxers, and Loose Change aficianados.
    Contrastedly, spending an awful amount of time saying “the prequels suck and I wish people would stop trying to justify them” isn’t that compelling. It’s not untrue, but writing about that is kind of akin to bringing sand to the beach.

  • KLLRFRST

    The thing is, even if making Jar-Jar out to be a Sith lord wasn’t part of Lucas’ original game plan, who’s to say that Abrams didn’t take the ball and run with it? I mean, it’s clear that Lucas didn’t originally intend to have Luke and Leia be twins when A New Hope came out (unless you want to argue that Lucas flirted with the possibility of incest just to throw us off), and only came about after the revelation about Luke’s father in Empire Strikes Back.

    • Nathan kerner

      He’s not going to. Abrams is too smart to do something so foolish. Thats part of my point.

      No one actually likes Jar Jar, so even putting him in there would be utterly foolish

    • NameWithheldByRequest

      Jar Jar is cinematic poison. Just the rumor that Jar Jar would play a big role in the new trilogy would probably be enough to get Abrams fired, if not tarred and feathered by the fans…

  • “fan theories are ultimately pointless”
    Most thing in life including life itself could arguably be pointless if you think about it too much but we find reasons to care about even pointless things anyway.

  • Pud

    The big thing is, if Jar Jar was a Sith Lord, why did he not reap any benefits. There is no indication he ever enjoyed any power or other things a Sith craves. He didn’t serve next to his emperor like Darth Vader. He didn’t, apparently, do anything at all. So that blows the theory more than anything else I would think.

    • Nathan kerner

      exactly. Well put indeed.

    • NameWithheldByRequest

      Not necessarily. He may be so cunning and devious that he wouldn’t expose himself so publicly (and ultimately, so stupidly) like Palpatine did. After all, if you’re the public face of pure evil, you’ve painted a big fat target on your chest. Better to rule from the shadows, and let the useful idiots like Palpatine and Vader be the figureheads who everybody loves to hate. That way, everybody’s focused on the evil-looking old dude in the robe with the sinister cackle, and who’s gonna pay attention to the idiot lizard then?

      • Pud

        Nah, there’s no point. If you’re playing the part to such a degree that you are living the life of a schmuck, you’re just a schmuck. Palpatine had years of power, sex, and general whacky fun having the whole galaxy shitting their pants at the mere mention of him before Darth got uppity and threw him down the chute. Totally worth it. 😉

  • The_Stig

    I personally hate the Darth Jar Jar theory because A: It makes Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon look like idiots for not being able to sense the dark side in him, and they spent the entire movie with him, including a trip in a submarine through daplanetcore being forced to breathe Jar Jar’s farts. And B: It’s completely stupid.

    We should count ourselves lucky that JK Rowling didn’t write the prequels. She’d confirm the Darth Jar Jar theory on Twitter just to fuck with us.

  • PhysUnknown

    Not all fan theories are bullshit. They’re not even pointless. In fact, they are fantastic. Fan theories are exercises in critical literary analysis. They become bullshit when fans ignore the main tenet of literary analysis, which is that the evidence must be presented in the story. Everything is in a story/film/tv show for a reason (as such, we can occasionally use the intent and actions of the director/writer/creator in certain cases). That’s where most fan theories fall apart – they rely on something off-screen, or an assumed action on the part of one or more characters.

    The “James Bond is a codename” theory had no evidence backing it up before “Skyfall”, and evidence proving it wrong in “Skyfall”.

    In “Blade Runner”, there is solid evidence supporting the “Deckard as replicant” theory (depending on which version you watch). However, some of that evidence (the whole “six replicants escaped, only one died, so why is Deckard hunting four?” thing) has been reported as a filming gaff (there was supposed to be another replicant in the film, the dialog didn’t get changed), so it’s pretty much off the table.

    The Jar Jar theory is actually pretty good. He uses a lot of concrete evidence from the movie, though hand waves a couple of things. Had this been posted immediately after Ep 1, I would find it plausible. However – and I give the poster some credit for sort of acknowledging this – the events of the 2nd and 3rd movies fail to continue to support this theory. Now, is that because Lucas backed off? We don’t know, so we have to assume that Jar Jar is just a bumbling character who manages to get lucky occasionally. There is nothing else in there to prove that Jar Jar is a Sith lord. Sure, he waves his hands when he talks, but there is no evidence that this actually sways people. And yes, Palpatine “hangs out” with him in Ep 3, but to claim that is anything other than a politician keeping someone from his home system on his staff is nothing more than speculation.