Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

C'mon, people, let's leave poor Jar Jar out of this

Illustration for article titled C'mon, people, let's leave poor Jar Jar out of this
Photo: MATT CAMPBELL/AFP (Getty Images), Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post (Getty Images)

First, a word of reassurance to anybody who woke up this morning and saw that Star Wars’ least-favorite Gungan was trending on Twitter: Jar Jar Binks isn’t dead. (It’s not his birthday, either. Or hatch-day? We’re sure someone out there knows if Jar Jars do live birth, and if they could do us a favor and never, ever @ us about it, we’d be very much obliged.)


No, this is just some Trump shit, as we all continue to do our damnedest to translate the current political landscape—and 45's not-at-all-terrifying non-emergency “emergency” that he mumblingly horfed into life yesterday into a context that our brains can make sense of, i.e., the plot details of George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels. As you probably recall, those positioned Senator Jar Jar (yes, really) as the easily-led political doofus who voted to give the future Emperor emergency powers, and then all the Jedi got killed, and then the younglings bit it, and then there was something about losing the high ground, and it was just, generally, a pretty bad scene.

Trump’s emergency declaration—which he raced into action to address today via several extremely emergency rounds of golf down in Florida—has now kicked off an important political argument brewing in the online sphere: Who’s the Jar Jar here? After all, Trump declared the state of emergency without needing to pass anything through either the House or the Senate, raising the possibility that he’s his own Jar Jar, as well as a particularly bumbling take on the guy pulling his strings, Sheev Palpatine. (Yes, the Emperor’s first name is Sheev.) That allegation of Binks-hood was raised by a number of pundits this weekend, including George Conway, who’s famous mostly for talking shit about Trump while being married to his long-time subordinate, Kellyanne Conway.

But while the surface parallels are there, we have to take some umbrage at this depiction of the much-maligned Jar Jar. For one thing, actor Ahmed Best, who played him, has had more than enough shit dumped on him for one lifetime, thank you. For another, Jar Jar is objectively a better person than Trump: While they both have a certain propensity for fucking up their allies’ carefully arranged plans, Jar Jar at least is a certified war hero who stands by his friends in time of need. Sure, he ultimately ends up trading freedom for security—thus dooming the Republic to a rapid slide from aging democracy into outright fascism—but at least he didn’t do it just because Queen Amidala made fun of him at the Chancellor’s Correspondents’ Dinner back in 2011.

So please, people, we beg of you: Leave Jar Jar alone. The extended Star Wars universe has a rich galaxy of characters—many of them assholes—for you to choose from when making your Trump comparisons. Personally, we’re partial to jibbering rat thing Salacious Crumb, but we’re sure there are shitty Ewoks, Twitter-addicted Twi’leks, and any number of corpulent, self-interested Hutts out there to meet your political comedy needs.