“Yoosa should follow me now, okeeday?” So said Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace, and maybe it was damned good advice. A rabble-rousing Reddit user called Lumpawarroo (named after Chewie’s son from The Star Wars Holiday Special) has posited the seemingly implausible theory that the oafish, clumsy, eminently expendable Gungan is actually “a trained Force user, knowing Sith collaborator, and will play a central role in The Force Awakens.” But this is just obvious trolling, right? A cheap attempt to rile up fans by aggrandizing the franchise’s most hated character? Nope. Lumpawarroo lays out a solid, evidence-based case that Jar Jar is, at least, a Jedi-caliber combatant of stunning skill and, at most, a figure so powerful that even the duplicitous Palpatine takes orders from him. Jar Jar’s seeming idiocy is merely a cover for his true nature, Lumpawarroo suggests. This is not unprecedented in science fiction. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy features a powerful mutant, the Mule, who at one point in the tale assumes the seemingly harmless identity of the Clown for similar reasons.
To prop up his case, Lumpawarroo provides numerous examples of Jar Jar’s physical prowess and success on the battlefield, too many to be merely “dumb luck.” As for his loosey-goosey, seemingly uncoordinated movements? Those are analogous to China’s zui quan or “drunken fist” fighting style, as Lumpawarroo proves with comparative GIFs. And then, fans must consider Jar Jar’s considerable sway in Star Wars politics as well. Just more luck? Or does the floppy-eared, vaguely Jamaican character actually have awesome mind control abilities? It’s important to note that the Reddit theory-spinner does not seek to make Star Wars fans like Jar Jar. Indeed, he analyzes the reasons why the character is so widely hated. What Lumpawarroo truly wants to do is provide a new way for viewers to watch the prequel trilogy, which they very well might do while waiting for The Force Awakens. As he explains:
Actually, 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, and how effective, in almost every sequence he’s involved in, and also just how hyper-aware of the overarching plot he really is.
If nothing else, that Jar Jar sounds more interesting than the one people thought they knew.