The Internet was left puzzled Monday after infamous Gungan Jar Jar Binks emerged as a trending topic on Twitter, in part because Star Wars fans were questioning why the Phantom Menace star was trending.
Jar Jar Binks trending because people are asking "Why is Jar Jar Binks trending?" is the most Jar Jar Binks thing ever. pic.twitter.com/1Aj7eQsTfd— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) July 8, 2019
One tweet questioning the phenomenon, from ESPN writer Ryan McGee, was favorited more than 4,500 times. Others questioning the trend speculated the hapless sidekick-turned-politician had finally been revealed as a Sith lord, fulfilling a long-running fan theory.
An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times narrowed the trend to a tweet from Luke Skywalker star Mark Hamill, who in the early hours of Monday tweeted a graphic helping fans determine their Star Wars fate. If your name starts with the letter “J,” Jar Jar Binks is tied to a fate determined by your birth month.
That tweet has been favorited more than 13,000 times with nearly 6,000 comments.
Other users used the opportunity to praise actor Ahmed Best, who famously weathered the character’s poor reputation in the 20 years since debuting as the floppy-eared Gungan.
In 2018, Best said “media backlash” made him contemplate suicide. A year later, the star admitted he was apprehensive against attending Star Wars Celebration Chicago, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first Star Wars prequel.
“The main thing [fans] obviously got upset about was Jar Jar,” Lucas recently told StarWars.com.
“But they got upset at Jar Jar because he was there for the kids. When I did A New Hope, everybody felt the same way about Threepio. They hated him. They thought he was too childish and the jokes were bad. They said the same thing. It’s just that the initial wave of Star Wars sort of overwhelmed the criticism of Threepio. We even played on that in Empire, making fun of him and acknowledging the fact that he was annoying. And then in the third one we did the same thing with Ewoks. People just went berserk. They said it was horrible, it ruined the movie, and how can you watch this, and all that kind of stuff.”
Lucas also credits the rise of the Internet, which coincided with the release of 1999’s Phantom Menace, for persistent Jar Jar hatred.
“So I was used to that sort of thing, but for some reason, the criticism through the internet became more alive,” Lucas added.
“And the news media began to listen to the fans. Obviously, when a fan, or a group, or a blog says something terrible, they take it seriously, and suddenly that became the reality. It was very hard to turn back from that.”
Jar Jar Binks is trending. Nobody seems to know why. I'm okay with this. pic.twitter.com/8lw4jOlAYo— Susan DeStefanis (@Awesomegasm) July 8, 2019
Ok so all I figure for why Jar Jar Binks is trending is people asking why it's trending. All I want to know is how it got started. pic.twitter.com/hAig2OZ0HB— Rob Edwards (@MISTAK3S) July 8, 2019
THIS! This is the source of Jar Jar Binks and Boba Fett in the Trending tab! Settle down everyone, I thought Jar Jar Binks was Dead pic.twitter.com/HNhvpS2kPf— The Original Sangster (@OrginalSangster) July 8, 2019
Jar Jar Binks is trending because Jar Jar Binks is trending pic.twitter.com/esA8rvsa2Z— Electric Theatre School (@electric_school) July 8, 2019
Omg. I saw that Jar Jar Binks was trending and got so worried that he had died!— elizabeth (@lyzifloyd) July 8, 2019
Seeing Jar Jar Binks trending and seeing that he's ok pic.twitter.com/RgHDTW0e8R— BrillPro (@tomdog247) July 8, 2019
Will "Jar Jar Binks" finally be revealed as a Sith Lord? pic.twitter.com/Gm33uEDVJA— A sad (@xang767) July 8, 2019
Why is "Jar Jar Binks" trending. Luke, I am Jar Jar Binks, Sith Lord. pic.twitter.com/kz9AX0tcCD— Gwynne Johnston (@Activeman1701A) July 8, 2019
I'd like to thank Ahmed Best for giving us Jar Jar Binks. A gifted entertainer gave us a lovable, brave, if clumsy, outcast who becomes a hero to his people.— Jill Benson (@Jilltension) July 8, 2019
Let's not forget that @ahmedbest pioneered motion capture long before #AndySerkis, you can hate the character but give that man the credit he deserves. #BlackManMagic #JarJarBinks #DarthJarJar pic.twitter.com/SbiFOmOQco— PopCulture Uncovered (@PCUncovered) July 8, 2019
Since Jar Jar Binks is trending I would like to remind the internet that the actor who played Jar Jar, Ahmed Best, is fine as hell and can still get it. pic.twitter.com/uB3Hehmobz— Justina *preorder Spark of the Resistance* Ireland (@justinaireland) July 8, 2019
Its amazing seeing Jar Jar Binks trending right now on here,still bummed we didn’t get to see that character fully fledged out and end up becoming our one and true great sith lord along side Palpatine.Also @ahmedbest deserved better honestly,wish he didn’t get all that hate): pic.twitter.com/Adchdg8S2G— Camen Butler (@Cdbutler23Camen) July 8, 2019
Holy crap. Jar Jar Binks is trending! I live for days like this on Twitter. I just want to give a holla to @ahmedbest - an artist who continually inspires me. His joy & love for the creative process radiates out of him. His openness & honesty is a window to his soul. We love you! pic.twitter.com/2CRzKPzOd3— Alderaanian Rose (@AlderaanianR) July 8, 2019
I have no idea why it’s trending, but Jar Jar Binks is the hero we need— Matthew Pate (@MatthewCP8) July 8, 2019
Lmao why is Jar Jar Binks trending??? pic.twitter.com/S7GQnzgvpl— Jacob McAfee (@jacobcmcafee) July 8, 2019
Everyone trying to find out why Jar Jar Binks is trending, is the most Jar Jar Binks reason to be trending pic.twitter.com/3WJMmcnDBS— The Social Fever (@Goon_Squaddddd) July 8, 2019
Jar Jar Binks trending because everyone is asking why he’s trending feels very on brand for Jar Jar. pic.twitter.com/vixRMwKkV8— Joseph Scrimshaw (@JosephScrimshaw) July 8, 2019