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Star Wars: What Species Is Jar Jar Binks?

"Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" has become an infamous installment within the franchise, as George Lucas certainly tried something new with the prequels. However, he did give fans Jar Jar Binks, who, despite the toxicity of the fandom, has become a cult favorite character within the "Star Wars" mythos.

The goofy, loveable, yet sometimes annoying companion is a Gungan, the indigenous amphibian species from the planet Naboo. The tall humanoid aliens' bodies are perfect for living underwater, though they can easily live on land too. They're born as tadpoles, quickly growing long, flexible limbs that lend themselves to underwater life. Their long muscular tongues are a defining feature of the species. Within the Gungans, there are two races, Otolla and Ankura. Jar Jar Binks is an Otolla, the lankier type with prominent bills and long fin-like ears. Ankuras are heavier and rounder with smaller noses, like Boss Nass.

Gungans play a significant role in "The Phantom Menace," as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan help secure an alliance between the indigenous species and the humans of Naboo. Given that they aren't native to the planet, the humans and Gungans always had a strained relationship, but they settled their differences to stave off the Trade Federation.

What happened to Jar Jar Binks?

"Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace" is prime Jar Jar Binks territory, as the clumsy Gungan plays a major part throughout the movie. In subsequent films, he packs his bags and moves to Coruscant, eventually becoming a Junior Representative for Naboo. However, by the time "Revenge of the Sith" rolls credits, George Lucas minimized Jar Jar's role to a glorified cameo, with Lucasfilm practically refusing to include him in any projects that take place afterward.

The last time audiences see Jar Jar is in the closing minutes of "Revenge of the Sith," where he attends Padmé's funeral. It's not until Chuck Wendig's canonical novel, "Aftermath: Empire's End," that fans get an update on Mr. Binks. The story takes place after "Return of the Jedi," revealing that Jar Jar never left his homeworld of Naboo. 

However, those expecting a happy reunion with his people are out of luck, as he lives out his days as an outcast, shunned by both the Gungans and the humans for his role in helping the Empire rise to power. He spends his time performing on the streets in the capital city of Theed, entertaining children as a clown. There he befriends an orphan, Mapo, who he eventually makes his clown apprentice, to make the galaxy "smile again."

It's a heartbreaking end for Jar Jar, a character that took the brunt of the "Star Wars" fandom toxicity from the beginning. While Lucasfilm continues to explore the galaxy after "Return of the Jedi," we'd love for Jar Jar to get a happier ending, but it doesn't seem likely.