Classical geek Theatre: Jar Jar Binks actually liked by fan

Its forty-three days until "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" hits theaters. As I am sure you can imagine, I've already had to have two heart transplants due to the anticipation factor. I'd get a really good defibrillator if I didn't fear that I'd become more machine than man, twisted and evil.

I have a tendency to talk about Star Wars a lot. I can go on and on about actress Natalie Portman or the "Only Two Rule" that keeps the Sith in check. I could rattle on for hours about how Obi-Wan Kenobi isn't really a very good Jedi, or I could wax intellectual about actress Natalie Portman. I could tell you the other films Lobot has been in. If I'm feeling saucy, I could even discuss Natalie Portman.

More than anything though, when I start to talk about Star Wars, someone inevitably asks "So, really Mouse, what's the deal with Jar Jar? What was George Lucas thinking?"

I have a confession to make: I don't mind the misfortunate Gungan. In fact, I would venture to say that I even enjoy Jar Jar's presence in "The Phantom Menace".

Of course, when I tell people this, they react with shock and disgust. Naturally, the racial-stereotype issue comes out. Some people feel that Jar Jar and the Gungans are racial stereotypes of blacks.

That idea is ludicrous. In fact, most all of Jar Jar's mannerisms were developed by Ahmed Best, the actor who portrayed Jar Jar. Ahmed Best is an African-American man himself. If there is any stereotyping in the Star Wars films, it is the people viewing the film who create the stereotypes by recognizing traits in the characters that they themselves perceive as "typical" of any given ethnic group.

If it isn't the supposed racial stereotypes, people take issues with Jar Jar's silly behavior. I'll concede, he does do some really clumsy stuff. I would probably not be one to loan Jar Jar Binks my car keys. However, despite Jar Jar's penchant for getting his nose stuck in power binders, he is actually quite intelligent.

In "The Phantom Menace", after the sun sets on Coruscant, Jar Jar and Queen Amidala (played by Natalie Portman) discuss the inevitable battle on Naboo. Jar Jar displays exceptional knowledge of Naboo politics. He even accurately explains why the people of the Naboo fear the Gungans and their "grand army".

Still, people groan when they hear that Jar Jar will be returning in "Attack of the Clones", but this time, as a senator. (See, I told you he was smart.) Well, I for one, support Jar Jar Binks as Naboo's representative in the Old Republic Senate.

Come to think of it, I would even vote for Jar Jar for the American senate. Or better yet, for attorney general or president. If Jar Jar understands the finer points of Naboo politics than surely he would have the common sense to allow the FDA to regulate the tobacco industry. And I know Jar Jar wouldn't be aligned with big oil companies with private interests. After all, it was the trade Federation that invaded his home planet.

Yes, I very much like Jar Jar Binks. His likeness can be printed on my Underoos any day. Even if he did "boom da gasser" and "crash der Boss' heyblibber."

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