Season One, Episode Seven — “Bombad Jedi”

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

By Jason Gibner. My name is Jason Gibner and I love Jar Jar Binks. Before you smash your computer or electronic device with a giant mallet Gallagher-style, hear me out. Is he annoying? Yes. Does his ultra-silly slapstick fit in the Star Wars method of story? No, not really. Do I still love him dearly? Yes. Am I biased to love any episode of Clone Wars that features Jar Jar in a prominent role? For sure. He may be far from perfect, but I have never once in my life held a bad feeling about Ahmed Best and George Lucas’ goofy Gungan creation.

Like Jar Jar, many of us have felt out of place, or awkward, or like a clumsy weirdo in a sea of Jedi Knights and fearless teenage Queens with a blaster that can’t miss. Like it or not, we all have a little Jar Jar in us. I have no bad feelings for the Gungan, as he is — and has always been — a clumsy, good-hearted reflection of myself (and many people I know). If Jar Jar ever was malicious or mean spirited, then I could understand some of the extreme hate that has been thrown his way. Like getting kicked out of Otoh Gunga because he was clumsy, Jar Jar was kicked out of Star Wars for just not fitting in.

That is until Lucas and Dave Filoni geared up Clone Wars. The show already walked the walk with being able to entertain both young and old Star Wars fans, so why not bring in Jar Jar? Why not make him a hero? Is it because George knew the kids (JJB’s original intended audience ) would love him or was it a middle finger to those who drove him out of the galaxy with their torches lit? Whatever the reason, Jar Jar finally found a home at Clone Wars. It’s the best he’s ever been.

WHAT WORKED: The idea of putting C3PO and Jar Jar together for a comedic action romp will either make you instantly smile or vomit. Taking the most “annoying” characters from both of the trilogies and thrusting them into an adventure is bold to say the least. Once these two start mixing with each other, when you see how frustrated the perpetually uptight Threepio gets with Jar Jar, you know it’s all clicking. (Or not, depending on how you feel about both of these characters.) To me, the two actually make a rather compelling comedy duo. The Phantom Menace never had time to give Jar Jar a real straight man to balance his gentle silliness. There were a couple scenes with Qui-Gon snagging his tongue and stuff, sure — but Star Wars had never really found the time to explore how Jar Jar could bounce off all these great characters, at least until now.

There’s just something about cartoon show animated Jar Jar that works here a little more clearly than it did in the film. Is it that the expectations are gone? The notion that this is just “for kids?” Whatever the reason, Jar Jar’s slapstick antics work here. In The Clone Wars, Jar Jar fits.

WHAT DIDN’T: The politics stuff with Rodians and the Neimoidians is all well and good but the story tends to get a little lost without Jar Jar running a around in a Jedi robe screaming his head off while Battle Droids shoot at his feet. I feel like Clone Wars learned a lesson, as future Jar Jar episodes kinda just let him do his thing; but this episode finds itself grinding its tonal gears with unsettling talk about killing Padme only to then cut to Jar Jar kissing a giant space worm. It doesn’t add up.


To live in fear is no life at all!” – Padme.

Jar Jar Binks, have you gone completely mad? You’ll do more harm than good!” – C-3PO.

Mesa not a Jedi!” – Jar Jar.

There’s a bad boogie monster down there, you betcha.” – Jar Jar.

Yousa okay, bogey? Yousa save-ed me. Yousa my new palo.” – Jar Jar.

Poor Jar Jar. He was always such a misfit.” – C-3PO.

That Jedi has summoned a monster!” – Nute Gunray.

You’re either the bravest or most foolish Jedi I have ever met.” – Onaconda Farr.

Far too often, we forget that our most important allies are not always the most powerful.” – Padme.

BEST MOMENT: Things get tense for our hero: everyone thinks Jar Jar is a Jedi so the Gungan master jumps into the sea to hide from all the rapidly firing battle droids. Once down there, Jar Jar is once again surprised to find a giant sea worm named the Kwazel Maw. While at first the Maw is seen as a threat, it saves Jar Jar, not just in this instance, but again later in the episode. It even lets Jar Jar give it a tiny kiss on its cheek. I like to think that this is Lucas and Filoni telling us that first impressions aren’t always the best ones to judge something on and sometimes it is best to give things another chance through a new perspective — even Jar Jar Binks.

EPISODE MVP: Jar Jar Binks. He may be the most disliked character in film history, but The Clone Wars went a long way towards what George Lucas called the character’s “rehabilitation”. It’s a very loose and joyful episode. In a complicated saga like Star Wars, where — in the end — almost everyone will die, episodes like this little ray of silly sunshine are essential.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.


– This week in McQuarrie Did It First : the swamp water monster, the Kwazel Maw, is based on a Ralph Mcquarrie Dagobah swamp slug design.

– According to Wookieepedia, Quinlan Vos was to appear in an early draft of the episode. He would have been undercover, using the Force to make it look like Jar Jar really was a Jedi. It was all eventually cut, because at the early stages of production the studio didn’t have the ability to include many new characters because of the time it took to create a digital model. All for the best as it all works better with Threepio.

– This episode is co-written by Kevin Rubio who not only wrote the hilarious Dark Horse Star Wars comic series Tag and Bink but was also behind the pioneering Star Wars fan film, Troops.

– Jedi Fortune Cookie: “Heroes are made by the times.

9 out of 10

Next: “Cloak of Darkness”, soon.

Before: “Downfall of a Droid”, “Duel of the Droids”, here.