By Jubenal Aguilar
Copy Desk Chief
A shroud of mystery has fallen over Supreme Leader Snoke, the villain of the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” directed by J.J. Abrams. Only, his voice has been heard in the teasers saying: “There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?”
Andy Serkis, the English actor known for giving life to Gollum in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” through motion-capture animation, has been confirmed as the leader of the First Order, the reorganized remnants of the fallen Empire.
Theories of Snoke’s true identity have taken the Internet by storm – many speculate the new dark side Force user to be Luke Skywalker, the Emperor, a clone of Darth Vader or a reborn Darth Plagueis.
However, Reddit user Lumpawarroo proposed an unlikely character as the new villain in a thread Oct. 30. The thread, which had reached nearly 34,000 upvotes as of press date, details the reasons Jar Jar Binks is the true identity of Supreme Leader Snoke. An endless number of articles and YouTube videos have since surfaced supporting the idea.
Jar Jar was an Otolla Gungan from Naboo. He was cast out from his own people for his clumsiness, according to the official databank on starwars.com.
He was first seen in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” when Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn saved him from being crushed by a Trade Federation transport ship.
Lumpawarroo establishes Jar Jar as a skilled warrior and cites examples from the battle of Naboo, where he eliminates several battle droids in what seems like the execution of Zui Quan, or drunken-style Kung Fu. Although Jar Jar later proved to be effective in combat, these allegations should be treated as what they really were – pure luck.
Jar Jar’s athletic ability has also been cause for speculation. However, Jar Jar is a very slender, lightweight amphibious creature. It takes much more effort to move underwater than it does on dry land, which is the reason he displays near-Jedi athletic abilities effortlessly.
Other YouTube users have posted overanalyzed footage claiming Jar Jar manipulated almost everyone around him, including several Jedi, using mind tricks. But those users saw things that did not exist. They have mistaken Jar Jar’s mannerisms and apparent inability to stand completely still for Force mind tricks.
Still, others have compared Jar Jar’s yellow reptilian eyes to those of the Sith, completely ignoring that this eye color is a characteristic of all Gungans.
The most important factor that Lumpawarroo, and others, failed to consider was Jar Jar’s age. According to Wookieepedia, Gungans have a lifespan of about 65 galactic standard years. Jar Jar’s legends page indicates he was born in 52 BBY (Before Battle of Yavin), which makes him 20 years old at the time of “Episode I.”
The events of “The Force Awakens” are set to occur in 34 ABY (After Battle of Yavin), which is 66 years after “Episode I.” This means Jar Jar would be 86 years old in the new installment – well past his life expectancy.
Supreme Leader Snoke’s race has not been confirmed, but Serkis has confirmed that Snoke, one of two CGI characters in the movie, is taller than a human. “The scale of him … is large,” Serkis told Entertainment Weekly. “He appears tall.”
Previous rumors based on early art concepts indicated Snoke could be Muun, the species that controlled the InterGalactic Banking Clan in the waning days of the Republic. Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s master, was of the same species.
Serkis has also confirmed that Snoke is a new character to the Star Wars universe.
However, there is a possibility Lumpawarroo could be correct. If so, Jar Jar would not be the first Sith to hide in plain sight; Chancellor Palpatine fooled even the Jedi and manipulated both sides of the Clone Wars.
According to Wookieepedia, Gungans are known to produce Force-sensitive children; Kin-Ya Dosun and Kosa-Yin Hadu were two examples. And at some point, there was an unnamed Otolla Gungan Sith Lord. These characters, however, are not part of the Star Wars canon any more.