Jar Jar Binks has evolved in nearly two decades of existence from universally reviled scapegoat to goofy relic of past failure. Having long been the poster child for the many different things that went wrong in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, Jar Jar has recently been transformed — well, he’s still the most annoying character in Star Wars history. But the redemption of the franchise’s recent revival has made Jar Jar more of a playful punchline, as some use his likeness to toy with fans in anticipation of a new movie’s arrival in theaters.
Fans even use Jar Jar to toy with each other, like the fan theory that shoehorned him into being Supreme Leader Snoke from the new trilogy. Jar Jar portrayer Ahmed Best turned the character into a Sith Lord. Fans awaiting The Force Awakens were treated to a Jar Jar-led parody trailer. So, naturally, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story eventually had to get in on the fun.
The final Rogue One posters to arrive before the Star Wars anthology entry’s December release were stunning. But artist Olly Gibbs was not going to let the poster sneak by without putting his own Jar Jar-heavy spin on it. Gibbs tweeted after the original poster was released that he was “all Binksed out,” but had a change of heart as he dropped a new version of the poster with Jar Jar invading the bodies of all the characters — literally, all of them. Even the droid A-2SO is recreated to look more like Jar Jar.
This is far from the first time that Gibbs, a designer for Empire Magazine and freelance illustrator, has dabbled in the art of the Gungans. He slathered the official Force Awakens poster in Jar Jar and has tweeted about the character dozens of times in the past two years. He also tweeted a Jar Jar-ified Rogue One poster as an April Fool’s Day joke.
The rousing success of The Force Awakens has certainly made it easy for Star Wars fans to humorously inject such a maligned character into otherwise positive developments. J.J. Abrams removed much of any remaining bad tastes from the prequels, which has effectively erased that same bitterness from any current or future references to Jar Jar.
Of course, Rogue One will also have to turn out good in order to avoid creeping into prequel territory. The trailers definitely look promising, but it’s nonetheless a big bet by Disney to create standalone Star Wars movies in the first place. Fans may also simply want to forget about Jar Jar, instead of being constantly reminded of his existence. But if Rogue One even approaches the quality of The Force Awakens, fans will breathe easy and future Jar Jar references would be welcomed.