Jar Jar Binx is the worst character in modern fiction. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky, but you just may—Jar Jar Binx is an imbecilic fish-man with characteristics that are a little racist who debuted in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and continued to pester audiences trying to enjoy not very good movies with his buffoonery through Episodes II and III. The new trilogy of Star Wars movies weren’t great, and Episode I has the distinction of being not only the first major sequel to Star Wars, but also a movie with a dedicated (some would say obsessive and angry, at times) fanbase that had access to each other for the first time via the burgeoning internet.
And the reaction to Jar Jar Binx was harsh, incredible, and almost universal. So Jar Jar was downplayed in Episode II, and more so in Episode III. But what does this have to do with anything, especially with the church?
Jar Jar Binx is in need of redemption, as is this world. A theory has emerged on Reddit that Jar Jar Binx may be the big bad guy in the new Star Wars (Episode VII which is actually the seventh movie, finally!) because he was being set up to be a bad guy twenty years ago—but perhaps George Lucas and the writers of those movies chickened out. They heard the world grumbling against them, they took the criticisms and worries to heart, and ended up abandoning this thing that could have been new, different, exciting, challenging and ultimately awesome. And now, maybe, Jar Jar will get his redemption. Maybe the three bad Star Wars movies will, too. It’s the beauty of a narrative in process—it can always change and grow and adapt with an end in sight.
This Sunday, we’ll be hearing one more parable from Luke (not Skywalker), that of the Dishonest Steward. It’s a parable in need of redemption, and it’s a parable about the need for redemption. So we’ll see how that goes. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.