Every Star Wars fan remembers Jar-Jar Binks, our favorite clumsy (and vaguely Rastafarian) Gungan:
Jar-Jars antics annoyed a lot of fans,1 but he is the subject of an important chapter of the book The Dharma of Star Wars which I reviewed here:
Many people come to meditation hoping to gain a new-found sense of calm. They settle into a cushion or chair and close their eyes—eager for the enlightenment to begin. That’s about the time that your inner Jar Jar Binks stumbles into your mind.
“Hello, boyos,” he announces, staring around like a crazed sheep.
Not now Jar Jar. Shut up and leave me alone.
But he doesn’t go away. He just stands there flapping his gangly arms and jabbering about “mesa” and “bombad” that. His grin is so vacant you want to scream.
You prefer peace, but all you get is noisy goofballery.
Meditation can’t save us from Jar Jar or anything else we don’t like. Meditation simply puts us face to face with things as they are right now. And that’s where we’re supposed to be.
You may not prefer Jar Jar Binks. You may even hate him. Or there maybe times when his particular personality characteristics are not appropriate to the situation (like when you’re trying to achieve that coolness exhibited by the wisest Jedi). But when Jar Jar is present—whether in your mind or in real life—the best thing to do is accept his presence, even welcome it. If you try to deny the way things are right now and make them the way you’d prefer them to be, you’ll never experience the peace you want. (pg. 122)
I think a lot of Buddhism is learning to live with yourself. Meditation is treated as a kind of escape by people who don’t understand what it is, but you can’t escape yourself no matter what, so you have to face it, accept it, and find contentment.
P.S. It’s also entirely possible that Jar-Jar was a Sith Lord, and simply fooled us all.
P.P.S. Double-post today. Lots of fun things to share.
1 I actually kind of liked him at least in the early part of The Phantom Menace though his antics got out of hand and increasingly improbable toward the end. I think the subplot about the symbiotic relationship between the Gungans and Naboo was interesting. Jar-Jar’s role in Attack of the Clones was a bit silly too and the manipulation by Chancellor Palpatine was too obvious.