This Is Why We All Hate Jar Jar Binks, According to Science

Friday, 05 February 2016 - 3:21PM
Star Wars
Friday, 05 February 2016 - 3:21PM
This Is Why We All Hate Jar Jar Binks, According to Science
Jar Jar Binks is one of the most universally despised characters in all of pop culture, with fans constantly plotting his murder and speculating that he's secretly the Big Bad Sith lord of the Star Wars universe. According to psychologist Dr. John Paul Garrison, this isn't just a fluke, and Jar Jar Binks has several traits that are scientifically proven to be insufferably irritating. So here are all the reasons we hate Jar Jar, other than the fact that he's a stupid, offensive racist caricature:



His Annoying Voice



Jar Jar's horrible voice fluctuates dramatically in volume and pitch, which studies have shown grate on human beings, "much like fingernails on a chalkboard." That sounds about right.

His Stupid Face


There's no getting around it: Jar Jar has a stupid face. His strange, angular head is reminiscent of a mixture of mammal and amphibian, while his eyes are tiny, beady, and insect-like. All of the reasons we are naturally repulsed by insects are the same reasons we are all naturally repulsed by Jar Jar.

Opening quote
As humans, we don't particularly like angular parts on living creatures. That is why spider and bugs legs are so creepy. Jar Jar's angular head, craggy eyes, and jagged ears are naturally gross to us. We automatically feel some level of revulsion just looking at his head and face.
Closing quote

Also, he looks like a camel:

Opening quote
Camels naturally appear more "aloof and unfriendly" than other animals. Interestingly, Jar Jar's face, despite his revolting eyes, probably most closely resembles the facial morphology of a camel as anything else which further highlights his lack of natural appeal.
Closing quote


He's Literally Anti-Cute


The most significant factor that determines Jar Jar's detestability is the discrepancy between the way Jar Jar is meant to be perceived and how he actually is. He acts juvenile and cutesy, as if the audience is supposed to find him cute, but he has literally none of the characteristics required to be cute. Humans have evolved to find certain characteristics "cute," many of which can be found in babies and cartoons: large eyes, round faces, large forehead, short and narrow nose, narrow mouth, etc. 

Opening quote
Jar Jar literally is the opposite of all of those things. He exaggerated overbite, incessantly flared nostrils, sickening long tongue, and obnoxiously wide mouth don't help either. However, he "acts" cute and the dissonance this creates in us results in anger, irritation, and annoyance. It is like your grandfather putting on onesie and trying to act like a baby. You are not going to think that is cute on any level, it is going to feel disgusting.
Closing quote

According to Garrison, this discrepancy actually causes a cognitive dissonance, in which the viewer is trying to reconcile Jar Jar's revolting, un-cute appearance with his juvenile behavior and manner of speaking. But ultimately, we can't, so we just despise him instead.

He's Ugly


Aside from the features that are knee-jerk repellent, Jar Jar also just doesn't fit any of the standard conceptions of beauty. According to Dr. Garrison, beauty is culturally relative, while studies show that ugliness is relatively universal. And sadly, we associate ugliness with innate negative characteristics and untrustworthiness, so it's difficult for any Star Wars fan to find him relatable.

Expectations vs Reality


According to Garrison, humans generally like predictability, and for reality to match their expectations. While there was a little bit of silliness and comic relief in the original trilogy, nothing compared to the cartoonish tone set by Jar Jar Binks, which enraged the fans who had been waiting so long for sequels. So, basically, we hate Jar Jar for the same reason fangirls and fanboys hate any sequel or adaptation.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Star Wars

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