I know, I know.
We all hated Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace.
We REALLY hated Jar-Jar Binks, who actually was more important to continuity than we realize, had a purpose that was important to the future of Star Wars as we know it.
How would Star Wars have been different without Phantom Menace?
Let’s pretend for a second that we actually were residents of the Star Wars galaxy; and that Star Wars movies were actually released in chronological order. If you erased Phantom Menace, here is what would be missing:
No Force Ghosts
In the Clone Wars animated series, the last arc involved Master Yoda. Yoda thought he was going crazy because he was hearing Qui-Gon Jinn’s voice speaking to him. Before this, it was thought that no one could retain their identity after death. Yoda is placed under observation in a bacta tank by the Jedi Council, who fears the Sith may have clouded Yoda’s mind. However, he hears Qui-Gon’s voice again, telling him to go to Dagobah, a planet polluted by the Dark Force. Yoda convinces Anakin to steal a ship and fly him to the planet.
Upon arriving on Dagobah, Yoda sees Qui-Gon as a series of small lights. Qui-Gon explains to him that it is possible to retain one’s identity after death, but he never finished the training. This is why he appears as a series of lights instead of a Force Ghost. Yoda undergoes a series of trials which end on the Sith planet Moraband.
It is important to note here that this episode is what officially made Darth Bane canon. Yoda encounters an illusion of Darth Bane, created by Force priestesses as part of his trial. When Bane’s illusion asks Yoda who he knows who he is, Yoda tells him that he is Darth Bane, creator of The Rule of Two. He goes on to state that Bane is dead and only an illusion with nothing to offer. Bane disappears and Yoda continues on his journey.
After the trials, Yoda finished training to retain his identity after death. On Revenge of the Sith, Yoda tells Obi-Wan Kenobi that his former master (Qui-Gon) would guide him in this training.
No Episode I…no Force Ghosts. Who would guide Luke to use the Force to take the shot that took down the first Death Star? How would he know to go to Dagobah to finish his training?
Yes, Force Ghosts had a bigger impact than you may have thought…
No Darth Vader
Simple and plain. If Phantom Menace never happened, Anakin never leaves Tattooine. At least, not with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. He never comes to Palpatine’s attention. He remains a slave and the planet’s best podracer. There is no Order 66, because he isn’t there to stop Mace Windu from arresting or killing Palpatine. There is no Great Jedi Purge and the Jedi still flourish.
Worst of all, no Force choke!
No Padme = No Luke or Leia (and Alderaan thrives!)
If Anakin isn’t rescued from slavery by Qui-Gon, then Padme doesn’t get pregnant with the twins. Let’s say somehow Order 66 and the Galactic Empire still happens. The Sith Lord, of course would still be Darth Sidious and his apprentice would probably be Count Dooku. Who would fire the shot that downs the first Death Star? All of the Jedi are dead, save for (maybe) the ones who took the Barash Vow. There would be no sassy Princess Leia for Tarkin to show the might of the Death Star to by firing the shot that destroys Alderaan.
Bail Organa lives…
Maul remains a Sith Apprentice…
Darth Maul never reveals himself to the Jedi, never gets cut in half by Obi-Wan, and never obtains the Darksaber for Sabine to recover on Star Wars Rebels. In fact, it’s very possible that Obi-Wan might have taken a completely different path and married Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze, who confessed her love for Obi-Wan. She was killed by Maul as part of his revenge against Obi-Wan.
But, worst of all…
Without Jar-Jar, Star Wars as we know it does not exist!
Jar-Jar Binks is one of the most-hated characters in Star Wars lore. He is an irritating Gungan who seems to serve no purpose at all…other than to get in the way or to get on everyone’s last nerve!
But, Jar-Jar served the most important purpose of all…
He gave us the Empire!
Well, sort of…
Jar-Jar Binks, in Padme’s absence (she was being held by Separatists), was convinced by Senator Chancellor Palpatine to propose that the chancellor receive emergency executive powers to raise an Army of the Republic. This is what led to the Clone Wars.
Of course, as we know, Palpatine never gave up those powers and used them to turn the Republic into the Galactic Empire.
But, if there was no Phantom Menace, there is no Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. There is no outcast clumsy Gungan named Jar-Jar either. Ultimately, there is no A New Hope, because the Empire wouldn’t have existed without his proposal.
Now you really have a reason to hate Jar-Jar Binks…or thank him for being solely responsible for making Star Wars, as we know it, happen.
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