It's no secret that Jar Jar Binks is one of the most unpopular characters in the Star Wars universe. Even Emperor Palpatine, an old evil dude who committed genocide across the galaxy has a higher approval rating than the dopey Gungan.
It is human instinct to impose structure and meaning onto ideas we don't understand, which perhaps explains why one of the most compelling Star Wars fan theories suggests that Jar Jar is actually the most powerful Sith Lord in the entire series.
One Reddit thread in particular delivers an epic Jar Jar Binks fan theory on par with the best tales from the Star Wars canon. This "Darth Jar Jar" theory suggests that the Gungan has been the mastermind behind the Sith all along, and that it will be revealed that Supreme Leader Snoke is actually the bumbling alien from the prequels.
Sound crazy to you? Well, Redditor "Lumpawarroo" actually makes a pretty convincing argument! Ranker breaks it down for you:
George Lucas Likes To Make "Little Creatures" Important
One of the Reddit theory's stronger arguments has to do with George Lucas himself. We know that Lucas likes to surprise audiences with big character reveals (e.g. Darth Vader is actually Luke's father, Leia is actually Luke's sister), and there's one hero in particular whose character progression might be analogous to Jar Jar's: Master Yoda.
As George Lucas said in a making-of documentary (via Redditor "Lumpawarroo"), "Yoda really comes from a tradition in mythological storytelling — fairy tales — of the hero finding a little creature on the side of the road that seems very insignificant and not very important, but who turns out to be the master wizard, or the master thing..."
Jar Jar Binks could have been created with the same trope in mind, only rather than becoming a Jedi Master, the bumbling alien matures into a Sith Lord.
Lucas Had Bigger Plans For Jar Jar But Chickened Out
The Darth Jar Jar theory suggests that George Lucas had at one time planned to reveal that the Gungan was a powerful Sith Lord. According to Redditor "Lumpawarroo," Jar Jar would have expressed his true intentions in Attack of the Clones and faced off against Yoda in the film's climactic duel scene.
However, due to the unpopularity of the character among fans and critics, Lucas chickened out and replaced Jar Jar with Count Dooku.
Jar Jar Binks Is Actually Supreme Leader Snoke
This brings us to Supreme Leader Snoke, the enigmatic villain of the sequel trilogy who controls the First Order and the Knights of Ren from the shadows. The Darth Jar Jar theory posits that the Gungan survived the Galactic Civil War, hiding out in the outskirts of the galaxy until he could return in the form of Snoke.
There would admittedly be a LOT of blanks to fill if this were true, but it would make for a pretty captivating reveal. At the very least, Jar Jar haters wouldn't know what to do with themselves.
Jar Jar Actor Ahmed Best Revealed Part Of The Theory Is True
Ahmed Best, the actor who played Jar Jar Binks in the prequels, has addressed the Darth Jar Jar rumors, telling YouTuber Jamie Stangroom that there is some truth to the theories. Regarding the possible reveal of Jar Jar as Sith Lord late in the prequel trilogy, Best hinted that this might indeed have been the case:
"What I can say about it is – and I kinda said this on Twitter – there's a lot about it that's true... There are some things that are not true. Could Jar Jar have evolved into that? I think the answer is yes. Because of the backlash, and rightfully so, Lucasfilm backed off from Jar Jar a lot. But a lot of the influence I put into the character mirrored a lot of what was already in the Star Wars universe."
Best doesn't quite confirm the truth about Jar Jar, but does say it was certainly a possibility. Ultimately, it would've come down to George Lucas to decide Jar Jar's true identity.
"So, was there an official Darth Jar Jar in the works? That’s really a George Lucas question, I cannot answer that question."