Friday, March 20, 2015

Call to Arms

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

I’m not sure if this is anyone's first time visiting my very small, not quite professional, and extremely self-indulgent blog, but as you can see I am in the midst of a fictional character March Madness parody known as “Geekdom Madness”. Because even though I hate sports with a passion, I love brackets.

Really, the whole thing started last year with’s annual “This is Madness!” character tournament, and me realizing that my favorite Star Wars character would never even be put on such a tournament much less win one.

"And it's someone at this table."

That character is Jar Jar Binks. Yes, sometime in the last two years Jar Jar has knocked Yoda off his spot as my favorite Star Wars character. It was an agonizingly slow realization, since Yoda was #1 since time immemorial. But I identify more with Jar Jar; in many ways we are extremely alike. And, given the choice, I would pick a Jar Jar-related piece of merchandise over a Yoda one any and every day of the week.

So in last year’s Geekdom Madness (which ended up lasting until November), I put Jar Jar in the mix amongst such heavy-hitters as Indiana Jones, Gandalf the Grey, and The Doctor himself –all twelve of them. In the end, when my readers voted, Jar Jar beat everyone by a surprising margin. Except for the very final match against Calvin and Hobbes – that one was a dead tie, and in the end Jar Jar won the tiebreaking D20 roll (that’s a 20-sided die for those unfamiliar with tabletop RPGs). I was happy to see him win.

Fast-forward to today. As I continue to manage Geekdom Madness 2015, I find my way once again to its inspiration on the official Star Wars website.

Guess who is in the running this year?

"Hint: He's standing right there."

I now realize that my little unofficial timewaster is not enough for the Bombad General turned Naboo Representative. Jar Jar needs to win this tournament. Because Jar Jar has been the more bruised, beaten, and broken by the section of the “fanbase” that poisons the well against Episode I-III than anything in the entire history of cinema. To have him win an official Lucasfilm-run-and-endorsed contest would be such sweet vindication. It would show Disney that Jar Jar IS liked. So then maybe we can get some damn Jar Jar merchandise so that I can find a Star Wars shirt I want to wear instead of everything being freaking Boba Fett and Stormtroopers I AM SICK OF BOBA FETT AND STORMTRO…err…*ahem* Sorry, got a little off-track there.

Now, I am fully aware of the internet landscape. I have seen what happens on the internet the second someone implies, however subtly, that maybe - just maybe - I-III isn’t quite as bad as people say. I certainly realize that having Jar Jar win such an official tournament will be a very tall order. The probability of success is slim, especially given Jedi News’ track record with Team Hondo. However, I implore everyone who can to vote, vote, and vote on Team Jar Jar. Even if he’s not your favorite character in the world, if you are like me and sick of the bashing and marginalization then you should vote Jar Jar for the sheer principle of the thing.

Because, Jar Jar is us. Jar Jar is every person who has ever felt uncool, bullied, underestimated, or written off for just being themselves. Too few people understand that. And it’s time for a change.

And seriously, no joke, even a refrigerator magnet I’d be happy with. I wish I had a disposable income in 1999…

"But meesa no HAVE $29.99 to spend on a kitschy collectable!"

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