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International Talk Like Jar Jar Binks Day

In the Return of the Jedi DVD edition (and beyond) there's a brief scene of the inhabitants of Naboo celebrating the fall of the Empire. Gungans can be seen amongst the celebrants, and one of them even shouts out an exuberant "Wesa Free!"

When the DVDs were first released, many people assumed that that excited Gungan was Jar Jar Binks, and that this line of dialogue was confirmation that Binks had survived the intervening years between Revenge of the Sith and ROTJ. 

I had heard many years ago that Matt Wood, longtime sound editor for Skywalker Sound (as well as the voice of General Grievous) was the person who provided the "Wesa Free!" exclamation, and not Ahmed Best. So when I wrote the most recent Jar Jar haiku, I did so with this information in mind. Someone on Facebook countered that they thought it WAS supposed to be Jar Jar yelling "Wesa Free!" Wondering if I was incorrect, I did some research to determine what the truth was.

While I found a number of resources mentioning that Matt Wood was indeed the voice of the excited Gungan, there was some confusion as to whether he was supposed to be portraying Jar Jar or not. After all Matt Wood appeared in The Phantom Menace as a Twi'lek. That Twi'lek was confirmed to be Bib Fortuna, even though Michael Carter originated the role in Return of the Jedi. It was certainly possible that this was a similar scenario, where Wood's Gungan was meant to be Jar Jar.

I decided the only way to determine the truth was to reach out to Matt Wood himself on Twitter, and ask him. Luckily he responded.

Matt Wood tweets

When I asked whether it was true that it was him who shouted "Wesa Free!", he said "If you are referring to "Weeeesaaa Freeeee!" , the answer is yes." Confirming what I was already fairly certain of, I then asked if it was supposed to be Jar Jar or a random Gungan who said it. He responded "A random, possibly screen right rooftop Gungan. It was a momentous day for the planet."

So there you have it. Jar Jar Binks did not shout "Wesa Free!" or more accurately "Weeeesaaa Freeeee!" at the end of the Return of the Jedi DVD edition. An unknown Gungan did. Maybe someday, someone will write a story retconning it to be Jar Jar or George Lucas will contradict Wood's answer, but for now, the matter is settled. Wesa free, but from uncertainty, instead of the Empire's oppressive rule.