Most Star Wars fans recognize Gungans from The Phantom Menace, but their species exists beyond one movie in the Star Wars universe. Even so, we rarely see Gungans in episodes 2 and 3.
The most famous Gungan by far is Jar Jar Binks, who has received harsh reviews from die-hard fans. We see Jar Jar in all three prequel movies, but the Gungans themselves are largely forgotten, probably due to the poor fan response.
There is much to be revealed about the Gungans since viewers don’t get a clear depiction of their daily life in the movies. Most fans don’t know how they live, how they’re born, or how long their average lifespan is.
This begs the question: how long do Gungans live? And what else is there to learn about their lives outside of the movies?
To give a simple answer, Gungans live an average lifespan of 65 years. However, this varies greatly between each individual Gungan.
Are you curious about the Gungans? Keep reading to learn more about their interesting lives.
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What Is a Gungan’s Average Lifespan?
While little is known about the specifics of Gungan aging and causes of death, it is known that the average Gungan lifespan is 65 years. This is relatively similar to the average human lifespan and could be due to their humanoid body type.
Because Gungans are a warrior race and many Gungans fight in the Gungan Grand Army, it could be assumed that many Gungan warriors die in battle. The rest of them remain mostly safe and hidden in their underwater cities.
However, despite their safe dwelling places and efforts to remain neutral in conflict with other races, their average lifespan is still less than the average human.
How Are Gungans Born?
Gungans are born in the waters of Naboo, their home planet, as eggs. They soon hatch as tadpoles, and after a few months they are able to start growing limbs and developing into their recognizable form.
Gungans resemble humans as well as amphibious creatures. This correlates with their ability to survive under water as well as on land.
Gungans rarely leave Naboo, so they spend most of their time in underwater cities like Otoh Gunga.
Gungans develop strong leg muscles, strong lungs, and a flexible body structure, perfect for swimming in the treacherous waters of Naboo. Gungans can hold their breath for long periods of time, as seen in this iconic clip from The Phantom Menace.
Gungans also develop strong bills and tongues, which aid in their diet and eating habits. Despite growing from tadpoles, they evolve into advanced beings.
How Old Is Jar Jar Binks?
As we stated before, the average Gungan lifespan is 65 years. According to Star Wars Legends, Jar Jar Binks was born in the year 52 BBY, which would put him at 20 years old in The Phantom Menace.
However, this is where some conspiracies arise. Since Jar Jar’s death wasn’t covered in either canon or legends, there are some theories that point to Jar Jar Binks being a Sith Lord and using his Sith powers to grant himself an unusually long life.
In Star Wars canon, Jar Jar is ashamed after Palpatine gains power. He spends the rest of his days as a street performer, living with the guilt of helping the Sith return to power.
In Star Wars Legends, Jar Jar ends up being appointed the Senator of Naboo after Padme’s death. He stays loyal to the empire, but eventually moves on with his life and spends the rest of his days in Coruscant.
Though both storylines are different, neither cover his death in detail. These tales explain how he spends the rest of his days, but not when or where his days end.
In the Legends interpretation, Jar Jar lives to see the fall of the Empire and the victory of the Rebel Alliance. In Star Wars canon, his lifespan is unclear.
Some fans speculated that Jar Jar would return in The Force Awakens as an evil character. Since his character didn’t return in the movie, most fans have abandoned this theory entirely.
However, there are still those that think Jar Jar was a Sith force behind the scenes. This is largely speculative, but not uncommon.
Since Jar Jar’s death isn’t documented in either canon or legends, the mystery remains.
Do Gungans Only Live Underwater?
While Gungans can survive both on land and underwater, they typically prefer to live and build shelter underwater. This is partially due to their strained relationship with humans before the alliance with Padme Amidala.
Some Gungans, like Jar Jar Binks, ended up living on land and performing duties alongside humans and other races of beings. However, this is fairly uncommon.
Most Gungans choose to live underwater, despite being able to live on land. It’s much safer and more isolated, making it more suitable for the Gungan way of life.
Gungans may only have an average lifespan of 65 years, but they managed to do quite a bit to help the republic in The Phantom Menace. Without the Gungan Grand Army, the humans on Naboo may not have defeated the Trade Federation Army.
Despite any criticism Jar Jar may have gotten, his Gungan race proved to be a vital part of the Star Wars saga. At the very least, their lives and film contributions remain an entertaining part of the franchise.
Mitchell Layton is a freelance writer and touring musician living in Philadelphia. When he’s not playing guitar or writing for clients, he enjoys rewatching cult classics like Star Wars, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and more. Mitchell has been published by sites like HM Magazine, Glassworks Literary Magazine, GameRevolution, Pif Magazine, and others.