Fan theories

On Reddit, user Lumpawarroo grabbed a ton of attention for posting this crazy Star Wars theory: Jar Jar Binks was a trained Force user, knowing Sith collaborator, and will play a central role in The Force Awakens.

Here's George Lucas (from a documentary) talking about Yoda:
"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..."
As we all know, one of Lucas' big deals with the prequels was that they were intended to "rhyme" and mirror the original trilogy in terms of general narrative themes. So there should have been a seemingly innocent creature found on the side of the road that later reveals itself as a major player. We do have a creature that this seems to describe precisely... Jar Jar... but of course he never develops into a "master" anything.
Here's what I think happened: I think that Jar Jar was initially intended to be the prequel (and Dark Side) equivalent of Yoda. Just as Yoda has his "big reveal" when we learn that his tottering, geriatric goofball persona is just a mask, Jar Jar was intended to have a big reveal in Episode II or III where we learn that he's not really a naive dope, but rather a master puppeteer Sith in league with (or perhaps in charge of) Palpatine. 
However, GL chickened out. The fan reaction to Jar Jar was so vitriolic that this aspect of the trilogy was abandoned. Just too risky... if Jar Jar is truly that off-putting, it's potentially ruinous to the Star Wars legacy to imply that he's the ultimate bad guy of the entire saga. So pretend he was just a failed attempt at comic relief instead.

If you are into fan theories about movies, or just into Star Wars, it's worth a read. I feel like I've written about fan theories and movies before, but now I can't find any posts on the topic. Maybe it was just a Twitter conversation.

Anyhow, here's the thing about fan theories about movies: they are almost always completely wrong. I'm trying to remember one time when one of them was right, and maybe one of my readers can help me out here, but none come to mind. Sure, folks predicted that Benedict Cumberbatch would play Khan, but that wasn't much of a theory, it was just a casting guess.

Think about the Pixar Theory, Room 237, the Owen Grady theory about Jurassic Park/World, or any of the countless theories that claim that someone was dead all along. They are all fun, cleverly articulated, and completely wrong. I've talked to people who've worked on movies who can't help but laugh and shake their heads at some of the wacky theories their works have inspired. People at Pixar roll their eyes at the Pixar Theory.

If you have too much time on your hand and an overactive pattern seeking protocol, you'll start seeing things. Like dead people. It's a fine line separating conspiracy theorists from loons, and maybe the line isn't separating them but circling them.

We should get another test case shortly. Many believe Luke Skywalker hasn't featured prominently in the movie trailers or posters because he is actually Kylo Ren, having turned to the dark side. Let's ignore the fact that this would be J.J. Abrams and crew taking Luke's entire heroic journey in Episodes IV-VI and the collective happy memories of hundreds of millions of viewers and flushing it down the toilet. At their heart, fan conspiracy theories aren't really about the movies, they're all about the fans who come up with them.