‘Star Wars’ Actor Ahmed Best Opens Up About Jar Jar Binks Hate 25 Years Later: My Career Started and Finished!

Ahmed Best recently discussed with People the breakthrough job that derailed his career. Best, fifty, provided the voice of Jar Jar Binks in all three of George Lucas’s Star Wars prequels. The actor described what he termed “the first textbook case of cyberbullying” after Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was released theatrically in 1999. People attacked him personally in addition to demeaning his character.

“Everybody came for me,” he recalled thinking. “I was the first Black person, Black man, to perform this kind of work, but I was also the first Black person overall.” Jar Jar Binks was the first character produced using motion-capture technology to have a major role in a live-action picture.

“It wasn’t easy,” Best thought back. “I was rather young. It was 26 years ago. It can be difficult to believe that you have at last achieved your lifelong goal, are in the major leagues, the pinnacle of the game, and can hold your own. You’ve been saying, “I belong at the top of the game, all these years. At the greatest level, I belong.” Though The Phantom Menace, the first new Star Wars movie in 16 years, surpassed $1 billion at the global box office, Best, a cast member of Stomp, claimed he was “ostracized” by Hollywood because of the hatred directed at Jar Jar Binks.

“And then people suddenly pull the rug from under you. ‘What is happening now?’ I thought. My career started and ended with him. “I didn’t know what to do, and sadly there was no one that could help me because it was such a unique position; it had never happened before in history.”

'Star Wars' Actor Ahmed Best Opens Up About Jar Jar Binks Hate 25 Years Later

2019 saw Best admit that the negativity got to the point that he thought about killing himself. “Having to defend myself got old to me. I became weary of having to defend my job and myself,” he remarked in the video below. “I became worn out from having to counteract prejudice and racial stereotypes. All I wanted was a small role. Exhausted, I was.

Best added, “I didn’t want to hurt my family like that,” at that particular time. “So I walked away because of something greater than myself. Still lost, I was. I felt the injustice of it all and could still not find my feet. How could something so amazing have out of me and then nothing? Nonsense. I wanted so much to go on. This was work I wanted to do. I wanted to carry on going in this way and explore what the CGI thing could become.”

The next year, Best made a return to the Star Wars universe as Jedi Master Kelleran Beq in an episode of the popular Disney+ series The Mandalorian. He previously played Beq in the 2020 Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge video game. Notwithstanding all he experienced with Jar Jar Binks, he is willing to go back to the role as long as he can offer “some really good closure.”

'Star Wars' Actor Ahmed Best Opens Up About Jar Jar Binks Hate 25 Years Later

Just knowing Jar Jar’s fate would be wonderful closure in my opinion. After that, I don’t think it has to be tragic,” he said to People. “There was this one Star Wars book where Jar Jar turned into a street clown pleading for money or something similar. ‘I don’t think so,’ I said. I doubt that’s Jar Jar’s destiny.

Jar Jar failed upward and was quite awkward, he said. “He had a fantastic personality and always managed to achieve. And even though that scene finishes it, I would like to know what happens to Jar Jar after that.”

Though it won’t provide Jar Jar a fitting canonical farewell, Disney+’s Lego Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy this fall will bring back Best to play the part and revive a fan theory/joke: Darth Jar Jar. “Had been clinging to this one for a while. A [Sith Lord Darth Jar Jar] does exist, for those who have been asking,” Best said on Instagram when posting the teasers.

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The actor told People he thought it was vital and cathartic to be open about his experiences because “no one should ever have to feel like that.” “I had to let this out. This happened, and I had to tell everyone. This existed, he declared. “Because nobody ought to ever have to feel that way, to that extent.”Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is now showing in theaters in advance of its 25th anniversary on May 19. It brought in $8.7 million, ranking second at the domestic box office behind The Fall Guy, last weekend.

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