Star Wars: Ahmed Best on the Jar Jar Binks Backlash

Sergio Cunningham
July 5, 2018

Best has touched on the startling toll Jar Jar took on him previously, telling Wired he even got death threats.

In a Twitter post, Ahmed Best recounted that time in his career and, while not explicitly naming the Star Wars movie, was very straight-forward about how the backlash he faced after portraying Binks was a personal low.

However, he managed to persist throughout it all, but "it's still hard to talk about", remarked Ahmed.

'I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival. He mentioned it while talking about a possible solo show next year for the film's 20th anniversary.

Best, who played Jar Jar Binks, has previously spoken out on how the bad reaction affected him, but has now revealed it nearly led to him taking his own life. "Lemme know", Ahmed said.

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In a Wired interview previous year, Best revealed he felt like a success and a failure at the same time as his Star Wars career took off as the annoying character, but added, "I was staring at the end of my career before it started".

The role of the hapless Gungan, which ran through all three prequel movies but was most notable in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, was intended as comic relief, but its childish nature became a focus of ire for many fans. "That's hard for a 25-year-old to hear", Ahmed had said. There are human beings behind those frames, just like you and I - human beings that spent months (if not years) poring over the final cut to deliver a product worthy of your time.

However, that shouldn't extend as far as to make a man doing a job he loves feel like Ahmed did. "Everybody else went on".

On Wednesday, Best received some support from a key figure in the "Star Wars" galaxy: filmmaker, "Muppets" icon and Yoda actor/puppeteer Frank Oz.

Immediately after the release of The Last Jedi, disappointed fans took to social media to inundate the cast and crew with negative, personal attacks, while other fans praised the efforts of those responsible for the film. "What would you want to know?" "If your self-esteem depends on how good you think the current Star Wars is, or your childhood is ruined because you don't like something in a movie, GO TO THERAPY".

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