Actor Behind Jar Jar Binks Says Role Almost Drove Him To Suicide
Actor Ahmed Best asked if there was any interest in a one man show about his story.
Ahmed Best, the actor who famously played Jar Jar Binks in George Lucas’ 1999 Star Wars prequel “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”, sent out a Tweet asking if there would be interest in a one man show from him, as next year would be the twenty year anniversary of him taking the role. The photo accompanying the Tweet showed Best looking over the ocean while holding his son, and the Tweet revealed that this is the bridge Ahmed Best came very closely to killing himself from. The Tweet can be seen below.
20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018
The Phantom Menace came out and was immediately panned in a manner that seemed to foreshadow the toxic Star Wars fan culture of the present era. Films and fan films were made as legions of people whose film experience seemed to be just watching the movie were claiming they could do a better job — and Jar Jar Binks, Best’s character, was exemplified by the media for everything that was wrong with the new trilogy.
Some blamed the character’s goofiness, some the possibly racist characterization, and others just didn’t like him. Everyone from The Simpsons, South Park, Brian Posehn, Patton Oswalt and legions of legions of fans hold up the character and film as everything that was wrong with the prequel series and George Lucas himself, the architect of the movies they love so much that caused the fans to act so poorly. Because Star Wars fan can hold a grudge this conversation continues to this day.
However, Jar Jar Binks, and Best’s performance have indeed been iconic and unforgettable. Whatever criticism the film gets, the character is one hard to forget, with his goofiness being unique in the Star Wars universe. Best has reprised his role as Jar Jar Binks a few times, most notably as a regular on the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Ahmed Best has received support from fans and other creators online in the wake of his revelation, who have expressed their fondness for him, the character, and have expressed their support for Best’s possible one man show — including The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, and legendary puppeteer and Yoda performer Frank Oz.
Lots of love to you Ahmed. I think there are many of us who’d get quite alot from hearing your story.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) July 3, 2018
.@ahmedbest you have always been a wonderful person and I think your story needs to be heard and people are ready to hear it. Opening up publicly would be an inspiration to many.
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) July 4, 2018
I LOVED Jar Jar Binks. I know I’ll get raked over the coals for saying that but I just will never understand the harshness of people’s dislike of him. I do character work. He is a GREAT character! Okay. Go ahead. Shoot. Gimme all ya got—but you’ll never make me change my mind. https://t.co/RHhhXUlU5C
— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) July 4, 2018
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 4, 2018
Ahmed Best has been bowled over by the positivity, and expressed as much on social media, and announced he is set to begin workshopping.
Thank you all for your love and kindness. Its been overwhelming. I’m gonna start writing this show. Gonna need help cause I’ve never done this before. I will be trying stuff out and posting it here. Let folks know. Thanks for all your support. It means so very much to me.
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 4, 2018
The toxicity of Star Wars fans has been in the news as of late. Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who played the part of Rose in The Last Jedi was driven off of Instagram, fans continue to harass Rian Johnson. Recently Chris McQuarrie swore working in these huge franchises, with Logan director James Mangold warning fans that if this continues, these franchise films they so adore will be directed by a series of continuing cogs in a machine rather than artists.
What do you think? Are you excited for Ahmed Best’s show? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending