Ahmed Best, the actor who plays Jar Jar Binks, is healing after considering suicide over the large amount of criticism he’s received for portraying the infamous Star Wars character in 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
Jar Jar is widely the most despised and ridiculed character of the famed movie series. Best says the backlash to him portraying Binks really hurt his acting career and that offers to take on other roles outside of Star Wars dried up. He claims he was also never approached to play different roles in the new Star Wars movies and that being a Black man didn’t help. The criticism Best received drove him to have thoughts of suicide.
Earlier this week, George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, called in to a fan event marking the 20th anniversary of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and raised eyebrows by naming Jar Jar Binks as his all-time favorite character.
Apparently, it cooled off some of the hate toward Ahmed and during an interview with TMZ, the comments from Lucas has helped him heal.
“George saying what he said this weekend put me on a really strong path to healing,” he said. “I have a ways to go – and it’s not because of George – it’s because there’s an enormous picture that has to be talked about when it comes to Jar Jar Binks and what had happened with me and the fact that I’m a Black man in the entertainment business."
“What really affected me was the fact that I couldn’t continue,” Best continued. “I think the minds that need to be changed will be changed. I hope that George saying this – that it was his favorite character – will help people look deeper into the work that we did as filmmakers and what we did as collaborators and what we did as artists.”
Hopefully Ahmed Best speaking out will also help clear his name and lead him to attaining new film roles.
BET was at the Star Wars anniversary event. Below are a few things we learned from it.
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Photo: Michael Crabtree - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
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