Ahmed Best Shares 25 Years After Jar Jar

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Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) giving a thumbs up at the Pod Race in 'The Phantom Menace'

Credit: Lucasfilm

To say that Star Wars is a pop culture phenomenon would be putting it lightly. What began as a passion project for a young George Lucas has since become a massive franchise that spans far beyond the galaxy far, far away. Yet, not all of his creations had such a huge success.

(L) Ahmed Best (R) Jar Jar Binks
Credit: Inside The Magic

If there’s one element of the Star Wars universe that consistently divides the fanbase, it’s the lanky and lovable Jar Jar Binks from Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999). The goofy, clumsy, and bumbling Gungan drew many young fans into the fold but repulsed dozens of purists. However, fans are singing a much different tune these days.

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Ahmed Best, the man behind the CGI suit, has been the voice of Jar Jar for over 25 years. While his Star Wars career didn’t exactly start in the way he’d hoped, he has since grown to become one of the most loved performers on Lucasfilm’s payroll. After making a name for himself as Jar Jar, the actor recently shared his thoughts on Star Wars’ official TikTok page.

Jar Jar Binks, 25 Years Later

@starwars

prequel kids forever. #ThePhantomMenace is now in theaters.

♬ original sound – Star Wars

In this writer’s opinion, the mark of a good performance is shown whether or not the actors enjoyed their time in the role. As demonstrated by Best’s account alongside Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor in the aquacraft, this was clearly a fun time for the character actor. Honestly, how often can someone say they made a Jedi laugh his mustache off?

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Although Best has expressed his admiration for the role, the character, and the franchise, Jar Jar wasn’t always so warmly accepted. There was a time where the pure, unfiltered, and unabashed hatred for the gungan nearly forced Best to take his own life, calling it “the lowest I’ve ever been.” Ahmed Best goes into much greater detail on the ordeal in his podcast, The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks.

The amount of whiplash from that sudden shift in the fandom is remarkable, but prequel kids are undeniably happy he is still with us to continue bringing Jar Jar to life. However, that’s not his only contribution to the Star Wars legacy.

Star Wars: Return AS the Jedi?

Ahmed Best as Kelleran Beq in The Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

If you tuned in to the previous season of The Mandalorianyou might have seen a familiar face in one of Grogu’s flashbacks. Trading in his slimy skin for Jedi robes, Ahmed Best made a major return to the franchise by assuming the role of Jedi Master Kelleran Beq. In quite possibly one of the most poetic redemption arcs, Best went from a character accused of ruining Star Wars to one that was instrumental in Grogu’s survival.

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In this writer’s opinion, Best is one of the unsung heroes of the Star Wars franchise. While Jar Jar might still be an acquired taste for a select few, there’s no denying that he was responsible for bringing in a new generation of Star Wars fans back in the ’90s, and those same fans are absolutely thrilled he’s still saving the galaxy 25 years later.

Are you a Jar Jar fan? Tell Inside the Magic your association with the character in the comments down below!

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