Jar Jar Finally Returns to ‘Star Wars’, as Ahmed Best Discusses ‘Mandalorian’ Spinoff

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

Credit: Lucasfilm

Ahmed Best’s history with Star Wars is interesting, to say the least. The talented actor provided the voice and motion capture performance for Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999), but the bumbling Gungan warrior quickly became the most hated character in the franchise, which left Best facing a tsunami of backlash from fans.

Recently, Best, 50, sat down with ComicBook.com to discuss his upcoming role as “Darth Jar Jar” in LEGO Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy (2024) on Disney+, a “fan-fiction”-inspired character which indulges the theory that the Gungan is actually a Sith Lord in disguise.

But while he’ll forever be known for playing Jar Jar Binks, Best returned to the faraway galaxy in 2023, appearing as a new character named Jedi Master Kelleran Beq in The Mandalorian Season 3’s “The Foundling.”

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

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Why he didn’t play the Gungan everyone loves to hate in the flashback that saw him rescue Grogu from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant during Order 66 is unclear (who knows, it may have helped put the character in fans’ good books), but Best now wants to star in his own dark and gritty (and silent) Star Wars movie centered around Kelleran Beq.

“I want to do a ‘Jedi John Wick‘ as Kelleran Beq,” Best told ComicBook.com, “And I don’t even need to say any words. I just want to do two hours of lightsabers and people in the way. I really want to do something like that because the fight that I did for The Mandalorian is one tenth of one percent of what I could do. And there’s so much more.”

Ahmed Best as Kelleran Beq in 'The Mandalorian' Season 3
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It’s an awesome concept, for sure. Who wouldn’t want to see the actor return to a galaxy far, far away for a John Wick-inspired Star Wars movie or The Mandalorian spinoff? The John Wick movies are high octane, neo-noir action thrillers that pit the titular hitman, played by beloved actor Keanu Reeves, against totally insurmountable odds within a rich and immersive assassin underworld.

Seeing a Jedi take on scores of bad guys in the gritty, neon-lit, and rain-drenched underbelly of Coruscant sounds perfect. In fact, just a few months ago, we pitched a very similar concept featuring Jar Jar in a noir-ish detective-style redemption story! But it’s obvious why Best thinks Beq is his best bet: Binks just doesn’t seem to stick to the landing with fans.

Jar Jar Binks smiling
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The Gungan did return in the hit animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 — 2020) with Ahmed Best reprising his role, but perhaps it was a little too late for many. There are, of course, plenty of Star Wars fans who love Jar Jar, namely those of the younger variety, but then that’s the whole point of the character — he was intended to appeal to kids.

Hating Jar Jar Binks is fine, though — he’s only a fictional character, after all. But the vitriolic abuse Ahmed Best faced from fans was inexcusable. The same goes for all the bullying young Anakin Skywalker actor Jake Lloyd went through. Fans sure can be cruel and hypocritical, too. Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2003) and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005), also came under fire at the time for his acting, but he’s now considered a Star Wars legend. Perhaps all Jake Lloyd needs to do is a cameo in a Star Wars show to get into fans’ good books.

(L to R), Jar Jar Binks, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Padme Amidala in 'The Phantom Menace'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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While Lloyd’s mental health struggles continue, who knows, maybe he will return one day. But it sounds like Best’s return is far more likely. In his interview, the actor, who’s a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, went on to talk about Jedi Kelleran Beq’s fighting style:

“The style that influences Kelleran Beq is from Filipino martial arts, and nobody really knows very much how deep those arts are. Most of the Jedi are Japanese Samurai influenced, but the Filipinos beat the Samurai and they beat the Spanish. The way they move, the style that they move, and the weapons that they use are revolutionary. It’s so much so that a lot of what Bruce Lee does in Jeet Kune Do is influenced by Filipino martial arts. So I really want that to be highlighted through some kind of Jedi story.”

Last year, he told StarWars.com, “I want this [The Mandalorian Season 3’s “The Foundling”] to be the beginning, and a new beginning. Especially through Kelleran Beq.” If it doesn’t happen, there’s always Jar Jar, who also deserves his own series or movie. For now, we’ll just have to make do with Darth Jar Jar (but we aren’t complaining).

Watch Darth Jar Jar in action in the brand-new trailer for LEGO Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy below, per the official Star Wars YouTube channel:

Per StarWars.com, here’s the description for LEGO Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy:

In LEGO Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy, the entire Star Wars galaxy gets completely mixed up when an ordinary nerf-herder, Sig Greebling (Gaten Matarazzo), unearths a powerful artifact called the Cornerstone from a hidden Jedi temple. He finds himself thrust into adventure in a new, wondrously wild and twisted version of the galaxy where good guys are bad, bad guys are good, and the fate of all depends on Sig becoming the hero who can put all the pieces back together.

LEGO Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy premieres on September 13 on Disney+.

The voice cast features Gaten Matarazzo (Sig Greebling), Tony Revolori (Dev Greebling), Bobby Moynihan (Jedi Bob), Marsai Martin (Yesi Scala), Michael Cusack (Servo), Ahmed Best (Darth Jar Jar), and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker).

Would you like to see Kelleran Beq get his own John Wick-style series on Disney+? Or would you prefer to see Jar Jar Binks back in action? Perhaps even Darth Jar Jar? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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