Ahmed Best on the advice George Lucas gave him after Jar Jar Binks backlash

Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best on the advice George Lucas gave him after the backlash against character following The Phantom Menace.

Last Updated on May 24, 2024

Jar Jar Binks backlash, Ahmed Best

For a while, Jar Jar Binks seemed to be the most hated character in cinema. The backlash against him was something to behold following the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 25 years ago, but attitudes towards the Gungan have softened somewhat as a new generation has embraced the character. While speaking with Inverse, Best revealed that Star Wars creator George Lucas gave him a valuable piece of advice at the height of the Jar Jar backlash.

I think it’s wonderful the younger generations are embracing not only the prequels, but Jar Jar specifically,” Best said. “This is something that George kind of predicted when all the backlash happened. He was like, ‘Thirty years from now, nobody’s going to be talking about this.’ And it was tough to realize that in the moment, but now here we are, 25 years later, and he was right.

At the time, Best took the Jar Jar backlash extremely hard, even contemplating suicide, but he’s proud of his contribution as the first person to perform motion capture in a movie, even if he doesn’t get the credit for it.

I was the first person to do motion capture in movie history, yet I’ll probably get all that credit when I’m no longer here, because you have to admit that it was a Black man who did that. And you gotta pay me. Those are two things that Hollywood has a challenging time doing.

Best continued: “I was the first Black man to do it… and the last Black man. There has not been any other Black man to be a main character in a major motion picture as a performance capture, CGI character. Twenty-five years, and that’s an entire group of people completely X-ed out of an art form. Zoe Saldaña is probably the only other person who’s done this. But in 25 years, the industry has decided to not deal with Black people, specifically Black men. We are still talking about a large demographic of artists who are being denied opportunities. And that’s frustrating to me.

Jar Jar Binks was front and center in The Phantom Menace, and although he did appear in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, his screen time was drastically reduced. Best has reprised the role in various animated projects over the years, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Robot Chicken, and LEGO Star Wars. He also portrayed Jedi Master Kelleran Beq in The Mandalorian, where it was revealed that Beq was the one who helped save Grogu during Order 66.

Jar Jar, or rather, Darth Jar Jar, will next be seen in LEGO Star Wars: Rebuild the Galaxy, which will premiere on Disney+ on September 13th.

What are your thoughts on Jar Jar Binks 25 years after the initial backlash?

Source: Inverse

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.