• What happened to "Jar Jar Binks" actor Ahmed Best?
  • The actor suffered greatly from hatred for the character
  • He even received death threats

"Jar Jar Binks" caused heated discussions in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 1999. What many don't even know: there is actually a real actor behind the CGI character. We take a look at the actor Ahmed Best (48), who embodied "Jar Jar" in the Star Wars films.

Ahmed Best was 25 years old when he played the awkward "Gungan" in 1999 for the new film by Star Wars creator George Lucas. Actually, that could have been the start of a fantastic career for the actor, similar to Harrison Ford, who had the lead role as "Han Solo" in 1977 which marked his breakthrough in the film business.

Star Wars: The role became a nightmare for "Jar Jar Binks" actor

However, it turned out very differently for the young Star Wars actor. Because of his clumsy manner and strange accent, "Jar Jar Binks" was not very popular with moviegoers. The sidekick became the most unpopular and controversial character in the space saga.

The public rejection of the character even went so far that Best received death threats, as he told Wired in 2017. The dream come true of being able to act in one of the films as a big Star Wars fan had turned into a nightmare.

Best even took all of this to heart so much that he had suicidal thoughts. "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," the actor tweeted in 2018. 

Ahmed Best has stayed true to Star Wars

Best now looks back on this time more calmly. After his role as "Jar Jar Binks," he starred in a few films that are not particularly well known outside of the United States and voiced the characters in various animated films. He also wrote the pilot for the TV series This Can't Be My Life in 2008, which, is no longer produced.

In spite of everything, Best has remained true to the Star Wars universe. In 2020 he appeared as the presenter of the children's game show Jedi Temple Challenge, albeit as a Jedi knight and not as the hated character who had given him so much grief.

You can get immediate help here

If you are depressed or have suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 in United States, or The Canada Suicide Prevention Service line at 1-833-456-4566.