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Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best nearly jumped off bridge after backlash

Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best nearly jumped off bridge after backlash

Ahmed Best played the controversial character in Star Wars


Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks, nearly ‘jumped off a bridge’ after facing intense backlash for the role.

The 49-year-old provided the voice and motion capture for the Gungan outcast who first landed on screens in George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace in 1999.

And the job was supposed to be a dream come true for Best, who absolutely loved the sci-fi, space, fantasy franchise.

Speaking on new podcast, The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks, the American shared his initial excitement at landing the role while working as a dancer.

“I was an enormous Star Wars fan as a kid,” he said. “I didn’t know what was happening. I thought it was a prank.”

Jar Jar Binks received a lot of hate when the prequel films came out.
Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox

But it wasn’t a prank, it was real life. And it got all too real when the character riled up Star Wars ‘fans’.

They hated Jar Jar Binks, they hated the comedy he was supposed to bring and they even directed the hate to Best himself.

Jokes were being made about the character before the movie was even released, claiming he was going to ruin the franchise. And once the film was out there, so were sites like and

The accusations of racism from the character were the hardest for the actor. Film crtics claimed Jar Jar was a ‘blatant racial stereotype’ but everyone involved in creating the character (including Best) deny there was any offensive intent.

Getting death threats through to his phone, just for playing a character, Best told The Guardian: “It was terrible. It was the lowest I’ve been in my life.”

The actor headed to Brooklyn Bridge at one point, and considered jumping off with one thing circulating his mind: “I’ll show all of you. I’ll show you what you’re doing to me. And when I’m gone, then you’ll feel exactly what I went through.”

Ahmed Best on the set of The Mandalorian.

A strong gust of wind blew past Best and his instincts pushed him to grab on for safety, and he suddenly realised he wanted to live.

Years later, he was walking along Brooklyn Bridge with his son during a trip to the city.

He tweeted a photo and recalled how the backlash once drove him to the edge, writing: “But now this little guy [his son] is my gift for survival.”

Best soon began to receive apologies from fans and stars who had publicly attacked him, and found himself at Star Wars conventions and playing Kelleran Beq in season three of The Mandalorian, where he saves Baby Yoda.

Speaking of the new podcast, he said: “I don’t feel like Jar Jar - or I - need redemption. I’m looking at it as our redemption, as the people who love Star Wars.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123

For US readers, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at1-800-273-8255 or go to

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/BestAhmed/Disney

Topics: Celebrity, Mental Health, Film and TV, Star Wars