Star Wars’ Most Hated Actor Just Returned To The Franchise

Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks, is back and reprising a different Star Wars role in The Mandalorian.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

After years of ridicule, Ahmed Best, who is infamous for playing everyone’s least favorite Star Wars character, Jar Jar Binks, has returned to a galaxy far, far away. And while Best is reprising a Star Wars character he’s played before, it isn’t the horribly annoying Gungan from 1999’s A Phantom Menace. On the most recent episode of The Mandalorian, Best appeared as Kelleran Beq, an obscure Jedi the actor has played once before.

In the episode titled “The Foundling” of The Mandalorian Season 3, the Star Wars spin-off series brings viewers back to the past to Order 66 when the clone troopers betrayed the Jedi and attempted to wipe out every one of them. Almost every single Jedi is ruthlessly slaughtered, and a young Grogu is trapped, forced to face a group of clones alone when Best’s Kelleran Beq swoops in and takes out the troopers with his two lightsabers. The pair then escape the attack on Kelleran’s ship.

While many Star Wars fans might think that this is the first introduction of Kelleran Beq’s character, they would be sorely mistaken. Best first played Kelleran in 2020 in the children’s game show web series Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. The show aired on for one season and was developed by Lucasfilm.

In addition to playing Kelleran Beq and Jar Jar Binks, Best also played Achk Med-Beq in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, playing dual characters in the film as Jar Jar Binks also made an appearance. Best has said that Kelleran Beq and Achk Med-Beq are related to one another, but no official source has proved this to be canon. 

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Despite playing more characters in the Star Wars universe than most actors, Best is also the most ridiculed actor to ever appear in a galaxy far, far away. He played Jar Jar Binks in all of the Star Wars prequel movies, and while producers of the films had hoped for Jar Jar to be a lovable comic relief sidekick, poor Jar Jar was hated almost universally. Star Wars fans instantly rejected the amphibian alien’s goofy personality and silly accent and immediately began to do what toxic fans do and tormented Best for playing the character.

In a 2019 interview, Best finally opened up about how much the bullying from the Star Wars community affected him, nearly driving the actor to suicide. He described how toxic fans came after Best, calling him hateful names, racial stereotypes, and slurs. The bullying drove Best into a deep depression.

Best recalled how he would often walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to clear his mind and how the Manhattan lights would usually make him feel better. Until they didn’t. At one point, the bullying from Star Wars fans got so bad, and the depression got so dark that when Best walked across the bridge, he no longer even saw the lights, instead feeling a deep “fog” inside of himself. He felt exhausted after facing so much bullying and racism… And all of it because he was an actor who wanted to play a silly part in a famous franchise.

While it’s terrible what Best went through, and the anecdote is a testament to the truly dark side of franchise fandoms, things are looking up for the actor now, more than 20 years later. To celebrate coming back to Star Wars, Best posted a gym selfie of him wearing a Star Wars shirt, captioning the pic, “Gratitude! Good to be back. There is so much to say and share. It’s going to take a couple of days. But, for now, I’ll just say thank you to all that have held me up and made me better.”

This is the way.

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