In a galaxy not so far away, Star Wars actor Liam Neeson, known for his role as Qui-Gon Jinn in the prequels, recently stepped forward to address the notorious backlash surrounding the lovable yet controversial character, Jar Jar Binks. In an interview with Empire, Neeson fondly reminisced about collaborating with Ahmed Best, the talented actor behind the CGI creation. He expressed his dismay at the offensive blowback Best received, which affected not only Best but also Neeson himself and his co-star Ewan McGregor, who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi.
"Ahmed was an absolute riot, full of wit and creativity," Neeson chuckled. "Ewan and I felt personally wounded and bewildered by the critical reaction to Jar Jar."
Best, the voice and motion capture artist for Jar Jar Binks, encountered a barrage of negativity following his debut in 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Critics and fans alike unleashed a torrent of criticism, with some even labeling the character as a racist caricature. The impact of this backlash on Best's mental health was so severe that, in 2018, he publicly revealed contemplating suicide due to the overwhelming hate he received. Alongside a poignant image of himself standing on a bridge with his son, Best shared his painful experience, stating, "I faced a media backlash that continues to affect my career to this day. This was the precipice from which I nearly departed."
However, as the Force would have it, fate took an unexpected turn. In 2023, Best resurfaced in an episode of The Mandalorian, portraying the character Kelleran Beq. This unexpected return showcased Best's resilience and talent, proving that even in the darkest corners of the galaxy, redemption is possible. Furthermore, Best expanded his repertoire by lending his voice to The Last of Us: Part II, among other video games, demonstrating his versatility as an artist.
As the Star Wars universe continues to expand, with numerous films in various stages of development, the saga remains as vibrant and captivating as ever. The next installment, The Mandalorian & Grogu, is slated for release in 2026, promising fans an exciting new chapter in this intergalactic adventure.
So, why is it that Jar Jar Binks, despite the initial backlash, still deserves our love? In 2022, GameSpot's own Chris Hayner shed light on this burning question, unveiling the hidden charm behind the floppy-eared Gungan. Perhaps it's time for all Star Wars enthusiasts to reconsider their stance on the character and embrace the unexpected journey that Jar Jar Binks undertook, ultimately becoming a symbol of resilience and the triumph of the underdog.
As we eagerly await the next wave of Star Wars magic, let us remember the lessons learned from the Jar Jar Binks controversy. In a universe where aliens, droids, and Jedi knights coexist, it is essential to cultivate understanding and empathy, both on and off the screen. May the Force be with us all as we journey through the cosmos of imagination, ever ready to discover new heroes, unexpected allies, and the enduring power of forgiveness.
For news tips or to contact us directly, email us at [email protected].