Actor Ahmed Best, known for his work as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, reveals that he considered committing suicide at one point. Best’s decision to nearly end his life came as a result of tremendous backlash he faced for his portrayal of the infamous Gungan in The Phantom Menace, which was released in 1999. The actor made the reveal on Twitter recently, posting a picture of himself and his son near a scenic overlook, explaining that this was the place that he nearly ended his life some years ago. Here’s what Best had to say.
“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. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know.”
This is far from the first time that Ahmed Best has discussed the tidal wave of backlash and hate that he received for Jar Jar Binks. In an interview with Wired last year the actor revealed, “I had death threats through the internet. I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear.” The Phantom Menace, which was the first Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi concluded the original trilogy, was Best’s first major movie role as an actor. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a terrible experience for him and pushed him to a very dark place.
Despite the backlash, George Lucas, who directed the entire prequel trilogy, decided to include Jar Jar Binks in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Though, his role was significantly reduced. Ahmed Best also reprised the role on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, voicing the character in several episodes. In 2016 Best revealed that he has no plans on returning to the franchise saying, “I think I’ve done my damage. I’m good with where I stand in the Star Wars universe. I don’t need to be back. [If I was asked], I would say no. I’m not interested in coming back. I did what I did and I thought it was great. I thought it was fun. And now I think it’s time to move on.”
Given this recent social media post, it’s not hard to understand why he wouldn’t want to return to a galaxy far, far away. Lately, in the wake of the divisive The Last Jedi, the Star Wars fandom, or at least certain sections of the fandom, has become toxic. Racist comments made toward Kelly Marie Tran resulted in the actress, who plays Rose, deleting everything from her Instagram account. So, unfortunately, certain Star Wars fans can still be ugly.
That said, the comments section on the actor’s recent post were overwhelmingly positive. He received a lot of support and love from the Twitter community in the wake of his comments. As for the solo show he’s referencing, he’s been toying with the idea of doing a one-man show to coincide with the anniversary of The Phantom Menace. You can check out Ahmed Best’s Twitter post for yourself below.
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. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018