June 13, 2024

Jar-Jar Opens Up, and it’s Sad

In his YouTube series, Jamie Stangroom catches up with former Star Wars actors. In his most recent episode, he interviewed Ahmed Best, who played everybody’s favorite character to hate, Jar-Jar Binks.  It’s actually a bit sad, because he was just an actor who got, what he thought, was this ground breaking role, and then the world turned on him. When asked what it’s like having played such a hated role, he had this to say:

“It was painful. This character for me, and one of the biggest reasons that I took it, was that it hadn’t been done before. There was no Andy Serkis and Gollum, Navi from Avatar, Martians, John Carter. I was to be the template for this, so I was kinda working with George to pioneer this new character form of acting and storytelling. On set we were all just so focused on the challenge of it and having so much fun that the post-Star Wars stuff was a surprise. Even though you play characters, you put a lot of your own personality into it, you get emotionally and personally invested in the work that you do, it’s your work and you take pride in it. So when your work is criticized negatively, you feel a hit.”

He seems to at least have a firm grasp on why the character is so widely despised:

“When [fans] see a character that’s purely comical and purely for the children, they felt probably a bit condescended to. And I can understand how they wanted more a more serious story…But by the same token The children really liked it. And George’s idea was to make a movie that lasted for 20-30 years, not to make a movie that lasted for one. So the children who saw Phantom Menace are now adults and they’re kind of wondering why everybody had a problem with Jar Jar.”

The Star Wars prequels realistically should have been a Golden Ticket for Best. Even if his career didn’t go on to parallel Andy Serkis’, he still should have been able to capitalize on the role, more so than he has, at least.  You can see the whole interview here:



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