Jar Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Greatest Says He Nearly Killed Himself Over Backlash To His Character

Jar Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Greatest Says He Nearly Killed Himself Over Backlash To His Character


Ahmed Best, the actor who played Jar Jar Binks in the “Star Wars” prequels, said on Twitter that he almost killed himself over the media backlash to his CGI character. 

Best, who is thinking about doing a solo show for next year’s 20th anniversary of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” wrote: 

Best has previously spoken out about the venom he received from fans and critics over Jar Jar, one of the more polarizing characters in the franchise. 

I had death threats through the internet,” Best told Wired last year. “I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear.”

In a 2016 interview posted on YouTube, Best called the experience “painful.” 

“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,” he said. “It’s your work and you take pride in it. So when your work is criticized negatively, you feel a hit.” 

On Wednesday, Best received some support from a key figure in the “Star Wars” galaxy: filmmaker, “Muppets” icon and Yoda actor/puppeteer Frank Oz

Rian Johnson, the writer/director of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” reached out as did Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew:  

Others also chimed in to offer support, admit they loved the character or in some cases apologize: 

Best’s comments come amid soul-searching among those who enjoy “Star Wars” and other franchises over toxic elements among the fandom. Last month, “The Last Jedi” actress Kelly Marie Tran left social media amid hateful posts and bullying about her character. Filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie also indicated last month that he wanted nothing to do with the franchise because of toxic fans.

“I would have loved to make a Star Wars film someday,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m cured.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

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