Actor Ahmed Best is mainly known for his role as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars saga. His role brought unto him a ton of backlash and criticism as many felt his alien character lived up to racist stereotypes. Since his portrayal in the 1999 and 2002 installments of the film, Best struggled to find more roles and dealt with mental health issues as a result of it.
However, the 45-year-old actor now says that he’s on a “really strong path to healing” after the franchise’s creator, George Lucas, called Jar Jar Binks his “favorite character.”
Lucas called into a fan event that marked the 20th anniversary of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and surprised enthusiasts with his remarks. “Thank you for coming to the celebration. It’s one of my favorite movies,” Lucas said. “Of course Jar Jar is my favorite character. Ahmed, he did a fantastic job. It was very, very hard.”
Lucas’ words inspired Best to speak with TMZ and share his thoughts on the filmmaker’s comments. “I hope that George saying this, that it was his favorite character will help people look deeper into the work and what we did as filmmakers, and what we did as collaborators and what we did as artists,” he said. “And look at how we influence the next generation of not only filmmaking but filmmakers.”
Best previously stated that he contemplated suicide due to the character’s backlash. We wish him a speedy road back to recovery.