If you were to ask any Star Wars fan who their favorite character is, you’d probably end up with a mixed bag of responses. With dozens to characters to pick from, it’s hard to narrow down a favorite. Perhaps it’s Han Solo, the smuggler turned Rebel leader? Maybe it’s everyone’s favorite bad boy, Darth Vader? Or perhaps you’re all about the girl power and put Princess Leia at the top? While trying to work out who’s at the top is a tough one, it’s a very different story when you ask which character Star Wars fans don’t like. Typically, it’s a resounding vote for Jar Jar Binks.
Who is Jar Jar Binks?
Just in case you somehow missed the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films, let’s recap just who Jar Jar Binks is. We first see him as a central character in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. This bumbling Gungan, hailing from the planet Naboo, is saved by Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. They manage to convince his tribe to let him become their guide, and we get the joys of Jar Jar Binks throughout much of the movie. We also see the character in Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, albeit in a lesser role. While the primary purpose of Jar Jar Binks is to provide comic relief throughout the movies, it seems as though critics and fans didn’t take too kindly to the Gungan. In fact, it might have been the negative reception that sealed his fate of a lesser role in the next two films.
The man behind the mask
Of course, all characters in Star Wars are played by someone – even if it’s just their voice or motion capture. Ahmed Best is the American voice actor who took on the role of Jar Jar Binks back in 1999 and the subsequent films, but he’s admitted it was one of the worst mistakes of his life. The actor and character received so much negative backlash after The Phantom Menace that he has since told the press he had contemplated taking his own life. With critics saying the character was a “racist stereotype with a misplaced Caribbean accent,” Ahmed Best suddenly found himself in the midst of a media storm. Everyone hated him for voicing the character, and the actor recently posted an emotional social media post that explained how the aftermath impacted his life.
George Lucas steps in
However, it seems as though Ahmed Best definitely won himself at least one fan – and it’s probably the most important fan he could win over. George Lucas recently made an announcement at a fan event to mark the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace. Speaking via video, he explained that Phantom Menace “is one of my favorite movies, and of course, Jar Jar is my favorite character.” He went on to praise Ahmed Best for his work on the character, saying that he did a “fantastic job” and admitting that it was “very, very hard.” Of course, playing the comic relief in a movie is a difficult task to take on – and it seems as though George Lucas felt Ahmed Best nailed it.
Perhaps the announcement from George Lucas and the emotional truth from Ahmed Best will actually make Star Wars fans think twice about Jar Jar Binks. Sure, he was annoying at the best of times, but is he really all that bad? Now, don’t get us started on C-3PO.