Jar Jar Binks actor reveals he contemplated suicide following ‘Star Wars: Episode I’ backlash

Ahmed Best played the much-maligned character for the first time in 'The Phantom Menace' back in 1999

Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode I, has opened up about the impact that the role had on his mental health, revealing that he even contemplated suicide following the backlash his character received nearly 20 years ago.

Best portrayed the Gungan character for the first time in the 1999 film, which carried the title The Phantom Menace. Binks only made slight appearances in the following two Star Wars movies Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, which were released in 2002 and 2005 respectively.

The character, however, was subject to a major backlash from many Star Wars fans. Best has previously said that he’d never reprise the role as he said he’d “done my damage” to the franchise.

Ahmed Best
Ahmed Best

Taking to Twitter yesterday (July 3), Best reflected on the “media backlash” that he encountered back in 1999 for playing Jar Jar Binks.

“20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today,” he wrote underneath a picture of himself and his son. “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.”

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson led the supportive messages for Best following his candid post, writing: “I think there are many of us who’d get quite a lot from hearing your story.” See a selection of the replies to Best’s tweet below.


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