Jar Jar Binks actor thanks fans for their “love and kindness” after opening up about his mental health

Ahmed Best faced backlash after appearing as the much-maligned character back in 1999

Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best has thanked his social media followers for their “love and kindness” after opening up about his mental health.

Last week (July 3), Best revealed that he 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 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.

The actor has previously said that he’d never reprise the role as he said he’d “done my damage” to the franchise.

“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.”

Best received an outpouring of support, including messages from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, filmmaker Bryan Young, screenwriter Bryan Edward Hill and more.

Now the actor has taken to Twitter to thanks those who sent him the messages. “Thank you all for your love and kindness,” he wrote. “Its been overwhelming. I’m gonna start writing this show. Gonna need help cause I’ve never done this before. I will be trying stuff out and posting it here. Let folks know. Thanks for all your support. It means so very much to me.”

Last month, Star Wars actor Kelly Marie Tran deleted all of her Instagram posts following months of harassment from angry fans.

Tran played Rose Trico – a mechanic who befriends and ultimately saves Finn (John Boyega) from dying – in The Last Jedi. She was the first woman of colour to play a leading role in the franchise, and it was first reported back in December that she had faced racist and sexist comments after her appearance in the film.

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