In all of Star Wars fandom, there may no more deeply loathed character than of Jar Jar Binks. For years people have discussed their hatred for George Lucas' Goofy-inspired creation ad nauseam.
What no one has ever discussed before was how that intense criticism surrounding the character effected the voice and motion-capture actor, Ahmed Best. That is until yesterday when Ahmed Best himself, posted a jarring tidbit on his Twitter feed that acknowledged how tough it was and is to be the man who helped bring Lucas' vision to life:
20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. 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. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018
Friends and Twitter users rallied to support Best:
Keep this kind of honesty in mind when you're thinking about piling on people in entertainment.— BryanEdwardHill (@bryanedwardhill) July 3, 2018
When people make things you don't like, they're not trying to hurt you. Choices are made, and sometimes they don't work for you, but they're not trying to injure you. https://t.co/DR0ZlX6onX
I never clicked with Jar Jar watching TPM, i didnt hate him or love him but 20 years later watching my 7 year old laughing so hard tears are rolling down his face, when Jar Jar gets his mouth zapped by the Pod racer I get it, you did a great job Ahmed thank you.— FarDreamer101 (@Fardreamer101) July 3, 2018
Including Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director, Rian Johnson, who (along with Last Jedi actors Kelly Marie Tran, John Boyega and others) has been the victim of a nearly 6-month onslaught of searing criticism for his entry into the canon.
Lots of love to you Ahmed. I think there are many of us who’d get quite alot from hearing your story.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) July 3, 2018
And Jar Jar fans:
And I've been fortunate enough to get invited to three Star Wars premieres and I've been sure to wear a Jar Jar necktie to every single one of them.— Bryan Young (@swankmotron) July 3, 2018
Jar Jar is, hands down, one of my favorite characters. That the actor who portrayed him faced enough backlash to make this an option because of toxic fandoms and press is angering to me. We in Star Wars need to be better and kinder to each other, even if we don't like a thing. https://t.co/7oJIEyN5G1— Bryan Young (@swankmotron) July 3, 2018
For the record: I always loved Jar Jar, I am not ashamed to love Jar Jar. I have a doll, a t-shirt, an action figure, even a towel. And no I was not a kid when TPM came out either. Some of us enjoyed his free spirit & courage. I wish more of us had known to speak up. https://t.co/4ercmNumWN— Rebel Je'Daii (@SWForce4EU) July 4, 2018
I never knew it got so bad for you. I'm so sorry. For what it's worth, I was 17 when the movie premiered and I was psyched for your portrayal because I saw your photo in a magazine where you were out in the desert being a creative badass. I've always loved Jar Jar.— Tess Fowler (@TessFowler) July 3, 2018
Like so many other Star Wars fans, I can’t express how grateful I am to have you as part of our community— Star Wars Explained (@StarWarsExplain) July 3, 2018
I’m truly sorry for everything you went through, and im glad you’re still here with us. I appreciate your willingness to talk about something so difficult. I agree with @TessFowler, I think it’s something a lot of people could learn from. I know I’d like to watch it. ❤️— Lauryn Ipsum 🐙 (@LaurynIpsum) July 3, 2018
Binks was the "first lead computer-generated character of the franchise" and was featured in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and stopped by for a one-line cameo in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.