There’s a lot of anger and resentment towards the “Star Wars” prequels with a good portion of it directed at Jar Jar Binks, the CG character who came to represent everything wrong with that trilogy.
Underneath that CG though was actor Ahmed Best, a talented thesp who has since been stuck with over a decade of dealing with the fallout of Jar Jar. Speaking with the YouTube series These Are The Actors You’re Looking For, Best did a ten-minute chat in which he paints a not so happy picture about the backlash and how it has impacted him:
“Star Wars was my first ‘most hated’ title in anything really. It was painful. One of the biggest reasons I took it was because of the challenge of it – there was no Andy Serkis and Gollum, Na’vi from Avatar, Martians, John Carter.
I was to be the template for this, so I was kinda working with George to pioneer this new character form of acting and storytelling. On set we were all just so focused on the challenge of it and having so much fun that the post-Star Wars stuff was a surprise.
Even though you play characters, you put a lot of your own personality into it, you get emotionally and personally invested in the work that you do, it’s your work and you take pride in it. So when your work is criticized negatively, you feel a hit.”
Best also talked about the merchandising tie-ins for the movie, including an infamous and lewd-looking Jar Jar lollipop. That item was so bad, he received an apology for its existence:
“The worst one was a lollipop dispenser, that was ridiculous, I saw that thing and ran. That was bad, the head of marketing actually called me to apologize for that one.”
Though Best has reprised the role in animated form, he indicated he has no plans to reprise the role in further movies.