Ahmed Best – who played everyone’s favourite Gungan in the Star Wars universe: Jar Jar Binks – is writing a One Man Show about his experiences. Binks was a controversial and much-hated character when the Star Wars prequels were released between 1999 and 2005, but has since grown in cult status.
Best was in a touring production of Stomp in the 1990s, which was a dance show using everyday objects such a dustbin lids for percussion and involved impressive feats of acrobatics. Best was cast as Jar Jar Binks because of his flexible, athletic movements in the show.
Like Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin, Best also struggled mentally as a result of the vitriol that the prequels inspired from a certain section of the fandom at the time. “To be very honest, I was very afraid to go to [Star Wars Convention] Celebration,” Best said in 2019. “Every time I’m in a Star Wars setting, I spend most of my time defending our work and defending Jar Jar. And I just don’t want to do that anymore. So I was very reluctant to come to Celebration because of that.”
Best continued; “But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t the case at all. I just felt nothing but love and respect and admiration for the work we did. I couldn’t have been more proud and I couldn’t have been happier. I wish George [Lucas] was there because I think we’re at a time right now where we have to stand in that work. We have to say, ‘We did it,’ and step into that in a very proud way, because it stands the test of time.”
When Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen were on the press tour for Obi-Wan Kenobi, they found that they had a similar reaction. Crucially, people who were children when the prequels came out, and grew up loving them, have now grown up. This means that many of these now-adults view them with a nostalgic affection, rather than dismissing them as ridiculous.
Best tweeted that “I think it’s time for my version of how it all went down.” It sounds as though his One Man Show may include some revelations. While we wait to find out what they are, check out our guide to guide to the Star Wars movies, ranked.