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Jar Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Best Thanks Fans (and Yoda) for Support After Revealing He’d Contemplated Suicide

Moved on from it, he has.

Jar Jar Binks Ahmed Best star wars

Jar Jar Binks and the actor who played him, Ahmed Best

REX/Shutterstock

To say that “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was not well received would be an understatement. George Lucas was accused of ruining fans’ childhoods long before “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson ever was, with much of the vitriol directed toward one character in particular: Jar Jar Banks.

After revealing that backlash to his controversial role led him to contemplate suicide, the actor who portrayed Jar Jar has thanked fans — and Yoda — for the support they’ve shown him in the days since.

“Thank you all for your love and kindness. Its been overwhelming,” Best tweeted. “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.”

Among those showing their support was Frank Oz, who provided the voice of Yoda. “I LOVED Jar Jar Binks,” Oz told Best in a tweet. “I know I’ll get raked over the coals for saying that but I just will never understand the harshness of people’s dislike of him. I do character work. He is a GREAT character! Okay. Go ahead. Shoot. Gimme all ya got—but you’ll never make me change my mind.”

Though Best never mentioned “The Phantom Menace” by name in his initial message, fans quickly realized what he was talking about: “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.”

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