Jar Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Best Returns to ‘Star Wars’ for ‘The Mandalorian’ Cameo

Best portrays Jedi Kelleran Beq during a flashback sequence in episode "Chapter 20: The Foundling."
Ahmed Best in "The Mandalorian" Season 3 - Jar Jar Binks actor was reluctant about 'Star Wars' return
Ahmed Best in "The Mandalorian" Season 3

Ahmed Best is putting his best foot forward in the modern “Star Wars” franchise.

Over two decades since his portrayal of the controversial Jar Jar Binks in the 1999 prequel film “The Phantom Menace,” Best appeared in Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” Season 3 as Jedi Kelleran Beq. Best stars in the episode “Chapter 20: The Foundling,” during which Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, has a flashback to Order 66 and the takedown of the Jedi temple. Grogu is saved by Beq (Best), who tells him that “everything’s going to be all right, kid” before killing clone troopers.

Best previously played Beq in 2020 online kids’ game show “Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge” and even had a cameo in “Attack of the Clones” as a Beq relative, Achk Med-Beq.

Best previously opened up about the toll of playing Jar Jar Binks in 2019, revealing that he contemplated suicide over the racism-fueled backlash to the character.

“There was just so much hate and anger and venom directed at me, and I took it personally…I put a lot of me into that work, and if you talk to any artist who really cares about their work, you’re talking about them,” Best said. “The hardest part for me in that entire situation was all of the criticism that came from a racially motivated point of view. Growing up, being Black, and wanting to be an artist — which is a very challenging and brave thing to do, it’s not easy — we’re always faced, as Black artists, with this idea of being a sellout. We have our guard up when it comes to being portrayed as an Uncle Tom, a racist stereotype, or anything that makes you, as a Black person, look less than.”

He added, “I was called every racial stereotype you can imagine. There was this criticism of being this Jamaican, broken dialect, which was offensive because I’m of West Indian descent — I’m not Jamaican. It was debilitating. I didn’t know how to respond…I felt tired of having to explain myself. I felt tired of having to defend myself and defend my work. I felt tired of having to fight back against racism and the racial stereotypes. I just wanted to play a part. I was exhausted.”

Co-star Liam Neeson noted in 2020 that Best was “one of the funniest guys and talented guys I have ever worked with” and easily could have been the “new Eddie Murphy.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.