Jar Jar Binks Actor Has No Desire to Return to Star Wars; We Don’t Blame Him—for Anything, Actually
Friends, I think I feel bad for Jar Jar? What is this?
I don’t know if it’s because I don’t blame his personal input for the character or because I’m also already an Ewok apologist, but I kind of sympathize with Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best for all the hate his work has gotten. I don’t exactly blame him for not wanting to return to the franchise, either—despite how much I’m into the Darth Binks theory.
Honestly, as far as acting, Ahmed killed it. I 100% believed Ahmed’s voice and physicality as Jar Jar Binks (in every way except the CGI). I just didn’t buy Jar Jar Binks as being part of a universe with the level of realism to Star Wars (a pretty low bar to clear). I bought his performance as Jar Jar more than maybe any other actor in the prequels, personal hero Ewan McGregor/Obi-Wan notably excepted. Unfortunately, Ahmed was handed an annoying character. Even though he admits, in the interview above with These Are The Actors You’re Looking For, that Jar Jar’s voice was something he came up with, you can’t convince me, with the things George Lucas had that character doing and saying, that the director would ever have settled on anything less annoying.
Really, it was the shameless appeal to children with such cartoonish comedic relief that was the problem, which Best clearly understands—though I hope he knows there are fans out there who don’t blame him for it personally. That’s where I draw the line between Jar Jar and the Ewoks: Sure, Ewoks were a bit silly and overly kid-friendly, but at least they weren’t essentially bumbling cartoon characters. I believed them as part of the Star Wars Universe, which is an opinion I can’t claim is untainted by my own childhood much like Best talks about today’s young adults, but I stand by it.
Whether you agree or not, Best isn’t looking to bring the character back to the franchise any more than anyone else, saying,
Star Wars was my first “most hated” title in anything really. It was painful. […] 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.
I think I’ve done my damage. I’m good with where I stand in the Star Wars universe.
Really, I’d be all for a Best return to some new character in the upcoming Star Wars movies to give him a chance to have a Star Wars memory that brings him something other than pain. (Which probably leads to fear, then anger, then DARTH BINKS. Confirmed.)
(via CBR, featured image via Disney/Lucasfilm)
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