Ahmed Best, known for his role as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars franchise, recently opened up about his emotional return to the galaxy far, far away and his involvement in the fan-favorite series The Mandalorian.
In an interview with Collider, Best discussed his role as a host and mentor on the Star Wars-themed game show Jedi Temple Challenge, as well as his surprise cameo in the second season of The Mandalorian, where he played the role of a bounty hunter named “The Operator.”
Best revealed that returning to the Star Wars franchise was an emotional experience for him, as he had faced criticism and backlash for his portrayal of Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy. However, he was overwhelmed by the support he received from fans and fellow cast members, and felt that his return was a way to honor the character and the franchise as a whole.
“I had kind of given up on Star Wars, and I thought that I would never be a part of it again,” Best said. “So to be called and asked to come back was a real honor, and it was very emotional for me.”
Best also shared his experience working on The Mandalorian and his involvement in the season two finale, where he played a key role in the rescue of Grogu (also known as “The Child” or “Baby Yoda”).
“It was such an amazing experience to be on set with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, and to see how they create this world,” Best said. “And then to be a part of that season two finale, which was such a big moment for the show and for the fans, was just incredible.”
Overall, Best expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to return to the Star Wars franchise and to be a part of The Mandalorian. He also acknowledged the impact that the franchise has had on his life and career, and how it continues to inspire and connect with fans around the world.
“I feel so lucky to be a part of this universe, and to see how it has grown and evolved over the years,” Best said. “And to be a part of that legacy, and to be able to bring joy and entertainment to people, is just a real honor.”
Best’s involvement in The Mandalorian:
Best’s role as “The Operator” in The Mandalorian was a closely guarded secret, and his appearance in the season two finale was a surprise to fans. The character was only on screen for a few minutes, but his involvement in the rescue of Grogu was pivotal to the plot. Best praised the show’s creators, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, for their attention to detail and their commitment to honoring the Star Wars universe. He also expressed his admiration for the cast and crew, who he said were like a family on set.
“It was a really wonderful experience,” Best said. “And I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”
Best’s return to the Star Wars franchise has been a source of excitement for fans, who have praised his work on Jedi Temple Challenge and his surprise appearance on The Mandalorian. His emotional journey from facing criticism to being embraced by the Star Wars community is a testament to the power of fandom and the enduring appeal of the franchise. As Best himself said,
“Star Wars is forever, and it will always be a part of my life.”
further insights on Best’s impact on Star Wars fandom:
Best’s portrayal of Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy was a lightning rod for criticism, with some fans and critics deriding the character as overly silly and annoying. However, in recent years, there has been a growing appreciation for Jar Jar’s role in the Star Wars universe, and Best has been praised for his performance and his willingness to engage with fans. In particular, his work on Jedi Temple Challenge has been lauded for its positivity and inclusivity, with Best serving as a mentor to young contestants and embodying the spirit of the Jedi. As one fan tweeted, “Ahmed Best is a true Jedi, on and off screen.”
Overall, Best’s return to the Star Wars franchise and his involvement in The Mandalorian have been a reminder of the enduring power of the Star Wars universe and the importance of inclusivity and representation in storytelling. As the franchise continues to expand with new shows and movies, it’s clear that Best’s impact will be felt for years to come, and his journey from criticism to redemption will serve as an inspiration to fans and creators alike.
The Mandalorian Episodes release on Wednesdays on Disney+