Pop Culture | Movies

Jar Jar Binks Actor Reveals The Backlash He Received Almost Made Him Take His Own Life

Lucas Films

I think we can all agree that the Star Wars movies are iconic. Even if they aren't your favorite, you still understand that they are a truly epic movies.

The problem is that there are a lot of toxic fans who feel like they have the right to attack the people who make it, just because something isn't up to their impossibly high standards.

Whether it's a character they don't like, a plot point that falls flat, or costumes that aren't right, some so-called fans will throw huge fits and criticize people, taking it so much farther than they need to.

While it's perfectly acceptable to not like a movie, or not like a character, telling an actor that you wish they were dead is not going to fix anything.

Star Wars has been dealing with these kinds of attacks for decades now, but one of the actors has just come forward to reveal just how big of an impact people's harsh words had on him.

Jar Jar Binks may be one of the most controversial fictional characters. He was in the often criticized prequel series, but Jar Jar was what a lot of critics focused their attention on.

Jar Jar
Lucas Films

The character was kind of the comedic relief of the prequel series, and a lot of kids really loved him. The problem was that the adult fans who had grown up watching the movies seemed to hate him.

But underneath all that CGI and the costume was a real human being named Ahmed Best, and every time someone wanted to attack the character, they took it out on him.

Star Wars Jar Jar
Lucas Film

Best was only 25 when he got the role, and expected the exciting opportunity to change his life, but instead it became one of the hardest things he ever dealt with.

People seemed to absolutely despise his character, to the point where Star Wars fans made a "Jar Jar Must Die" website.

Best has opened up about it, admitting it was a difficult time. “It’s really difficult to articulate the feeling,” Best said to Wired.

“You feel like a success and a failure at the exact same time. I was staring at the end of my career before it started.”

Apparently George Lucas, creator and director of the original Star Wars movies, tried to encourage him to keep his head up.

“George said, ‘This happened with the Ewoks. It happened with Chewbacca. It happened with Lando Calrissian,’” Best said. “He was used to this. He knew what was going to happen.”

Jar Jar
Lucas Film

But at the time, he was just an up-and-coming performer, trying his best. "I did my job,” he said. “I was believable enough for you to believe that this character existed. George said do a thing, I did a thing, you know what I mean? The fact that you hate Jar Jar—I still did the job.”

The hatred people felt reached a level of harshness that no human deserves to go through.

“I had death threats through the internet. I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear.”

He had a lot to deal with after receiving the backlash. "There were a lot of tears, there was a lot of pain, there was a lot of shit I had to deal with,” he said. “Everybody else went on. Everybody else worked. Everybody else was accepted by the zeitgeist.”

But it wasn't just tears and pain, he admitted that it went so much further than that. In a photo shared on Twitter, Best commented that the media backlash he received from Star Wars caused him to contemplate ending his life.

"20 years next year [since] I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. This was the place I almost ended my life," he wrote on Twitter.

In the picture, he's posing with his son. He said "It's still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival."

There has been an outpouring of support for the actor in response to this tweet, with thousands of people sending their love and comments and apologizing on behalf of the toxic fans.

The interesting thing is that there are actually some of the people who remember bashing Jar Jar at the time, who have come around and realized that the actor didn't deserve the hate he received.

It's heartbreaking to know that the backlash he endured as such a young man made him even consider ending his own life, but at least now that he's opening up about it, people will start to realize that their words are not okay.

He's not the only actor who has struggled with depression. Two other huge 90s stars, Jonathan Lipnicki and Jim Carrey have both been open about their issues in the past.

Source - Twitter / Wired / Hollywood Reporter

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