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The Star Wars prequels have received a lot of hate over the years, but a lot of that hate was directed at one man in particular, and it very nearly drove him to suicide. Ahmed Best was the actor who did the motion capture work and provided the voice for Jar Jar Binks. Recently, the actor took to Twitter to share an image of two things, the location where he once considered ending his life, and the child he now has because he chose not to do so.
It's been 19 years since the first of the Star Wars prequel trilogy arrived and the films were certainly not met with the same passion and love that the original trilogy had seen. A great deal of the backlash was focused on the character of Jar Jar Binks, a computer-animated character who spoke with an affected accent who was seen by many to be a silly character designed exclusively to appeal to children.
Needless to say, it's heartbreaking to learn that the backlash against Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and the rest of the prequels was such that Ahmed Best considered suicide. Not liking a movie is fine, we all feel that way from time to time, but it should never be taken out on a performer, who, at the end of the day, is only doing a job.
Ahmed Best is considering putting together a one man show and it appears he may make the topic of his potential suicide a part of it. As dark as that could be, it might make for good therapy for Best himself to talk about the experience of going through the backlash from his perspective. And it wouldn't be awful if the rest of us were exposed to that perspective. If we knew the effect our words had on people, perhaps we would be more careful with them.
While so many may have been hyper-critical of Jar Jar Binks, the character is part of the Star Wars universe for better or worse. Best has continued to voice the character for animated series and video games throughout the years. While Best says the backlash has had an effect on his career, and the lack of varied roles he's had since The Phantom Menace would bear that out. In the end, it would seem that the longevity of Star Wars has made Jar Jar a key part of Ahmed Best's life, for good as well as bad.
You can think what you wish about the Star Wars prequels, but it's difficult to argue that Jar Jar Binks is the real problem with them. The issues are far more fundamental than one character who only wants to make you laugh.