The Star Wars franchise is one of the biggest and most beloved of film history. The space opera has been passed down across generations, leading to a moviegoing base that is loyal to George Lucas' fantastic world. But with Disney now in charge of the property and putting out both main installments and standalone films, there are more opportunities for the franchise to misstep, and royally piss off the fans. There is no Star Wars figure who has felt that wrath more than Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace. Best recently revealed his attempt at suicide in the wake of the Jar Jar hate, and received an outpouring of love via social media. Now he's taken to Twitter once more, to thank everyone for the love.
After having twenty years of hate thrown his way for Jar Jar Binks' antics in the prequels, it seems that Ahmed Best has finally gotten the love and closure he needed. And now he's going to try and make some art out of it.
Ahmed Best's latest Tweet shows how lasting the affects of fan hate can be. While fanboys are notoriously critical of iconic franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one rarely thinks about the psychological ramifications on the target. Jar Jar Binks was universally loathed after The Phantom Menace, with the character being regulated to a glorified extra in the following two sequels. The hate hasn't really let up in the following years, although fan theories about Jar Jar being a Sith Lord have added some levity to the situation.
Ahmed Best's struggle with Star Wars backlash echoes the conversation currently surrounding the fandom. With filmmakers like Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams making liberal changes to the canon, there are plenty of fans who are unhappy with the direction of the property. And they certainly make their voices known, especially when it comes to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson has been met with a barrage of hate for subverting fan expectations, which he's managed to take in stride.
Additionally, actress Kelly Marie Tran (aka Rose Tico) recently left Twitter, reportedly due to the hate she received for her Star Wars role. This led to franchise favorites like Mark Hamill coming to her defense, while filmmakers like James Gunn and James Mangold have spoken up about the toxic fandom as it extends past the Star Wars franchise.
The next installment in the Star Wars franchise will be J.J. Abrams' untitled Episode IX on December 20th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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