Jar Jar Binks. For some Star Wars fans, the name alone conjures more dread than Vader or Palpatine. Vitriol directed towards the goofy Gungan — and towards George Lucas for creating such a monstrosity — was so strong after his debut in The Phantom Menace that the director sidelined the character for the remaining two prequels, never really letting us know whatever happened to Binks. While many wanted an untimely end for the CGI sidekick, apparently no one did more than Ahmed Best, the voice actor responsible for bringing him to life.
“I always complained to George when I realized that [Revenge of the Sith] was pretty much not going to have Jar Jar in it and they were moving very very far from me, I always complained to George that I didn’t get a good death,” Best said in a recent interview on Jamie Stangroom‘s Star Wars podcast, “I wanted to really be just hacked to pieces in some kind of way… and George wouldn’t do it. I always said that Jar Jar’s fate was too open ended, I would have loved to have closed it in some way. I think everybody wants some kind of Jar Jar closure to happen, including me.”
Surprisingly, Best sounded more upset about Jar Jar’s unfinished character arc rather than receiving the justice he deserves. Asked about his thoughts on Binks’ minor aside in Chuck Wendig’s canonical novel Aftermath: Empire’s End, Best said he enjoyed the “very dark, very somber eventuality” of his character becoming a down-and-out street clown.
Even J.J. Abrams’ offhand joke a while back about putting Jar Jar’s bones on Jakku as an Easter egg wasn’t quite enough for Best, since the actor believes it leaves holes the Gungan’s story. Best seems also to enjoy the Darth Jar Jar theory, even hinting that Lucas once had similar plans for the character before the backlash.
Best, who is penning a book about his career’s relationship to the comically controversial character, still sounds befuddled after all these years about fans’ love-hate relationship with Jar Jar.
“I’ve been trying to let him go for so long! But there is something out there in the zeitgeist of the Star Wars universe, they just want to keep him around!” he said. “They want to forget about him, they want to hate him but they just want to keep him around, I don’t know why!”
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