As the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace's release approaches, Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best has revealed that the backlash he received for the role nearly led him to commit suicide.
Ahmed Best posted a picture to his Twitter account today, in which he and his son stand at the place where he nearly took his life years ago. "20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today," Best wrote. "This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know."
20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018
Best has received an outpouring of support on the post, including from Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, who's been subject to his own backlash from angry Star Wars fans. "Lots of love to you Ahmed," Johnson wrote. "I think there are many of us who’d get quite a lot from hearing your story."
Ahmed Best is not the only actor from the prequel trilogy to have his career affected by backlash from the films, as Anakin Skywalker actors Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen were also subject to massive career setbacks, with the former ending his career before it ever really started due to the amount of bullying he received.
Backlash from vindictive Star Wars fans has also led to the departure of Kelly Marie Tran from Instagram following months of harassment over her role as Rose Tico in The Last Jedi. Director Chris McQuarrie said he was "cured" of the desire to make a Star Wars film after spending five minutes in Rian Johnson's shoes on Twitter.