Ahmad Best said in a social media post on Tuesday that playing Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars almost led him to committing suicide.
Best starred as Binks in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. The movie was directed by George Lucas and released in 1999. It was set 32 years before the original Star Wars. Even though it was the highest grossing film of 1999, the movie received mixed reviews. Best was one of the actors to be criticized for his performance in the movie.
Yesterday, Best shared a photo of himself and his son looking out over some water. He captioned the picture, “I don’t talk a lot about my experience as #jarjarbinks because a lot of it is very painful. 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.”
He added that he wants to do a Phantom Menace themed solo show next year, the 20th anniversary of the movie. He wrote, “I’ve been thinking of doing a twenty year #ThePhantomMenace solo show next year.” He also said, “I’m ready to tell this story but I’m curious to know if a show like this is something people want to see. Lemme know.”
Best also posted about his experiences and plans for an upcoming show on Twitter.
While Best’s portrayal of Jar Jar Binks was loved by children, adults for the most part were critical of the out-of-place character in the movie. Best talked to Wired last year about the brutal criticism he received. He said, “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.”
Despite the criticism, Best went on to appear as Jar Jar Binks in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sixth.