Jar Jar Binks is perhaps one of the most hated fictional characters of a generation. Since his debut in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the galaxy has unanimously declared its dislike for Lucas's creation.
For those of you who can't bring yourself to watch him in action, look away now, as I want to remind you before we move on:
It's easy to aim vitriol toward a CGI character, but what about the man behind the computer generated mask?
That man is Ahmed Best, an American actor, voice actor and musician.
No, silly. He's the one on the right.
The Bombardment Of Jar Jar Criticism Was "Painful" For Ahmed
Talking to Jamie Stangroom for his YouTube series These Are The Actors You’re Looking For (video below), Best spoke of his difficulty with the hatred that followed the movie. He said:
"Star Wars was my first ‘most hated’ title in anything really. It was painful. One of the biggest reasons I took it was because of the challenge of it—there was no Andy Serkis and Gollum, Navi from Avatar, Martians, John Carter."
Compared to other Star Wars actors who were interviewed, Best's discussion was a lot more sombre. Clearly, the years of negativity surrounding the character, one he put a lot of time and effort into, no doubt, had left him jaded with the ordeal.
Ahmed Felt A "Hit" Following The Negative Response
With a lot of personal investment in the role, the backlash took the 42-year-old by "surprise."
Even those with the thickest skin would find it tough dealing with a barrage of abuse, and Best was no different. He added:
"Even though you play characters, you put a lot of your own personality into it, you get emotionally and personally invested in the work that you do, it’s your work and you take pride in it.
"So when your work is criticized negatively, you feel a hit."
It's hard not to sympathize with a man who is clearly likable. Originally, Best was only going to provide the physicality for the role. However, after providing a few sample voices, George Lucas became a fan and Best became Jar Jar.
Ahmed Even Got Abuse From Michael Jackson... Who, Bizarrely, Wanted To Be Jar Jar
As if the critic bashing and fan hating wasn't enough, Ahmed even found himself on the receiving end of some serious beef from Michael Jackson, someone he idolized when growing up.
According to the actor, when attending a backstage event, he received a cold response from the pop superstar when they met. Presumably the star told him to beat it.
It turns out M.J. himself actually wanted to play the character Jar Jar. Can you imagine?!
Will Jar Jar Return?
As controversial as it may be, perhaps now is the time to take a few deep breaths and reassess. Was he really that bad? What instigated so much animosity? Best feels the character's role of comic relief was the part to play, but perhaps it felt "condescending" for adult fans.
I suppose, if you're reading this in a fit of rage, you'll want to know if there is a chance of Jar Jar returning to the Star Wars universe. According to Best, that looks unlikely. He said:
“Ive done my damage. I’m good with where I stand in the Star Wars Universe.
"I’d say no. I did what I did and thought it was fun.”
However, he did end with Jar Jar reciting the Taken monologue. Haters gonna hate, right?
Check out the full video below: