'Star Wars' actor who played Jar Jar Binks said the hate toward his character almost ruined his life

Washington Post

The man who played Jar Jar Binks, the most universally ridiculed "Star Wars" character, revealed this week that the hate directed at his character prompted a personal downward spiral that led him to almost take his own life.

Actor Ahmed Best posted on Twitter, with a photo of himself and his son on a bridge: "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."

"Star Wars" arguably has movie land's largest and most passionate fan base, as loyalists heap lavish praise and reverence on iconic characters such as Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. But as George Lucas continued making movies in the beloved saga and created more characters and plotlines, fans have been equally brutal when they dislike something or someone.

No character was on the receiving end of that more than Jar Jar Binks, who first appeared in 1999 in 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.' He was supposed to be a clumsy, funny character.

Kimmers Hickey, who uses the Twitter handle @OctopusOwl, wrote: "When Best revealed how much the negative backlash hurt him personally, Jar Jar's fans and haters alike rallied around him."

"We take this fan stuff waaaaaaaaay too seriously at times, and it affects/hurts human beings that are just doing their jobs," Twitter user Ricardo Delgado wrote.

"I LOVED Jar Jar Binks. I know I'll get raked over the coals for saying that but I just will never understand the harshness of people's dislike of him. I do character work. He is a GREAT character! Okay. Go ahead. Shoot. Gimme all ya got-but you'll never make me change my mind," tweeted Frank Oz.

Best thanked the tens of thousands of people who offered encouraging words and support on Twitter. And Best said he plans to use his story as part of a new show he'd developing.

"Thanks for all your support," he wrote. "It means so very much to me."

Published by the Washington Post

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