Ahmed Best, the actor who portrayed the much-despised Jar Jar Binks in the also-despised Star Wars prequels, has been fairly open and self-deprecating about his experience with the franchise. As recently as last year, he was giving good-natured interviews about how he dealt with the abuse he received, and saying he took the anger “a little bit” personally. At times, it sounded a little rough: “I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear,” he said.
But in a new tweet, the man who received untold amounts of online vitriol and vituperative personal attacks from very well-adjusted and cool Star Wars fans admits that the experience was far more upsetting and emotionally damaging than he has let on in the past. In a caption accompanying a picture of Best with his son, the actor says, “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.”
Since posting, Best has received numerous posts offering support from a few very well-known names associated with the Star Wars universe, like Peter Mayhew, Rian Johnson, and Frank Oz.
In addition to his ongoing acting gigs in film and elsewhere, Best did voice work for the popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars series from 2008-2014, performing a variety of characters, including Jar Jar Binks.