Who Plays Kelleran Beq In The Mandalorian? Star Wars Welcomes Back Ahmed Best

Jar Jar Binks has a complicated legacy (to put it mildly). For years, the character was held up as the pinnacle of everything that went wrong with the “Star Wars” prequels, and was the target of both jokes and more serious accusations of racial stereotyping, due to his manner of speech and comic relief klutziness. As Best explained in a video interview for Participant, it was the accusations of racism that hit him the hardest:

“Growing up, being Black, and wanting to be an artist — which is a very challenging and brave thing to do, it’s not easy — we’re always faced, as Black artists, with this idea of being a sellout. We have our guard up when it comes to being portrayed as an Uncle Tom, a racist stereotype, or anything that makes you, as a Black person, look less than … It hit me. It came right for me.”

In the immediate wake of the backlash, Best said that it felt like his life was over, and in one particularly hopeless moment he even contemplated suicide. When he opened up about this on Twitter, years later, he was taken aback by the supportive response that he got, and from the number of people who reached out to him: 

“It was surprising because I never really thought anybody would care. We talk a lot about things going viral, and usually when things go viral, it’s something negative. I didn’t feel like what I posted went viral. I feel like it went communal … because of the support that I got, that I never thought was there.”

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