“So funny and inventive”: 25 years later, Jar Jar Binks is supported by Liam Neeson

“The Phantom Menace” celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. On this occasion, in an interview given to Empire magazine for an anniversary issue, Liam Neeson returned to the critical reception reserved for the character of the blundering Gungan.

In 1999, George Lucas brought his famous star-studded saga back to life 16 years after Return of the Jedi with The Phantom Menace. Exploring the origins of the cult characters discovered in the original films, we now follow the adventures of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his young apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) as they encounter an Anakin (Jake Lloyd), still a child.

On the agenda, an epic story of fallen Jedi, forbidden romance and the dismantling of democracy – all bringing together an all-new cast and new characters to populate this vast space opera.

And among these new characters, there is one who has caused a lot of discussion: a certain Jar Jar Binks. While the clumsy and clumsy Gungan creature was supposed to bring some humor and lightness to the film, it quickly became one of the most hated characters in the saga – a virulent and disproportionate hatred that even touched his interpreter, Ahmed Best.


In an exclusive edition of Empire magazine, celebrating 25 years of The Phantom Menacethe main actors of the prelogy reflect on their experiences in the film. Liam Neeson thus remembered with fondness his work alongsideEwan McGregorbut also alongsideAhmed Best and regrets the way his character was treated.

Ahmed was so funny and inventive”, the actor said, recalling his dismay at the fans’ reaction. “Ewan and I were personally hurt and offended by the critical reaction to the character.

Excessive anger

Playing Jar Jar in a motion capture suit, Ahmed Best suffered the disproportionate anger of fans for years, an ordeal which closed many doors to him in the cinema and which almost pushed him to suicide, as he revealed in 2018 on his since-deleted Twitter account.

Next year, it will be 20 years since I suffered a violent media reaction that still affects my career today,” he wrote, accompanying his words with a photo in which he faces a bridge with his son. “This is the place where I almost ended my life. It’s always difficult to talk about it. I survived, and today, this little guy is my gift.

Since then, the actor has returned to the saga in the role of Jedi Master Kelleran Beq in the game show Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challengethen in the third season of The Mandalorian.

Jar Jar, the big bad guy of the saga?

For some fans, however, the character was much more than a poor creature posed there to make the audience laugh. Indeed, according to a theory put forward by them, Jar Jar Binks, beneath his clumsy and innocent appearance, would indeed be an expert in the art of mastering the Force, a powerful Sith Lord and the greatest villain of the saga…

Check out the fan theory in detail in the video below:

The entire Star Wars prelogy can be found streaming on Disney+.

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