Ahmed Best Discusses His Star Wars Return

Today, StarWars.com published an interview with Ahmed Best. Best played Kelleran Beq in this week’s episode of The Mandalorian, reprising a role he created for Jedi Temple Challenge, a YouTube game show developed by StarWars.com. Best is best known for portraying Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy, and he also has a cameo in Episode II as a background character named Achk Med-Beq. Take a look at some excerpts from the interview here, although I recommend reading the whole thing:

“Honestly, I had to think about [returning to Star Wars]. I’ve been in the Star Wars world for such a long time and my story is such a rollercoaster ride of emotions. So coming back to Star Wars wasn’t an easy decision for me. It wasn’t something I could have immediately said yes to. I did have to marinate over it for a bit,” he says. “I mean, I was excited. I don’t think people really understand how much I care about Star Wars. Like, I really care. I really, really care about the storytelling, about the mythology, about the fans. I really want Star Wars to deliver, and if I become an obstacle to that, then I shouldn’t be in it. I don’t want to be bigger than the story. I don’t want to be bigger than the mythology. I want to contribute, I want to add to it. So it took me a minute.”

“I was still nervous,” he says, “but it was really Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, and being with them, that made me want to come back.”

“I went in deep with Kelleran Beq,” he says. “It’s really special to me. Kelleran Beq was a character in name that I created, I came up with, was really encouraged by the Jedi Temple Challenge team and the StarWars.com team. Everyone just was so graceful in embracing my crazy ideas and bringing it forward, and to see that then migrate over to The Mandalorian is really super special.”

I admire Best for overcoming mental health struggles and bullying in the wake of the prequels. While people don’t have to like Jar Jar, it’s ridiculous to lash out at an actor for doing a job. I love that he’s gotten another chance with the franchise, and it’s delightful to hear him talk about his passion for Star Wars. Most actors don’t come off as big fans of the properties they work on, and it’s always a treat to learn they’re nerds like the rest of us. It’s unsurprising to hear that Dave and Jon helped ease him back into the fray, but it’s still nice to know. I wish him the best, and maybe we can learn more about Kelleran Beq down the road.

But what do you think about Best’s comments, performance, or anything else? Talk to us in the comments!

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