Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is almost 20 years old.
Between its premiere and now, a lot of people have conversed about Star Wars characters. After all, it’s one of the biggest franchises in history. One character who first appeared in the later released prequels, definitely wasn’t a fan favorite-to say the least. (Although I remember kids loving him when the first films came out in 3rd grade.)
Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best revealed the shocking truth that the backlash he got for playing the silly Gungan, who was initially inspired by Disney’s Goofy, nearly led him to commit suicide.
Best posted a picture on his twitter account Tuesday, in which he and his son stood at the place where he says he once almost took his own life.
“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.” Best wrote.
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. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018
Best got a lot of support on the post since Tuesday. Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is included in those who reached out. Rian, was also subjected to his own backlash for that film said,
“Lots of love to you Ahmed. I think there are many of us who’d get quite a lot from hearing your story.”
The Star Wars prequels involved other actors who also had their careers damaged by this type of backlash. Even Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen (both played version of (Anakin Skywalker) were set back. Jake Lloyd threw in the towel on his acting career because of the bullying.
This behavior from angry fans has not stopped because 20 years have gone by. It has persevered, sadly. Most recently, fans have caused caused The Last Jedi‘s Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico) to drop off her Instagram account.
It’s even driving potential creators away from getting involved in the franchise. Director Chris McQuarrie tweeted earlier this week that he is officially “cured” of his desire to direct a Star Wars film because of being witness to related bullying of Rian Johnson-something that in the past, any director could only dream of.
Micajah McGregor, Editor in Chief of FanFest.com and renowned entertainment journalist, graduated from USC with a focus on Journalism and Film Studies. With an MBA from The Wharton School, he began his career at “PopCulture Pulse” and has been instrumental in shaping FanFest into a prime entertainment news source. Known for his financial analysis of celebrity net worths, Micajah received the ‘Digital Editor of the Year’ award in 2018. He’s also an active blogger, sharing his passion for superhero films and ’90s TV. Contact him at [email protected] for engaging entertainment insights.