Ahmed Best Says He’ll Never Return To Star Wars

This interview is posted on a somewhat sleazy-looking website (the original source seems to be The Daily Mail) but it is still interesting to see what Ahmed Best has to say and what he’s been up to lately:

UK filmmaker Jamie Stangroom tracked down the actor as part of his These Are The Actors You’re Looking For series, in which he interviews stars of the original trilogy and their prequels, before ‘auditioning’ them to see if they deserve a reprise along with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill.

But despite the latest installment The Force Awakens recently becoming the biggest film of all time – and despite a recent populuar-but-very-far-fetched fan theory claiming Jar Jar is in fact a Sith mastermind – the New York-born actor insisted that nothing could lure him back.

‘I think I’ve done my damage. I’m good with where I stand in the Star Wars universe,’ he revealed.

‘I’d say no. I think I did what I did, I thought it was great, it was fun, but now it’s time to move on.’

Of course I say, like the movie title goes, never say never again! It only took 12 years for Sean Connery to change his mind…

Update: Here’s the video, complete with “Taken” monologue at the end:

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43 Responses to “Ahmed Best Says He’ll Never Return To Star Wars”

  1. JustinJL Says:

    I think Best’s decision to not return ( Even if he is asked to) has more to do with fan backlash. I do think he us sincere in saying he enjoyed doing it. Part of me thinks that he has gotten so much flak, that he probably wouldn’t reprise his role as Jar Jar, or any other SW character.

  2. roxam91 Says:

    I remember reading comments from him where he echoed similar sentiments after his first guest appearance on TCW (hence why Jar Jar got a new VA in subsequent episodes). He eventually changed his mind after fans wanted him back as Jar Jar (oh, the irony of this statement), which is why he returned as Jar Jar in S4 and S6. Although, I’m probbaly reading too much into this, but it appears Best referring to movies. So if Robot Chicken has a future segment featuring Jar Jar, or Jar Jar gets an appearance in Rebels, I am hoping he’ll return like he did in TCW.

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      Considering how OT-oriented Rebels is, I doubt Jar Jar will show up there. But if he did there could be some good stories to tell about his guilt about the part he played in the Empire’s rise. Maybe it would motivate him to become a double agentamd Jar Jar and Bail Organa could work together to pass secret Senate information to the Rebellion. That’s a really good idea the more I think about it.

      • roxam91 Says:

        they have featured some characters from TCW this season (and Cham Syndulla from the Ryloth arc is supposed to make an appearance as well), hence why I kinda hope Jar Jar appears

      • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

        I was hoping for his guilt to be explored in a film (although I see nothing but hollowness in the new trilogy… so hope lost… for now). I picture a scene where he and force Anakin would be talking, with Jar Jar stating that it isn’t Anakin he blames but instead himself. Still, I am open for Jar Jar (And Ahmed) to be in Rebels!

  3. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    Jar Jar is too much of a screwhead to become a Jedi or Sith. But I am sure he’d like to get his old job back again!

    All of those pre-ANH Imperial Senators must have been really pissed when Palps gave them the pink slip. Politicians crave power and attention and can’t live with themselves when they have to give it up.

    Jar Jar had horny young interns all over him while he was in the Senate. He had his pick of all of Naboo’s and Coruscant’s most beautiful women, even though he’s ugly and a total spaz! Naturally, he’s a hero to all of geekdom!

    He is masterminding his eventual return to power, just like Bill Clinton! Bill and Jar Jar keep getting older, but the interns are still young! Yea boi!

    Verily, it shall be written in the Journal of the Whills!

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Heh heh. When it was revealed Jar Jar had a girlfriend in TCW S6, I said that this proves Jar Jar had better game than a lot of the dorks who bashed him.

    • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

      JarJarBackTatooGuy (I get the reference to your name) I found this hilarious… but than remembered that he did team up a lot with Padme in Clone Wars (and theorize… or fan-think that he and her may have had something, or at least him for her, but it eventually faded….. no one burn messa please)..

      LazyPadawan OH YEAAH! That’s a great way to put it xD

  4. Hoggle Says:

    I wonder did they film and get very far with a section of Jar Jar’s full senate speech and moment in AotCs? I remember from somewhere reading about it, sounded quite good. May have started off with something Jar Jar addressing the senate with ‘dello fellogates’ or something quite funny like that that, getting laughed at, and getting more flustered and mixed up with his words, before pulling himself back together in a well received plea plea to the senate as he invoked Padme’s widely respected authority that he was representing. I guess would have gone well with Padme’s senate scenes at the start of movie.

    I never had a problem with Jar Jar but i can see how some of the fuss with that character has come about, & it wasn’t Ahmed’s fault, but the vocal characterization & dialogue (not performance) at times did overshadow the character and it’s animation, which was good. That along with the Gungan battle action scenes being the worst in all Star Wars movies in TPM’s clunky finales final 1/5 of movie – the only part of the movie that requires the viewer to cut the whole thing abit of slack for it to work at times. Instead of Jar Jar’s elements in overtop hyper slapstick and clumsiness, i just would have had him as an absent minded easily distracted Frog who goes ‘ribbit ribbit’ away with the frog fairies at the most in appropriate of times and abit more general frog characterisation – for th emost part though i had no problem with Jar Jar.

    He does overshadow abit though, that one of the first fully ‘successful’ integrated cgi character in movies was WATTO!

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Huh?

      I thought TPM’s final battle was beautifully cut and FAR from clunky. I don’t get how a character’s traits can overshadow that character.

      • Jacobesico Says:

        Well said LP.

        There’s nothing wrong with the final battle scenes in TPM. If you have the ring theroy, you would find that it mirrors Return of the Jedi’s final battle. Every time I see Wicket now I’m reminded of Jar Jar and vice versa and so what if Jar Jar is a slapstick character? People need to lighten up.

        I always thought of him as a great lighthearted character who disappears in the later acts because he is not needed.

        Anyway I’m not surprised that Ahmed Best doesn’t want to return to Star Wars but I’m glad he came back for The Clone Wars. Bombad Jedi remains one of my favourite episodes and I think that Jar Jar and C-3PO made a very good double act.

      • Hoggle Says:

        To me, the final battle sequence sections along with the proceeding couple of Gungan meetings are not at the same level as the rest of the film. The lightsaber duels may be the best in the saga in their kinetic staging and sweep but i find the other three parts not as narratively gripping & more perfunctory. To me, the journey and laser gun battle in the palace could have been nearly as cool but it’s not given enough breathing space & development.

        I was meaning the more hyper characterisation moments of Jar Jar have ended up overshadowing the rest of the character in alot of the emphasis castigating Jar Jar, as there was more to the character than that which also had a good & slightly different dramatic tone that it added, apart from the hyper slapstick element.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I have to disagree with you there. I liked how the whole thing worked.

    • jayoungr Says:

      Now that you mention it…I’d LOVE to have seen Jar Jar make a speech to the senate in AOTC. (Unlike many, I find the political machinations of the prequels quite fascinating.)

  5. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    I’d love to meet him one day and tell him just how instrumental Jar Jar was to my development as a human being.

  6. Thorin Milliken Says:

    Honestly, I just feel so bad for this guy. Imagine how he must feel, being the butt of so many jokes and and constantly having his character being blamed for ruining Star Wars. I never had any problem with Jar Jar. I still have my 12” figure and have the smaller one included in an awesome 3 character diorama set with young Anakin and Sebulba. Great stuff!

  7. James Says:

    I love Jar Jar, he is a wonderful character, and vital to the saga. Some people seem to forget without him Naboo might not have been liberated until it was too late. It was him who brought Padames attention to the Gungan’s it was he who lead her to them when they were needed the most. Had they not been able to trick the battle droid army out of the city they would have been squashed before they set foot in the hanger. People like solo type characters cause he’s who they WANT to be, and hate Jar Jar because he is who they ARE. Well I embrace my inner Jar Jar. He may be a bit clumsy but he’s the luckiest clutz in the galaxy. So what if he has a high voice, or an accent? Everyone has an accent, I never got the idea that he is somehow “annoying”.

  8. Cad Bane Says:

    I believe Best also voiced Binks in several video games as well. Can’t really imagine Jar Jar appearing again without Best in the role.

  9. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    What I really find interesting about Jar Jar is not his clumsiness or naivety, but the major fan reaction to him. Yes, he could be clumsy, naïve and a little silly at times. So what? He’s not perfect. I have a confession. I like Han Solo a lot. But the older I got, the more I seemed to regard him as something of a man child. But my feelings for him remained the same.

    But what I could not understand was the virulent reaction against Jar Jar. Even from some of those fans who like the Prequel movies. There were times when I found the reaction against Jar Jar to border on the psychotic. Why do so many people regard him with such a high level of hatred? It almost seems as if they view him as a threat. But why?

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      “Because the 90’s EU made them forget that Star Wars is first and foremost targeted at kids.” That’s what I’m going with.

      • Marshall Says:

        90s EU had some silly moments too. Remember the “Jedi Prince” series? Or the way Jacen Solo told lame jokes in the Young Jedi Knights series?

      • lazypadawan Says:

        “The Mission To Mount Yoda,” Han’s floating house, the space pirate boogie *eg*. I used to buy those things for Drew Struzan’s cover art and for the comedy.

  10. Falcongunner Says:

    I’d think because he is a lot closer to how those who hate him are in real life as others have pointed out before on this site, But also because finding a character to be ‘Cute’ is very difficult for these People to admit to. Personally I’ve always described Jar Jar as ‘Charming’ rather than ‘cute’ but that’s just me (when we first saw TPM Jar Jar became my wife’s favourite new character…and she knows cute!)

  11. Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

    I don’t really know if I have anything new to bring to the table. Of course, I wonder if he knows that Frank Oz still admires the character, or even has seen the HardTruths video where a guy named Doug (not Doug Walker) compares him to Chewbacca, proclaiming that Jar Jar is a better developed and more goodhearted character than the Wookie. Than again, I guess more average people like us and the haters who wish to do little with their life (unfortunately) visit the web. Then again, he points it out himself that the kids who grew up with Phantom Menace found no problem with the Gungan. As I have written before, I not only hope to meet Ahmed and congratulate him for his lovable character, but also have him on board for films I hope to eventually create.

    • jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

      Chewie doesn’t even talk! Yes, the Binkster is better developed.

      I regret not meeting Ahmed at Star Wars Weekends. I would have bought him a delicious Dole Whip frozen dessert from the Magic Kingdom! That guy deserves it!

      • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

        Um… I wouldn’t use “dialog” as a strong point in an argument. A character is good rather he or she talks or not. With R2D2 & C3PO, most audiences (myself included) prefer R2 over the other, and R2 doesn’t talk. Also, two lovable Dog characters, Snoopy & Gromit, speak no human language at all, but are the show-buglers of their shows. But as for Chewy vs Jar Jar, even if he can’t talk Chewy doesn’t really shut up. Jar Jar on the other hand can be settle and quiet at times, which is a factor that most haters won’t overlook and just accuse the Gungan of being an “idiot who won’t be quiet”.

        I wasn’t aware of him being at the 2014 weekends until they were over or so, but I was bus with college work (and live on the other side of the country)…. you’re right, quiet right though as Michael Rosen would say, Best does deserve a great treat for the hard work he did and putting up with it for 17 bombading years!

  12. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    Again, I don’t feel that George completed Jar Jar’s character arch in the PT. I think it’s because he doesn’t like alternating between multiple story threads. He was a senator, and I think George cut out a lot of that because it isn’t action/adventure orientated.

    If Jar Jar was to return during the OT or ST eras, I wouldn’t want to see him portrayed as simply a Rebellion/Resistance supporter.

    Jar Jar was a supporter of the ROTS-era Empire! I could see him portrayed as a Leon Trotsky-type. Trotsky was not a good guy, he was involved in Soviet atrocities and its harmful policies. But at some point, even the militant extremists realize there are others of their political affiliation whose policies and practices are too harmful to be accepted.

    Jar Jar is a bad guy. However, at some point, Palpatine must have started to lose the Imperial Senators who had once supported him as the atrocities committed in the name of the Empire increased. The influence of the more moderate senators was probably diminished in the years leading up to the dissolution of the senate.

    Actively challenging Palpatine’s power in those days must have been dangerous. Maybe this is what became of Mr. Binks; he became a pariah on the run from his own political party.

    I do still feel that Jar Jar would still continue to support the founding ideology of the Empire, just maybe not what it had become in the OT era.

    It is also possible that Binks became a white slave trader like the Walt Disney Corporation. He probably kept a harem of slave girls in metal bikinis all for himself, because that’s how he rolls!

  13. Eduardo Jencarelli Says:

    People are now complaining that Force Awakens didn’t get nominated for best picture. Were any of the previous films even nominated for best picture?

    I, for one, agree with four out of the five current Oscar nominations the film’s earned. Visual effects, sound design, mixing and original score are all agreeable.

    Nominating the film for best picture editing, on the other hand, definitely a wrong choice.

    • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

      Wait… Force Awakens didn’t get a Best Picture nomination?…. (looks at the nominees)… YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!. YEEEEEEEES! … Although The Peanuts Movie didn’t get that nomination either- or any nomination… but hey, that’s the Academy for you…

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Only ANH ever got a best picture nomination. Oh well, there’s always the MTV Movie Awards!

    • roxam91 Says:

      It’s actually the Best Original Score that I didn’t agree with. While I love “Rey’s Theme” and “Jedi Steps”, the rest of the soundtrack didn’t exactly feel memorable. I don’t know, maybe after rewatching the movie more, the soundtrack will start to grow on me.

      • Noah Evans (The Artist) Says:

        roxam91 it’s not that I am bias or anything… but I don’t remember any of the music…. serious.

      • bansheegun Says:

        You’re not wrong. The music was sub-par for Williams standards. There was one theme that reminded me of a few themes from the PT (I think it had a harp in it?) but everything else was forgettable. I actually had a hunch this would happen, I’m not sure why, but I just wasn’t confident it would be done right.

      • Jacobesico Says:

        Well George Lucas always used the score to help tell the story in his movies. He would always say to John Williams what kind of music he wanted for certain scenes.
        With The Force Awakens, the only memorable pieces were the old themes that were used for nostalgic purposes. (The Force theme, Han and Leia ect)
        I listened to some of the soundtrack and it’s just meh to be honest. There was no emotion to it appart from the scenes which used Williams score for a previous movie.
        The Lucas saga had such a rich soundtrack to it.
        The soundtrack is its heart and soul.

        One of the greatest things about Star Wars is its soundtrack and if the soundtrack is wrong then the movie suffers for it in my opinion.

      • roxam91 Says:

        I still liked “Rey’s Theme” and “Jedi Steps” (and of course the older themes used). Everything else, not so much.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        That was one of Lucas’s touches I greatly missed with this film. I’d heard early grumblings about the score even before I saw the film and I think not only is Williams perhaps getting too advanced in age or has too many health issues, Lucas simply used soundtracks differently than Abrams does. In Lucas’s movies, the music does the talking in many scenes, almost like a music video. That requires very recognizable, memorable motifs and that’s what Lucas got out of Williams (and Spielberg did too in many of his popcorn classics). Abrams uses music the same way most filmmakers do, just as background or just as a mood setter. That’s why a lot of this soundtrack wasn’t as memorable and there weren’t any knock ’em dead pieces EVERYBODY remembers. Also, this new philharmonic doesn’t sound as lush as the LSO. I know many moviegoers don’t care and many fans will shrug it off but I agree, music is so important to SW.

        Ah well, at least I still have Danny Elfman.

      • jayoungr Says:

        I actually found that I appreciated the soundtrack more after listening to it without the movie.

      • Falcongunner Says:

        Yeah, I’m listening to the soundtrack for the first time as I type and It’s better in isolation than I thought it’d be… But it has an atypical fell to it like….I don’t know kind of like a ‘photocopy’ of a Star Wars soundtrack if you can see where I’m coming from? Still, it’s like the film for me, I do like it but It lacks The Master’s touch. Also my wife just pointed out that perhaps Gustavo Dudamel the ‘Special Guest Conductor’ may be part of this atypical feeling.

  14. James Says:

    This interviewer was rude and disrespectful. Ahmed was classy for keeping his cool with that guy. I would have hung up after that ‘idiot Jamaican man’ quip.

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