Credit: Lucasfilm (Star Wars - Ahmed Best)

Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show. I’m your host Paul, and in this video, we’re going to be breaking down the big cameo in The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 4. It was a major moment of redemption, and if you don’t know why it meant so much, then this is the video for you. Throughout this video we’re gonna be breaking it all down and going over who this is, the history that the actor has had with Star Wars and also why this scene here means more than just him saving Grogu in a TV show.

Now there’s kind of this retcon of real life, and I actually see a lot of people these days saying that the prequel trilogy wasn’t hated when it was first released. I’m guessing this must prove the multiverse exists because I remember it being constantly ripped apart by almost the entire fan base and critics at the time. Now though Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson all went on to have major careers, there were some casualties that came off the back of the bad reception to the first film.

Internet Culture And Star Wars Prequels

The first was Jake Lloyd, who has been very open about how much playing Anakin destroyed his life, and the second was Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks. Seen as a wacky and over the top kids character, the first movie relied heavily on him, and a lot of the criticism levelled at the movie focused on how much people said that he ruined scenes.

Just google Jar Jar ruined Star Wars, and you’re going to be hit with hundreds of articles all talking about how the character ruined the franchise and set the prequel trilogy off on the worst foot possible. He was a comedic character that took away from the serious political tone that was laced throughout the movie, and Best’s role was minimised in the sequels due to how much backlash there was.

If you type the guys name in on Youtube one of the first thing that comes up is a video about how the actor almost ended his own life and in it he recounts what happened with him before and after the role.

Credit: Lucasfilm (Star Wars - Ahmed Best)
Credit: Lucasfilm (Star Wars – Ahmed Best)

Now I know that when most people criticise something on the internet, they’re not actually doing it to attack the people behind it. When you say how crap of a character someone is, you’re often not going after the actor directly unless you specifically tag them in it. I know for myself that I’ll sometimes say bad stuff in a review, and it genuinely will never cross my mind that the people behind it are actually going to watch it and take it to heart.

However, actors often do, and even if they manage to miss 99.9% of the comments said about them, there’ll still be the ones that slip through.

It’s clear that the criticism eventually made it’s way to Ahmed Best and this proved to be almost too much for the actor to deal with. Here was an unknown that was given a big break as one of the leads in what was probably the largest movie franchise of all time back in the 00s. He was also taking part in a pioneering motion capture performance, and you can imagine that if it happened to you, you’d go into it thinking that it was the best moment of your life.

Now, seeing the backlash to it is probably going to make you plummet lower than you ever have before, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this role ruined Ahmed’s career and life. Ahmed opens up more about his depression in the video and he goes over why all of the backlash he received made him contemplate ending it all.

However he explains that when he went to do it on the bridge that a gust of wind came when he was standing on a steel girder that could’ve sent him over the edge. He caught himself, and in that moment he realised that if he was really going to do it, he would have let it carry him away. He climbed back onto the walk way back from the edge both literally and spiritually.

Now why are we making this depressing video that’s dealing with some pretty heavy subject matter?

Ahmed Best And Toxic Star Wars Fans

Well, I think because Ahmed is a great example of how things can always get better and that there is a way back even when it seems like you’re at your lowest point. In our breakdown of the episode, I talked about how seeing him back made me tear up a bit, and it went beyond just seeing an actor I knew playing a Star Wars character. At this point, I was well aware of what Ahmed had been through, and the fact that the actor had returned to Star Wars and was now in a big moment like this carried such an emotional punch to it.

For years we’ve all sat and theorised about who couldve been the Jedi that saved Grogu and this has ranged from things like Mace Windu to Yaddle and even the inquisitors like Seventh Sister. There were even some theories that Jar Jar saved Grogu, which, in the end, I guess he kinda did.

However, I genuinely think that having Best come back tops them all, and it gives him an important moment in the saga that feels like something that fans can celebrate instead of criticising. I think that most people feel bad for what Ahmed went through, and hearing his story about his menstrual health struggles really pulls at your heartstrings.

However, what he does is that he exemplifies that there is hope even in the darkness and that you can come back from things no matter how bleak they seem. I think hope is also something thematic that is at the heart of all Star Wars projects, and having it carried across in this way by an actor cements why Star Wars has infiltrated so much of our lives.

It’s more than just a franchise, it’s things we’ve become attached to and moments like this extend beyond what’s on the page and screen. Now, Best had played Kelleran Beq before, and he first appeared as him in the Jedi Temple game show. It was a little kid thing that no one really thought would go anywhere, but for his character to be brought into the saga like this really felt like a home run for not only the actor but also his character. Having him protecting a child and getting the amazing action scene that he does makes it feel like Best can at least have some good will over the franchise and perhaps now he will look back on it as being the thing that made him rather than being what destroyed him.

Credit: Lucasfilm (Star Wars - Ahmed Best)
Credit: Lucasfilm (Star Wars – Ahmed Best)

I don’t want to put words in the guy’s mouth, but I think this scene is such an important thing to talk about because it has so many layers to it. Had things ended on the bridge, then Best never would’ve had his child, and he never would’ve seen the 180 that the fans now have over him because of his return.

I know it’s cliche to say, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s important to keep in mind that every person has this weird thing built into them.

We all have this thing where if something goes bad, even for a little while, ¬†we instantly change our mental state and think that thats the new normal and that it’ll stay that way forever. It never is, though, and once you’re on the other side of it, you look back and realise that your perception was wrong. However, it’s difficult to see out the fog when you’re in the middle of it, but once you make it through it, it makes all the difference.

And that ends the video. I know it can be depressing to talk about this stuff, but I think it’s also uplifting to know that no matter what you’re going through, someone has gone through something similar and that they came back from it and had a good life after it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video in some way or another, and if it’s touched you on an emotional level, then make sure you leave your thoughts below. They might be really important to someone who’s out there reading them and it could make a world of difference in someones life.

With that out the way, thanks for sitting through this and hopefully I see you on another video soon. I’ve been Paul; you’ve been the best, and I’ll see you next time. Peace.

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