Liam Neeson Defends Jar Jar Binks Actor’s Performance
As Star Wars fans debate over the events of The Last Jedi and the ending of The Rise of Skywalker, sometimes it’s important to step back and remember that we share one common enemy: Jar Jar Binks. First appearing in The Phantom Menace, the bumbling Gungan became one of the most hated characters of the franchise. When the movie came out, the backlash was intense. Ahmed Best, who provided both the motion capture and voice for Jar Jar, admitted that he considered taking his own life as a result of the criticism.
Liam Neeson, who played Qui-Gon Jinn in the prequel, adamantly defended Best's performance in a recent interview with Radio Andy. Neeson praised Best's comedic chops on set during the making of The Phantom Menace. Said Neeson:
It really hurt his career. And I have to say when I was making that film… he was probably one of the funniest guys and talented guys I had ever worked with. I remember calling my old ex-agent at ICM and said, ‘I think I just worked with the new Eddie Murphy.’ I still believe that. Truly, he had all of us in stitches — including George Lucas.
Luckily, the world's hostility towards Jar Jar Binks has faded over the years. In fact, it’s been replaced with appreciation. According to Neeson, Best was even met with a standing ovation at a recent Star Wars Celebration. Jar Jar has continued to be a part of the franchise, with Best lending his voice for seven episodes of The Clone Wars. Today, Best is involved with Star Wars in a completely different way — as host Jedi Master Kelleran Bee on the Disney+ game show Jedi Temple Challenge.
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