Ahmed Best Reflects on Overcoming the Star Wars Prequel Backlash

When the Star Wars prequel trilogy first hit theatres, it was met with a mixed reception, to say the least. Among the fresh faces introduced, Jar Jar Binks—portrayed by Ahmed Best—became one of the most controversial figures in the saga’s history. However, time has a way of altering perspectives, and according to Best, advice from “Star Wars” creator George Lucas was instrumental in navigating these choppy waters.

Recently, Ahmed Best, who also portrayed Jedi Master Kelleran Beq in “The Mandalorian,” shared some invaluable insights from George Lucas that helped him weather the initial storm of criticism. Speaking with Inverse, Best revealed Lucas’s words during those turbulent times:

“I think it’s wonderful the younger generations are embracing not only the prequels but Jar Jar specifically. This is something that George kind of predicted when all the backlash happened. He was like, ‘Thirty years from now, nobody’s going to be talking about this.’ And it was tough to realize that in the moment, but now here we are, 25 years later, and he was right.”

Lucas’s foresight into how sentiments would evolve reflects his deep understanding of the “Star Wars” narrative and its impact across different generations. His reassurance to Best highlighted a broader view where the initial backlash would eventually wane.

Star Wars prequel trilogy

Initially dubbed some of the worst in the “Star Wars” series, the prequel films have undergone a remarkable reevaluation over the years. Once targeted for their seemingly kid-centric characters like Jar Jar Binks and a young Anakin Skywalker, these elements now endear the series to a new generation of fans.

These are the same viewers who were children during the original releases and have since grown up to appreciate the films from a nostalgic and more forgiving viewpoint.

The redemption of the prequel trilogy is a testament to Lucas’s vision that “Star Wars” is, fundamentally, a franchise that delights in capturing the imagination of the young. Today, not only have the films found new respect, but characters like Anakin Skywalker and Jar Jar Binks have been reevaluated, showcasing the series’ enduring appeal.

The evolving perception is not lost on other stars of the trilogy either. Both Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor, who faced their share of critiques, have recognized the shift in fan sentiment over time. They acknowledge that the loudest detractors at the time were not the children who were enchanted by the galaxy far, far away but rather adults and critics who perhaps missed the films’ aim.

Ahmed Best’s transformation from a figure of fan contention to a celebrated part of the “Star Wars” universe underscores a broader narrative of growth and acceptance. His experiences mirror a community coming to terms with the expansive nature of its beloved universe—recognizing that each chapter, no matter how initially divisive, has its place in the larger “Star Wars” story.

Joanne Wells

Joanne Wells is a media journalist for ScreenNearYou. She reports on the inside conversations in Hollywood. Also, she loves pizza!

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