Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best has some thoughts on the latest Star Wars trilogy. Best believes that the latest movies have strayed too far from what George Lucas originally intended for the franchise. The actor, who made his debut in the prequel trilogy, is working with Lucasfilm once again on a game show for the Disney+ streaming service titled Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. The upcoming project will be similar to the classic show Legends of the Hidden Temple.
Ahmed Best has been through some ups and downs since first starring as Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace. He has been very open about how the negativity from Star Wars fans affected his mental health. But, he has since learned a lot about the franchise and believes it’s the children that have kept him grounded in positivity. “They’ve always given me the feedback and the positivity that I always looked for,” he says.
George Lucas had always intended on the Star Wars franchise being for kids. The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker arguably weren’t really for children like the first set of movies and the prequels. According to some, they were instead built on nostalgia for the older fans and not made for a younger generation to explore, which is what Lucas had originally wanted. Ahmed Best had this to say about the latest trilogy.
“Star Wars has since skewed older and there isn’t very much for the kids anymore in Star Wars. It’s very much for the millennials and gen-Xers like myself… so kids are kind of left out of these, and the kids have to go to the animated series in order to get their dose of Star Wars, or they do like Phantom Menace. Phantom Menace is very much a kids movie.”
“The new iterations of Star Wars are not really skewed towards kids, which is not something that George ever really wanted to do. George was always about the kids, and he used to say that if you get the kids, you have fans for the next 20 years; he was very much about kids. This idea that the movies are for adults is a very new thing, to be honest.”
While Ahmed Best may have a point about the current state of Star Wars fandom, the world is in a much different place from where it was when A New Hope opened in theaters and even from when The Phantom Menace opened. The fan base expects a certain thing, which is what J.J. Abrams attempted to deliver after Rian Johnson questioned and challenged those expectations. Plus, there are a lot more options out there today. With that being said, there is some hope for the children.
The Rise of Skywalker was just as divisive as The Last Jedi amongst certain factions of fans and the arguments are still raging on. However, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni snuck in underneath the radar to deliver The Mandalorian on Disney+. The first live-action Star Wars TV series feels like George Lucas made it since it pulls from the same influences and proudly showcases them. It works just as great for long-time fans as it does to children and the casual fans, especially with the introduction of Baby Yoda. You can watch the interview with Ahmed Best below, thanks to Jamie Stangroom’s YouTube channel.