Meesa back! Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best returns to Star Wars as a Mandalorian Jedi

·3-min read

The Mandalorian is busying itself in season 3 with more shady cloning practices and Din Djarin purifying himself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka… I mean, the Living Waters of Mandalore.

But forget about all that for a minute. Forget about the whereabouts of Moff Gideon. Forget about poor mind-wiped Dr. Pershing. And forget about why Bo-Katan finally told someone about the seemingly important Mythosaur sighting. All of that took a backseat this week to a seismic shift in the Star Wars galaxy. True balance in the Force was achieved with one shocking blast from the past.

That blast came in the form of Ahmed Best, who famously — or infamously, depending on whom you ask — played one of the most controversial characters in the history of pop culture in Jar Jar Binks. Best played the CGI Gungan in the prequel trilogy, although the character's screen time gradually decreased with each subsequent film.

Jar Jar Binks and actor Ahmed Best
Jar Jar Binks and actor Ahmed Best

Lucasfilm Jar Jar Binks and actor Ahmed Best

While Jar Jar was roundly criticized by critics and adult fans when The Phantom Menace was first released in 1999, a generation of kids who loved that goofy Gungan have now grown up with much fonder memories of the character, with some even hoping for a redemption arc for the character.

EW's Dagobah Dispatch podcast recently discussed how The Mandalorian could be just the place for a Jar Jar sighting (how old do Gungans get anyway?), but it's not happened… yet. Best, on the other hand, did make his return to a galaxy far, far away on this week's episode, and in a hugely important way.

Ahmed Best as Jedi Kelleran Beq on 'The Mandalorian'
Ahmed Best as Jedi Kelleran Beq on 'The Mandalorian'

Lucasfilm Ltd. Ahmed Best as Jedi Kelleran Beq on 'The Mandalorian'

On "Chapter 20: The Foundling," Grogu had a flashback to Order 66 and the assault on the Jedi temple. In that flashback, we saw the former Padawan being saved and hurried from the temple by none other than Best. Best was playing a Jedi named Kelleran Beq, who found Grogu alone in an elevator during the attack and assured him everything would be alright before cutting down clone troopers with green and purple lightsabers and doing some fancy flying to escape pursuing ships.

It's not the first time Best has played Beq, and it's not the first Beq Best has played. The actor first portrayed Kelleran Beq as the host of a 2020 online children's game show called Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge, in which teams of tykes would have to survive obstacle courses, test their knowledge in a quiz, and be tempted by the dark side.

Best also had a cameo in Attack of the Clones as Achk Med-Beq, a startled patron of the Outlander Club on Coruscant with a not-so-thinly-veiled play on the actor's name. Whether this Beq and friend Dannl Faytonno (C-3PO's Anthony Daniels) were there to buy Death Sticks is anyone's guess, but Best has said in the past that the two Beqs are indeed related.

Ahmed Best in 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones'
Ahmed Best in 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones'

Lucasfilm Ltd. Ahmed Best in 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones'

Judging by the events of this week's episode — in which Beq and Grogu blast out of Coruscant into hyperspace — there's a good chance we'll see Best return as Beq, especially if Grogu's backstory is going to continue to be explored. And weesa excited to see more!

Make sure to listen to EW's Dagobah Dispatch podcast for a full breakdown of every Mandalorian episode, as well as interviews with cast members like Pedro Pascal and Katee Sackhoff, among others.

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