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It’s safe to say no other character in the “Star Wars” saga is as vilified as Jar Jar Binks, the clumsy Gungan introduced in the prequels for comedy relief. Although George Lucas continues to champion his creation, actor Ahmed Best understands fans’ intense hatred for Jar Jar, even if he wasn’t quite prepared for it.
“I can totally understand why, because when they see a character that’s purely comical and purely for the children, they probably felt condescended to,” he told “The Are the Actors You’re Looking For,” a YouTube channel that tracks down and interviews “Star Wars” cast members. “I can understand that they wanted more serious story, but by the same token the children really like it.”
Of course, understanding the reason for the Jar Jar hatred didn’t make it any easier for Best, who acknowledged, “‘Star Wars’ was my first ‘most hated’ title in anything really. It was painful. […] Even though you play characters, you put a lot of your own personality into it, you get emotionally and personally invested in the work that you do, it’s your work and you take pride in it. So when your work is criticized negatively, you feel a hit.”
Although there had been plenty of jokes about Jar Jar returning in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — director J.J. Abrams said he’d considered killing off the character in the film — Best said he has no interest in returning to the franchise.
“I think I’ve done my damage,” he said. “I’m good with where I stand in the ‘Star Wars’ universe.”