Ahmed Best

Actor / Dancer

Born: 19 August 1973
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Best known as: Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace
Ahmed Best is the actor, musician and dancer from the theater troupe Stomp who was chosen by George Lucas to play Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999, co-starring Ewan McGregor). Ahmed Best did the voice and was the model for the computer-generated character, which unexpectedly became an object of scorn and controversy: Best is African-American, and Lucas was accused of reinforcing a racial stereotype in the depiction of Jar Jar, who provides comic relief and speaks pidgin English with a sort-of Jamaican accent. Lucas dismissed the accusations, pointing out that Jar Jar is a fictional orange amphibian from the planet Gungan. Best also voiced Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars films Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), and the animated spin-off Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008). He has also made guest appearances on many TV shows, including Alias (2003), Cougar Town (2009), Law and Order: LA (2011) and One & Done (2015).

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