Jar Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Best Opens Up About His Suicide Attempt

I was as bad as everyone else. Looking back, it seems unfair to rest the entire movie on the shoulders of one character, but that’s exactly what many of us did. There was a lot wrong with the character Jar Jar Binks, but he was not the sole reason Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace failed. Still, intentionally or not, we made him the mascot for our hate, and we turned our backlash on actor Ahmed Best.

If you don’t remember, Jar Jar was hated. I mean, really and truly hated. The hate was mainly meant for George Lucas, but as a young actor who saw The Phantom Menace as his big break, Ahmed Best couldn’t help but take all the negativity personally.

When Best lived in New York, he walked across Brooklyn Bridge whenever he needed to feel better. He loved the stretch from Brooklyn to Manhattan with all of the city’s lights shining ahead. Sometime after the movie came out, Best took a walk across the bridge, only this time, it didn’t seem to cheer him up. If it hadn’t been for a well-timed gust of wind, the actor would have likely ended his life on the bridge that day.

Twenty years later, Best has moved on and tried to forget how small and expendable he felt that day. While sharing a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with his son, he snapped a photo of the location where he almost took his own life, and for whatever reason, he decided to share his experience with the world. That single act of sharing his journey opened up the floodgates, but this time, he was flooded with love and support instead of hate.

20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know.

— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018

In the video below, Ahmed Best shares his story, and it’s beyond moving. Best reminds us of what severe negativity can do and why we should be more prone to love and understanding. Just a warning, though: have the tissues handy!

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, please reach out and open up about your feelings. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or access the Crisis Text Line by texting the word “Home” to the number 741741.

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