Fan theories that removed Jar Jar Binks from "annoying clod" status and elevated him to "evil genius" may have little bearing in the authorial intent of the Star Wars films, but the enthusiasm with which they were embraced helped The Phantom Menace actor Ahmed Best come around to the idea that maybe a return to the franchise wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Best, who has been open about the psychological toll that years of abuse at the hands of fans took on him, seems like such a fundamentally nice guy in interviews that many Star Wars die-hards are reassessing...well, if not Jar Jar then at least their take on Best.
A popular fan theory, which made the rounds on Reddit before being teased in an official/canonical book, held that Jar Jar wasn't just stumbling blindly into luck during his time in the prequel trilogy but was in fact a Sith Lord who had been placed in proximity to Anakin in order ot bring about the boy's turn to the Dark Side.
"It's funny — George told me this years ago: kids who love Jar Jar are going to be adults, and they’re going to love Jar Jar," Best said during a recent podcast interview. "And he was right — I talk to a lot of people who are just like 'Jar Jar made my childhood,' and I'm with that. And like I said, one of the reasons I did Jedi Temple Challenge was those kids who lifted me up. And now they're adults and now they have kids, you know? And I want to keep giving to the kids, you know? So yeah — they had a big, huge part to play in it and I think the Darth Jar Jar theory helped a lot because I think the people who really enjoy that theory are the people who aren't fans of Jar Jar. They are the ones who really fall into the Darth Jar Jar theory as well. Like I've said before, there were some things I did that were picked up on, and it’s quite fun, that idea, to think of that. And it goes along with the piece that's missing, which is the mythology piece — the thing that I think Star Wars is missing. The faith piece, the thing to believe in. That's always been layered, that's always been deep, it's never been just this surface thing. It's never been lightsaber fights, it's always been a lot more than that. When Darth Jar Jar came out, it came out from someone who’s looking for more meaning."0comments
So Best isn't necessarily saying that "Darth Jar Jar" is real -- but he seems to be saying that the kind of intellectual curiosity that leads to such wild fan theories it something that appeals to him.
For now, Star Wars is taking a break along with the rest of Hollywood. When the novel coronavirus pandemic has passed, a new season of The Mandalorian is coming, as well as a TV series based on Obi-Wan Kenobi, which has been rumored to feature Jar Jar. Best has denied the claims. Keep your eyes on ComicBook.com and we will update you when there's news to be had.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.