Ahmed Best faced such backlash after playing Jar Jar in the Star Wars prequels that he considered taking his life, the actor revealed Tuesday.
Even though he did not name the franchise, Best wrote in a social media post that it was coming up on 20 years since he faced a resentment “that still affects my career today.”
Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace was released in 1999. It was Best’s first major role in a film.
Along with a scenic picture in which he and his child appear, Best wrote Tuesday, “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.”
The goofy CG Jar Jar was loved by children, but for the most part was despised by fans of the original trilogy who felt the character was too out of place. In fact, they were downright brutal, Best told Wired last year.
“I had death threats through the internet,” Best told Wired. “I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear.”
Star Wars creator George Lucas, on the other hand, liked the character, and Jar Jar appeared again in Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005).
A number of followers replied to Best’s Tuesday post, writing they were sorry to hear the experience was so rough on him.
The actor and musician has been posting about possibly performing a one-man show timed to the anniversary of Phantom Menace. He closed his message Tuesday with, “Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know.”
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. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018