Jar Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Best Thanks Fans Who 'Held Me Up' After 'The Mandalorian' Appearance

The former Jar Jar Binks actor took to social media after making his debut in a new 'Star Wars' role.

Ahmed Best has made his return to the Star Wars universe in a brand new role. 

In the latest season of Disney+'s The Mandalorian, the actor appears in the Carl Weathers-directed fourth episode titled, "The Foundling." Best plays Jedi Knight Kelleran Beq, aka the Sabered Hand, who shows up in the episode during a flashback to the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Kelleran appears just in time to rescue a young Grogu from falling to his death at the hands of clone troopers after the Sith kicked off Order 66, a top-secret order identifying all Jedi as traitors to the Galactic Republic and subject to execution by the Grand Army of the Republic.

Armed with two lightsabers, Kelleran dispatches the troopers and escapes with Grogu to his ship where they blast out of Coruscant into hyperspace. Grogu eventually finds his way into the arms of his adoptive dad, Din Djarin -- aka the Mandalorian (played by Pedro Pascal) --but Kelleran's fate is left unmentioned, which means there's more to uncover as Grogu's past continues to be explored.

Best took to Instagram to share his happiness about returning to Star Wars, especially in such an epic manner. "Gratitude! Good to be back," he wrote after the new Mandalorian episode went live. "There is so much to say and share. It's going to take a couple of days. But, for now, I'll just say thank you to all that have held me up and made me better. #stayready."

This is Best's second time depicting Kelleran and the third character that Best has depicted in the Star Wars franchise overall. First was Jar Jar Binks in the prequels, then the caddish Achk Med-Beq in Attack of the Clones, and finally, the first iteration of Kelleran, who served as a game-show host for Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge.

The 49-year-old's return to the franchise is a strong turnaround after his first entry, Jar Jar Binks, became one of the most controversial Star Wars characters.

Best provided the voice and motion capture for Jar Jar in the Star Wars prequel films The Phantom MenaceAttack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The films have become a hot-button topic among the notoriously rabid Star Wars fan base, with Jar Jar Binks -- perhaps one of the worst-received characters in the epic space franchise's sprawling canon -- serving as a lightning rod for many fans' dissatisfaction with the prequels as a whole. The backlash took a major toll on Best's emotional well-being, as well as his career aspirations. 

In 2018, Best opened up about his emotional journey on social media, sharing a photo of him and his son overlooking New York Harbor.

"20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today," Best wrote. "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."

"It's really difficult to articulate the feeling," the actor told Wired in 2017. "You feel like a success and a failure at the exact same time. I was staring at the end of my career before it started... There were a lot of tears, there was a lot of pain, there was a lot of s**t I had to deal with."

"Everybody else went on. Everybody else worked. Everybody else was accepted by the zeitgeist," he added. “To be honest, failing and being Black is very scary, because we don’t get a lot of chances, you know? I didn’t get another chance after Jar Jar.”

It looks like Best has finally made his triumphant return to a galaxy far, far away.

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