Who is Ahmed Best in The Mandalorian and is Jar Jar Binks back?

Christopher Weston

Who is Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best in The Mandalorian season 3? HITC investigates.

It’s been a thrill to tune into The Mandalorian so far but the latest episode will have you reminiscing a rather divisive chapter in the iconic sci-fi franchise.

Ever since 1977, Star Wars has been a dearly treasured cinematic universe but the George Lucas-directed prequels left the majority of audiences feeling conflicted when The Phantom Menace, the first in a new trilogy, was released in 1999.

Far away from the goofiness of Jar Jar Binks, The Mandalorian was championed when it premiered on Disney+ for its sincerity, bringing the series back to its roots while simultaneously marking an evolution. It was a difficult tightrope act to walk but Jon Favreau, Pedro Pascal, and the team pulled it off all the same.

However, those who have forgotten The Phantom Menace will be reminded of it when seeing Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best cast in The Mandalorian…

Ahmed Best as Kelleran Beq standing in a doorway in The Mandalorian season 3 episode 4
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Who is Ahmed Best in The Mandalorian season 3?

Ahmed Best portrays the character of Kelleran Beq, not Jar Jar Binks, in The Mandalorian season 3 episode 4, aka Chapter 20: The Foundling.

Although this may serve as an introduction to the character for most audiences, he’s actually been in a Star Wars project before called Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. The gameshow-format series debuted on Disney+ in 2020 and marked Kelleran’s first appearance.

On the other hand, The Mandalorian signals his debut in the official canon and finds him stealing Grogu away from the Jedi Temple during the notorious events of Order 66. Acting as his protector, he ensured the iconic character’s getaway.

As for Kelleran as a character more specifically, he’s a Jedi Master and trainer known also as the “Sabered Hand,” renowned for his proficiency and skill with a lightsaber—or two.

The Mandalorian fans react to Ahmed Best return

Jar Jar Binks may not be back but seeing Ahmed Best return in a live-action narrative Star Wars story is demanding quite the reaction from viewers.

Fans have wasted no time in offering their thoughts on Twitter:

‘I love the mythology of Star Wars’

The 49-year-old American actor previously opened up about playing Kelleran in Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge, rather than presenting himself.

“I much preferred playing a character,” he said during an interview featured in Star Wars Insider magazine.

“A big part of it was folding into the mythology in a way that made it the star of the show. I love the mythology of Star Wars more than anything else. I love that I got to be a Jedi Master rather than me, because Ahmed Best is not a part of the Star Wars galaxy. The suspension of disbelief doesn’t happen for the kids if Ahmed Best is the host.”

He added: “If they had to adhere to the rules of the Jedi Temple, then that suspension would follow. Excite their imaginations, and once you do that then the job is done; just point the camera at their excitement and film it. I really enjoyed that.”

The Mandalorian is streaming exclusively on Disney+.

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