Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’s Ahmed Best on Franchise’s “Strong Political Undertones”

On May 4th, “Star Wars” fans celebrated the franchise’s re-release of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” and paid tribute to actor Ahmed Best, known for his portrayal of Jar Jar Binks in the prequel films. Best also portrayed Kelleran Beq in “Jedi Temple Challenge” and “Star Wars: The Mandalorian.”

Reflecting on the May 4th celebrations, Best acknowledged the recent surge in popularity for “Star Wars Day,” noting its potential impact on Cinco De Mayo.

“I was just thinking, Mexicans must be pissed, because Cinco De Mayo was the holiday and now they’re just like, ‘Man, these nerdy Star Wars people are just taking the whole weekend,'” Best quipped. After giving the room a good laugh, Best turned the conversation a little more serious by explaining why the political sides of Star Wars are so important.

Best emphasized the political undertones in the Star Wars prequels, particularly during the George W. Bush era. From “Phantom Menace” to “Revenge of the Sith,” the films echoed the political climate of the time, with Anakin’s line in “Sith” resonating with the “You’re either with us or against us” rhetoric.

The light, dark, and journey between them symbolize our human nature. Watching these films reminds us that history repeats itself. We have the power to shape history, choosing a dark or light path.

“So this isn’t just movies that we watch that we love. This is a mythology that we can learn from,” Best explained. “And as we move forward, and the more of these things that are being made, we can look at them and we can make them as a reflection of who we are, but we can also make them as a reflection of who we want to be. And if there is anything that this May the 4th day should bring to us all, it is the idea that we can actually build these universes and be these people that we want to be, and make the feeling of the Force something real, and something that could move us to be better as human beings.”

Stay tuned for more from the interview with Ahmed Best.

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