(LOS ANGELES) — Every hero’s journey has the part where the main character returns home, transformed after facing down monsters. For actor Ahmed Best, who played the controversial Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks, his triumphant return after confronting his own trials comes in the form of the first-ever game show set in that galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge debuts Wednesday with two episodes on StarWarsKids.com and the Star Wars YouTube channel. In every episode, three teams of young “padawans” test their strength, knowledge and bravery on the path to becoming a Jedi Knight. Best plays Jedi Knight-turned-host Kelleran Beq, along with his trusty droids AD-3 and LX-R5.
The 10 episode series was originally slated for the Disney+ subscription streaming service, but Lucasfilm says this way, more kids will be able to watch it for free.
The game show marks a return to the Star Wars universe for Best, who found himself in a very dark place after portraying the digital character Jar Jar Binks in the prequel films, starting with 1999’s Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Binks quickly became an object of both fan loathing and critical derision — toxic reactions that eventually drove Best to consider suicide.
“I felt alone…I was crumbling…” Best tells ABC News, revealing that it became so bad that at one point, he found himself standing on the edge of the Brooklyn Bridge. Best decided not to jump that night, and recalled the moment years later, when he returned to the same spot.
“I looked at my son and I realized that, ‘I almost didn’t have you.’ And he’s the best thing that ever happened to me in my life,” Best tells ABC News.
By Stephen Iervolino
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