Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Don't Expect To See This Star Wars Character In The Obi-Wan Kenobi Series

In case you hadn't heard, Star Wars' official Twitter account recently confirmed the long awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi streaming series is about to start production, meaning it's one step closer to making its Disney+ debut. Yes, that "break the internet" bit of news sent Star Wars fandom into a frenzy, mostly because it came alongside a fancy central casting sheet fronting the stars of the show in full. And there are some genuinely intriguing faces among the cast.

Fans have, of course, known for some time that prequel stars Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen would be reprising their roles as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker-Darth Vader, respectively, but were certainly surprised to find Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse would be returning as Luke Skywalker's adoptive Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Likewise, they found a slew of impressive new faces set to join the Star Wars fray, including Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Sung Kang (Fast & Furious franchise), Moses Ingram (The Queen's Gambit), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), among others.  

One name and face conspicuously absent from the announcement was that of Ahmed Best, who portrayed the CGI-enhanced Jar Jar Binks in George Lucas' much-maligned prequel trilogy. And it seems the amphibious Gungan warrior and dignitary will not be returning for more adventures in the galaxy far, far away. At least that's the word from Ahmed Best himself, who took to Twitter after the production announcement to congratulate the cast before confirming to a fan he won't be returning. "Thanks for the love, but I will not be in this series. As much as I would've loved to be a part of it. But I'm ecstatic to see folks who I love dearly back together doing great things," he tweeted.

There are likely several reasons Jar Jar Binks won't be in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series

Given that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series is set between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope, Jar Jar's absence is a bit of a surprise as he was very much alive and well at the end of the prequel trilogy. Still, with the new show reportedly focused on Obi-Wan's days in relative exile on the desert planet Tattoine, there simply may not be any legit reason for Jar Jar to appear. 

Barring a Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian style cameo, that's not going to happen. Given the character's legacy, it's not entirely difficult to understand why. Jar Jar Binks was, after all, one of the most divisive beings George Lucas conjured in the prequel The Phantom Menace, with many fans finding the clownish character an utter annoyance that pandered too much to the family-friendly set. So fevered was the anti-Jar Jar backlash, Lucas was apparently moved to dramatically alter the character's arc for ensuing films.

Unfortunately, much of the Jar Jar backlash was grossly and unfairly directed at the actor who played him. Ahmed Best claimed in a 2019 interview that the hate was so heated, personal, and often racially motivated, it nearly drove him to suicide. As it is, even if his old Star Wars bosses had been clamoring to bring Jar Jar Binks back for more shenanigans, one has to wonder how eager Best might've been to again open himself up to such scrutiny no matter how much he claims he wanted to return. 

In any case, Obi-Wan's new adventure will indeed unfold sans one of his biggest prequel allies. But that may not be such a bad thing in the end.