Jar Jar's Big Break

Ahmed Best, the man behind the mask of the new “Star Wars” character Jar Jar Binks, may be taking his lumps for his portrayal of the high-pitched, whiny creature (some critics have likened Jar Jar to Prissy in “Gone With the Wind”), but George Lucas stands firmly behind the casting decision. Before “Star Wars, Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” Best’s only film experience was working as an extra in “Lean On Me.” On the “Menace” set, “I kept waiting every day for somebody to say, ‘Excuse me, you’re not supposed to be here,'” Best tells Rolling Stone magazine. George Lucas, who discovered Best while the singer-dancer-drummer was working in the San Francisco production of the musical “Stomp,” couldn’t be happier with his choice. “It was the first time I could get an alien to turn in a really great performance.”

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