The Phantom Menace : The HOLIDAY

Apr 17

Ahmed Best vs. Reddit

Hey, Happy New Year!! Let’s DO this, 2014!! ;)


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Anyways, following in the footsteps of Peter Mayhew, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill, Ahmed Best did a reddit “Ask Me Anything” Q+A yesterday. While there was a heartening contingent of respectful, for-real people asking him questions—-both fans and non-fans of his work—-being reddit, there were also tons of fedora-wearing, Bitcoin-hoarding, “Men’s Rights Advocate” assholes who lifted themselves off of their stained anime girl body pillows long enough to impotently lob 15 year-old insults at a gracious/cucumber-cool/un-fuck-withable Ahmed Best.  I’m putting the whole thing here (I had serious technical problems compiling this, but the SWPAS also has most of the relevant Q’s/A’s)—-but only the questions that Ahmed Best answered, to spare you all of the unnecessary reddit dickery (though unfortunately, there’s plenty present as is).  Ahmed Best’s answers are under the name [-]bestahmed[S]. 



KorranHalcyon 4 hours ago

not a question, just a statement. if i had a time machine that was good for one use, i’d not go back in time and kill hitler. i’d tell Lucas to write jar jar out of star-wars. i hate jar jar that much.

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

Thank you. A get well card will soon be in the mail. Much love

Lord_Crumb -4 hours ago

Hello Ahmed! It’s a well agreed fact that the prequel star wars films (particularly 1 and 2) were horrible wastes of time when compared to the original trilogy, did you have any indication amongst the cast and crew of what was to come? By that I mean were there any times when somebody (namely Lucas) said or did something that made you aware you were making a sub par film?

[–]bestahmed[S] 5 minutes ago

If you went to the theatre, bought a ticket and watched them, then they weren’t a waste of time. they did what they were supposed to do.



DancinDany 4 hours ago

Have you ever been called Ahmed Worst? Since your character ruined the prequels.
[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

Only by your mom. BOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!

[–]DancinDany 1 hour ago

B-but that doesnt work…

[–]bestahmed[S] 36 minutes ago

think about it #mindGrenade.


thewiecz 4 hours ago

How does it feel living with the guilt of demolishing any potential the prequels had?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I’m an actor I do my job. Understand this, FILM IS A DIRECTORS MEDIUM. That means what you see on screen is what the director wants you to see. I wish I had the power to do what you’e asking, but I don’t. I get hired to do a job, after that I’m on to the next job. I know you’re trying to be funny and snarky, and i could be 10x more funny and snarky than you, but I think for you this a teachable moment. so listen and learn something. (cue song and logo)


Eckleburgseyes 4 hours ago

How does it feel to be powerful enough to personally destroy the greatest movie franchise in history?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I’ll let you know when I do it.


N8iveFloridian 4 hours ago

I honestly loved Jar Jar from the moment I laid eyes upon him. I watched the original trilogy as a child and when the new trilogy came out I saw it with that same sense of childlike enthusiasm. Do you feel all the haters lost that as they grew up and instead watch the new films with their adult eyes not realizing there was comic relief in the originals and that it was MADE for children?
[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

yes


labudweekly 4 hours ago

Pretty cocky there aren’t you Ahmed.

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

yup. you?


trulyniceguy 4 hours ago

Good Day Mr. Best. I have a question about the first movie. What was it like working with Jake Lloyd? No matter how much I watch that first movie I find him to be as annoying as many see Jar Jar to be.

[–]Thumper13 3 hours ago

hello mr. “not living up to his username.”

[–]bestahmed[S] 39 minutes ago

Never heard that one before.

[–]Thumper13 35 minutes ago

Ah, I hope you know I was talking to “trulyniceguy” and not you.


mental_loss 4 hours ago

Before the star wars prequel was released, were you getting the feeling that the character was not going to be received well, or were you just as surprised as the rest of us?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

I was really surprised.


[–]RenegadeWild 4 hours ago

We’re you a part of Clone Wars?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

Yes


bacon_cheese_no_shit 4 hours ago

Has the hatred for JJ had any real life affect on yourself or family?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

Not at all.

themadcaner 4 hours ago

Fuck you.

[–]bestahmed[S] 40 minutes ago

Depends on what you look like.

fatscumbag 5 hours ago

Proof?

[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago

http://www.ahmedbest.com/blog-2/


TheJOATs 4 hours ago

Hi Ahmed, when you took the part for Jar-Jar did you expect the amount of backlash from the fans, or was it a surprise?

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

It was a surprise.


purplepooters 4 hours ago

Did ruining the Star Wars franchise effect your self esteem?

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

If you’re asking, i must’ve not ruined it.


nipoez 4 hours ago

I only know you as the voice for Jar Jar Binks. That seems unfortunate to me, now. Of your work (acting, directing, or writing), what should I go check out first?

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

peep my website.
ahmedbest.com

robinsky1 4 hours ago

What have you enjoyed doing most in the entertainment industry?

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

tough one. I don’t care to much for red carpets. I know it seems glamorous but it’s not what I do this for.


Jleefilm 4 hours ago

Ahmed! Out of 100 basketballs. How many 3’s could you hit.

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

42.7 the rest would be layups. Very slow methodical layups.


sokshock 4 hours ago

Not everyone hates Jar Jar. He’s probably one of my favorite characters in the new films. I’ve always viewed him as the ewok of the new films. And I love how he comes to understand technology and the universe he lives in. Keep up the good work, best of luck in your future endeavors.

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

thanks


Mutasyn 4 hours ago

If you could have played any other character in Star Wars, who would it be?

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

han solo




Smashing_Tim 4 hours ago

Do you often get requests to do Jar Jar’s voice from friends, family, etc? And thank you for doing this AMA

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I do. I will do it for some family and anyone in a single digit age under 3 feet.


BrownShed 4 hours ago

Whats the best prop you have been allowed to keep ?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

None.




BatXDude 4 hours ago

You’re probably not able top say but: Have you been asked back for Star Wars VII

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

No I haven’t


Herpp_derpp 4 hours ago

How does it feel to be the voice actor of one of Star Wars “worst character” in the eyes of many Star Wars enthusiasts?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

If you’re asking about him then i did my job. 


NaturalLogofOne 4 hours ago

Sorry for another Star Wars question. But was there anything about Jar Jar that you didn’t like but were instructed to do? In other words, what is your own criticism about the character? Would you do anything different?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

At The end of the day it’s George’s movie. Whatever I would’ve done differently is irrelevant.


fatscumbag 4 hours ago

I remember when episode one came out, pizza but had promotional cups with many characters heads on them including Jar Jar. Do you have that cup?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I don’t, but i have lots of other stuff.




[–]Insanityobvious 4 hours ago

In the words of Jar Jar: “This is nutsen”

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

ok…


johnnygoette 4 hours ago

Do you prefer to be in front of or behind the camera?
A follow up: Which screen do you like to be on best?
Thanks for the AMA!

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I don’t have a preference. I like th big screen the best.




[–]BrownShed 4 hours ago

Can you make a youtube video where you read out and answer some of these questions in a jarjar voice ?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Probably not.


jabb0 4 hours ago

Any plans of a Jar Jar only webisode?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

None I know of




[–]BrownShed 4 hours ago

Have u been contacted to make an apperance in the new starwars ?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

no


caelumh 4 hours ago

Did you have any input on the creation of Jar-Jar or were you just thrown into the character the way Lucas wanted him to be?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I had a lot of input. George is a great collaborator.


Vrocti 4 hours ago

How often do people try and use Jar Jar’s voice and quote stuff from Star Wars to you?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

never


StNic54 4 hours ago

How often do you get picked out of a crowd and this happens?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

not very. Only real fans know who I am.


filmfiend999 4 hours ago

Do you think the character is a victim of interstellar Rasta blacksploitation?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I want what you’re smoking.

[–]tacothecat 4 hours ago

Seeing that you got the role of Jar Jar in part because of your performance in Stomp, do you plan on doing any more musical theater?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I would love to. No plans yet. I am writing a musical.


BishSticks 4 hours ago

toast with jelly or jam?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

both


[–]LegalIllegal 4 hours ago

What is your opinion on the accusations of racist stereotyping regarding Jar Jar Binks and several other characters in the ‘prequel’ movies?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Not set in any type of logic or reason.  

AstronautChad 4 hours ago

What are you working on now? Any dream projects you would like to do?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Dream projects would be a remake of enter the dragon. Luke cage, Martian man hunter or Green lantern or Black panther.
www.ahmedbest.com for new stuff.




[–]TheAporiaKid 4 hours ago

Was being on set for the Star Wars movies an enjoyable experience? Were there any cast members you became close with?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I was close to everyone. Being on set was a dream come true.




[–]Basham5587 4 hours ago

Which Star Wars character is your favorite?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Han solo


[–]Cardboard_Waffle 4 hours ago

What did you prefer more, voicing jar jar in the clone wars, or playing him in the movies?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Playing him in the movies. I’m a physical guy. I like getting physical. (shout out Olivia Newton John)




[–]CmonSeaLegs 4 hours ago

If you couldn’t reprise your role as Jar Jar, who would you want to take your place?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Jim Carrey

Ibahramovic 4 hours ago

You are the best at being Ahmed Best who is best at being the best Jar Jar Binks.
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

My nephew Simon.




[–]mcraamu 4 hours ago

Best was my grandfather’s last name. We could be related!

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

You me and George Best the footballer.




[–]baglunchmnsterpuppet 4 hours ago

What are you working on now?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

A bunch of stuff. Mostly writing and directing. but check www.ahmedbest.com I got stuff there. I love the web, so I do a lot on the web.

[–]num421337 4 hours ago

Just a few questions, 1.Did you get to keep anything cool from the sets? 2.Do you buy a lot of Jar Jar merchandise for the irony? 3.What lead you to becoming such an iconic, and infamous character?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

1.No 2. No 3. Right place right time.

Kaylaloo 4 hours ago

I don’t know why everyone gives jar jar so much shit. Contrary to popular opinion I enjoyed jar jars character and the prequels!

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

word up.




[–]xxarcbirdxx 4 hours ago

First of all, thank you. As a younger viewer durring release I really enjoyed your character. Meesa very very tankful.
My question for you, what if anything would you have liked to see in the development of JJB or the Gungan people?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

There are a lot of Underwater races on Naboo and in the empire. Would love to see more of that. Clone Wars does a good job of showing that as well.


[–]TheTotalBro 4 hours ago

Do you have any upcoming projects? Maybe…..with Harrison Ford?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I do. not with Harrison, but I wold love to do a buddy cop flick with Liam Neeson. He’s my shiiiiiiiiiitttttttt!




[–]evil_steve 4 hours ago

How much were you paid for The Phantom Menace? Also, how much of the character’s performance was your own, and how much was direction from Lucas? What direction were you given about how to play the character?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

I was paid money for the PM. Jar Jar was true collaboration between George and me. But, he is the director and it’s his vision.  


keithfinn 4 hours ago

why were you not in episodes 2 & 3 as much as you were in episode 1?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

No place for Jar Jar in the story line. 2 and 3 was Anakin the emperor and Darth Vader. Happy clumsy Gungan doesn’t move that story,


starrfucker 4 hours ago

You look like Kid Cudi.

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Don’t tell Cudi, I’m sure he loses street cred looking like me.




[–]r3anim4t3d 4 hours ago

Would you say that taking the role of Jar Jar Binks helped your career for the better or for the worst? What was the most memorable thing to happen to you since taking that role?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

taking the role opens doors I wouldn’t be able to open without it, but it hasn’t really changed my career very much. I met Prince Charles and Michael Jackson. That was memorable.




[–]TQaztec 4 hours ago

Hello Mr. Best! 
Have you ever been asked to do the Jar Jar Binks voice at an audition?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Yes. I usually say no.




[–]UFsurfer 4 hours ago

Mr. Best, I just wanted to say you did a fantastic job playing Jar Jar. He wasn’t alot of people’s favorite character but you did a great job with what you were tasked with nonetheless. Will we be seeing you play more of Jar Jar in the future?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

thanks. Only in animation.


human- 4 hours ago

Will you make a Jar Jar Binks Oculus Rift virtual reality POV simulation game with me? I want the whole world to have the chance to experience what it’s like to be Jar Jar. To really know what’sa hes’a think’in! (pls don’t tell disney about this, just our little secret)

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

I think you just told Disney. Jar jar is now property of Disney lucasfilm so I can’t, but I do have an occulus project i you are interested.


[–]view2fuljoe 4 hours ago

I’ve never read the many variations of Star Wars books that take place before, in between and after the movies, and I would really like to know: how does Jar Jar die? Or if he dies at all. Does he escape and in hiding somewhere? Thank you for your time.
[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago

He hasn’t died yet. Although I pitched a death scene to George. He didn’t want to do it.


[–]katherinedevir 4 hours ago

Salute Ahmed, Jar Jar has always been my favorite in the prequels, my question is, did you feel intimidated joining such a huge franchise such as Star Wars? Would you like to be cast in other popular franchises, such as, let’s say, the Avengers? :) Kiss from France!!
[–]
bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Thanks for the Kiss. Yes I was very intimidated. Everyday i was trying not to get fired. the first table read of the script was terrifying. But I held my own. I would love to be in some more franchise flicks.

smellsliketoast 4 hours ago

I actually enjoyed your character. Some people take Star Wars too seriously though, fuck those people. A simple criticism of the character would suffice but the amount of hatred directed your way is disgusting.

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Yeah some do, but it’s ok. All opinions are valid. SW belongs to us all.


[–]Diaboloclese 4 hours ago

Thank you for doing an ama!
This will be unpopular, but I think jar jar is a high point of episode 1. And I believe you voiced him in Jedi power battles, The second best console star wars game!
Anyway, how does it feel knowing that you character brought about the formation of the empire?
Also, do you think the inherent racism on naboo would have prevented Jar jar from ever being a senator?
Or do you think the Gungans were granted a gungan specific seat?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

It felt weird, but it if not for the formation of the empire there would be no balance brought to the force by Luke Skywalker. So Jar Jar brought balance to the force. Gungans have a special seat close to the leadership. You think they are not so smart, but they are smart enough to go from insignificant to trusted advisor to the senate.

[–]AstronautChad 4 hours ago

How did Star Wars change your career?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Ironically not very much. No one really knew what I was. When Andy Serkis did Gollum they had me to use as a test subject for the art, so it was much easier to see him as an actor than it was me. I had no one before me. Andy faced his own challenges as well, but has since become the pioneer of the art. No one does it better in my opinion.

num421337 4 hours ago

How does it feel to be not only an Ahmed but the best one?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Most days it feels OK.

[–]xDUDERx 4 hours ago

Your attitude about the reaction the character got is awesome. You rule.

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

You rule!

[–]xDUDERx 2 hours ago

WE RULE


[–]TQaztec 4 hours ago

Just to mess with the fanboys, a cloned army of Jar Jar Binks appearing in episode VII at some point would make me smile.

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

wow. Send all responses to TQaztec.


[–]EveryTimeIDave 4 hours ago

What would you say is the highlight of your career?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

nope


MoSafar23 4 hours ago

Little bit random, but what’s your favourite quote?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

Saroyan.

”In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.
Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.
Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man’s guilt is not yours, nor is any man’s innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.
In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”

[–]mcraamu 4 hours ago

Ever consider writing a book?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Novel yes. Bio no.

[–]N4TEDOG 4 hours ago

How did the voice of Jar Jar Binks come to be? Who’s idea was that, as I’m sure you’re aware people thought it was depicting an uneducated black person (I personally never saw it that way)?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

It was all George. I gave him choices he chose that.  


DarthDarthBinks 4 hours ago

I have been waiting all my internet life for this moment and I have no idea what to say.

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

You just said it. thank my dude. glad you’re here.




[–]imnotwillferrell 4 hours ago

have you ever attempted to insert your penis into a video game console? and if so, which console?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

They haven’t made a console big enough yet. Yet…

[–]zsecular 4 hours ago

Hey Ahmed,
Just had a quick question about the Jar Jar Binks costume. How in the world did you get in and out of THAT THING!? and also why did it look so fake in Episode I and II compared to Episode III?I know it’s CG, just bored.

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

Don’t be bored. good question. Two ladies helped me squeeze in and out of it. it took about 1/2 hour. Don’t know why it looked fake. that’s an ILM question.



[–]synchronoze 4 hours ago

Hi there, what is your favorite joke?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

I love yo mama jokes.



[–]alicization 4 hours ago

Do people express their hate to you often?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

no not often.

[–]alicization 2 hours ago

I’m not saying I hate you, forgive me if you think so.
Thank you for answering.

archetype1 4 hours ago

Hi Ahmed- how did you feel about Jar-Jar’s Death Scene being cut from the movie/what was the deciding factor there? I suppose you appreciated the extra work.

[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago

No death scene was shot, nor written. Although I would’ve loved to play a death scene. I love death scenes.



VinylRarity 4 hours ago

Do you hate Jar Jar as much as everyone else?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

I love him and you, sexy!


[–]Jkelley72 4 hours ago

What’s it like to step onto a jits mat and tap, snap or nap your opponent?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

It’s a feeling I have grown to love. as many times as I do it, it never gets old.


[–]jamieface16 4 hours ago

Can you explain how your makeup was done or was that done by computers?

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

All CGI. no makeup


_wow_just_wow_ 4 hours ago

What is your most memorable moment during your time filming?

[–]bestahmed[S] 1 hour ago

There was a day I played Yoda, Jar Jar at the same time. that was fun. Frank Oz told me Jar jar was his favorite character.



[–]TahoeTweezer 4 hours ago

My 7 year old son is obsessed with all things Star Wars. My question is, how do I get him to stop? EDIT: Relax people. It was a joke. I never was into Star Wars as a kid, but I support whatever my children enjoy… Have had numerous light saber battles.

[–]Rosenkrantz_ 4 hours ago

Show him Ep. 1
sorry

[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago

don’t apologies. be you.

[–]Rosenkrantz_ 3 hours ago

<3


harrisonboll 4 hours ago

What are the upcoming plans for you? Do you have anything really cool in the works that you are acting in or writing/directing?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Yes. I got really cool stuff.
follow me on twiter @ahmedbest and instagram @bestahmed for daily updates. also ahmedbest.com for the bigger news and blog updates

Niosai 4 hours ago

When it comes to acting in a big role like Star Wars, is it a big change to move from one of the biggest franchises in film to other, smaller roles? (Not to say the smaller roles are insignificant or anything, just the fact that there’s probably less press, interviews, etc.)

[–]bestahmed[S]2 hours ago

There is no Lateral move form SW. It’s its own animal. I’m more use to the smaller stuff.

[–]mcraamu 4 hours ago
You did the voice for Jar Jar. What notes did Lucas’ team give you as far as how to sound? Was there a lot of dubbing done afterward?
BTW you should start charging $$$ to do outgoing messages in Jar Jar’s voice.

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

He was very specific about the sound. There was a lot of dubbing afterward. Don’t know if folks would pay for JJB outgoing, but if i like you enough I’d gladly do it for free.

[–]BostonStone 4 hours ago

Hey Ahmed, Thanks for doing this! What happened to Jar Jar after episode 3?

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago

Thank you for asking. According to George he’s reduced to a powerless Senator.  


OneLandHand 4 hours ago
How did you come up with the voice for Jar Jar? Any other actors or characters inspire you?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
no. just looked at the character and thought about what he’d sound like.

[–]num421337 4 hours ago
A lot of people found Jar Jars speech patterns to be kind of racist, did anyone bring that up during filming? I don’t agree with those people, he’s a space alien…. that’s just how his race talks
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
It was a surprise to all involved.

[–]darthmchub 4 hours ago
Was there anything you personally wanted to convey or add to the Jar Jar character that Lucas liked and/or cut?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
i did want to see him to a underwater fight. That’s the place where Jar jar wasn’t clumsy. He was Bruce Lee underwater.

[–]Bostriker 4 hours ago
Hey Ahmed! Did your experience with Stomp inform your performance as Jar Jar at all, or did you not get to be as physical as you might have liked due to the technological constraints of playing a cg character?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
I was extremely physical. Everything Jar Jar did, I did. STOMP was a huge factor. It got me in shape to move in a way that created this character and made him believable enough so you could love him or hate him.

HrdCorDweeb 4 hours ago
So what NON-Jar Jar Binks related projects have you been up to lately?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
https://vimeo.com/ahmedbest I also write on my blog at ahmedbest.com Also doing a webshow called 2blackdudes that’s super funny. My man J lee writes directs and stars. I’m the other black dude. I’m also involved with a collective of artists who are trying to diversify the landscape on all screens calle the cto. http://wearethecto.com/

[–]johnnason 4 hours ago
Have you seen the episode of Bob’s Burgers with the patty cake show parodying STOMP? It’s a funny show in general, but you might find that particularly entertaining.
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
No, gonna check it.

[–]mleegart 4 hours ago
Ahmed. Great to have you hear doing an AMA. Star Wars Episode 1 came out 15 years ago, so I’m curious about your aspirations for the next 15 years. Are there any passion projects you’re yet to get around making etc?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
Many. I have several features in the pipeline. I’ve always wanted to play a superhero. If they ever get around to Luke cage, Black Panther, green Lantern, one of them would be cool. But keep watch on the links below. I’m always doing stuff. https://vimeo.com/ahmedbest www.ahmedbest.com wearethecto.com twitter.com/2backdudes

[–]turbohonky 4 hours ago
Has being the guy who played Jar Jar Binks gotten you laid more often that it’s gotten you unlaid (c- block), or vice versa?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
More laid than unlaid. The tongue thing that Jar Jar does goes over big with the ladies. they are quickly disappointed when they find out it’s CGI.

[–]Blueeyedfoxie 4 hours ago
Would you ever play a charter like jar jar blinks again?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
yup.

Garcatch 4 hours ago
Any chance of Jar Jar being resurrected in Episode 7?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
Doubt it strongly

[–]Emperor_Jonathan 4 hours ago
How were you even aproached about playing this character?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
Casting director asked me to audition. She approached me after a STOMP show in San Francisco that she saw me in.

TweakedCulture 4 hours ago
How was it working with the Robot Chicken crew?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
the BEST! I love them guys.

[–]seedlesssoul 4 hours ago*
What is your favorite hobby?
[–]bestahmed[S]2 hours ago
Brazilian Jiu jitsu

Honourably-Disagree 4 hours ago
What’s your favourite movie of all time?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Empire strikes back.

[–]polkapunk 4 hours ago
I had no idea you were in STOMP! Fantastic show that’s still going on today.
Can you tell me what it was like learning that show? It just seems so complicated, being both dancing and percussion at the same time, I’m not quite sure how people would pick it up. Was the music written out and then once you learned that, you were taught the dance moves to go along with it?
Any fun stories from the show?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
It’s a blast learning the show. The music is learned through the movement so It’s easy to put both together. It’s easier than you think to learn. Plus you have seven other people on stage to cover your mistakes. I once did the show while a volcano was erupting. that was fun

[–]T1mac 4 hours ago
Thanks for your courage to do the AMA. Who decided what was going to be the voice performance for Jar Jar?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
All George.

[–]shivan21 4 hours ago
Would you take the role again?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
Yup

SoylaCalaca 4 hours ago
What got you cast for the role of Jar Jar Binks? What was the criteria that helped you stand out among all those who auditioned for the role?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I don’t know. George saw something in me that said 7 foot amphibian.

[–]rdkra 4 hours ago
What is your opinion on Jar Jar?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I love him

Thatsnotcoolbro60 4 hours ago
What was your favorite thing about playing Jar Jar?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Being there with great people. Everyone involved was great. IT was a great time.

DinaDinaDinaBatman 4 hours ago
hey Ahmed, i thought jar jar was a great character, not many people understood his role, that he was comic relief, that he was the hapless naive back world-er who is used by the emperor to take power, without jar jar’s vote for emergency powers palpatine could not of initiated the clone armies into action….
also good job deciding to continue voicing jar jar in the clone wars animated series.. i laughed at the love interest they set jar jar up with.. and his interaction with mace windu…
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
THANKS. I appreciate you.
[–]Grillburg 3 hours ago
I came here to make the same point…I thought it was great that they had Jar-Jar set up as the fall guy for giving Palpatine power.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
word up. Thanks.

tvanzandt 4 hours ago
I just wanted to tell you that I loved jar jar binks and I actually had a jar jar blow up chair in my room for years.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
haaa. Awesome.

OuterPace 4 hours ago
What was it like working on something that so many millions of people have such a special place in their hearts for?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
Exciting!

[–]tb12rm 4 hours ago
Favorite flavor of Doritos?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
cool ranch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rITVr7WxGxg

Docholliday666 4 hours ago
Did you find that George Lucas was just lazy when giving your non-jar jar role’s name Achk Med - Beq ?
[–]bestahmed[S]3 hours ago
Some of those names fell to other people. But I love Achk med-Beq. HE took over my instagram @bestahmed and he might just start answering these questions for me.

[–]bukakke_surprise 4 hours ago
MIS’A CALLD JAJA BINKS, MIS’A YOUR HUMBLE SERVANT sorry
[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago
Not my first rodeo.

MONKSFTW 4 hours ago
Hey Ahmed Best, thank you for taking time out of your day to give us this opportunity, being a Star Wars fan I have a couple of questions that I hope you’ll get to
◦ What was it like voicing everyone’s most loved Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks?
◦ Did you expect Star Wars to become this popular?
Thank you again for taking time out of your day to give us this chance, on behalf of this AMA I’d like to commend you on your amazing talents and wish you luck on your current and future projects
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Great. YEs. thanks.

[–]lacecorsetdolly 4 hours ago
Hey Mr. Best!
My brother and I often spoke like Jar Jar Binks to each other for many years following the new Star Wars episodes. Until I discovered Reddit I had no idea he was so disliked. No question but thanks for providing endless hours of amusement for us.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Thank you.

[–]snuffuser 5 hours ago
Does yousa love meesa?
[–]bestahmed[S] 4 points3 hours ago
Buy me a drink first then we’ll see.

[–]yogoloprime 4 hours ago
What did you know about the character and the story before playing Jar Jar Binks? What did you think of how the character fit in the overall universe?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I knew very little. It was all under tight security. I thought he was a great character to add to the universe. I got him. We all need a bit of the ‘fool’ in us. Jar Jar was the ‘fool’ in the SW mythology. That has always been an important character in literature.

rdkra 4 hours ago
Do you feel the general opinion of Jar Jar is justified?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Opinions vary. It’s not my place to call them justified or unjustified. SW is important to a lot of people in a lot of ways. Everyone feels close to the stories. It’s a personal movie. I don’t judge opinions.
[–]dalr3th1n 2 hours ago
I just love how chill you are about this. I personally am not a fan of the character, but you, you are a cool dude.

[–]mj95 4 hours ago
can you give us some cool moments from the set of episode one ?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
So Many. A big one was when R2D2 rolled on. We all turned in to kids when that happened.  

Captain_Balko 4 hours ago
Hi Ahmed!
I have two questions,
I was wondering: If you were asked to reprise your role as Jar Jar some time in the future, would you do it?
And also, if you could change something about your original performance as Jar Jar Binks, would you? And if so, what would you change?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I honestly don’t know if I would reprise him. I wouldn’t change anything. George liked him and he’s the boss. 

typekwondo 4 hours ago
what kind of direction did george lucas give you for playing jar jar? i mean was he based on anything or anyone?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
He was based on Buster Keaton.

[–]Stonewall_Jaxon 4 hours ago
What was your favorite moment out of all three movies?
[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
Obi wan, Anakin fight

[–]jatorres 4 hours ago
Favorite ice cream flavor?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
rum raisin

[–]FeelTheLoveNow 4 hours ago
Hi Ahmed, what is your favorite food?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
anything Caribbean

[–]HasLotsOfFriends 4 hours ago
Theres a deleted scene in Phantom Menace in which Jar Jar dies. Was this the original idea? If so, why do you think they ditched it and kept you alive? Also, during filming, was anyone worried that Jar Jar might not be well recieved? Thank you!
[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago
There is no deleted scene of Jar Jar dying. No one was worried.

I_Am_Intoxicated 4 hours ago
What is your favorite beer?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
more of a wine guy.

-Narble- 4 hours ago
What were some of your favorite memories of being part of the Star War prequels?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Tunisia was the best. There’s something about that place that made me feel at home. I loved it. I saw an Oasis there that would make you cry.

[–]zomgrei 4 hours ago
Hi Mr. Best! I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate you. I’m actually a fan of Jar Jar, as much as everyone else seems to hate him. I loved the prequel trilogy and (while certainly not as good as the Original Trilogy still had its merits) really love that you brought such a weird and goofy character as Jar Jar to life.
That said, since Jar Jar was a digital character, has anyone associated Jar Jar with you much since then? Personally I have, but a lot of people really hated the character, and I guess I wonder if you’ve experienced any of the hate since you were the one powering his voice and mannerisms.
Thanks again for doing what you do!
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Thank You. People hate me for me and Jar ar Jar for Jar Jar. The two never cross.

dipandrip 7 hours ago
What was the hardest part of filing the star wars movies? Also where do you see yourself in 10 years?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Tunisia in 100+degrees in that latex suit was tough. I will tell you in 5 years.

[–]James2wenty 7 hours ago
How do you feel about the reaction that people had to Jar-Jar?
If you watch the making of the Phantom Menace there is a lot of George mentioning Jar Jar’s character being key to the film working, this clearly wasnt the case. Can you give us to more of an insight into the swift removal of Jar-Jar as a key character in the later films, at least in terms of being center stage as a character in the films?
Said video of George making these claims: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCfia0wPn4Y
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
The story didn’t call for him to be. At the end of the day I’m in service to the story.  


shivan21 6 hours ago
If you could travel to past and change your decisions, would you take the role again or would you refuse it?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
I would take it every time. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to talk to you guys.

neotrin2000 7 hours ago
Hi Ahmed, with all due respect, anyone can come up with your Bio, and anyone can post a link to that website. Please provide proof with you holding a sign up saying Hi, Reddit today is <insert todays date>. In the meantime, How You doin??? :)
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
I’m doing good. how are you? Working on my sign now, and getting coffee inside me.
bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
http://www.ahmedbest.com/blog-2/

nick8197 7 hours ago
What Star Wars memorabilia from the set did you get? If anything?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Nada. IT’s all in the Smithsonian.

[–]15chainz 7 hours ago
Is there any chance Jar-Jar gets in the new Star Wars movie?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Don’t think so. I would love to be someone in the Solo family. Maybe his drunk uncle Jed solo.

]Polde 7 hours ago
Hi Ahmed, welcome.
1) Do you still talk with the rest of the cast from the Star Wars prequels?
2) Apart from acting, what hobbies do you enjoy?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
I drop them a line form time to time. I’m a martial artist and a musician.

thesissylard 7 hours ago
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Rancors, or one Rancor-sized duck?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
one rancor sized duck. plus the aftermath would be delicious. No dis to vegetarians.

]Kknowsbest 7 hours ago
What is the best advice ever given to you?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
We are all married to the same woman.

thatguy425 7 hours ago
How did you feel being passed over for an Oscar?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Never thought about it until you asked. excuse me while i cry in my Dunkin Donuts mug.

StNic54 6 hours ago
Hi Ahmed, and thank you for doing this AMA. What project(s) do you have that you’d like to talk about?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
Doing a bunch of stuff. Mostly Web. Best thing to do is Check my website, www.ahmedbest.com. most of my work will be there I also write regularly on my blog. I have a webshow called 2blackdudes that’s out soon that’s very funny, and a scifi comedy called th NEBULA out soon.


[–]Kknowsbest 7 hours ago
If they made a movie about your lIfe, who would play you (other than yourself)?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Zoe Saldana. She gets everything.

AlmostPerfekt 7 hours ago
How were you dressed when shooting the scenes? I always thought that jar jar was 100% cgi and they just added him into the scenes after shooting. Did you just record the voice for jar jar or were you actually in the scenes? Also a video of you in front of a camera doing jar jars voice would be amazing to see! Thank you for your time!! (From someone who actually loved jar jar binks)
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
thanks for the love. I was dressed like the character then the CGi was added over my movements. by ep 2 they figured a lot of stuff out so my Jar Jar ‘skin’ was less by 2 and 3. I was in every scene Jar Jar was in.

kim2jy 7 hours ago
Nice try, Ahmed.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
send me a picture of you to prove you’re real. Make sure it has today’s date on it.

CoreyVidal 7 hours ago
You are my girlfriend’s favourite prequel character. She got emotional when you first recognize Obi-Wan in Episode II.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Thanks!!

Frajer 15 points 7 hours ago
Have you found Jar Jar Binks enthusiasts?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
Many. contrary to popular belief there are more enthusiasts than non-enthusiasts. But, I appreciate all. I don’t discriminate.
[–]KorranHalcyon 7 hours ago
calling bullshit on this one.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Call it all you want. It’s still true. I know it hurts, but it’s true.

johnnason 7 hours ago
Hi! Thanks for doing this AMA.
What is your personal opinion of the Star Wars prequels? Were you a Star Wars fan before signing onto them?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
I was a huge Fan! First movie I ever laid eyes on was SW A New Hope. So I grew up with it. I am biased to the prequels, so I love them.

[–]deejayfourex 7 hours ago
you did voice work for jar jar on several star wars video games. which was your favorite to work on? to play? have you considered doing VG voice work for non-jar jar parts?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
CLone wars and RObot Chicken were my favorites. I do a lot of VO work.

Johnny_Welfare 7 hours ago
Before the first film came out, did you expect to have a larger role in Episodes II and III? Your time in both sequels was seriously condensed.
Also, in the summer of 1999 me and my friends drank an unhealthy amount of Pepsi and Mountain Dew in an attempt to find a can with Jar Jar on it. Just saying.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
I’ve come to learn that you have to role with the punches when it comes to scripts and sequels. I’m a fan of working and the less work there is for me on the page the harder it is for me. I have a can if you want one. it’s not cheap though ;-)

Danielrh9 7 hours ago
How do you feel about the assertions that Jar Jar (and other alien characters in the Prequels) were racist caricatures? Additionally, what’s your opinion on the “fan-edits” that gave Jar Jar an entirely alien language with subtitles to detract from the issue?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
The racism charge has no legs. There is no legit argument for it. P.S. I’m really good at debating racism and Jar Jar so please no takers you will be sonned. I love the fan edits. Star wars is as much the Fan’s as it is ours. Be creative. I’m doing a sci-fi webshow called the Nebula and I will be encouraging fan edits.

Ineversawsixthsense 7 hours ago
Do you ever bust out in your Jar-Jar voice at random times. Mostly to impress everyone around you and to be swarmed by fans?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Not really. I will only do it for kids.

takedownchris 7 hours ago
Listening to the joe rogan podcast recently they talked how jar jars lines and demeanor could be construed as racist. Do you find this to be accurate?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
No

Kenny__Loggins 7 hours ago
He had to give half his salary to help pay for the cost of burning all the merch nobody bought.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Don’t quit your day job.

Jah_Fooly 7 hours ago
Did you get/Are you still getting royalties from any of the Jar Jar merchandise?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
nope.

Sterculius 7 hours ago
Was there any sense on-set during the prequels, particularly during filming of Episode 1 that it might not be up to the audience’s expectations as it now has a reputation for, much in the same way that there was famously a lot of ridicule from the cast and crew during the filming of A New Hope? Or was everyone generally happy with the job they were doing and just excited to be apart of Star Wars?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Happy and excited. We were doing Star Wars!

infernoenigma 7 hours ago
Aside from JarJar, which role are you proudest of / do you wish people knew you from instead?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
i’m probably most proud of STOMP. I was the lead in that show off and on for 10 years. That show felt tailor made for me. There would be no ‘instead’ for me. i love all the things I’ve done for their reasons.

medcur 7 hours ago
I found Jar Jar funny and didn’t have a problem with him at all so I wondered what your take is on why there was so much opposition to him.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Everyone has their reasons. I’m glad you liked him.

GeorgeDouglasMcFly 7 hours ago
STOMP blew my mind as a kid in New York, and I’ve been fascinated with it ever since. I was wondering about the collaborative process on the show. Since the ensemble has to work in such close harmony, was there an evolution to the bits when a new cast member joined? Or was it more static and everyone just had to keep up?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
STOMP was the best training I’ve ever had. Each person has a role and that role has a track that you follow. So new folks would learn each routine in the show following the role and track they were assigned. Some learned faster than others. in the beginning you have to hold on and keep up, but everyone catches up and flies really quickly.

JamesRenner 7 hours ago
Have you had conversations with Abrams or anyone regarding Ep. 7?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
Nope. I’d love to.
[–]BostonStone 7 hours ago
Thank God!
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
there you are.

Sibbo94 7 hours ago
Hi Ahmed, I know that you probably get a load of flak for Jar Jar, but I want to say thanks for the last arc you had in the Clone Wars - the one with Mace Windu, it made Jar Jar seem like a character that cared about something rather than a supporting character.
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
Thanks. Clone wars was something special. We had a great time doing those.


[–]zachattack667 7 hours ago
How is your day going so far?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
A bit hung over. Not enough coffee.

GreedE 7 hours ago
Hi Mr Best! What was it like being directed by George Lucas, and how would you compare him to other directors you’ve worked with?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
George and I worked very well together. He has the movie in his head before he shoots so he’s super smart and efficient. He’s also one of the kindest most generous directorsI’ve worked with. He doesn’t say much. He let’s actors act.
[–]GreedE 7 hours ago
Thanks for the reply. Mesa your humble servant.
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
Word.

Rosenkrantz_ 7 hours ago
What’s your favorite dinosaur?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Triceratops.

devincooper64 7 hours ago
So how did you end up being the actor for Jar Jar? Was there any competition for the role?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
I auditioned. Michael Jackson really wanted to do it but George picked me. Marinate on that one. I still am.

alcoholland 7 hours ago
What is the difference from an actor’s perspective between a digitally rendered character and a cartoon? The acting is the same.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
the difference would be performance. The animated cartoon is mostly realized by the animation artist. The CG Character is mostly realized by the actor, the animation artist then translates the actors performance in to animation.

CoreyVidal 7 hours ago
Hey Mr. Best,
I don’t think you get nearly as much credit as you deserve, having played the first fully digital main character in film history. Without anywhere in filmmaking to look or research for previous experiences, how did you prepare for that kind of role when you were cast?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Thanks my man. It was tough because the tech was being invented as I was doing it. A lot of the inspiration for Jar Jar was from Buster Keaton. George and I would watch a lot of Buster Keaton together and he would tell what he liked and what he wanted. The final battle scene in Phantom Menace is almost all Buster Keaton.

Artvandelay1 7 hours ago
As far as you know, did George Lucas ever consider making any changes to Jar-Jar Binks in light of the general negative reaction towards him?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
Not to the character, but to the story arc there were huge changes.
[–]OwenWard 7 hours ago
That’s really interesting, could you elaborate on that by any chance?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
I think George wanted to give the fans what they wanted. That meant more lightsabers and less Gungans.

happy_guy23 7 hours ago
I guess most questions will be on the same theme but…
After filming Episode 1 and before it was released, how did you expect Jar Jar to be received? Did you manage to not take the hatred personally?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
No, it hurt a lot. You put your heart and soul in to something groundbreaking for two years and it gets slammed, that hurts. But It made me stronger. Cheesy answer, but it’s true.

JohnnyH104 7 hours ago
Are there no Ahmed’s better than you?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
I’m sure there are many. But not one with the birth right title of Best.

idiot_nerd 7 hours ago
How do you feel about all the people that found Jar Jar to be annoying?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
they all have a right to their opinions. Star Wars belongs to the fans as much as it does all of us who were in the movies.

OwenWard 7 hours ago
In the special features on the Episode I DVD, you seem to be full of enthusiasm and always in good spirits. What are some of your favourite fun moments you had making the movie?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
The submarine scene with me Liam and Ewan. We laughed through most of that. We were all very close, but Liam and I had a special thing when we were on screen together. I always thought we should do a buddy cop flick
[–]Nefer_Seti 7 hours ago
Meesa has a skill set that is particu-lahr!
[–]Wild_Marker 7 hours ago
Meesa will find youu!! And meesa will kill youu!!
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
hahahahah. Bring it. I’m hard to kill

DudeExclamationPoint 6 hours ago
Hey Mr. Best- Dunno if you remember, but we met backstage at the first Star Wars Celebration convention (in Denver). At the time I had just been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease/juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and was wheelchair-bound during the convention. I know there’s a lot of Jarjar hate out there, but behind that face was a real cordial guy who helped make that weekend something to remember for a lifetime. I’ve long since been in remission, but it’s still a great memory to look back on. So I just wanted to say thanks, fifteen years later.
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
Thanks my friend. you just made my day. Much love.

MySonsdram 7 hours ago
You’re a brave man coming here. What project that you worked on are you most proud of?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
Can’t choose. I’m proud of all of them for different reasons.

IWriteScreenplays 7 hours ago
Knowing what you know now about how your character in Star Wars would be received, by fans, critics, and the general public, would you still have said yes to taking on the role of Jar Jar Binks, and why?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
YUP! I’m a skinny kid from the Bronx. I’m not supposed to be alive let alone a pro artist. Opportunities like SW come once in a lifetime. Those are the ones you say yes to.

DarkeKnight 7 hours ago
What’s your favourite Star Wars movie?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
Empire Strikes Back

tupper93 7 hours ago
Did you come up with Jar Jar’s voice and speech patterns, or was that given to you by the writers? If the latter, what was that conversation like?
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
It was all scripted. I just did the voice.

bubbabubba345 7 hours ago
I actually thought jar jar was pretty cool, but maybe that was in Lego Star Wars videogames
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
me too.

Higher_Primate 7 hours ago
*Sigh* guess I’ll be that guy….
How does it feel to have played one of the most unintentionally hated characters in movie history?
[–]bestahmed[S] 7 hours ago
I like the fact that you said unintentional. I feels great to be a part of movie history regardless of how anyone feels about him.
[–]Artvandelay1 7 hours ago
Did George Lucas ever say anything to you about Jar-Jar in light of the near-universal negative reaction towards him after The Phantom Menace? Obviously he intended for him to be likable and you were doing the best with the role you were given but I wonder if he felt the need to defend his character or explain himself to you during the production of the subsequent films.
[–]bestahmed[S] 6 hours ago
He did. He let me know that this was nothing new. There was the same reaction to Chewbacca and the ewoks. HE sent me a stack of press from the original movies for proof. He never needed to defend his character. We new what the intention was.

comptechgsr 6 hours ago
Got any high-school stories of hanging out with Zach Braff or Lauryn Hills? Were you friends with them? If yes, still friends with them?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
not Zach. Lauryn and I were good friends. I haven’t seen her lately but i still have tremendous love for her.


[–]Feodorovna 6 hours ago
What are your expectations for the future? I read your wiki and you are 40 now. When you reach 70, what do you want to have achieved in life?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
Happiness.


[–]tragic-waste-of-skin 6 hours ago
How did you come up with the voice for Jar Jar? Who or what inspired it?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
I’d been doing voices for jingles and commercials. I gave george about 5 options. the one in the movie was the one he chose.

[–]cruznik001 6 hours ago
Were you in a mo-cap suit for Jar Jar?
[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago
Yes. I got to know that mo-cap suit very intimately.

[deleted] 6 hours ago
[deleted]
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
huh?


[–]LPGWDAL 6 hours ago
Personally I would like to see a callout to Jar Jar in the new movies and I would like to hear your opinion.
The protagonists are in the midst of sneaking around, basically hiding from imperial troops (or whoever)
The lead stops and says “Everybody hide!” The group all duck behind a building. Focus on the faces of the group as they peer out from behind the building. The camera angle shows two webbed feet walk past in the street. “What? Is it the empire?” “Worse. Gungans.” “They’ve passed, lets get out of here.”
Then never address it again. Thoughts?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
hahaha.

DarthDarthBinks 6 hours ago
What are you doing recently, in films or theater?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Doing a lot. Check out 2backdudes on twitter. go to https://vimeo.com/ahmedbest to see the things I’m developing and always www.ahmedbest.com


[–]seismicor 6 hours ago
How many people were considered for the role of Jar Jar in the final round of voice casting?
[–]bestahmed[S] 5 hours ago
just me.

Thumper13 6 hours ago
Ahmed, thanks for your enthusiasm and always positive comments on your Star Wars experience. I thought you had a great arc on Season 6 of Clone Wars.
Why was there a period of time you didn’t do the voice in earlier seasons of The Clone Wars?
I hope we see you at Star Wars Celebration 1 year from now!
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
honestly I wanted to move on. I felt I did enough Jar Jar for several lifetimes. It was the fans that didn’t like it. Lucasfilm holds their fans in high regard, so they called me and I reconsidered.

wordToDaBird 5 hours ago
Can you answer the following questions using Jar-Jar’s personality?
If you could be offered one role in any movie or television show what would it be and why?
How has your day been, what have you done today, what did you eat for breakfast? Please elaborate.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
as Jar Jar: My dream role would be Spike Spiegel in Cowboy bebop or Mugen in the live action Samurai Champloo.
I swam, had brisky mornen Munchen, then got a massage from my many Gungan cortisans.I would elaborate but a gentlegungan never tells.


[–]cybergreensloth 5 hours ago
As many people have said, you played a very hated movie charecter. How do you deal with people on a day-to-day basis, or does the subject never come up?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Doesn’t come up day to day. But if you hated him you hated him. Can’t do anything about it.


[–]Kody02 5 hours ago
What is your personal opinion on FDR: American Badass?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
it was a fun commentary on the FDR story. My career has always been to take risks. That was one of them

seismicor 5 hours ago
If you were to play a Sith what name would you like to have?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Darth Wup-yo-ass.


[–]H3MP79 5 hours ago
Was the character intended to come off so ethnically stereotypical? Or was this just a function of how the character was written?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
The only place in the world that this idea of ethnically stereotypical was the USA. wonder why?

ToxicKrusader 5 hours ago
Who have you liked working with the best? (not just limited to Star Wars) and what or who has had an influence on the way you portray yourself? (I personally think you come off as cool, calm, and collected)
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
STOMP was the best. everyone in all the casts shaped me in to the artist i am today.


[–]LincolnHox 5 hours ago
You still wreckin’ it at Jiu Jitsu? How’s Prof. Machado?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Still doing it. Prof. Machado is awesome. One of the best people i know.

A_Wild_Skookum 5 hours ago
How did the character “Achk Med-Beq” in Attack of the Clones come about? Was this George’s idea or someone else’s? How do you like his back story as a con man who later tried to steal Padme Amidala’s ship?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
It was Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) HE grabbed me and said, put this uniform on we are going to be in this bar scene. So i said cool.

sexymafratelli 5 hours ago
Let’s talk about your music. You’re writing, producing, and I assume performing music in and around New York, yeah? What defines your personal style of performance, and do you have a musical crew that you run with (perform regularly?)
[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago
My musical style is very influenced by soul music. I have a jazz background and a R&B foundation. But I have rock n roll stage performance attitude. But if it’s honest and comes from the soul I’m in.


[–]treydilla 5 hours ago
How does it feel to be the laughing stock of the Star Wars universe?
[–]bestahmed[S] 4 hours ago
they have to laugh at something. What’s it like to think the SW universe is a place where they have a laughing stock?

djgeej 5 hours ago
I think Star Wars 1-3 really were the 1st big studio movies to use digital environments for sets from beginning to end. It revolutionized hollywood filmmaking and is everywhere now.
As someone who has had to perform in that kind of completely imagined environment and worked with vets while doing it, do you think it’s difficult for actors to create a truer sense of character with their scene partners when… (I don’t know exactly what Im trying to say)… When they can’t feel actual breeze of wind on their face or can’t actually feel a wall 4 feet from them as it will be when its added later. I guess…Do you think this is a problem in modern filmmaking?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
It’ challenging, but the nature of acting and filming is play and imagination. It’s not that much of a stretch, although there is a lot of blue and green to play with.

MrDorkESQ 5 hours ago
Thanks for coming here Ahmed.
I personally enjoyed your performance in the Star Wars franchise, maybe it is because I was 36 when Phantom Menace was released and realized that it was just a friggin movie. People who have that much hate over a work of fiction and can’t appreciate the amount of work that went into it need to get over it, or watch Gigli and see if they still have so much hate for episodes 1-3. :o)
I was wondering did you do any of the touring shows with Stomp? If so, how is life on the road with a touring company?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I did. I love the road. it’s tough when you’re away from home for months at a time, but i love new places and people.


[–]dawnsavenger 5 hours ago
What’s a non Star Wars, non STOMP project that you really enjoyed working on?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Scifi comedy webshow the Nebula.
and this new webshow i’m on called 2blackdudes.

rc62 5 hours ago
I’d just like to point out that when I play games, I include Jar Jar in my name just because they’d be uber pissed off to see they’d been owned by someone with Jar Jar in their name.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
hahahah


[–]OwenWard 5 hours ago
Was it your voice that was added in to the ending of Return of the Jedi shouting ‘Wesa free!’? If so, how did it feel being added in to the movie?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
No wasn’t me.


[–]seismicor 5 hours ago
Ahmed, what’s your favourite videogame?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Streetfighter


[–]2A_is_the_best_A 5 hours ago
How does it feel knowing the Elsa from Disney’s Frozen was a better Star Wars character than Jar Jar Binks?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
my son loves Frozen.

schmotle 5 hours ago
What are the best and worst fan interactions you’ve had?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
all good


[–]sillstaw 5 hours ago
Don’t know if you’ll answer, but… Did you ever get headaches during rehearsals/performances of “Stomp?”
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
no. I’ve been playing drums all my life. STOMP was quiet compared to that.


[–]Rudyrobbob 5 hours ago
I thought you committed suicide. Is this not true?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Not that I know of

Kevin_Rubio 5 hours ago
Ahmed,
Still doing MMA?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
wassup!!!

AdamBertocci-Writer 5 hours ago
Do you keep up with the technology and technique behind making digital / motion-capture characters that Jar Jar paved the way for? It really is amazing how quickly it went from groundbreaking technology to the going thing!
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I do. Andy Serkis is really moving everything forward. Imaginarium in London is rocking the house.


[–]Kevin_Rubio 5 hours ago
Oh, I got one. Did your Dad get to speak with Obama when he was at the White House? If so, what did he talk to him about?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
He didn’t. But he said he was very cool.

_aron_ 4 hours ago
What do you think about the Plinkett reviews of the prequels, ya cartoon rabbit!
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
don;t know it. love rabbits.


[–]juicycunts 4 hours ago
Monsters out there, leaking in here. Weesa all sinking and no power. Whena yousa thinking we are in trouble?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
hahaha. favorite scene.


[–]Krogane 4 hours ago
You are a brave man
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Nah. Just a man.

dara000 4 hours ago
I was pretty young when phantom menace came out but for what its worth my brother and I thought your character was hilarious. I had a jar jar binks watch that would tell the time in your voice. Loved it. My mother probably wanted to hit it with a hammer but sometimes when I look at a clock I still say to myself:
“The time eesa twelve thirty six”
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
word. Thanks.


[–]cbwatts1138 4 hours ago
How did your cameo in Attack of the Clones in the nightclub scene happen? Did you ask for it or did they ask you to do it?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Anthony Daniels. (C3PO) he made it happen.

YiPlandar 4 hours ago
Mr. Best! I hear you are a jiujitsu bad ass. How and why did you get involved with this most noble of martial arts?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I’ve been doing martial arts since I was very young. I’ve done many of them. As I got older i was tired of hitting and being hit. I also love wearing a GI. I found john Machado and machado BJJ and immediately felt at home. Been with John for 10 years now. i love BJJ. It’s a part of me.


[–]IzakTehDerp 4 hours ago
When I was a lot younger (as in 6) you were my favorite Star Wars character. You aren’t now but seriously, you have a lot of talent. Even if a lot of people ranted about you on the internet and the assorted.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
thanks


[–]tsularesque 4 hours ago
I’ve heard that Ewan Macgregor made lightsaber noises while filming the scenes where he’s using that kickass weapon.
Did you, or any of the cast, feel tempted to fill in your own effects or anything similar? I could imagine just being on the set of Star Wars would make it tempting.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
He did. we all did sound effects on set. it was fun.


[–]brock1363 4 hours ago
Hello Ahmed, you said in an earlier comment that you shouldn’t be alive, care to elaborate? Also, i actually liked Jar-Jar, sorry you got so much hate man, you’re obviously a talented actor.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
thanks. Don’t remember saying I shouldn’t be alive. I like life especially mine. Maybe it was a before coffee post.

strongbadpenis 4 hours ago
Ahmed. I frikkin worshipped you when I was 9. I’ve always wanted to be a voice actor, and I always loved Jar Jar, despite the hate. Thanks for workin so hard.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
thank you

warpfield 4 hours ago
Why would you play such a role? How did you think any good could come of it??
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
why not?


[–]voodeux_thatyoudo 4 hours ago
How does it feel to have played one of the most hated characters ever to have been created in film, book, or radio?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
feels great

NewLeaf37 4 hours ago
Do you lend any credence to the theory that Jar-Jar knew Palpatine was trying to play him, but decided endorsing him was still the best option? Or, how did that aspect go down in your head?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
Never thought about it. But unlikely. Palpatine was a boss in the Empire building game.


[–]AutoBond 4 hours ago
Does it ever bother you that even over the course of your entire lifetime, more women will have fondled your action figure than you?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
yes


[–]dummystupid 4 hours ago
Wait, you were discovered in STOMP? How does that story go? You were wearing trashcans as shoes and somebody thought, “this guy has it.”? I am baffled at how somebody gets discovered in STOMP.
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
yes. that’s how it happend.

ndiabeeto 4 hours ago
Have you ever used that character to annoy people into doing what you want
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
you’re the first.

skycoaster 4 hours ago
Thanks for doing the AMA, Ahmed! In episode II, Jar Jar is basically the one that gives Palpatine the support to use the Clone Army, which starts the wars that led to the Empire’s rise. Does this mean everything bad in the Star Wars universe can ultimately be traced back to Jar Jar Binks? Was this intentional on Lucas’ part?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I guess the answer is yes to both. Although palpatine manipulates everyone in to launching the Empire. Jar Jar just brings the motion to the floor.


[–]LOSELBSNOWASKMEHOW 4 hours ago
ASSHOLE!
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
genius!

HotDogHell 3 hours ago
As the assistant editor of this Jared commercial I just want to say it was an honor to work with you (or rather, your footage). Do you do a lot of commercial work?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I do now. I really love it. weird I know but I do. Thanks for the great editing.


[–]slapuwithafish 4 hours ago
JJB was not my favorite character, but people make him out to be much worse than he was. Best wishes for continued success!
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
thanks.


[–]dustinlieber 4 hours ago
What did you think of South Park’s adaption of Jar Jar in their episode entitled “Jakovasaurs”?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
hilarious

Twitch92 4 points 3 hours ago
Who was your favorite actor to work with in Star Wars, and why was it Ewan McGregor?
[–]bestahmed[S] 3 hours ago
I love them all. Most of my scenes were with Liam, but Ewan and Natalie and Liam were all wonderful.

[–]bestahmed[S] 2 hours ago
Thanks everyone for all the questions comments and feedback. This was a blast. please follow on www.ahmedbest.com twitter @ahmedbest instagram @bestahmed blog at www.ahmedbest.com/blog-2 tumbler http://hespeakssowell.tumblr.com/www.ahmedbest.com twitter @ahmedbest instagram @bestahmed blog at www.ahmedbest.com/blog-2 tumbler http://hespeakssowell.tumblr.com/
Peace.

Nov 08

The New York Crimes Book Review: “The Star Wars Heresies”

George Lucas took everything he’d read, watched, and researched, added a lightning bolt or two of inspiration, drops of blood, sweat, and tears, threw it all in a blender, and created Star Wars.  Paul McDonald took Star Wars, along with everything he’s read, watched, and researched, added his own blood, sweat, and tears, threw it all in a blender, and wrote The Star Wars Heresies: Interpreting the Themes, Symbols and Philosophies of Episodes I, II and III ( McFarland, 2013). Beyond merely “interpreting”, as the title promises, this book illuminates the Prequels like nothing else has before. The Star Wars Heresies doesn’t insert anything into the PT that isn’t already there, it just shines a brilliant light on what it’s always been.
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Anybody can start a blog—or go on a message board—and ramble for paragraph after turgid paragraph about Star Wars, superficially throwing various oft-repeated signifiers and keywords out (Joe Campbell, Myths, Kurosawa, blah blah blah) to show off that they know what they’re talking about, MAN (they usually don’t). It’s a whole other matter to weave together a nearly 200-page work that reads so smoothly—lyrically, even—while maintaining such a tight focus, structure, and narrative unity. I love the way the book is organized/constructed: three parts (one per movie of the PT), comprised of chapters each concentrating on a single character/theme. What’s impressive is that there’s no redundancy from one chapter/part to another. For instance, there are three (well, four, if you want to split hairs) individual chapters for Anakin, and though future and past events in the character’s life are freely referenced when necessary, the focus stays exactly where it needs to be for that moment in Anakin’s story…there’s no sense of, “Okay, you already said that!” as you’re reading. It couldn’t have been easy to keep all the plates spinning in the air while writing this book, but it never felt like that while reading it… it felt simple, in the purest and most desirable sense of that word. 
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"Simple" is the last thing you’d expect from a book swimming with references to 17th Century Jesuits, Zen Masters, Jungian analysts, Taoist Sages, internet film enthusiasts, and God knows who else, but that’s what you get. Just as there’s no pretension that you’d fear would accompany such a heady-sounding bunch of sources and citations, there’s also no condescension. The Star Wars Heresies is neither a pedantically-footnoted academic exercise, or a dumbed-down piece of disposable pop philosophy—it’s a warm, passionate book that thinks highly enough of its readers to treat them as if they’re in conversation with a friend. You needn’t have previously read about, or even heard of, the Zen Master Dogen to understand how or why his teachings are relevant to the themes or characters of Star Wars… everything flows and clicks in context.
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While reading, you may have several, “Oh, DUH!” moments, as I did, when being enlightened to various cross-Saga connections and those famous Lucas “rhymes” you may have missed, but you won’t feel dumber for it—just more keen to pay closer attention, to open yourself, the next time you’re watching one of the Star Wars movies. That’s one of the beautiful things about this book: it doesn’t mechanically deconstruct every scene and character beat so much as show you, to borrow from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, what can live in the “space between spaces” of the Star Wars movies—and by the author showing you what he’s found there, you learn how to look there for yourself. The Star Wars Heresies succeeds mightily in demonstrating how much George Lucas put into creating these movies, but is no less successful in teaching its readers how to appreciate his art with a fuller awareness. 
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The Star Wars Heresies retails for around $40 USD; it would be great if the book had a lower price (what wouldn’t be better at a lower price?), but understanding that McFarland is an independent publisher specializing in academic books for libraries and collections, the price makes more sense… this isn’t something churned out and mass-marketed at every Walmart and Target across the world. The content is certainly worth the price, and the physical book is very well-made. Sadly, I can always relate to being low on cash, so if the hardcopy is out of your financial grasp at the moment, the e-book version is available for around $13.99 USD from Amazon and Barnes&Noble—and even if you don’t have a Kindle or Nook to read it on, free downloadable eBook readers are just a Google away. Failing the eBook option, ask your local public library to order a copy or two… that’s what they’re there for! On top of all of it, the author, Paul McDonald, is a friend and bona fide “fan who gets it”, as Lazy Padawan might say—this book isn’t the work of some daytripping academic looking to make a quick buck off Star Wars fans, it’s a labor of love. If you’re a fan of this site, I’m certain that you’ll enjoy The Star Wars Heresies; I can’t recommend enough that you buy and read this book. In addition to expanding your understanding and appreciation of the PT, though, this book has the potential to be something more than just a great read and a watershed moment for Star Wars Prequel fandom—it can possibly bring peace to the restless souls of the Star Wars Original Trilogy ONLY fans. 

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Though I’m guilty of coining the phrase “half-fans” in the past—to describe Star Wars fans who only love the Original Trilogy, and dislike or hate the Prequel Trilogy— I abandoned it a few months after I came up with it, and also stopped referring to these fans as “hateboys” or anything similar. Individually, I might refer to a particularly belligerent and assaultive fan as something way more profane, but I felt like using blanket labels to describe Star Wars fans with different tastes than I have was just as pointless and tribal as the behavior that some of them were exhibiting. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely self-described “fans” who are beyond redemption or repair, way up the river with Colonel Kurtz—they’ve wallowed in stale hate for 14 years to the point where they’re incapable of acting human when it comes to Star Wars, especially online—but I can’t take seriously a purported grown-up throwing a 14 year-long fit about a big orange frog-man and a child actor.

The type of OT-Only fan that I could see getting something out of The Star Wars Heresies is somebody basically decent and rational— maybe one of your closest friends, a family member, a spouse even—who simply dislikes or was disappointed with the Prequels, which is their prerogative. This type of fan might venture, “Yeah, the Prequels sucked, Jar Jar sucked, no thanks” when the topic is brought up, but they’re not online day-in and day-out screaming about crucifying George Lucas (who still owes you nothing), or telling you that you’re a moron for liking the PT. I’m not naive enough to suggest that this book will “convert” a fan like that into suddenly hosting PT-viewing marathons, or even that they’ll enjoy any of the Prequel movies—but I do think that after reading it, they’ll at least understand the point of the PT, and hopefully, respect what Lucas was trying to do. "I still dislike the Prequels, but I get what he was going for with them" would be a triumphant statement from an OT-only SW fan after reading this book. Wouldn’t you rather coexist with a fan like that than a 40 year-old dude (or more absurdly, a callow 20 year-old wanna-be cineaste) shrieking that Lucas ‘raped his childhood’??

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 Realistically, they’re not going to seek this book out, so instead of sending more boring e-Gift Cards this Christmas (look at that cover! CHRISTMAS!) and Hanukkah season, why not send The Star Wars Heresies eBook (or if you’re a high roller, the hardcopy) to your Star Wars-loving, but OT-only friends and family members? At worst, they won’t bother reading it, their loss… but if they do, you may have started a chain reaction of Prequel understanding. The next time one of their Prequel-hating friends starts ranting about midichlorians or whatever, they just may set them straight, and so on and so on. The Star Wars Heresies: the virus that you want to spread. 

for more info, visit www.mcfarlandpub.com, or call their order line at 1-800-253-2187.

Oct 31

Happy Halloween from the Gungan Sacred SCARED Place!!

Happy Halloween from the Gungan Sacred SCARED Place!!

Aug 17

The Angry Burden

Yesterday, while at one of the local Walmarts to grab magical cat litter crystals (99.9% the same chemical composition as Folgers Crystals™), I made my usual dutiful trudge over to the toy section to check for any new Star Wars. This particular Walmart is “celebrating” it’s one-year anniversary this month, and yet, it’s already haunted with ancient regret. For a new-ish Walmart, the toy section has been more miss than hit than you’d expect it to be, but perhaps that’s just because of how poor of a year it’s been for finding new SW toys everywhere. I must have arrived shortly after they reset the SW section, because nearly everything from Hasbro’s Fall 2013 SW line-up was there, fresh out of the cases. The sadly dull and overpriced 3.75” Black Series was wanly clinging to the pegs, the classic Kenner Charm of the new Saga Legends/Mission Series was in full effect (though I already had them), and then there were these…
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Of course I bought it for the Jar Jar (the Leia looks like she’s holding a glock in a meth-fueled hold-up). Is it a good deal to buy what are basically two rubber pencil toppers for $4.96 USD? No. Does it feel good to know that the plastic and cardboard packaging of the item you just purchased probably cost more to produce than the actual item contained therein? No. But what does feel good is “getting it over with”, and getting the one character I knew for sure that I wanted out of this dopey Telepods line. I’ve bought some of the SW Angry Birds toys before, mainly to get a Han and Chewie, and they’re a total rip-off to be sure—-not unlike the apparently-deceased SW Fighter Pods line, these should be 50¢ each in a gumball machine. That being said, the Jar Jar ”figure” is great for what it is, and I’m glad to have him, because the design could exist independently of the “Angry Birds aesthetic”. I mean, it’s unnerving to look at Chewie with a BEAK; it’d be like if your dog suddenly had ant pincers on his snout instead of a nice wet nose. Jar Jar’s design allows him to cross over into the nightmare world of the Angry Birds without the indignity of being “bird-ized”. 
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Sure, I guess you could look at this and say, “No, dude, he has a duck bill, he HAS been bird-ized”, to which I’d say, “He’s always had a duck bill-shaped face, so he survived the bird-izing process intact”, and then we’d fight to the death, or just agree to disagree. I’m just always going to think he “passes” as a normal (if slightly whacked-out) Gungan, so spare me the dramz. Oh yeah, and ducks don’t have TEETH!
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 Though most of the SW Angry Birds merchandise is a rip-off, and I’d rather the Hasbro factories and plastic were put to better use on better toys, I do love the actual game, and have played it to the point where the only thing left for me to do in it is increase my high scores—so I’m more than happy for the new Prequel-friendly version to be released next month. Maybe these high-priced pencil toppers won’t feel like such a rip when they can actually do something useful. The magical/extra-terrestrial-back-engineered high tech of the Telepods™ is exactly what you see above: a little QR code sticker which, when magnified by the plastic lens in base of the stand, interacts with the camera on your smart phone or other HI TEK device, and imports the character in question into your phone, just like TRON. 

From the second I bought this thing, I was like, “What is this reminding me of???” And then, as if an autumnal breeze carrying the warm scent of pumpkin spice wafted by, it hit me: a KOOKY SPOOKS Halloween costume!! So even if you have no interest in playing SW Angry Birds and making a pencil topper TRON into your phone, but do want to blow five bucks, you can always do this:
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Aug 08

Early in 1999, Horst Friegelhopf, brutish manager of the fourth-rate German electro band Kohlensäure, couldn&#8217;t help but notice the growing anticipation for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Interested in riding the coattails of the new Star Wars movie, Friegelhopf physically intimidated the members of Kohlensäure into recording a song that his producers in Wiesbaden had created to cash in on the phenomenon. Believing that the break-out character of Episode I would be Sio Bibble, due to the massive popularity in Germany of Bibble actor Oliver Ford Davies, the producers (Billi Baader and Max Meinhof) crafted &#8220;Der Bibble Bounce&#8221; for the terrified members of Kohlensäure to perform. In March 1999, in a frigid back-alley studio in Köln, Kohlensäure recorded the song that would end their careers&#8212;and sadly, in the case of lead vocalist Mußßi Gruppenfuhrer, his life. What a shame&#8230;a young boy grows up dreaming of becoming the next Kraftwerk, and instead, ends up buried in a pauper&#8217;s grave in Leipzig!! Oh well, enjoy &#8220;Der Bibble Bounce&#8221;!!

Early in 1999, Horst Friegelhopf, brutish manager of the fourth-rate German electro band Kohlensäure, couldn’t help but notice the growing anticipation for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Interested in riding the coattails of the new Star Wars movie, Friegelhopf physically intimidated the members of Kohlensäure into recording a song that his producers in Wiesbaden had created to cash in on the phenomenon. Believing that the break-out character of Episode I would be Sio Bibble, due to the massive popularity in Germany of Bibble actor Oliver Ford Davies, the producers (Billi Baader and Max Meinhof) crafted “Der Bibble Bounce” for the terrified members of Kohlensäure to perform. In March 1999, in a frigid back-alley studio in Köln, Kohlensäure recorded the song that would end their careers—and sadly, in the case of lead vocalist Mußßi Gruppenfuhrer, his life. What a shame…a young boy grows up dreaming of becoming the next Kraftwerk, and instead, ends up buried in a pauper’s grave in Leipzig!! Oh well, enjoy “Der Bibble Bounce”!!

Jul 29

[video]

Jun 07

Apropos of nothing, scummy, bottom-of-the-barrel bootlegs on parade!

Apropos of nothing, scummy, bottom-of-the-barrel bootlegs on parade!

May 22

Better Red Than Dead!

Some of the best Phantom Menace-based figures released during the TPM Era didn’t even come out in Hasbro’s Episode I toy line—-the Power of the Jedi line (http://www.rebelscum.com/potjfigures.asp), which ran from 2000-2002, mixed Original Trilogy characters with some excellent versions of TPM characters. Though the uninformed will tell you that the Episode I toy line was cancelled due to poor sales (“cuz fantom menness is teh sukk” blah blah blah), that’s not true; Episode I merchandise sold PLENTY. The reason for so much stuff hanging around the pegs (and for the delicious rock-bottom clearance sales in late 1999-2000!) was simply that retail grossly overestimated demand. Even stores that didn’t normally sell toys were loaded to the gills with TPM stuff in 1999; it was pretty much everywhere—no retailer wanted to miss out on the second coming of $tar Wars. There were so many products, each produced in such great quantities, that of course supply was going to outweigh demand (Sadly, Hasbro—almost definitely at LFL’s urging—eerily repeated that history to a smaller extent in 2012).

So, in 2000, gone was the red-and-yellow Darth Maul-festooned packaging, and in was the green-and-yellow Power of the Jedi design, complete with TPM Obi-Wan jumping away from a massive Vader helmet. It’s common for toy companies to change their packaging every year or so to freshen things up at retail, but there probably was some panic on Hasbro’s part to change designs so quickly, as the previous 5 years of Star Wars toys had only seen 1 major packaging/color scheme change.  The POTJ design was verrrrry similar to the pre-TPM Kenner Power of the Force 2 line look—almost as if it hoped to say, “Hey, wait! that prequel thing never happened! Come BACK!”. Luckily, the POTJ line struck a fantastic balance between Original Trilogy and TPM characters…if you can get past the current teeth-gnashing insistence on super-articulated figures, the Power of the Jedi line holds up to this day.

…But what if some of the stand-out TPM figures from the POTJ line had instead been part of the Episode I line? What if these figures hadn’t debuted in this packaging—
              image

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—-but in THIS, complete with next generation Commtech Chips??:
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I love the way those blue Commtech Chips “pop” off of the red packaging; I don’t know if it’s just the novelty or what, but these prototypes make the standard Episode I line’s packaging look drab in comparison! The Commtech Chip gimmick was always pretty ridiculous, but these oval chips look so much better than the dull grey/silver chips that were actually released. The Episode I toy line is awesome as it is—to me, it’s a fitting grand finale to everything brilliant about Kenner (even though Hasbro owned Kenner throughout the 90’s, it wasn’t until the end of 2000 that they shut down Kenner “boys’ toys” operations in Cincinnati and moved remaining staff to Rhode Island)—-but having these figures included in it would have improved upon greatness. I love (and buy) a lot of Hasbro’s Star Wars products, but I’ll never stop missing Kenner (although there wasn’t a Kenner logo on Episode I toys, they were still “Kenner” in every way that counted).

The good news, if you’re super-rich and love the Episode I toy line, is that you can own these figures as they were originally intended to be produced!! If you bathe in champagne while wearing a top hat, these three pieces of Star Wars toy history can be yours for $4500…or less, if your “Best Offer” is accepted.

Mas Amedda:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/190843239564?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

Coruscant Guard:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/200926210853?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

Tusken Raider:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/200926215611?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

…knock a zero off the price of each one and I’ll pounce like a panther!!
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May 14

Happy Birthday, George Lucas&#8212;you still rule!!

Happy Birthday, George Lucas—you still rule!!

Apr 28

The Gilded World of Gungan-Endorsed High Finance

Following in the footsteps of such Star Wars power players as GL himself…


…the irascible Harrison Ford…

…the mighty Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor…

…and even his OWN previous work for Wendy’s…

…Ahmed Best, known to over $1B USD’s worth of ticket buyers across the planet as the beloved and pioneering CGI character Jar Jar Binks, is now appearing on TV and the internet to spread the word about BlackRock’s iShares.com:

I saw this commercial for the first time on Friday night, and before even looking up at the TV, I knew exactly who that distinctive voice belonged to. It’s not as nice as having Ahmed Best voicing characters in the 2 animated Star Wars series that Disney murdered in cold corporate blood, but I guess it’s better than nothing!
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Apr 01

Just because it seems like something that could conceivably sell out quickly (is there really a rabid base of flash drive collectors?!? why not!) , I thought I should alert serious Jar Jar fans across the galaxy to this Limited Edition Jar Jar &#8220;Mimobot&#8221; flash drive. What was initially an April Fool&#8217;s Joke in 2012 is now a data-storing reality. I saw this shortly after I woke up and got online, and ordered it kind of without a second thought through bleary, sleep-lidded eyes, even though I don&#8217;t really have the 25 bucks to spare. We ARE talking about The Grand Gungan himself, here. Bravo to mimoco.com for actually following through and producing this! I hope he sells out so that other licensees see that Jar Jar is a $$moneymaker$$, so if you&#8217;d like one, click the pic to go to mimoco&#8217;s order page.

Just because it seems like something that could conceivably sell out quickly (is there really a rabid base of flash drive collectors?!? why not!) , I thought I should alert serious Jar Jar fans across the galaxy to this Limited Edition Jar Jar “Mimobot” flash drive. What was initially an April Fool’s Joke in 2012 is now a data-storing reality. I saw this shortly after I woke up and got online, and ordered it kind of without a second thought through bleary, sleep-lidded eyes, even though I don’t really have the 25 bucks to spare. We ARE talking about The Grand Gungan himself, here. Bravo to mimoco.com for actually following through and producing this! I hope he sells out so that other licensees see that Jar Jar is a $$moneymaker$$, so if you’d like one, click the pic to go to mimoco’s order page.

Feb 27

how to and how NOT to save The Clone Wars!


Recently, it’s come out that the future of The Clone Wars is very uncertain. Nobody has said when, where, or if it’s going to air beyond the current season finale, airing this Saturday on the Cartoon Network in the US.  Though there’s an online petition to Disney to save the show, those typically aren’t nearly as effective as actual physical correspondence…there’s a huge “effort gulf” between click-click-clicking on a petition, and taking your life into your hands by licking an envelope containing potentially poisonous glue. Wait—-“Licking, Not Clicking!” There’s your slogan. 

Anyways, the unstoppable Lazy Padawan at the SWPAS has created a zippy form letter that you can print out, sign your name to, LICK, and send:

http://starwarsprequelappreciationsociety.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/form-letter/

Rebel Force Radio offers a voice mail number:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=520862164623856&l=7499a3733b

And I would add, if you are a parent or know any parents with kids who love The Clone Wars, encourage them to send a letter on behalf of their kids—Disney knows where their bread is buttered.

As for the “How NOT to Save The Clone Wars” part, I just happened to come across the following letter at the post office—the sender must’ve been in such a rush that he forgot to place it in the envelope (or maybe he was afraid of the glue??), and just left it sitting on the counter near the Priority Mail labels. Upon reading it, I realized that I had to transcribe it word-for-word so that you, the concerned Clone Wars fan, could see how it’s NOT done:

mr. bob iger
disney studios
500 s. buena vista st.
burbank, ca 91521

bob,
wut the fuk dude. ur canseling clone wars???? thats sum total clown shit bro. just wen it wuz gettin good to. i seen most episodes of clone wars and tho sum suked it was fukin rad too see maul chop shit up and bobba fets dad (with teh black sword). asoka wuz anoying @ first but shes kinda cute now lol. is she legal yet lol jk jk dont call hanson on me bro. dude if u cansel clone wars ill never get too see if she and anikin hook up. not kewl. hay wuts with obiwons blond chik. is she dead or wut. she was hawt to. i got sum rad ideas for episodes to if u want too here them. one hole episode shud just b maul choping people up with his saber and the black sword in slo motione. wudnt that be fukin sweet???? liek the matrix dude. anothr episode wud be if teh clones had too torch a hole vilage of thoes lemure people. bbq lemures oh noes lol. and then liek anikin comes and kills evrybody includeng clones and whatevar lemures are left cuz sith rage. at teh end his eyes are glowin yello and hes liek I AM SITH. fukin awsome. dude bak to canseling clone wars. u owe me becuz i am a custumer. ya thats rite i bougt season 4 on blu on blak frieday. im goin too ask seths dad whos a LAYWER if its posibbel for me too sue u sinse the custumer is always rite. bob i dont want too do that but i just had too putt it out there so u kno i am sireous. i do pay part of ur salery.  i kno u got lots of shit to wory about liek micky mouse avenger spidey bug bunny and buzz and woody but us fans taek this shit so so sireous. i been on you tube coments teling evrybody wut ur up too and dude sory too say but people r pissed @ u. im frends with sum juggalo fam who watch clone wars and their liek WHO THE FUK IS CANSELING IT. im not makeng a thret im just sayin bob. u evar seen a pissd off juggalo up close????? killa clowns bob. lol. just sayin. so think abt that. lets stay out of cort cuz that shits exspenseve. fuk judje judie. do the rite thing bob and dont cansel clone wars.
sincerely,
mike stoklasa


…huh, I don’t know why that name sounds so familiar; I’ll have to google it!

So now you know what to do and what not to do— Save the Cheerleader. Save the World. Save the Clone Wars. LICK, DON’T CLICK!!

Feb 20

[video]

Feb 16

[video]

Feb 13

Plastic Harbingers from Naboo

Among the many bizarre decisions Hasbro Toys made in their Star Wars product lines last year, putting out multiple releases of the same (previously released) figures in different packaging and different pricing at the same time was the most baffling. The two biggest offenders were Qui-Gon, with three simultaneous releases: QGJ1, QGJ2, QGJ3 …and with a whopping FOUR simultaneous releases, TPM Obi-Wan: OWK1, OWK2, OWK3, OWK4   (there were also multiple Darth Mauls available simultaneously, but at least they were different figures/sculpts). So, in February 2012, you could conceivably walk into your local Walmart and emerge with seven differently-packaged/priced versions of the same two products. Not surprisingly, when I went to Walmart yesterday, on February 12, 2013—over one year later—all three packagings of Qui-Gon were hanging there on the pegs, as were three of the four packagings of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Insane…and yet, what follows is a mostly positive post on a set of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul figures released in 2012!

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The “Duel On Naboo” Battle Pack wasn’t even released until Spring of 2012, long after TPM3D had left theaters, and by that time, everybody (even me!) was completely over figures of these three characters…wicked hot synergy, Hasbro.  When photos of the set leaked out a couple of months before it was released, there was even more outrage on top of the sense of overkill, since the figures—-though completely brand-new—-had only 5 points of articulation each. If you’re not familiar with the shadowy world of action figures, a “point of articulation” is any joint or moveable part on the figure. Most of the vintage Kenner Star Wars figures from the 70’s and 80’s had 5 points (legs, arms, head), but in the past decade or so, modern Star Wars figures have evolved to a place where they’re expected to have between 12-14 points of articulation (head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees, ankles). If these three figures had this level of articulation, this artwork on the back of the package wouldn’t have been quite so ridiculous:
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huh???? I’m all for artistic license, but in a world where a simple action figure package typically has two warnings on the front telling the consumer the same thing (“Ages 4 and up” and a redundant “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD Not for Children Under 3 years old”…well duh, that’s what “Ages 4 and up” suggests), aren’t we supposed to conclude that the average consumer is a drooling, mouth-breathing troglodyte? Even with the “PRODUCT SHOWN IN FANTASY SITUATION” in the small print, I would think Hasbro would want to accurately portray this product. This is about as close as you’ll get to posing these figures as they’re seen above:
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…and it took a couple of minutes to even get these figures that close to what’s pictured! I guess this wouldn’t strike me as being so odd if the art on the back of the package portrayed the characters in this dynamic scene instead of the figures (which it clearly is supposed to—you can especially see that on the leg joints in the artwork). Hasbro, there’s no shame in using nice, naturalistic photos on your packaging—I feel like it’s worked before:
imageWhen it comes down to it, unless Star Wars toys are packaged in the iconic, timeless, and perfectly-designed and just plain perfect black-and-silver Kenner “vintage” style, I’m just going to rip them out of the package anyway—so do all the crazed photoshopping you need to, Hasbro!
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If you look at the first picture in this post, you’ll notice the tell-tale Target clearance sticker on this set. Though I found these figures very shortly after they were released last spring, I just couldn’t bring myself to get ANOTHER iteration of these three characters; I was too burned out on them. I knew I’d buy them eventually, and I had counted on “eventually” to be whenever they hit clearance—which they did, last month. I rarely ever “wait for clearance” with Star Wars stuff I want, for a couple of reasons: sometimes, if you don’t buy something at first sight, you won’t see it again until it’s 400% more on eBay; and also, I feel the need to put my money where my mouth is, and do my part to ensure that Star Wars figures continue to be produced…if everybody “waited for clearance” (and a lot of people do), they’d just stop making these things, as Hasbro is a business and not a charity.  Luckily, the gamble paid off this time, because I kinda LOVE these figures.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my super-articulated Gamorrean Guards, Bossk, Chewie, Vader, Jar Jar, etc.—-but there’s nothing as appealing to me as the simple charm of actual vintage Kenner Star Wars figures.
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As much as I’m loathe to admit to being susceptible to nostalgia, it’s not only that…I just love that those figures were TOYS that could and did take a complete beating over years of play. For me as a kid, the Star Wars movies and Star Wars toys became a circular thing: the movie made me want the toys, the toys made me want to know/experience more about the movie, which made me want more of the toys/figures, etc.  I really enjoy looking at pics of people’s Star Wars collections that are filled with Gentle Giant mini-busts, high-end statues, Sideshow 12” figures, and similar items, but for me, it’s always going to be Star Wars toys that I’m fascinated by. The three figures in this Battle Pack, despite their inability to be posed in a million ways, feel like play-with-‘em-in-the-dirt, throw-‘em-off-the-porch, stick-‘em-in-your-pocket toys to me.
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If you squint out the much more detailed sculpting and smaller head on the Obi-Wan figure, you would almost think that these figures are from the same era…which, of course, is why the majority of Star Wars collectors hate this set.
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This is complete Star Wars collecting treason, but I wish that the main modern Star Wars action figure line had been like this all along. I have a fondness for the “Power of the Force 2” figures of the 1990’s, which had many of the same qualities as the vintage Kenner figures, but their steroid physiques and harsh face sculpts were sort of gross, and now look extremely dated and “90’s”. I’m not wishing all of the superb super-articulated figures of the last decade away at all—I love them, have most of them, and I’m all for things evolving in new directions—I just wish that this “vintage aesthetic” had been continued as the standard action figure line, while super-articulated figures were like a deluxe companion collection (which is kind of how they started out — though if you want to get technical, this came first.)

 The retail price on the main Star Wars figure line (most recently “The Vintage Collection”, which uses that impeccable Kenner packaging style, but not the Kenner figure style) has been gradually rising over the past 6 years or so due to a number of things—increased materials costs, rising labor costs in China, increased shipping and freight, LFL licensing fees, and maybe just a pinch of greed—so that what was once a premium price for a specialized sub-collection of figures in 2004 is now the norm.  Multiple points of articulation drive the price up; more molds need to be created for each part, more labor is necessary to assemble all the different parts, etc…When the price of figures is that high, parents aren’t going to buy their kids a bunch of them; they’re going to get them one or two, or just pass over a $10 3.75” Star Wars figure in favor of something larger that seems to be “more bang for the buck”. Or, for $5 more, they’ll just walk over to the electronics section in their Toys R Us and grab a $14.99 Wii game, counting on it to keep their kids occupied for hours. When that happens, the whole symbiotic relationship between Star Wars and Star Wars toys falls apart…which is bad for the whole franchise, as I’ve always seen Star Wars action figures, more than anything else, as the entry-level ambassador for Star Wars as a whole: they’re a cheap gateway drug into a much larger world.

This past weekend, the 2013 International Toy Fair began in New York City, and the Hasbro Star Wars presentation revealed that in addition to a $10 “collector”-targeted line of super-articulated Star Wars figures (“The Black Series”), there would now be a line of $5.99 figures, each with only 5 points of articulation, known as “Saga Legends” (a recycled name in the world of Star Wars figures)…and they’re manufactured with the same type of plastic as the vintage Kenner figures! The figure selection for the first wave or two consists of mostly AOTC/ROTS main characters (as its release was going to coincide with the postponed cancelled AOTC3D/ROTS3D releases)—Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Clonetroopers—but as the line goes on, it’ll include characters from all the movies and The Clone Wars. I don’t understand why Star Wars collectors (hardly a monolithic bunch, but filled with a loud and vocal minority of whiners) can’t see this as the best of both worlds—super-articulated figures as we’ve all grown accustomed to, and a much more affordable line for kids that, if it’s successful, will financially bolster the production budget of more “collector”-quality figures. The only bummer to me is that Hasbro didn’t shift to this model before TPM3D came out, so I could’ve had a chance to get a truly vintage-style Jar Jar figure, and not just a (mostly) great modern Jar Jar figure on a vintage Kenner card. Life would be dull if there was nothing left to hope for!

 When super-articulated Star Wars figures were first on the rise, there was a guy on the rebelscum.com forums whose sig line was “SA or GTFO!!”(“super articulated or get the f@$# out!!”)—My wife and I still have a laugh over that line…it’s so over the top, and it’s hard not to take it literally: the image of this guy roughly pushing somebody out of the room if they present him with a Star Wars figure incapable of moving its ankles, or bending its knees, is hilarious to me. I hope that dude accepts that lower-articulated Star Wars figures, like those in this set, aren’t a threat to him and his sweet, sweet SA figures. There’s no need for Kenner-articulated figures to GTFO, they can exist peacefully on the pegs alongside their fancy 14 points-of-articulation brothers and sisters…everybody wins!
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