Will ‘Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge’ Give Ahmed Best the Redemption He Deserves?

Disney+ announced a new Star Wars themed game show today. Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge will premiere in 2020 on the streaming service, which is home to the original series The Mandalorian and streaming rights to the Star Wars films. Ahmed Best, star of the prequels will host the game show.  

Ahmed Best - June 1999
Ahmed Best weeks after the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace in 1999 | Marion Curtis/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Disney+ sent out a press release with the first details of the Jedi Temple Challenge today. In addition to explaining how a Star Wars game show will work, it raised the question: Could Ahmed Best finally come out on top after years of abuse? 

What is ‘Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge’?

According to the press release, the game show will test contestants’ Star Wars knowledge and put them through physical challenges. Sort of like Double Dare with a Star Wars themed obstacle course. These will be kid-friendly challenges mimicking legendary locations from the films.

Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge on Disney+
Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge | Disney+

“This is definitely a kids game show like no other,” says Lucasfilm’s senior director of Online Content & Programming, Mickey Capoferri, in the press release. “The various challenges will test a Padawan’s connection to the Force in three locations — a forest planet, on board a Jedi star cruiser, and inside a Jedi Temple — immersing them and the audience in a fun, humorous, and exciting competition.”

Why do fans hate Ahmed Best?

When Ahmed Best landed a role in the long-awaited fourth Star Wars film, he must have thought he’d made it in Hollywood. He would be playing a computer animated character in the next technological breakthrough from Industrial Light and Magic. That character turned out to be Jar Jar Binks.

Kids loved Jar Jar Binks but the kids who grew up with the original had already grown up and they hated him. Jar Jar Binks may have been a misguided idea by George Lucas, but all Best did was play the character he was asked to play. He did get to reprise the role in Episode II and Episode III, but endured so much abuse over his role that it impacted not only his career, but his emotional state. He spoke out about his suicidal thoughts in 2018.

Jedi Temple Challenge casts Best not only as host, but as a Jedi Master mentoring the contestants. It’s a promotion for sure, and Best will finally end up using The Force. 

More about ‘Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge’

Ahmed Best is not alone in the temple. He’ll have a droid sidekick with the voice of Mary Holland. Lucasfilm and Endeavor Content team up to bring you Jedi Temple Challenge from executive producers Dean Houser, David Chamberlin and Mike Antinoro. 

Ahmed Best in 2019
Ahmed Best attends the Robot Chicken season 10 premiere | Erik Voake/Getty Images for Adult Swim

Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge brings together the best of Star Wars – competitive spirit, harrowing obstacles and a hero’s triumph over challenges – in a totally new format for the franchise,” said Dan Silver, vice president, Originals – Unscripted Content, Disney+. “A game show set in the Star Wars galaxy is a perfect fit for Disney+.”

If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts:

  1. How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.
  2. Lifeline link: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
  3. Crisis Text Line link: https://www.crisistextline.org/