Jar Jar Binks was a male Gungan military commander and politician who played a key role during the Invasion of Naboo and the Clone Wars that culminated in the fall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire.
Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks’s role in Star Wars progressively diminished with each new prequel film — so much so that he can only be seen briefly at the end of Revenge of the Sith. He appeared at Padmé Amidala’s funeral on Naboo and, according to a novel released over 10 years later, likely never left the planet after that.
Now an episode of “The Mandalorian” season three shows for the first time how a padawan Baby Yoda — aka Grogu — escaped the Jedi temple during the “Revenge of the Sith” era, but why the delay?
Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and the clones followed Order 66 and attacked all Jedi and the younglings. Viewers — and Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) — first learned that Grogu had been present at the temple that day during season two, but episode four of the third season shows through Grogu’s eyes how that terrifying day went. He was saved by one Jedi in particular, and that character is played by the same actor who also starred as Jar Jar Binks in the prequels! Here’s how it went down.
Which Jedi Saved Grogu From the Jedi Temple?
As we see in a flashback, Grogu was rescued by the Jedi Kelleran Beq. The episode marks the character’s first appearance in a Star Wars story, but his first onscreen appearance was actually as the host of the Star Wars Kids digital game show “Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge.” The 10-episode YouTube series, released in 2020, featured teams of two kids competing in Jedi-themed challenges.
Though Kelleran’s appearance in that show wasn’t technically a Star Wars story, it did give us some background info on Jedi Master Kelleran. His nickname is the Sabered Hand, and he previously served on the starship Athylia. In “Jedi Temple Challenge,” he uses a purple lightsaber as a tribute to Mace Windu, played by Samuel L. Jackson in the prequels, the first Black person to portray a Jedi. However, Kelleran does not have a purple lightsaber in “The Mandalorian.”
Who Plays Jedi Kelleran Beq in “The Mandalorian”?
Kelleran Beq — in both “Jedi Temple Challenge” and “The Mandalorian” — is played by Ahmed Best, who first joined the Star Wars universe in 1999’s “The Phantom Menace” as Jar Jar Binks, an alien who’s perhaps the most controversial Star Wars character of all time. Jar Jar was primarily added for comic relief, which fans and critics tended to find ridiculous, if not offensive. However, over time the character became classic because of how ridiculous he is, with many fans coming up with theories that Jar Jar was truly the ultimate villain behind the terror in the galaxy.
And while some derided that Jar Jar was just “for kids,” Best has said he’s actually very proud of that fact. In a 2020 interview with Star Wars Insider, he explained, “Kids always gave me the positivity I looked for when I was playing Jar Jar.” He added, “George Lucas was really about the kids and making sure they were fans of the movies. He would say that if you get the kids, then you have fans for the next 20 years.”
Will Kelleran Beq return in another series? Well, we don’t know what happened to him after he rescued Grogu and the Empire came to power. In 2022’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series, viewers learned that Obi-Wan isn’t the only Jedi in hiding between the end of “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope,” so it’s possible Beq could pop up during shows set during that time, like, for instance, season two of “Andor.”
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