24. Michael Peña as Jar Jar Binks
“Why would you recast Jar Jar Binks?” I’m sure someone is asking it, and it’s a fair question considering the critical response to the character and legitimate allegations of racist connotations in the way it was written. However, Jar Jar Binks is still a key piece of the Star Wars universe, and actor Ahmed Best deserves recognition for his performance.
The writing provided for Jar Jar Binks is definitely up for criticism, but Ahmed Best delivered things as he was instructed and left a lasting impact that was still positive for many fans who got to see the prequel trilogy in their younger years. If the role were to be recast it would need some changes, particularly to deal with the racism in the way the character was written.
When considering who might take on a reworked version of Jar Jar Binks, few feel more ideal for this unique sidekick position than Michael Peña. While he’s had major roles in films as varied as Crash, World Trade Center, Shooter, American Hustle, and The Martian, Michael Peña is most known today for his performances in Ant-Man and the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Peña’s fast-talking and quick-witted performances were comedic gold in both movies, and it’s that same kind of performance that he could bring to a recast and re-imagined Jar Jar Binks for Star Wars.