Ahmed Best’s triumphant return to Star Wars
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from The Mandalorian season 3 episode 4, “The Foundling.”
One of the major questions that have been asked since the introduction of ‘Baby Yoda’ aka Grogu in the first season of The Mandalorian is how did he manage to escape the purge during Order 66. Dozens of fans have theories citing everyone from Ahsoka Tano to Bariss Offee and everyone in between. It seems that the writer decided on a pretty much unknown figure in Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, who was portrayed by Ahmed Best.
Kelleran Beq was first introduced in the limited 10-episode series Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge, which was hosted by Ahmned Best in the role that he created of Kelleran Beq. This was a game series that allowed kids to run through obstacle courses to show the core Jedi principles such as strength, knowledge, and bravery. This show was short-lived but raised mixed praise and stayed out of the mainstream media given both its target audience and limited impacts on Star Wars canon… or so we thought.
Some may not have been aware that Ahmed Best also may have a cameo in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones as Achk Med-Beq in the OUtlander club. This cameo has been confirmed as related to the Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, which is slightly amusing as they are both played by the same actor.
The main highlight of the character in Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge was his use of a purple lightsaber similar to the one wielded by Mace Windu, though that lightsaber seems to be missing from The Mandalorian. Beq’s nickname was ‘Sabered Hand’ due to his skill with lightsabers, particularly with the one-handed use of the lightsabers. Ahmed best originally took inspiration from the Filipino martial art of escrima for his lightsaber. That seems to be still canon as Escrima can be used with multiple blades at the same time in a manner not dissimilar to the one demonstrated by Ahmed Best on the show.
Whether everyone from Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge is canon is unclear as of the moment, but it is nice to see that Ahmed Best is finally getting more of the scene time that he deserves. The actor received a lot of sharp critiques about his role in playing Jar Jar Binks and hopefully his time as Kelleran Beq can help even out the perception of him in the Star Wars community.
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