Share this @internewscast.com
From Episode 1, The Mandalorian has always been about celebrating Star Wars. Pretty much every episode takes a bizarre, under appreciated, and/or straight-up maligned piece of Star Wars lore and turns it into something worth getting excited about. The show has incorporated elements from ’80s TV movies, made Boba Fett a badass, and finally given R5-D4 — a.k.a. the droid that blew his motivator at a Jawa yard sale — something exciting to do. But “Chapter 20: The Foundling” may contain the most surprising and warranted redemptive role in the show’s history.
This is the episode that redeemed Jar Jar Binks. Let’s talk about Kelleran Beq. SPOILERS ahead!
Who is Kelleran Beq on The Mandalorian?
Kelleran Beq was a Jedi Master who was active during the Clone Wars and was present at the Jedi Temple during the execution of Order 66. As we learn in “The Foundling,” it was Beq who got Grogu off of Coruscant, saving him from the brainwashed clonetroopers as they hunted and executed every Jedi in sight.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Kelleran Beq, though. The character previously appeared as — and this will surprise every adult Star Wars fan who doesn’t have children — the host of a Star Wars game show web series called Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge.
Beq appeared as the host for all 10 episodes. It all makes sense, y’know? Who better to guide Grogu through his own Jedi Temple challenge than the host of Jedi Temple Challenge?
As for Kelleran Beq’s ultimate fate, that remains unknown. The last we see of him in the episode is in a flashback, piloting a ship whisking Grogu away from Coruscant and towards a new, unrevealed destination. That flashback takes place roughly 30 years ago, so, a lot’s happened to Beq since then.
Who plays Kelleran Beq in The Mandalorian?
All plot development aside, this is what’s really cool about Kelleran Beq and his suddenly massive importance to the mythos: he’s played by Ahmed Best. Yep, he’s played by the same performer who provided the movement and voice for Jar Jar Binks in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Best first appeared as Kelleran Beq in 2020 as the host of Jedi Temple Challenge, but The Mandalorian offers the actor and character a new level of notoriety. Now Best isn’t just the host of a kids’ game show on YouTube. He’s a legit, lightsaber-carrying Jedi Master as seen in a crucial piece of Star Wars canon — and he’s the Jedi responsible for saving Grogu’s life.
This is such a heartwarming and much-deserved development because of how maligned Jar Jar Binks was for the first decade of his existence. The character was always controversial and the backlash was so severe that Best almost didn’t make it out alive. It’s not until recently that Binks’ role in Star Wars has been reevaluated, as the fans who were kids in 1999 have become adults. Ahmed Best has become a beloved member of the Star Wars family, especially after he opened up about the mental health struggles that the prequels led to in the ’00s.
Now Ahmed Best can claim to play two important characters in Star Wars. There’s the iconic Jar Jar Binks — and you can’t say Jar Jar is not iconic; and now he has Kelleran Beq, a Jedi Master who’s just been introduced to an even wider audience. And unlike Jar Jar Binks, Kelleran Beq isn’t wearing a mask or covered in CG. Beq’s face is Ahmed Best’s face. Now when Best is recognized for being in Star Wars, it’s more likely he’ll be recognized for playing Kelleran Beq. That’s Ahmed Best saving Grogu’s life — and that’s a beautiful thing.