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Liam Neeson is proud of Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace and defends Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best

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Liam Neeson is ‘proud’ to have starred in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn.

The film, a prequel to the original Star Wars movies, was released in 1999 and also starred Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Along with the rest of the prequel trilogy – Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith – it was largely criticised by die-hard fans.

The Taken star has no regrets about being part of the George Lucas-directed blockbuster.

He told Andy Cohen on SiriusXM: ‘I like the film. I’m proud of it and proud to have been a part of it.

‘I got to be a Jedi. I got to play with those wonderful lightsabers and stuff. It was terrific, Andy, it really was.’

Liam Neeson with Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace (Picture: LucasFilm)

Liam also stuck up for actor Ahmed Best who received most of the backlash for his comical, CGI character Jar Jar Binks, a Gungan commander who befriends Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker.

The actor felt Ahmed could be ‘the next Eddie Murphy’.

‘He came into a lot of criticism, I mean to the point where it really hurt his career, and I have to say when I was making that film…he was probably one of the funniest guys and talented guys I have ever worked with,’ Liam said.

‘And I still believe that.’

In 2018 Ahmed revealed he was nearly driven to suicide by the fiercely negative response to Jar Jar Binks.

Sharing a picture on Twitter with his son, the actor said: ’20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today.

‘This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about.

‘I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival.’

The actor was shocked by the hate actor Ahmed Best received over Jar Jar Binks (Picture: LucasFilm)

Meanwhile, there have been rumblings about an Obi-Wan spin off which could take place in two different time periods.

Ewan has said he is going to ‘enjoy’ having his own series more than the prequels, so he isn’t quite as nostalgic about them as Liam.

‘I’m just going to enjoy it all much more,’ he told ACE Universe.

‘[The prequels were] quite technically complicated, I remember. It was all blue screen and green screen.

‘It was hard to imagine it. But nowadays, things have moved on so much and I think a lot of what you see is going to be what we see on the set… I think it’s going to feel realer for us, the actors.’

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Credit: Original article published here.

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