CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 15:  Ahmed Best is seen onstage at Star Wars Celebration at McCormick Place Convention Center on April 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/FilmMagic)

Image Source: Getty / Daniel Boczarski

The newest episode of “The Mandalorian” season three, released on March 22, shows for the first time how a padawan Baby Yoda — aka Grogu — escaped the Jedi temple during the “Revenge of the Sith” era. That’s when 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.

STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE, Jar Jar Binks, 1999 (image upgraded to 17.7 x 8.6)

Image Source: Everett Collection

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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