The Mandalorian Season 3 Just Avoided a Common Fan Service Flub
Ahmed Best was the best choice.
The question of who saved Grogu from Order 66 has been looming over The Mandalorian since the first episode, and the interest only heightened in Season 2 when we saw brief flashbacks to where Grogu was on that fateful night.
The trailer for Episode 4 of Season 3, “The Foundling,” teased an extension of that flashback, and then the episode itself just went ahead and answered the question. We finally know that Grogu’s savior was Kelleran Beq.
But why was he chosen for the role? The fact that many fans didn’t recognize him may make this seem like a poor decision, but that’s actually the episode’s greatest strength. Beq, played by Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best, may not be one of the most recognizable Jedi, but he is one of the scant few we’ve seen in live-action since the end of the sequel trilogy. Best as Beq hosted Jedi Temple Challenge, the children’s game show released on Youtube in 2020.
The show was essentially Legends of the Hidden Temple with a Star Wars makeover, but it is considered canonical. In an interview with StarWars.com, Best revealed that Beq is “the first Jedi that we’ve seen that is dedicated to just teaching,” implying that he was probably the one who would have been hands-on with Grogu most of the time.
But the evidence for why Beq is the perfect choice isn’t limited to in-universe reasoning. He’s probably the one live-action Jedi that most Star Wars fans have never seen; though Jedi Temple Challenge is a fun watch, it’s not exactly full of essential lore, and many fans might not have even realized that it’s on YouTube. Beq is established in the Star Wars universe, but he’s not a mainstream character, which makes him an unexpected and enjoyable savior.
Then, of course, there’s the Gungan in the room: Jar Jar Binks. Best’s prequel character was loathed by fans, and bringing Best back as Beq evoked the conflicted nostalgia we feel when we see Order 66 flashbacks without being too obvious. It’s a reference without being fan service, plus it let Best re-enter the Star Wars galaxy with a character that fans can get behind.
Kelleran Beq was a surprise, but think about the thin needle The Mandalorian had to thread. They needed an established character who fans could get excited about, but the scene couldn’t feel like a forced reference. Beq wasn’t just the best option, but the only option.
The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 4 is now streaming on Disney+.