GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Everything To Know About The Mandalorian's Shocking New Jedi Cameo

This week's cameo was a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.


Don't try to claim you saw that one coming, because you definitely did not. This week's episode of The Mandalorian, Chapter 20: The Foundling, filled in a key piece of backstory for Grogu. And in the process it gave us both a great cameo and also maybe the single most surprising example of one Star Wars thing making a reference to another Star Wars thing that we've ever seen.

This one's a real doozy.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Chapter 20: The Foundling.

Midway through this episode, the titular Mandalorian Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) heads off with Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) to try to rescue a young Mando who had been nabbed by a giant lizard bird. But Grogu has to stay behind with the Mandalorian known as The Armorer--and as he watches her work the forge, he appears to have a sort of post-traumatic stress flashback to the night Palpatine issued Order 66 and had his clone soldiers assault the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.

While this is likely pretty upsetting for Grogu to remember, it's illuminating for us--we see how he escaped Coruscant during the Purge. While everything looks pretty dire in the temple, with Grogu's companions struggling to hold on against the onslaught from the clone soldiers. The last of them dies sending Grogu into an elevator, with someone named Kelleran hopefully waiting on the other side.

And when the elevator doors open, a familiar face is standing there: Ahmed Best, who most folks know as the man who played Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. So that's dope. Best famously struggled with the, ah, rather unkind popular response to Jar Jar after The Phantom Menace was released in 1999, and it's nice to see him show up here for a fun extended action sequence.

But, somehow, this is about way more than just the guy who played Jar Jar showing up in a random role, because that in itself would not have been that big of a shock. And here's where we come to the big surprise: this Jedi, Kelleran Beq, is an existing Star Wars character who Best first played on the small screen in 2020.

The strange origin of Ahmed Best's Jedi character, Kelleran Beq

Ahmed Best as the Jedi Master Kelleran Beq on The Mandalorian.
Ahmed Best as the Jedi Master Kelleran Beq on The Mandalorian.

It hasn't been that unusual for the TV sector of the Star Wars franchise to make some pretty deep-cut references and even bring in characters who had never before been seen in live action. But the curious case of Kelleran Beq is a bit more curious than Rosario Dawson showing up as Ahsoka, because Jedi Master Kelleran Beq originated as the host of the Nickelodeon-style game show Jedi Temple Challenge, which streamed 10 episodes on the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel in 2020.

Imagine a Star Wars-themed Legends of the Hidden Temple and you should have a pretty good idea of what the Jedi Temple Challenge was like. But the in-universe premise is that this is a class at the Jedi Temple that young trainees have to attend. You can watch the full series run on YouTube right here.

Until now, Beq had never been used in anything else in any capacity.

Before I watched Chapter 20 of The Mandalorian, the idea that this character would be used on-screen in a canon story would have seemed outlandish, to say the least. But every other aspect of this cameo checks out. Ahmed Best popping up isn't weird, and since Jar Jar didn't use his face or real speaking voice, he could play any kind of character--why not a Jedi? And it even makes sense for Beq to be there. He teaches the younglings at the Jedi Temple on the game show, so if he were a canon character, he would probably be at the Jedi Temple caring about the younglings when they're being brutally murdered by the government.

And the specifics of where Beq came from are not material at all for this scene anyway. It's purely his origin that's shocking, and it's not as though anybody on The Mandalorian is gonna bring it up--Kelleran Beq may be canon now, but the Jedi Temple Challenge still isn't.

If you've read this far, however, you're now in that "I know about Kelleran Beq" club. And you now also know--truly, deeply--that there's nothing under the Star Wars umbrella that can't be brought into the canon under the right circumstances.

Phil Owen on Google+

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 26 comments about this story