Ever wondered why Jake Lloyd quit acting? Why do we not see him in films anymore?
You would think that Star Wars would be an added value in your life. Imagine as a young child, you get to play the kid version of Darth Vader. Unfortunately, this didn’t go the way he expected and he got super much criticism around him. Unforuntately, Star Wars ruined Jake Lloyd’s young life.
The Phantom Menace
Few actors have been as vilified as Jake Lloyd. When the long-awaited new Star Wars film Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in theaters, the criticism of the young actor was extremely harsh. I was small myself at the time and never thought there would be so much criticism. In the end, he just did what he had to do.
You would sometimes think that other people looked up to him because he ended up being allowed to podrace. Seriously though, this was one of the coolest scenes in the movie.
Now, of course, actors are used to their films receiving frequent criticism, but Jake Lloyd was just a child of nine during the filming of The Phantom Menace. The world can be harsh sometimes.
Jake Lloyd quit acting
Jake Lloyd got rid of all his Star Wars stuff and stopped acting. He did still voice Anakin a few times for a few games. Still, he collaborated on one last film. Not a Star Wars movie though but an independent racing drama Madison (2000). No “pod racing” this time, but breakneck speed in hydroplanes!
Unfortunately, the company that would release Madison went bankrupt before the film hit theaters. It wasn’t until 2005 that the film received a small premiere.
In 2012, Lloyd gave a few more interviews, including to the British tabloid The Sun. He told the newspaper that his classmates bullied him constantly, mostly out of jealousy. You know how students in schools can be. His classmates made lightsaber noises when he was around. This might be funny the first time but it went on and on. Even in high school and college. The desire to be in front of the camera was totally gone.
Everyone hates Anakin of the Prequels
Lloyd continued to attend Star Wars and comic conventions, talking to fans, but did so less and less. For hardcore Star Wars fans, Jake Lloyd is still the reason Episode I was disappointing. The fact that Lloyd sometimes said that starring in Star Wars was not always fun, the acting was but the aftermath was not, also earned him many hate reactions from fans. Star Wars is pretty much the most important thing there is, so if you don’t like it then by definition it’s your own fault! Probably many fans had to come back to this after the amazing but controversial The Last Jedi (2017).
Lloyd always stayed on his toes, as you can see in this infamous clip. The Australian interviewer wants to make a little joke about Lloyd’s short acting career, but he’s not really keen on that:
Honestly, I thought the interviewer was super rude to him. You could clearly see that Jake Lloyd wants to move on with his life without being reminded of his Star Wars history. Besides the conventions, which he attended less and less frequently, Lloyd remained “low profile” for a time. Well, that’s untill he got arrested.
Jake Lloyd arrested
The police spotted Lloyd driving at high speed (almost 190 mph) through Charleston (South Carolina) and then launched a chase. The actor was chased for many miles, hitting the gas pedal of his Nissan nice and deep again and almost ramming several cars and trucks. Finally, Jake drove through a fence, into a wooded area and came to a stop against a few trees, as he lost control of the wheel. Officers stated afterwards that the actor was driving extremely recklessly. He was arrested and charged with driving without a license, ignoring stop signs, resisting arrest and life-threatening driving.
He managed to avoid most of his sentence, but did visit a psychiatric clinic in 2016, seeking treatment for schizophrenia….
The Statement of Lloyd’s Mother
In January 2020, Lloyd’s mother shared information about her son’s mental health. This was done in a statement she released to Geeks News Now. In it, she expressed her gratitude to those who have supported Jake Lloyd over the years. And more importantly, she shared that Jake has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but unfortunately he also has a symptom called anosognosia. The last one is basically a lack of insight.
According to her, his condition worsened when his sister Madison passed away in 2018. Since then, he has moved closer to his family to get the help he needs.
It seems that Jake Lloyd shares similarities with his counterpart Anakin. They are both struggling due to tragic circumstances that were beyond their control. But unlike Anakin, a bright future is still possible for Jake Lloyd. I wish him all the best.