This young actor could have become a world star, but this movie ruined Jake Lloyd's career – Cinema News

Playing the young Anakin Skywalker in Episode I of the Star Wars saga, Jake Lloyd suddenly gained international fame. But that's where his film career ended.

In 1999, 15 years after seeing Darth Vader die in the arms of his son Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi, fans of the Star Wars saga eagerly waited to witness his birth. Directed by George Lucas, three new episodes of the famous franchise promised to tell the public about the origin of the most popular villain in cinema.

Years before he became the dark lord of the Sith as we know it, Vader was still a boy from Tatooine and went by the name Anakin Skywalker.

World famous character

Particularly coveted given the scale of the event, the role of Jedi apprentice was enough to propel the lucky man into the Hollywood firmament for the rest of his career. But fate unfortunately decided otherwise for the interpreter of young Anakin.

It was the American actor Jake Lloyd, then about ten years old, who was entrusted with the responsibility of portraying the prestigious character. Known only for playing in Nick Cassavetes' film Pick Up the Stars and in the Christmas comedy The Toy Run alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, the boy therefore embarked on Lucas' galaxy far, far away in the company of Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor (among others).

Lucasfilm doo

If The Phantom Menace experienced a real triumph when it was shown in cinemas, even becoming the second biggest success of all time behind Titanic, this sudden popularity did not have a positive impact on Jake Lloyd's daily life, on the contrary.

“They imitated the sound of a lightsaber.”

Indeed, as the young actor stated years later, his role in the Star Wars saga and his new superstar status brought him a lot of bullying from his school friends:

“The other kids were really mean to me.”he trusted in 2012, according to the Daily mail.

“They imitated the sound of a lightsaber every time they saw me. It was crazy. My whole schooling was hell, and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day.”

Lucasfilm doo

The fact is that Jake Lloyd practically never set foot on a film set after his involvement in the Star Wars saga (except in 2001 in the drama Madison with Jim Caviezel).

After trying to study psychology, he later had a run-in with the law, getting arrested for speeding in 2015 and jailed. In 2016, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was placed in a psychiatric facility for a while, before returning to his family for treatment at home.

(Re)discover the trailer for “The Phantom Menace”…

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