Star Wars Fans Did Wrong By Prequel Actor, Mother Of Controversial Star Speaks About Mental Issues

By Christopher Isaac | Published

Many Star Wars actors infamously have not had positive relationships with fans. Jake Lloyd had the dubious honor of being one of the first to experience this, with fans despising Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and in large part blaming eight-year-old Lloyd and his portrayal of young Anakin Skywalker. It led to long-term bullying even into his high school years. Jake has since infamously had a history of legal problems, but his mother, Lisa, says it was not harassment alone that led to this. She recently revealed her son also suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Jake Lloyd Started Having Hallucinations In High School

According to Jake Lloyd’s mother, his illness first began getting bad in high school, long after his Star Wars appearance. Though he showed odd behavior even at a young age, Lisa says it was as a teenager that he began having incidents of questioning his own reality. It soon became clear that he was having hallucinations of highly dangerous situations that felt incredibly real to him.

Even after Jake Lloyd had been diagnosed, Lisa says things only became worse. Jake did not believe he was sick and so refused medication and therapy, despite hearing voices and seeing disturbing images while fully awake. It culminated in 2015 when Jake’s erratic driving got police attention. He tried to elude them, but ultimately wound up crashing the vehicle. He would be sentenced to 10 months in jail.

Frustration Trying To Get The Star Wars Actor The Help He Needs

Lisa worked so hard to try and inform the jail staff her son needed medication. But Jake Lloyd was refused that treatment and was now separated from his closest supporter. “As a mom, you’re just pulling your hair out because your child needs help,” said Lisa. “You know that he’s sick. You know that he’s not going to get any better unless he gets some medication.”

Unfortunately, even post-jail, Jake Lloyd’s problems persisted far away from the world of Star Wars. The death of his sister in 2018 saw his condition worsen, even with attempts at treatment. He hallucinated about intruders breaking in and shooting him.

Then in 2023, with Lisa in the car, Jake had another traffic incident and turned his car off in the middle of three lanes of traffic. This time, rather than jail, he got admitted to a mental health rehab for 18 months, where he still is today.

Star Wars Is Not To Blame

phantom menace

However, can any of that really be traced back to harassment? Jake Lloyd’s mom doesn’t think Star Wars is to blame. “Everybody makes such a big deal about that. And it’s rather annoying to me because Jake was a little kid when that came out, and he didn’t really feel all that stuff because I didn’t let him online.” She says the paranoid schizophrenia was likely genetic and that a psychiatrist told her this was inevitable.

Star Wars Fans Can Be Cruel

star wars jar jar

So perhaps it is not how Star Wars fans acted in the past that matters most, but how they act now. Some still say Jake Lloyd’s role in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace “ruined the movie” alongside characters like Jar Jar Binks.

But many modern fans recognize the backlash against Star Wars actors is overblown and damaging real life people. Fellow Anakin Skywalker actor Hayden Christensen received a reprieve from fans to return for the limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi to reprise his role as Darth Vader. Perhaps Jake Lloyd just needs some similar compassion.

Jake Lloyd Is Still A Big Star Wars Fan

Lisa says that Jake Lloyd does not hate Star Wars, with his most recent favorite being the Disney+ Ahsoka series. She says he is still a fan and she would love for him to maybe return to take part in the franchise again someday. But for now, she says the priority is her son getting healthy and just being happy.