Jake Lloyd’s mother details her son’s mental health struggles and what he really thinks about Star Wars

Jake Lloyd’s mother details her son’s mental health struggles over the years and what he really thinks of Star Wars.

George Lucas handpicked Jake Lloyd to play young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace out of thousands of kids. However, time hasn’t been kind to Lloyd, as the actor has faced a variety of mental and legal issues, which some believed were exacerbated by the negative reaction to The Phantom Menace.

Jake Lloyd’s mother, Lisa, recently spoke with Scripps News to provide an update on her son and to set the record straight on what he really thinks of Star Wars.

She explained that Jake first started having issues in high school when he began talking about “realities” and not knowing whether he was in this reality or a different one. One doctor suggested that he might have bipolar disorder, but the medications didn’t work and the delusions got worse. He even had to drop out of college after missing too many classes, all the while telling his mother that people were following him. He was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but when the medications stopped working or he decided to self-medicate, he found himself in trouble with the law. Things got even worse with the unexpected death of his younger sister. “He just couldn’t handle it,” Lisa said. “He didn’t know how to process it. Someties he would just start saying that he really missed Madison. That’s about as much of a conversation as we’d have about it.

One year ago, Lisa said that Jake suffered a full-blown psychotic break when driving home from McDonald’s with her. “He said he wanted to turn the car off. And he turned the car off in the middle of the three lanes, and we were in the middle lane,” Lisa explained. “There was a lot of yelling and screaming. The police got there, and they asked Jake some questions. He was talking to them, but none of it made sense. It was all word salad.” Thankfully, Jake wasn’t sent to jail, but rather ended up in a mental health rehabilitation facility which seems to be helping quite a lot.

He’s doing much better than I expected. He is relating to people better and becoming a little bit more social, which is really nice. It’s kind of like having more of the old Jake back, because he has always been incredibly social until he became schizophrenic.

Lisa also commented on her son’s thoughts towards Star Wars. “He loves all the new Star Wars stuff,” she said. “People think Jake hates Star Wars. He loves it.” She also disagreed with the belief that the reaction to The Phantom Menace contributed to Jake’s mental illness. “It would have happened anyway,” she said. “I believe that it was genetic. And his psychiatrist also agrees that Jake was going to become schizophrenic.” Lisa also stated that she did her best to shield her son from the prequel backlash.

I protected him from the backlash. He was just riding his bike outside, playing with his friends. He didn’t know. He didn’t care,” Lisa said. “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 added that her son didn’t quit acting because of Star Wars but more because of family issues, as she was going through a divorce at the time. “People say he quit because of ‘Star Wars.’ Well, that’s not true. It didn’t have anything to do with ‘Star Wars.’ It had more to do with our family,” she explained. “And we were going through a divorce. Things were unsettled and kind of rough. And Jake didn’t seem to be having a lot of fun auditioning anymore.

Although Jake still has a ways to go, the future is looking brighter. “We’re in a lot better place. And we do have a lot of things to look forward to,” Lisa said. “We all love Jake, and we want to be around him. I just want him to be happy.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/jake-lloyd-star-wars-the-phantom-menace/

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