'Star Wars' child actor didn't quit acting due to 'Phantom Menace' backlash, had mental breakdown, mom says

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Ahead of nan 25th day of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” nan mother of Anakin Skywalker actor Jake Lloyd spoke to Scripps News about her son’s intelligence wellness struggles complete nan years and really he yet seems to beryllium a amended place.

Jake was only 8 years aged erstwhile George Lucas formed him arsenic a young Anakin successful “The Phantom Menace,” but he did not instrumentality pinch acting successful nan years that followed. Jake’s mother, Lisa, denies that her son’s determination to discontinue nan occupation had thing to do pinch “The Phantom Menace” being nan taxable of aggravated backlash from “Star Wars” fans astatine nan time.

“It would person happened anyway,” Lisa said, pointing to Jake being diagnosed pinch schizophrenia successful 2008. “I judge that it was genetic. And his psychiatrist besides agrees that Jake was going to go schizophrenic.”

“I protected him from nan [‘Star Wars’] backlash,” she added. “He was conscionable riding his motorcycle outside, playing pinch his friends. He didn’t know. He didn’t care. Everybody makes specified a large woody astir that. And it’s alternatively annoying to maine because Jake was a small kid erstwhile that came out, and he didn’t really consciousness each that worldly because I didn’t fto him online.”

“People opportunity he discontinue because of ‘Star Wars.’ Well, that’s not true. It didn’t person thing to do pinch ‘Star Wars.’ It had much to do pinch our family. And we were going done a divorce,” she continued. “Things were unsettled and benignant of rough. And Jake didn’t look to beryllium having a batch of nosy auditioning anymore. Jake loved filming ‘Star Wars.’ He had truthful overmuch fun. I would emotion for him to get good capable to beryllium capable to do a small spot of something, and I’m judge he would possibly for illustration to do that. He couldn’t astatine this point, but you ne'er cognize really overmuch he’s going to improve. So we’ll see.”

Jake celebrated his 35th day connected March 5. His mother said he “started having immoderate problem successful precocious school,” wherever he appeared to show early signs of schizophrenia.

“He started talking astir ‘realities.’ He didn’t cognize if he was successful this reality, aliases a different reality. I didn’t really cognize precisely what to opportunity to that,” Lisa said.

Jake was diagnosed pinch paranoid schizophrenia successful 2008 aft dropping retired of college. Lisa revealed to Scripps that he had a intelligence break past twelvemonth aft he stopped driving a car successful nan mediate of nan roadworthy and caused a postulation jam.

“He said he wanted to move nan car off. And he turned nan car disconnected successful nan mediate of nan 3 lanes, and we were successful nan mediate lane,” Lisa recalled. “There was a batch of yelling and screaming. The constabulary sewage there, and they asked Jake immoderate questions. He was talking to them, but nary of it made sense. It was each connection salad.”

Jake is now successful his 10th period of an 18-month enactment astatine a intelligence wellness rehabilitation facility, wherever Lisa said “he’s doing overmuch amended than I expected.”

“He is relating to group amended and becoming a small spot much social, which is really nice,” Lisa added. “It’s benignant of for illustration having much of nan aged Jake back, because he has ever been incredibly societal until he became schizophrenic.”

The 2 moreover celebrated Jake’s day this period together pinch a travel to nan movies to spot “Wonka.”

“He really loved it,” Lisa said. “That was 1 of nan things that we couldn’t do erstwhile he was disconnected his medicine was watch movies. He conscionable didn’t person nan attraction span for it.”

Lisa added that Jake is besides keeping up pinch nan “Star Wars” beingness and is simply a instrumentality of nan Disney+ bid “Ahsoka.” “He loves each nan caller ‘Star Wars’ stuff,” Lisa said. “People deliberation Jake hates ‘Star Wars.’ He loves it.”