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Family Give Update On Health Of Star Wars Actor Jake Lloyd

Being a child actor isn’t easy. Portraying the younger version of Darth Vader in Star Wars was, in hindsight, probably too much to ask of any actor of such a young age. Nevertheless, George Lucas cast Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker in 1999’s The Phantom Menace. The actor would appear in only one Star Wars film. But, from there, Lloyd found himself propelled down his own dark path. A recent statement from his family sheds some additional light on Lloyd’s troubles.

The Phantom Menace

Much of the criticism surrounding The Phantom Menace centered on Lloyd’s acting. In most ways unfairly, the young actor was thus thrust into a negative spotlight. After that, unfortunately, Jake set off on a self-destructive, downward spiral. A high speed police chase in 2015 led to a psychiatric arrest. Three years later, the “shattering” death of his sister in 2018 drove Jake Lloyd from Hollywood’s gaze for good. In speaking with friend of That Hashtag Show Dave Gremillion at, however, Lloyd’s mother Lisa provided a positive update on her son’s health and well-being.

Family Statement regarding Jake Lloyd

We would like to thank everyone for their kind words, their support, and goodwill. Jake has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but unfortunately he also has a symptom called anosognosia which causes a lack of insight into his illness. This only adds to the struggle he faces, which has been very difficult after the tragic loss of his younger sister, Madison. He has moved closer to his family and we are all working hard to help him with this. He is still a kind and caring person and we hope to have him back to his fun and entertaining self as soon as possible. Jake will continue to make progress with the love and support you continue to show.”

Jake Lloyd; Star Wars
Anakin Skywalker actor Jake Lloyd. (Image credit unknown)

Like his co-star Ahmed Best, and later fellow Star Wars actor Kelly Marie Tran, Jake Lloyd became the target of unwarranted hatred and cruelty. He is now thankfully on a path of progress, surrounded by those he loves. That should be welcome news to all, true Star Wars fans. We certainly wish Jake and his family all the best as he continues on his journey.

[UPDATE: In response to several comments received, I’ve amended some of my wording as some thought I meant to suggest that Phantom Menace backlash was the root cause of Jake’s Schizophrenia. Of course that was not my intention. For more information on the topic of Schizophrenia, please visit the Mayo Clinic’s website HERE.]


By JJ Goodman

Lawyer by trade, writer by passion. Author of 'The Deep Space Chronicles' series available at, a rambling blog at, and musings on all things 'Star Wars' here at That Hashtag Show.

31 replies on “Family Give Update On Health Of Star Wars Actor Jake Lloyd”

A sad story. I hope the best for Jake and his family. True Star Wars fans, by the way, realize the Prequels are so far away from being true Star Wars movies they dismiss them entirely without picking at Jake or other actors who had no idea what they were getting into. If the Prequels had been released before the original Star Wars, there never would have even been three of them. They’re bad movies.

Wow that is a complete lie 1,2 and 3 are fantastic movies you are an insult to George Lucas he loved those movies and because of your hate he sold it to disney it’s you original elitists who killed stat wars

“Being a child actor isn’t easy… sent him on a self-destructive path”, etc.

Mr. Goodman, please, I really think you need to do more research on Schizophrenia syndrome in order to stop spreading Hollywood misinformation that dates back to pre-scientific 19th century speculation and superstition.

Schizophrenia is NOT caused by trauma. There is no such thing as a “mental” realm in nature. It is a severe brain disease that is randomly visited upon people just like MS or Parkinson’s. It’s not the victims’ fault or due to things that happen to you. It’s physical damage to the prefrontal cortex at the cellular level. Anosognosia is caused specifically by damage to the amygdala. Please please get informed and do your job as a journalist. Please. 6 million American victims alone desperately need brain healthcare, and pretending Schizophrenia isn’t a brain disease doesn’t do anything to prevent the immense suffering and violence. It just saves insurance companies money.

I hate it when people try to say that when people make mistakes that it isn’t their fault and blame their mistakes on their mental illnesses but the truth is that when a person makes a mistake it is not just their mental illness that is to blame its the things that others do to them (like bullying them), but its ultimately up to oneself to control their own actions.

Jimmy – I think you’re missing Johann’s point. As Johann correctly states, schizophrenia is a physical, measurable brain disease…not a set of behaviors and certainly not a set of decisions or mistakes. If a person with Parkinson’s spilled a glass of milk because they were having uncontrollable tremors, would you say that it is a “mistake” that is “their fault” and that they should “control their own actions”…? Would you say that to a person who had Multiple Sclerosis after they fall down a flight of stairs? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing here, and it’s not a good look. It sounds like you’re fortunate enough to not have a lot of history or knowledge with this type of serious brain disease. That being the case, I’d suggest either reading up about the science, or at least defaulting to a position of empathy if you’re going to get involved in these conversations. You never know…like any of us, you may someday find yourself diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other brain illness that is out of your control. If that happens, you will hope that more people approach these subjects with compassion instead of ill informed judgments about “making choices” and “taking responsibility,” etc. Peace.

Johann, like you said, there is no “mental” realm in nature. As such, we can infer that brain diseases are induced by a cause. Keep in mind that what causes the deteriorating cells that cause schizophrenia is relatively unknown within the scientific community. Same for multiple sclerosis, although I admittedly don’t know about Parkinson’s. Therefore, saying that trauma, and stress caused by trauma (which has proven negative effects on the mind), has nothing to do with schizophrenia is actually more detrimental than what the author of this post implied (and didn’t explicitly say, either). Good luck out there, I appreciate that you took time for a cause you believe in, and we need more people who are willing to do the same.

They keep saying less of Darth Vader is good.WRONG!! They should make a whole movie about him. After Episode 3 or 4. James Earl Jones isn’t young. Now is the time.

I just saw The Phantom Menace the other day and I thought it was such a great movie and Jake Lloyd did really excellent in it. I don’t know why there’s such a hate? I wish him well.

I totally agree with you. Jake was adorable in that movie! Wish I could give him a hug! I wish him only the best of life. 💕💕💕

If your gonna talk about the hatred bullshit,make sure you say where it originated from.Its already been proven that it was the media like you who perpetuated that crap!Stop spreading the lies.I’m glad to see hes getting the help he needs.

Dont compare what this young man is going through with the justified outrage from fans not wanting to see a movie about a fucking mechanic.

That’s just sad news, suffering from mental illness myself, I understand and know it’s not easy. Especially with the hateful trolls online that just type hate because they can remain anonymous. Star wars Phantom Menace was an excellent show, and proved it with its overall earnings. Lately, it seems that most social online sites have done nothing in America and other countries but spread hate and caused numerous people to even commit suicide. It mainly started with the spewing hate from CERTAIN HIGH PROFILE TWITTER USERS, like trump. People think it’s ok to lash out and spread all kinds of hatred, bigotry and sexism since our supposed leader does daily. We are currently in a bad situation and our young are bearing the brunt of most of the hatred allowed to spread unimpeded. We are sliding deeper and deeper into the gutter on a daily basis.

There are a lot of false ideas out there about the prequels. Even people that loved them think, “Well I like them, but I guess most people don’t”. FALSE. The prequels were financial successes, they are rated well by the fans, and if you look at almost any prequel-related videos on YouTube you see the ‘likes’ far outweigh the ‘dislikes’. The truth is that by any measure the prequels are loved. It is only the trolls and disgruntled people who, in the minority, post a lot more in comments and give a false impression. The prequels added a huge amount of great stuff to SW – and I say this as a fan since the original came out.

Lol there is a HUGE difference between something that ‘sold well’ and something that is actually quality. Episodes 1-3 were not good movies. And people that have the ability to critically think, as for themselves, can see all of the issues with them quite clearly. Just because you’re one of the millions that chugged the swill and enjoyed it doesn’t make them good, or you correct.

Actually it’s all in the eye of the beholder, and your statement doesn’t make you anymore correct either. So quite complaining about star wars, this about an actor with a serious illness.

The kid was fine, and a ted the same in “Jingke all the way”. He’s rich and famous, and should not care what people say. This is rediculous. Not many people hated him, and they got over the prequels complaining. Now with these horrible Disney sequels, the prequels look great!

OMG you’re just reporting this NOW? Jake as been a “train-wreck” for years. Thanks for forgetting that Fox cast him in “Jingle All the Way” with Arnold.

Both arguments are fallicious as they both assume a false causality. But, your argument is far worse. Trying to instigate compassion is never bad. The facts of your argument do not remove the fact that he and his family suffered trauma at the hands of hateful, horrible, thoughtless people. You are giving those people an out. That is unconscionable. He suffered abuse as a young child before the signs of schizophrenia appeared.

How long are people going to troll the author?
Good article, thanks.
Too bad about Jake, hope he will stay alright.

Child labor was banned in almost very other professional . Now it’s time for acting. This kind of self-destruction of child stars has happened so many times, that category of actor should be next up for CGI replacement. If you can do it with old men, kids shouldn’t be difficult.

I have a mental illness myself, and ask any psychiatrist/doctor and they will tell you, some people are more prone to getting a mental illness due to genetics. Sometimes all it takes is a catalyst to bring that illness to the forefront. Such as a close sudden death, a severe injury or even SEVERE BULLYING. So the illness might have already been there under the surface, but it may have never manifested itself without a strong catalyst to bring it to the forefront. That is what happened with me. Mental illness runs in my family, and a bad relationship with a parent in my teens brought it to the forefront and sent me into 2 suicide attempt and a serious diagnosis of Bi Polar with severe anxiety disorder. Plus my sister was fine until 40, when she lost a newborn child, that brought out a severe case of schizophrenia. Sometimes it just takes the wrong trauma at the wrong time. Most cases like this are genetic though, which means there is a family history. It’s just a fact of life unfortunately. We don’t know what brought on his illness, but it could have been all the personal insults and bullying. Which is why you should always put your best foot forward. It wasn’t his fault. He was hired by someone else and paid by someone else and was still a child. Nobody should have lashed out at a child, the director, maybe, studio, maybe. But people don’t realize this was a child with a growing brain still trying to understand and navigate a harsh business and some of those comments would send an adult over the edge, let alone a young child. People just don’t realize how much weight there words carry to a young impressionable actor, especially when it was this one’s first movie.

These comments, with exceptions, represent quite well the small-mindedness and vitriol that has plagues the Star Wars fan community. First of all, stfu making any of this about Trump, as if he created negative sentiment in social media. For the love of God, stop allowing mainstream media to manipulate your perception through fear and guilt you infantile sheep. Now that I have that out of the way, I can’t believe that anyone has to explain to any of you with an IQ above 67 that what is good or bad in the realm of art is an opinion, and we all come to different conclusions based on how it makes is feel as individuals. Arguing that a movie is just good or bad is intellectually abhorrent in the worst way. Regarding the prequels, I’d agree that some of the acting was mediocre, and a fair amount of the dialogue seemed nonsensical, but overall it was great storytelling and I enjoyed the continuity in hindsight of episodes 3-5. The Clone Wars, General Grievous and Count Dooku, just to name a few of the better aspects, can all be found here. I think that most of us placed an expectation on these films to create the same aesthetic magic that the original trilogy did, and quite frankly, that was a huge mistake.

Wishing all the best to Jake and his family. Stay strong. Your Sister will always be with you in heart and spirit. I hope the future brings great things your way.

I respect all your opinions, personally, I have a very fond memory about this movie. I fell through a glass window on a military base in Japan and severed the ulnar nerve in my dominant arm. I’m a graphic artist by trade and spent 6 weeks recuperating after having 8″ of nerve removed from my leg to attempt to save my hand. I finally got to go outside so my wife and I went to see this movie. I had my whole arm sticking out in a cast and we had a blast. Thank God I Had something else to think about, other than the possibility I may never make art again! I’m finally starting to get the feeling back in half of my hand. Thanks Jake For Making Me Smile.

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