In the world of Star Wars, the character of Young Anakin brought to life in the prequel Star Wars: The Phantom Menace may be one of the most controversial amongst fans of the franchise.
Anakin, played by Jake Lloyd when he had just turned 10 years old was extremely disappointing for many fans for a variety of reasons. He was among many actors and characters that received public and private contempt from the passionate Star Wars fanbase.
Sadly, fan disappointment is the least of his concerns currently. Lloyd’s mother, Lisa, recently announced that Lloyd, who is now 30, has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Regardless of how you feel about his character in the film, it certainly unfortunate that the actor has been afflicted with such difficult circumstances.
Lisa Lloyd shared the announcement with Geek News Now recently stating:
“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.”
To clarify Lisa’s statement, Lloyd’s sister, Madison, died in her sleep at the age of 26 in 2018, which has added significantly to the actor’s difficulties with maintaining his mental health.
Regarding anosognosia, it is a common sympton for people who suffering from mental illness that means they are unaware of their own mental health issues or that they can’t understand or address their mental illness with any degree of accuracy.
Although Jake left acting two years after the film at the age of 12, he was subjected to quite a bit of online and real life bullying related to his role in the film. Fans and critics who took aim at the young actor even drew the ire of Mark Hammill.
Jake has had several legal run-ins over the years including assaulting his mother who declined to press charges back in 2015. Following the incident, he was involved in a high speed chase with South Carolina police after running a red light. He was subsequently charged with reckless driving, driving without a license, and resisting arrest.
Following his incarceration for the South Carolina incident, he was transferred to a medical facility to receive psychiatric treatment in 2016. He has since continued to work with the support of family, friends, and medical staff on improving his condition. Of course, we wish him all the best in his struggle with mental illness. May the Force Be With You Jake.