An Open-Letter Apology to Jake Lloyd, Kid Actor No More

Filmmaker George Lucas meets "Star Wars"-inspired Disney characters at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

Back in October, Disney announced its acquisition of Lucasfilm productions and subsequent plans to roll out new Star Wars movies in 2015. Some fans expressed cautious optimism, but it didn’t feel like any of us were truly excited. Things went badly last time we got our hopes up.

In fact, more than 15 years later, talk of new Star Wars flicks still drags a razor blade across the slowly healing wound George Lucas slashed into our psyches the second we heard Jar Jar Binks’s incomprehensible warbles and thought, while shuddering in disgust, “Oh, gaaaawd … What have those bastards done?!?!?!?”

But sometimes when people have endured a severe, abrupt disillusionment, they may lash out at almost any and every available target. While Star Wars fans can’t be faulted for post-Phantom  fury, that didn’t make it excusable to take it out on an 8-year-old. Let us not forget, we weren’t the only ones hurt by Lucas’s failure.

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Jake Lloyd as Young Anakin

We can glean from more recent interviews, that Jake Lloyd has made peace with, if not grown to appreciate, his role in the Episode I debacle. However, the erstwhile Anakin Skywalker and current 24-year-old has, for the most part, kept his distance from acting since starring in one of the most anticipated films in the history of everything. He doesn’t come right out and say it, even in this not-so-jovial interaction with an interviewer from four years back …

… but it would seem his withdrawal from the spotlight may be related to how many people felt entitled to crap on his head whenever they felt like it for years after Phantom Menace.

For this reason, perhaps Star Wars fans owe Jake Lloyd a collective apology.

Mr. Lloyd, on behalf of Star Wars fans everywhere, we’re sorry we went on the Internet and said you stink at acting so many times that it convinced the kids at your school to make lightsaber “whooosh” noises at you whenever you walked by. The sucky acting wasn’t your fault. Most 8-year-olds are terrible at acting. We’re sorry we treated you like we deserved an apology for Phantom Menace, when George Lucas is the one who always deserved the humiliation you’ve endured. We’re sorry you missed out on what might’ve been a lucrative and fulfilling acting career as an adult as a result of your public shaming. Most of all, we’re sorry we probably sort of ruined Star Wars for you.

To clarify, we do not apologize to Ahmed Best, provider of Jar Jar’s accursed squawking, who should’ve known better. We’re also still mad at Hayden Christensen, but that has as much to do with Jumper as it does Star Wars.

2 Comments

  1. Jeremy Thomas

    I agree completely. I personally grew up with Jake Lloyd being the exact same age as me when the film released, so as a child he was my hero. I preferred him as Anakin than Hayden to be honest and if he would have been able to hone his acting a bit and not face the bullshit he could have changed the fact that episode 2 and 3 reeked of Hayden Christensen’s terrible delivery of angst.

  2. IronDingo

    Furthermore, Star Wars, more so George Lucas, has ruined the kids childhood and potentially his adult life. The amount of hate and bullying he suffered because of this honestly breaks my heart for Jake, he is unable to face a camera, developed Schizophrenia at age 19, and now we all known of his police pursuit. He apparently pushed his mother to the ground and kicked her for ruining his life, but I think if anyone deserved that, it would be Lucas. I’m not even sure if George Lucas has apologised to the kid because not only is ruining an acting career and childhood bad enough, he ruined this kids love of Star Wars. And growing up watching the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy, that is some heavy stuff to turn a fan away from. To those who bullied this poor guy, you are truly horrible people and I hope you never claim to be decent, caring human beings. And to fellow Star Wars fans, I hope you felt big picking on an 8 year old kid. I know I’ve been picked on and for being open about my love of Star Wars, but that could never turn me away from it. You guys have turned a fan away and drove them down a very saddening path. Congratulations.

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