Mother Of ‘Star Wars’ Child Actor Jake Lloyd Shares Update On His Health & What Led Him To Quit Acting After ‘The Phantom Menace’

Jake Lloyd played Anakin Skywalker in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace and left the limelight shortly after the film’s release.

In a new interview, Lloyd’s mother, Lisa Lloyd, updated the public on her son and dispelled rumors that had plagued the Star Wars community for many years.

Lisa talked to Scripps News and said her son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2008 after struggling and talking about living in different realities, seeing people with “black eyes,” and mentioning having conversations with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

On top of that, Jake seemed to have a neurological condition called anosognosia, which causes a patient to be in denial about their symptoms.

“He didn’t think he needed to take medication because he wasn’t sick,” Lisa said. “He didn’t think he needed to go to the therapist because there’s nothing wrong with him.”

In 2015, Jake got in trouble with the law, leading deputies across a multi-county persecution that ended in a crash. Lisa hired an attorney to try to get her son out of jail and checked into a medical facility as he was off his medications. However, Lisa was told the hospital was out of beds and Jake spent 10 months in jail. In 2018, Jake’s sister, who appeared as an extra in The Phantom Menace, died of natural causes, which aggravated his condition.

Lisa said that in March 2023, Jake suffered “a full-blown psychotic break” when he asked her mom to stop the car in the middle of the street. Jake was then admitted to a mental health rehabilitation facility, where he has shown an improvement in the 10 months he’s been there.

Things are so much better that Jake can now watch movies, having watched Wonka recently.

“That was one of the things that we couldn’t do when he was off his medication was watch movies. He just didn’t have the attention span for it,” Lisa said.

Lisa also mentioned that Jake is a huge Star Wars fan and recently watched the Disney+ series Ahsoka. The former child actor received an action figure of the show’s star for his birthday.

“He loves all the new Star Wars stuff,” she says. “People think Jake hates Star Wars. He loves it.”

Lisa also dispelled the misconception that what led to Jake’s mental illness was the backlash The Phantom Menace received when it was released.

“It would have happened anyway,” Lisa said, noting the medical history of schizophrenia on Jake’s father’s side of the family. “I believe that it was genetic. And his psychiatrist also agrees that Jake was going to become schizophrenic.”

She continued, “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. 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.”

Lisa also clarified that Jake didn’t quit acting due to Star Wars as “it had to do with our family. And we were going through divorce.”

Although Lisa doesn’t see Jake returning to the Star Wars universe, she does recall he “loved filming Star Wars. He had so much fun.”

Before The Phantom Menace, Jake had starred in films like Jingle All the Way alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Apollo 11. On television, Jake appears in episodes of ER and The Pretender. His last film credit was in 2001’s Madison.

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger with Jake Lloyd on the set of the film 'Jingle All the Way,' directed by Brian Levant

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger with Jake Lloyd on the set of the film ‘Jingle All the Way,’ directed by Brian Levant

Murray Close/Sygma/Getty Images

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