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Mother of Anakin Skywalker actor Jake Lloyd details son’s battle with mental illness

Anakin Skywalker actor Jake Lloyd “loves” the “Star Wars” franchise, but hasn’t been involved in events commemorating the 25-year anniversary of “Star Wars: Episode 1 —The Phantom Menace” due to his battles with mental illness, according to his mother.

Lisa Lloyd told Scripps News her son’s struggles began a few years after the release of the 1999 revival of the “Star Wars” saga. Jake began working on the film as a promising 8-year-old newcomer.

His troubles first became apparent in high school where he expressed confusion about which “reality” he was in, his mom said. Doctors suggested Jake might be living with bipolar disorder, but treatments weren’t working. The young actor started hearing voices and claimed people with “black eyes” were staring at him on the street.

In March 2008, he left college and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, according to his mom. That diagnoses led him to depression.

In 2015, Jake had a brush with the law that included a high-speed South Carolina car chase. He was jailed, then moved to a psychiatric center for treatment.

When his 26-year-old sister died from natural causes, he was unable to “process” the loss and found himself in a bad place once more.

Jake’s issues came to a head during a March 2023 breakdown where he stopped his car in the middle of three lanes of traffic and wouldn’t move. That led to the child star’s commitment to a mental health facility, where he’s more than halfway through an 18-month treatment and doing “much better” than his mom expected.

“He is relating to people better and becoming a little bit more social, which is really nice,” she told Scripps. “It’s kind of like having more of the old Jake back, because he has always been incredibly social until he became schizophrenic.”

Jake is now said to be on medication that allows him to maintain focus long enough to watch movies, which he enjoys. That includes the “Star Wars” world in which he’s very much a part.

“He loves all the new ‘Star Wars’ stuff,” his mom told Scripps. “People think Jake hates ‘Star Wars.’ He loves it.”


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