Several years back, a small movie was released. That movie was the first of a trilogy that told us the terrible truth about Anakin Skywalker’s descent to the dark side. That movie starred some kid as the young Darth Vader. Some kid who — has anybody seen that kid since?
Anyway, that young actor’s name was Jake Lloyd. Horribly miscast though he was (seriously, people, does anybody ever picture Darth Vader as a scrawny white guy when he’s so clearly a large black man?)…
… he did his best with the material. Or probably it was his best. I don’t know. Maybe he was phoning it in, 9-year-old style.
But where did he come from?
And more importantly, where did he go?
But “but where did he come from” is what we’re tackling first, so here’s a basic history of young Jake Lloyd. Born in 1989, Lloyd, towheaded little moppet that he was, tackled his first acting role on ratings giant ER as Jimmy Sweet because of course they’d call him Jimmy Sweet. Just look at him!
He later moved onto Unhook the Stars, which is a silly name for a movie, and Jingle All the Way, which is a silly name and a terrible movie (I’m told), and a role on The Pretender, which is a television series from the ’90s that everybody’s heard of but nobody watched.
Then. Boom! Fame! Super-fame! “You’re going to be Darth Vader,” they said to the kid. “Cool,” he replied, little knowing the fate in store for him.
That fate? A series of voice roles in Star Wars video games and a starring role in something called Madison, which is too boring to even recount here, suffice it to say it was released in 2005 and it’s 2013 now (unless you’re reading this in the future, I guess), so … yikes.
So, seriously: What happened?
Well, according to Wikipedia, knower of all things great and wide, Lloyd retired from acting, citing bullying by his classmates as a main reason. Because kids are assholes.
Also, the stress of doing up to 60 interviews a day was getting to him, but that seems like an exaggeration to me, because were there really 60 news/blog sources that wanted to talk to this kid?
Anyway, he moved on to a job at the mall in high school, which isn’t as depressing as fast food or porn, and then went off to college, where he studied film. Probably because the bullying had stopped by then because he totally doesn’t look like the kid from Star Wars anymore, so he was probably able to just convince everybody he had the same name.
Wikipedia, which never makes things up, also says that Lloyd destroyed his Star Wars memorabilia and won’t watch the films because they’re too “creepy,” but I think someone just misspelled “crappy.”
So there you go, folks: The kind of depressing life history of the poor bastard who played Darth Vader as a kid and then his mean classmates were jerks to him till he stopped acting altogether.