The force was NOT with Jake Lloyd this past weekend. The 26-year-old former actor who played the young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was charged with reckless driving, failure to stop, resisting arrest, and driving without a license after he led Charleston South Carolina police on a wild chase, hitting speeds of 117 MPH as he swerved in and out of traffic before hitting a bunch of trees.
Says TMZ: “It started when cops noticed Lloyd driving a Nissan at around 80 MPH. They began to chase him, and Lloyd’s reaction was to speed up, weaving and narrowly missing cars and trucks. He even used the median to pass vehicles. Lloyd hit several trees before being taken into custody.
Which makes the Charleston jail THE hotspot for high profile criminals these days. Jake is housed in the same cellblock as Dylann Roof, who is accused in the church shooting, and former police officer Michael Slager (who was in the news earlier this year when he shot an unarmed black teen five times). Imagine THAT chow line.
Poor Jake. It’s worth revisiting this 2012 article in The Daily Mail, detailing Jake’s struggle with post-Star Wars fame:
He played an iconic role in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.
Jake Lloyd had the world at his feet and should have been the envy of every child in the world after playing Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace when he was eight years old. Instead, the Star Wars actor quit the film industry after his childhood was turned into a ‘living hell’.
The 22-year-old became so haunted by the movie he vowed never to act again and he has stayed true to his word. He said: ‘Other children were really mean to me. They would make the sound of the light saber every time they saw me. It was totally mad.’
Jake recalls how busy his young life became and at one point he was doing around 60 interviews a day. ‘My entire school life was really a living hell — and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day.’
Lloyd felt so much anger towards the George Lucas directed film that he destroyed all of his Star Wars memorabilia, and only reprised his role as Anakin for five video games.
The youngster decided to take early retirement from acting as he was no longer able to fit in at school. He said to a magazine: ‘I’ve learned to hate it when the cameras are pointed at me.’
Jake, whose mother is an entertainment agent, admitted in an interview Scifitv.com that he doesn’t like wacthing the film anymore and he blames George for that. He said: ‘When you have something like that there’s a lot of expectations for it to meet the standards of the public and I don’t think George did that. For me to go back and watch it now would be kind of creepy.’