Jake Lloyd: Star Wars Casting Irony

Have you ever wondered what happened to Jake Lloyd, the boy who played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace? SciFi’s Australia Blog caught up with the young actor in a recent interview and revealed that he’s now a 20 year old film student. Lloyd doesn’t really watch the movie anymore but does enjoy the games.

The video is interesting because Lloyd recalls his experiences in high school and college as a minor celebrity. At times, he clearly appears agitated. I’m sure having millions of nerds telling you that you ruined their favorite film franchise has that effect.

It’s clear that Jake Lloyd grew up to look nothing like Hayden Christensen (the guy who played Anakin in Episode II and III). But the thing that really struck me is how much he resembles Sebastian Shaw, the original Anakin actor from Episode VI. Here lies the irony of George Lucas’ casting and subsequent film revisions.

Take a look:

If Lucas had waited a few years for Lloyd to grow up and kept him in the role, he wouldn’t have needed to replace Shaw’s ghost Anakin with Christensen’s ghost Anakin in Episode VI. Lucas could have also used the downtime to polish the script, wait for technology to improve, and make something that didn’t, you know, suck.

Maybe everything turned out for the best. Star Wars will forever be a case study for what not to do when making a prequel trilogy and Jake Lloyd can still find marginal fame as a Susan Boyle lookalike. George Lucas still makes millions from licensing deals.

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