A note by Shmathan…
Despite the general bitchiness with which I express myself on this blog, I am actually a pretty nice person. I hold doors open and give up my seat on the subway to old ladies. I’m good people. Consequently, I don’t normally find the suffering of another human being enjoyable. But there are exceptions. For example, when a person has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors against all of mankind, I find a certain sense of joy in the miserable existence he reaps as a consequence. But who is this person, you may ask? This person against whom I direct such righteous fury? The answer, dear readers, is Jake Lloyd.
When cinema critics look back on the abomination that was The Phantom Menance, they have no shortage of targets. The fact that Lucas went batshit crazy for CGI effects at the expense of actual dialog. The fact that the mystical nature of the Force which had intrigued science fiction afficionados for decades was reduced to something as lame as midichlorians. That every CGI alien from the Nemoidians to Watto was some sort of racial stereotype. And of course, in that vein, the introduction of the worst most offensive character in the history of Science Fiction: Jar Jar Binks. And then, there is Jake Lloyd.
Jake Lloyd, or as I like to call him “Mannequin Skywalker” for the unnatural, plastic manner in which he “acted.” Now, I know some people would jump to his defense, saying he was only ten years old. No dice. Talent is not defined by age. Anna Paquin won an academy award at 12. Dakota Fanning had more presence at eight years old than most actresses muster in their prime. The simple truth is, Lloyd’s pathetic articulations and awkward manner meant he couldn’t even play a kid naturally. You have to really suck to be a ten year old boy who fails at playing a ten year old boy believably. He deserved every savage review he received at the time. And now, ten years later, one might wonder how he’s doing. Well, wonder no more, and marvel at his recent interview at Australia ComicCon.
To quote the great Jane Lynch: “Your resentment is delicious.”
Where to begin, where to begin. That every word drips with sarcasm of the most banal and vapid sort? Oh yes, people in high school and college teased you. You certainly got back at them by calling them “the most intelligent and charming people” with the petulant tones of twelve year old picked last for dodgeball. I also love the fact that he blames everyone, everyone for the failure of Episode I, except himself. He blames the fans for taking it too seriously (God forbid that fans of the first trilogy expect similar levels of excellence). He blames George Lucas for failing to produce a film capable of pleasing adult audiences (well yes, that would have required an actual plot, consistency with the original mythology, and dialog that didn’t make you want to rip your ears off). And finally, he justifies his own performance by saying the movies are really only meant for kids, and kids tell him they loved it. Hey Jake, kids also love shoving Legos up their noses. Get over your wounded pride, and realize you had no talent for acting. It’s not entirely your fault; I’m sure your parents pressured you into acting like all good stage mom and pops do, and Lucas never should have let you be cast. But again, get over it. The only thing more pathetic than your performance is the fact that you grew up into a chubby loser with a chip on his shoulder.