The Star Wars Kid Strikes Back

In The Future of Reputation, I wrote about the Star Wars Kid, the teenager who made a video of himself pretending to fight with a lightsaber.  The video was uploaded to the Web without his consent, and he was ridiculed around the world, his video being downloaded tens of millions of times.

For years, nobody knew what happened to him.  A news article now reports:

Ghyslain Raza – or to the internet,Star Wars Kid – didn’t feel famous, or funny. He felt harassed, the victim of the most visible bullying in history. Ghyslain dropped out of his Quebec high school, was diagnosed with depression, and checked into a psychiatric ward for children.

Ghyslain and his parents would later sue the families of the three classmates who leaked the video in 2003, for around $250,000. According to the lawsuit, which resulted in a settlement, “Ghyslain had to endure, and still endures today, harassment and derision from his high-school mates and the public at large.”

But after eight years of laughs at his expense – and a few campaigns in his defense – Ghyslain is back. Now in his early 20s, he’s reemerged as the president of the Patrimoine Trois-Rivières, a conservation society that aims to preserve the cultural heritage of his hometown of Trois-Rivières.

Revenge of the Sith this isn’t, but he’s putting his litigious experience to some use, getting his law degree at McGill University in Montreal.

Hat tip: Josh Blackman

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1 Response

  1. malaga says:

    Umm… isn’t this article, in itself, just a further kind of harassment of this guy? Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I can tell, he hasn’t particularly asked to be identified; he hasn’t announced his ‘re-emergence’; he hasn’t asked for any of this publicity. Someone has just recognised him and is running around telling everyone “Ooh!! Looky it’s the Star Wars Kid everybody!!!1!1”

    This is really low if you ask me. You say “nobody knew what happened to him”; but why on earth would anyone feel they had a right to know? He doesn’t exist for the world to gawk at, nobody does. This whole thing is stalker-ish and sick.