Apparently millions of people laughing at you on the Internet isn’t good for your self-esteem. Ghyslain Raza, better known to millions as “the Star Wars Kid,” who’s been mocked on Arrested Development, South Park, and by your grandparents, wondering who that “chubby kid on the World Wide Web is,” gave his first-ever interview to Maclean’s 10 years after the video went viral. In it, the now 25-year-old discusses how awful his life was for years.
Ghyslain Raza was a normal high-school student in small-town Quebec back in 2002, a shy 14-year-old who liked to make videos. In 2003, classmates posted one of those videos on the Internet without his knowledge–in it, Raza wields a makeshift light saber, clumsily imitating a Star Wars Jedi knight.
The video went viral, and the Trois-Rivières teen became one of the earliest and highest-profile victims of a massive cyberbullying attack, one that played out among classmates and strangers online.
“What I saw was mean. It was violent. People were telling me to commit suicide,” the now-25-year-old recalls.
Raza said he lost what few friends he had in the fallout, and had to change schools. “In the common room, students climbed onto tabletops to insult me,” he told L’actualité.
It was “a very dark period,” he said. “No matter how hard I tried to ignore people telling me to commit suicide, I couldn’t help but feel worthless, like my life wasn’t worth living.” (Via)
Raza is now “now a law-school graduate from McGill,” has spoken out on the number “of high-profile cases of cyberbullying,” and won every Samwell Tarly look-alike contests from Canada to Mexico.