His image is now the stuff of legend: Ghyslain Raza, the Star Wars kid, aged 15, got the attention and ridicule of the Internet—especially its geek contingent—when footage of him wielding a golf ball retriever and fending off a horde of invisible vicious enemies surfaced. Granted, we geeks were a little less harsh. But unfortunately for Ghyslain, the sudden—and often cruel—Internet fame was far from intended. His performance became an Internet phenomenon after four of his schoolmates uploaded his video for the world to see. It has since inspired thousands of remixes. By November of 2006, the video had been viewed over 900 million times.
But now that eight years have passed, have you ever wondered what happened to the famed Star Wars Kid? Here’s a bit of a timeline to fill in the years since the video went public:
In July 2003, Ghyslain’s family filed a $250,000 lawsuit against the families of his schoolmates, mainly to pay for psychiatric therapy for their son due to the derision he received at the hands of a very unforgiving public. Although the suit was dropped in April of 2004, it was settled out of court.
However, these days, Ghyslain certainly is having the last laugh. After climbing what must surely have seemed like an insurmountable mountain, he is currently completing his law studies at Montreal’s McGill University and recently took a position of president of Patrimoine Trois-Rivière, an organization that aims to defend Trois-Rivière’s historical real estate against the city’s frenetical urban expansion. The Force is surely strong with this one.
So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation someday—your most private fantasies aired to the world (something which is becoming more and more likely in this age of instant news and technology)—consider Ghyslain’s amazing journey. Though things may seem desperate, though you may feel as if the whole world is laughing at you, there is always hope at the end of the tunnel. And through hard work and persistence, it’s attainable for anyone. Here’s to you, Ghyslain.
For nostalgia’s sake, here are a few of the best remixes of the famed Star Wars Kid. We hope that someday Ghyslain can smile when he sees these, too. Because really, he’s just one of us.
The Drunken Jedi
Star Wars Kid- Agent Smith Fight
[Via Branchez-Vous (French) | Picture Credit: Sylvain Mayer]