Star Wars Kid is a viral video made in 2002 by Ghyslain Raza in which he wields a golf ball retriever in imitation of Darth Maul’s lightsaber moves from the Star Wars films. At the time, Raza was a 15-year-old high school student from Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada. He had not intended for the video to become public, but its subsequent release led to ridicule during which Raza chose to distance himself from the video. Raza since has affirmed his identity and has used the video to help speak on the effects of bullying.
On November 3, 2002, Raza made a video of himself swinging a golf ball retriever around as a weapon. The video was filmed at his high school studio, and he accidentally left the tape in a basement. It was taped over a portion of a basketball game (as seen extremely briefly at the end of the clip). The video was discovered by a schoolmate, whose friend created an electronic file from the video tape. The video was distributed amongst his school’s students. A student uploaded it to the Internet with the title Jackass_starwars_funny.wmv. The video eventually became a viral Internet meme through P2P services. According to court transcripts, the video first appeared on the Internet on the evening of April 14, 2003.
Raza states he was a victim of cyberbullying, as his video also attracted negative attention and comments. Online commenters responded with critical or bullying messages. In a 2013 interview, Raza states, “What I saw was mean. It was violent. People were telling me to commit suicide.” Among the comments online, “One commenter called him ‘a pox on humanity.’ Others suggested he commit suicide.” He was bullied in person at his school, and he left the campus to pursue private tutoring. He claimed to have lost friends because of the ordeal.