The high-school student who became an Internet phenomenon as the "Star Wars Kid" has settled a huge lawsuit with the classmates who first posted the video without his knowledge.
Ghyslain Raza was 15 when the images of him wielding a lightsaber first appeared on the Internet three years ago.
The youngster from a small town in Quebec says he was driven out of school by classmates who taunted him with chants of "Star Wars Kid! Star Wars Kid!"
Late last week, Raza and his parents reached an out-of-court settlement with three other students over the video that turned him — unwillingly — into one of the first viral video stars.
The video of a chubby, young kid clumsily swinging a pole was picked up by Web nuts who, in turn, enhanced it digitally, added light sabers, music and graphics to create a "Star Wars" parody.
The video of Raza became fodder for late-night television jokes and was even the inspiration for a running joke on the TV show "Arrested Development."
Within a few months of its first appearance on the Web in April 2003, it had been downloaded tens of millions of times all over the world, according to court papers.
The original video was discovered on a shelf in the school's media room by two fellow students.
They posted it on the Web as "an interesting prank," one classmate testified.
Raza sued the former schoolmates for $310,000 in damages shortly after the incident. The amount of the final settlement — which came just as the trial was about to begin — was not disclosed.
"It was simply unbearable, totally. It was impossible to attend class," Raza testified.
He said he was diagnosed with depression afterward.
He said whenever he was in a public place, strangers would call to him: "Hey! It's Ghyslain Raza! Star Wars Kid, hey!"
He left the school and eventually got a private tutor.