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Shmi Skywalker Lars
Biographical information
Homeworld

Tatooine

Born

72 BBY (37BrS)[1]

Died

22 BBY (13), Tatooine[2]

Physical description
Species

Human

Gender

Female

Height

1.63 meters[3]

Hair color

Brown

Eye color

Brown

Chronological and political information
Era(s)

Rise of the Empire era

Affiliation
"But you can't stop the change, no more than you can stop the suns from setting."
―Shmi Skywalker to her son, Anakin Skywalker

As the oldest known Skywalker ancestor, Shmi Skywalker Lars was the mother of the Jedi Anakin Skywalker, as well as the paternal grandmother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo.

Born on an unknown world, Shmi was sold into slavery at an early age. In 42 BBY she gave birth to a son she named Anakin, who also served as a slave. She cared for her son greatly, and was willing to do anything to help him. After Anakin left to become a Jedi in 32 BBY, she was sold to Cliegg Lars, who freed her and married her. Just before the Clone Wars, Shmi died in her son's arms after being brutally tortured by a band of Tusken Raiders.

Contents

Biography

Early life (72 BBY66 BBY)

Shmi was born in 72 BBY on an unknown planet. At the age of six, Shmi and her family embarked on a space voyage to the Outer Rim Territories, where they were captured by pirates and sold into slavery.[3]

Life as a slave (66 BBY32 BBY)

"The Republic doesn't exist out here. We must survive on our own."
―Shmi to Padmé Amidala

Shmi had a difficult childhood, taken from one system to another by several masters while serving as a house servant. Upon reaching adulthood, she was dropped from house servant status and forced into cleaning work[4]. While some of these masters were cruel, others were kind—notably Pi-Lippa, who taught Shmi valuable technical skills. Pi-Lippa intended to free Shmi, but after her death, she was instead sold to relatives.[3].

Shmi and Anakin arrive on Tatooine to serve Gardulla the Hutt.

Around this time Shmi discovered that she was pregnant and gave birth to a son she named Anakin. Shmi would say that her son was conceived without a father, but she could not explain how it happened. Nevertheless, she gladly accepted his birth and raised him.[5]Three years later, Shmi and her son came into the ownership of the Hutt crimelord Gardulla the Elder on Tatooine.[6] Gardulla was a cruel master and had little regard for the safety of Shmi and her son, as evident when she allowed young Skywalker to participate in the Boonta Eve Classic, believing Anakin to be incapable of winning.[7]

Shmi and Anakin at Watto's shop.

After Gardulla lost ownership of the two in a bet, Shmi and Anakin became the property of the junk dealer Watto.[7]However, like Gardulla, Watto was often found to be quite harsh, seldom showing his softer side to the two. Under Watto's care, they were afforded simple luxuries and were allowed to have very few personal possessions.[6] When not performing tasks given to her by Watto, Shmi spent most of her time worrying about her adventurous son. Whether it was to recover parts for Watto or going out of his way to help someone in need, Anakin often managed to get himself into trouble. Shmi did little to discourage his tendency, though she began to fear that she was going to lose him someday.[8] The two were very close, and despite not having enough money, Anakin showered Shmi with simple gifts to show his affection. At other times, he built inventions to sell or use to lighten her workload.[9] One such invention was a protocol droid Anakin had found and managed to scrape together using old parts he gathered from Watto's junkyard.[10]

Shmi became aware of Anakin's gifts and hid as much as she could from Watto, though she could not hide Anakin's natural piloting abilities. After discovering this almost by accident, Watto let the boy continue his piloting, believing he could gain potential profit from the venture. Anakin proved to be an excellent pilot despite the fact that he had never been able to finish a race. To her relief, Anakin managed to come out unharmed, save for a few bruises, though she hated watching him drive in what she referred to as "those awful races". Though she never said so, Anakin thought that his mother believed that simply by being there she could keep him from coming to harm.[1] She secretly wished for Anakin to have a better life as his gifts made her realize that he wasn't meant to be a slave.[6]

A mother's dream realized

"Son, my place is here, my future is here. It is time for you to let go…now, be brave. Don't look back."
―Shmi to Anakin
Shmi and Anakin part ways.

One day after returning to the hovel that she and her son shared. Shmi met the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, and his companions from Naboo: Padmé Amidala, Jar Jar Binks and their astromech droid R2-D2. Shmi offered the group her hospitality and place to stay during a raging sandstorm that enveloped Mos Espa. Like Anakin, Shmi initially believed that these strangers arrived on Tatooine to free slaves. This proved not to be the case when they recounted to Anakin their plight of how they ended up being stranded on Tatooine on a diplomatic mission to Coruscant. Anakin offered to help his newfound friends repair their ship, forming a plan that included Qui-Gon sponsoring him in the upcoming Boonta Eve Classic. Shmi, however, disagreed. It was only when Anakin recalled her words on helping others that Shmi allowed Anakin to help the strangers, claiming that he was meant to help them.[6]

As she watched Anakin build his podracer, Shmi revealed to Qui-Gon Anakin's miraculous birth. When Qui-Gon remarked that his presence in The Force was unusually strong, Shmi hopefully asked if he was able to help Anakin. Instead of getting the answer she'd hope for, the Jedi Master replied that he had not intended on freeing slaves.[6]

Shmi watches her son leave to become a Jedi.

The next day, Shmi accompanied the group to the Boonta Eve Classic, where she tensely watched the race from afar. Unbeknownst to her, before the start of the race, Qui-Gon made a bet with Watto for the freedom of Shmi and Anakin. Watto, however, wouldn't have it, claiming that no ship was worth two slaves. Because of his interest in the boy, Qui-Gon opted to free Anakin and used his powers to tamper with the chance cube Watto had brought out to decide which of the two would be freed. To her surprise and theirs Anakin won the race, and likewise, his freedom. Shmi joined Anakin in the crowd of admirers, and the two shared a brief mother-and-son moment with Shmi telling Anakin of how proud she was of him.[6]

After securing Anakin's earnings from the race, Qui-Gon informed Shmi of Anakin's freedom and of his intention to train the boy as a Jedi. He was, however, unable to secure her freedom. It was then that Shmi had to make the toughest decision in her life: letting go of her son. Comforted by Qui-Gon, she watched as Anakin prepared himself to leave, the latter stopping a few times to express his doubts about leaving home. She advised him to let go, claiming that her place and future was on Tatooine. This prompted Anakin to leave with the Jedi Master, however, not before promising that he would return and free her.[6]

Freedom

While her son trained with the Jedi, Shmi remained in the service of Watto. Watto had since then toned down his gruff demeanor, treating Shmi with more respect than he previously had, and on occasion, forage for the both of them during hard times.[11]

In 30 BBY, Shmi came across the Devaronian Villie while Watto wiled him into buying faulty pit droids to compensate for the debt owned to him by the Toydarian. Villie fell for Watto's ruse and took possession of the droids. As ordered by her master, Shmi gathered the droids and brought them to Villie's ship, Inferno, choosing not to inform the Devaronian of Watto's deceit.[12]

Eventually, Watto's business began to decline due to his excessive betting on podraces, further discrediting his reputation as a successful junk dealer.[13] His losses were so bad that he was forced to sell Shmi to Cliegg Lars, a moisture farmer who had fallen in love with her. Watto made several excuses and created a number of delays in the transaction, torn between the loss of his only slave and his hope that she would be happy with Lars. With her help, Cliegg and his son Owen tricked Watto into selling Shmi in exchange for Tobal lens. Watto later admitted to deactivating her slave transmitter shortly after Anakin's departure for a fear that Shmi would wander aimlessly off in her sorrow and blow herself up. When Cliegg asked for her hand in marriage, Shmi agreed. She found that she had fallen in love with Cliegg, as well as Owen, and wanted to be a part of their lives. They lived a quiet existence on the Lars Homestead as moisture farmers, forming a strong bond of a loving family.[14]

Shmi often told her new family how much she missed her son Anakin, telling them stories of his misadventures. Despite finding a place amongst the Lars family, Shmi still longed to see her son. Every night, she held a vigil for Anakin, hoping that he would return from the stars.[11]

During her years with the Lars family, she kept a journal where she recorded events almost every day. This journal would eventually come into the possession of her granddaughter Leia Organa Solo many years later. From reading the diary, Leia gained a faint sense of what her father was before becoming Darth Vader and learned to forgive him.[11]

Reunited with Anakin and death

"I'm so proud of you, Ani… so proud… I missed you so much… now I am complete…"
―Shmi Skywalker
Shmi is ambushed by Tusken Raiders.

Just a month before the onset of the Clone Wars, Tusken Raiders began attacking outlying moisture farms. One morning, Shmi went out to pick vaporator mushrooms from the moisture vaporators, but was captured by a group of Tuskens on her way home. Cliegg assembled a search team in an attempt to locate her, but ended up losing more than half of the team and his right leg. After a month, he decided to give up the search, believing Shmi to be dead. In actuality, Shmi was still, just barely, alive—severely beaten and dehydrated, holding on to her memories of Anakin in an effort to stay alive. Shmi's resilience fascinated the Tusken Raiders, prompting them to try other methods of torturing; however, it only strengthened her resolve to live long enough to see her son. During her captivity, Shmi often reached out to Anakin, hoping that he'd come and rescue her.[14]

Shmi dies in the arms of her son.

Through their strong bond with one another, Anakin was overcome with nightmares of his mother, in which he had sensed her pain and suffering. Unable to bear them any longer, Anakin traveled to Tatooine to find her, bringing Padmé Amidala and R2-D2 with him. Upon their arrival in Mos Espa, they were told by Watto that he had sold Shmi to Cliegg Lars, who had freed and married her. At the Lars homestead, he encountered his old droid, C-3PO, and the Lars family. A heart-broken Cliegg recounted to Anakin Shmi's capture and the settlers' attempt to rescue her. He tried to convince Skywalker that it was impossible for Shmi to have survived, but Anakin wouldn't have it. In his disbelief, Anakin set out to find her, leaving Padmé in the care of the Lars. Using his senses, Anakin managed to locate her inside a Tusken Raider encampment, bound to a rack at the side of a tent, and bearing scars from weeks of beatings. After Anakin untied her from her bindings, the two engaged in a short conversation with Anakin comforting her in a vain effort to keep her alive. With her final breaths, Shmi managed to whisper her love for him before quietly dying in his arms.[14][13]

Anakin allowed the shock of her death to catalyze an explosion of his long-nursed anger and selfishness. He flew into a rage, killing everyone present—even, as he confessed to Padmé later, "not just the men.. but the women.. and the children too." After the massacre, he returned to the tent to wrap her body, and took her back to the Lars homestead, where a small funeral was held. In front of her grave, Anakin voiced his regret that he could not save her, and promised not to let anything of the sort happen again.[14][13]

Legacy

"I wasn't strong enough to save you, Mom. I wasn't strong enough. But I promise I won't fail again. I miss you...so much."
―Anakin Skywalker, as he kneels before the tomb of his mother

In the decades following Shmi's death, she was remembered for starting the Skywalker family. Her old friend Sorna came to the Lars homestead every year to place flowers on her grave.[15]

Anakin kneeling at his mother's grave.

In 19 BBY, Anakin's wife Padmé gave birth to Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa and died soon afterward, having lost the will to live, as a result of Anakin Skywalker, the man she loved, turning to the dark side. The twins were separated by the Jedi: Leia was adopted by the childless couple Bail Organa and his wife; Luke was adopted by Owen and Beru Lars.

In 8 ABY, Leia discovered a journal of Shmi's at the old Lars Homestead, now in the possession of the Darklighter family. By watching the journal, Leia learned about the Skywalker family before the Clone Wars and discovered how Shmi had died. Leia also learned compassion and some forgiveness for her father.[11]

A year after her journal was discovered, Leia gave birth to Han Solo's children, Jaina Solo and Jacen Solo. During the Emperor's return, Leia gave birth to her's and Han's third child, Anakin Solo, who would die during the Mission to Myrkr. In 27 ABY, Mara Jade Skywalker gave birth to her and Luke Skywalker's child, Ben Skywalker. Ten years later, Tenel Ka gave birth to Jacen Solo's child, Allana, making Allana Shmi's great-great-grandchild.

By the time of the Second Imperial Civil War, over a hundred years after the death of Shmi Skywalker, her legacy and the name of her family lived on through her last known descendants: Nat Skywalker and his nephew, Cade Skywalker.

Personality and traits

"I... I love—"
―Shmi's last words

Shmi was kind and gentle, despite her years of slavery. She was selfless, willing to sacrifice anything for her son. She loved and cared for Anakin more than anything, and desperately wanted him to have a better life, knowing that there was something special about him. It was because of her love and sense that he had a special destiny that she allowed him to go to Coruscant to become a Jedi, knowing she would likely never see him again. She was befuddled by his birth however, as it seemed Anakin had "no father".[6] She cared for Cliegg Lars, her husband, following Anakin's departure and his son, Owen Lars, despite the fact that he was not her true son. Years later, her husband additionally described her as loving, "the best partner a man could ask for".[2]

Even though Watto had mistreated Shmi and her son for years, she still was able to see the good in him, and after Anakin left, comforted him. Watto in turn became a kinder master, giving Shmi small gifts. Shmi still treated him well, again showing her kind nature and willingness to forgive.

She earned a small income cleaning computer memory devices. Like her son, Shmi could fix almost anything. One of Shmi's former masters was Pi-Lippa, who taught Shmi various technical skills. These abilities increased Shmi's value as a slave, but unfortunate circumstances led her to becoming the property of Watto. She was always on the lookout for discarded tools in Mos Espa, and her dwelling was filled with mechanical and electronic devices like Anakin's. She did the best she could to raise her son, encouraging Anakin's interest in technology, and hoped their skills would one day liberate them from slavery.

Behind the scenes

The character was portrayed by Swedish actress Pernilla August in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Coincidentally, August portrayed the mother of another miraculously conceived individual, Jesus Christ, in Mary, Mother of Jesus.

In The Phantom Menace game adaption, Shmi Skywalker is voiced by Carolyn Seymour. In game, Qui-Gon Jinn, controlled by the player, can kill Shmi during the level Encounter in the Desert with no reason. However, as this strongly contradicts with the existing storyline, it is non-canon.[16]

Shmi Skywalker Lars' first name was derived from Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess. It also closely resembles the Hebrew word שְמִי (pronounced shmi) which means "my name", making her full name a sentence: My name is Skywalker.

Appearances

  • Anakin's Fate
  • Episode I: Anakin Skywalker
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization (First appearance)
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace comic
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace junior novel
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace game
  • Episode I: Qui-Gon Jinn
  • Episode I: The Phantom Menace ½ (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Dear Anakin (Mentioned only)
  • "Bad Business" - Star Wars Tales 8
  • Rogue Planet (Mentioned only)
  • Jedi Quest: Path to Truth (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Jedi Quest comic (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Jedi Quest: The Way of the Apprentice (Mentioned only)
  • Jedi Quest: The Trail of the Jedi (Mentioned only)
  • Jedi Quest: The Dangerous Games (Mentioned only)
  • Jedi Quest: The Master of Disguise (Mentioned only)
  • Jedi Quest: The Shadow Trap (Vision)
  • Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown (Vision)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones novel
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones comic
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones junior novel
  • Star Wars Republic 50: The Defense of Kamino (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars Republic 59: Enemy Lines (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Republic 62: No Man's Land (Vision to Anakin Skywalker)
  • Jedi Trial (Indirect mention only)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars novel (Mentioned only)
  • The Clone Wars: Wild Space (Mentioned only)
  • The Clone Wars: No Prisoners (Indirect mention only)
  • Labyrinth of Evil (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith comic (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novel (Mentioned only)
  • Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (Indirect mention only)
  • Star Wars Dark Times: The Path to Nowhere (Mentioned only)
  • The Last One Standing (Mentioned only)
  • "Sandstorm" - Star Wars Tales 15 (Non-canonical mention)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (junior novelization) (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Empire: Betrayal (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope (Non-canonical appearance) (Vision to Luke Skywalker)
  • Star Wars: Jar Jar's Journey (Non-canonical appearance)
  • Perfect Evil (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars Galaxies (Mentioned only)
  • "Thank the Maker!" - Star Wars Tales 6 (Appears in flashback(s))
  • The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader (Appears in flashback(s))
  • Star Wars -Phantasmagoria- (Mentioned only)
  • Tatooine Ghost (as Videorecord)
  • The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
  • Tempest (Mentioned only)

Sources

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novel
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2  Shmi Skywalker in the Databank
  4. Shmi Skywalker's entry
  5. In the New Essential Chronology it is implied that Anakin was indeed born on Tatooine. However, the shooting script for The Phantom Menace includes dialogue where Anakin clarifies that he and Shmi arrived on the planet at the age of three. (which would equate to around the year 39 BBY)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  7. 7.0 7.1 Podracing Tales
  8. Episode I: Anakin Skywalker
  9.  Anakin Skywalker in the Databank
  10. "Thank the Maker!" - Star Wars Tales 6
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Tatooine Ghost
  12. "Bad Business" - Star Wars Tales 8
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (novel)
  15. Star Wars Galaxies
  16. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace video game

See also

External links


This article uses material from the "Shmi Skywalker Lars" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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