PT Anakin and Shmi's Farewell in "THE PHANTOM MENACE"

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by DRush76, Feb 15, 2012.

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  1. DRush76 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
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    One of the most poignant moments in the STAR WARS saga, at least for me, was Anakin and Shmi's farewell in "THE PHANTOM MENACE". Both Jake Lloyd and Pernilla August were great in that scene. And Shmi's assurance that they would see each other again and advice for him not to look back always leave me in tears.

    I found that scene poignant when I first saw "TPM". But after seeing "ATTACK OF THE CLONES", it became doubly emotional for me.
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  2. EHT New Films Manager

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    Sep 13, 2007
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    Agreed... they both nailed this scene. "Don't look back" still gives me chills. And how Shmi herself is also trying to be strong (as per her own direction to Anakin), while watching him walk away. Heart wrenching.
  3. Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Very recently I gained a new appreciation for this scene.

    I've always interpreted the dialogue in the scene, though heartfelt, to be something that could easily be transposed to a non-SW setting, something not having to do with the Force.

    But now I realize that when Anakin asks, "Will I ever see you again?" and Shmi responds, "What does your heart tell you?"...

    ...she's saying, use your powers. =D=
  4. obi-rob-kenobi4 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    Its one of the best scenes in the movie. When I saw it in 3D many people were lifting the 3D glasses wiping tears from their eyes an kissing their kids. I will never forget how gratifying it was to see people so emotionally affected and engaged to this film after so many years. It truly is timeless. @};-
  5. EHT New Films Manager

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    I noticed this too, and I was also happy to see that it had that effect on people.
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  6. Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films

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    I can't say I noticed that...

    [face_thinking] was that the scene I had to scratch under my glasses?
  7. G-FETT Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 10, 2001
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    It is an emotional scene, but I've never seen anyone actually break down and cry at it.:_|

    For me, the joint best non action scenes in TPM are this and the Senate scene where Ian and Natalie are just outstanding.
  8. HevyDevy Jedi Master

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    I immaturely dismissed this scene in 99, but totally agree with the OP. Also very much relate to seeing it in a new light after AOTC. The exchange about whether they will see each other again is actually a little dark when you know the context they will next meet in.
    And the music as Anakin walks away is spot-on.
  9. GeneralCeel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2005
    star 2
    What I find interesting is how much of what Shmi says, and not just in this scene, is in keeping with Jedi teachings.


    "I may not like it, but he can help you...he was meant to help you."

    "What does your heart tell you?"

    "But you can't stop the change, no more than you can stop the suns from setting."

    "Son, my place is here, my future is here. It is time for you to let go?now, be brave. Don't look back."

    "You have brought hope to those who have none."

    "Anakin; this path had been placed before you. The choice is yours alone."



    Filter many of her lines through the teachnings of Qui Go and Yoda and you'll see what I mean. She's practically a Jedi Master, in terms of her pearls of wisdom. Its interest to me to think that Anakin had this great teacher all his young life in his mother, but its not until he's taken away from his mother (and then finally loses her to death) that he turns to the darkside, while under the tutelage of Jedi whose duty it is to steer young padawan's away from evil.

    Is Lucas giving us a lesson about the importance of family here? They say you can't avoid putting something of yourself into your art. Lucas raised three adopted children by himself, he had to be father and mother. And given the sad state of marriage and family in present day America, there is certainly something to think about here...
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  10. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 7, 2009
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    Whenever that music is present, it makes the scene epic. Even that scene in AotC where Anakin says "I won't be long." is epic because of the "Bynary Sunset" theme.
  11. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of CT, SW Saga and Lucasfilm Ltd

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    I agree with all of you. It's one of the most poignant scenes in the saga.

    That scene was emotional enough before I had kids, and now that I have two sons, it hits doubly hard.
  12. G-FETT Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Good points. I've always assumed Shmi must have had some connection to the force for her to be The Chosen One's mother in the first place. Clearly she isn't a Jedi, but the connection to the Force is definately there in the same way Padme clearly has a connection to the Force.

    Its interesting that both women play vital parts in Anakins life and development. Both women appear to have mysterious connections to the Force, without actually being Force users and both women die.

    As Qui-Gon says, nothing happens by chance.
  13. Cryogenic Force Ghost

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    Jul 20, 2005
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    In an earlier draft, it's even more explicit. Before Lucas created Qui-Gon, the weight of the world, so to speak, was on Obi-Wan's shoulders, and by the time he finds Anakin and goes to his lodgings, Shmi senses it and counsels him, telling him, "Clear your mind and you will see the pattern". Shmi is a kind of unconscious Jedi, I think; but ironically, Anakin lacks her wisdom, and she sends him off into the unknown, to die a death and be re-born. If only Shmi knew what kind of re-birth his path would lead him to.
  14. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Well, it's George's best writing in the PT, in my opinion:
    "Don't look back. Don't look back."

    Of course, Anakin spends the next ten years looking back...
  15. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Arguably, it's one of his best directed, too. The mise-en-scene is terrific, the camera work is typically restrained, and the sincerity of the bond between the characters shines through. I particularly love how Qui-Gon hangs off in the distance, taciturn; indeed, saying nothing. This is a private moment between mother and son. Qui-Gon can't interfere; perhaps, even, doesn't know how to. In this sense, the "phantom menace" might as well be the awkward emotions we tend to evade or shut out, because they interfere with our own plans and confident view of the world. It's also worth noting that Shmi is the first of three characters to drop down and meet Anakin at his own height, here, followed shortly thereafter by his mother surrogate, Padme, during the snippet scene in transit to Coruscant, and then later on Coruscant itself, on the eve of another departure to another planet, when Qui-Gon, his idealized father figure, takes Anakin by the shoulder and crouches down to explain midi-chlorians to him, and the audience. It's one of those "three bar" connections that all the, well, three-bar patterns you see in the clever compositions of the series, in my opinion, call to mind. And tellingly, each of these characters dies in a prequel installment; each of their passings marking a transition in the life passage of the saga's main character, as that character's servitude to the arch villain increases: subliminally with the first passing, and more pressingly with the second and third.
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  16. HevyDevy Jedi Master

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    True. Although at first, for me, the music you pointed out (after "I won't be long") seemed kind of out of place. But on repeated viewings it fit perfectly. It captures the weight of the moment, partially because the next time he sees her he isn't totally the same person.
    The music in Star Wars is one of my favourite things about it. There are so many examples where the music captures the moment perfectly. Revenge of the Sith relies heavily on the score, it is easy to see why Lucas refers to them as "silent movies".
    I'm going a bit off-topic here, but some of the first examples that come to mind- The music when the pod with Threepio and Artoo floats down toward Tatooine in ANH. During the asteroid chase in ESB. When Luke walks through the corridor after first arriving at Bespin in ESB. ROTJ's dramatic score as Luke finally gives in to his anger and attacks Vader. Duel of Fates in TPM. ROTS has a bunch of them; the music as we transition from Palpatine's office to the Jedi Temple (the theme that starts as Palpatine states "They need you. More than you know"). Great sense of foreboding. The sad music that plays as Anakin tells Padme about his dream really gets to me. And the music building up from "Anakin is the father, isn't he?" to Vader loooking at the eclipse. All great moments.
  17. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    I think the "Binary Sunset" theme in Anakin's case, here, with the departure from home (TPM: *the* home, not the homestead of AOTC -- though, that one, too) is a little truncated compared to the one that plays in the original movie with Luke. It's like Anakin's journey -- and his personality -- are compressed; smothered, reduced, not whole. He is not even allowed to mourn properly. This is a point, I think, that is made more or less made concrete in ROTS, based on what Yoda tells Anakin during Anakin's consultation with the elfin master. Anakin is constantly being forced forward; and denied his breath. In fact, in the very next scene after Anakin leaves his mother, a Sith warrior tries to murder Anakin by nearly running him over, right after Anakin complains of being tired. This, of course, is after Anakin has survived numerous threats to his life during the Boonta Eve podrace. And his way of escaping this threat is to run into the bowels of a hungry chrome bird. He retreats into something magnificent; but its refuge is short-lived.
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  18. HevyDevy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    This reminded me of something I once noticed, it's an example of one of the many "sixes" present in the saga.
    Six deaths contribute to Anakin's fall and the birth of Vader: Qui-Gon, Shmi, Dooku, Mace, Padme and Anakin (metaphorically). Possibly coincidence, but it's once of several groups of six. There is the Order 66 montague of six Jedi being attacked, six main apprentices in the saga (Obi-Wan, Anakin, Luke for Jedi. Maul, Dooku, Vader for Sith), six movies of course, and others I can't recall.

    Interesting. I see what you are saying, the theme is kind of cut short by the Duel of Fates theme, I had noticed, but didn't know why.

    This could be seen as an explanation to some of the fast-pacing of the prequels. Anakin is often kind of swept up in the moment. He doesn't get time to reflect before things are moving again, the turn scenes in ROTS can easily be seen in this way. Also, I always felt the transition from Yoda and the Clones arriving at the Geonosis arena to the battle that follows kind of seems rushed and sudden. It can possibly be seen as symbolic of this part of Anakin's psyche.

    I like this. Your point could possibly relate to Padme's arrival at Mustafar in ROTS. Anakin sees her ship arriving on a scanner, it isn't too much of a stretch to think of the symbolic meaning this beacon represents. A tie to his past, other than the obvious connection to his "Anakin" persona, in Padme.
  19. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Great points, everyone.

    One other thing I recall from the discussions in '99 is the obvious nod being made to Ingmar Bergman, by choosing his regular actress Pernilla August to play Shmi. This is obviously not something that the children and many casual viewers will pick up on; for those who are familiar with Bergman movies (especially "Fanny and Alexander"), I think it offers a lot of food for thought. The happy, nuclear family is a rarity in nearly all of Bergman's films. So I think casting August was something very deliberate, not just because she's a great actress. There's obviously a lot of subtext there, imho.
  20. MissPadme Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    I've always thought this was a great scene. I call it, "The Moment That Ruins Anakin's Life." Shmi was willing to sacrifice the only thing she had in life that was truly hers, her only child, so he could have a future she could never provide for him. She knew his destiny lay far beyond a dusty village on Tatooine being somebody's slave. Anakin though was too young to realize that and all of a sudden he's around a bunch of strangers who don't trust him, part of some agenda he doesn't understand. Qui-Gon dies shortly thereafter.

    Since we're talking about Anakin and Shmi, here's a great card by Joe Corroney for the brand new Topps Star Wars Galaxy Series 7:

    http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/424789_10150539946166879_563296878_9310617_819631432_n.jpg

    --MissPadme
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  21. G-FETT Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Wow. Thats powerful.
  22. Alexrd Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Exactly. The same thing happens when Obi-Wan goes into hyperspace to Utapau and the music plays. When he returns everything has changed.
  23. Padme501st Jedi Master

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    Sep 4, 2006
    star 1
    I tear up at this scene, more now than in 99 due to AOTC

    No matter how many times i see it, it's still powerful. And the music just gives me chills

    There's a lot of good points made in this threads, lots of things i overlooked but that makes sense. A lot to think about next time i watch
  24. ewoksimon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2009
    star 3
    Yes, I too agree that this scene is becoming more powerful as the film ages, but I would argue that the even better scene occurs right before this one, when Anakin makes the decision to leave with Qui-Gon and we have this moment:

    [image=http://disparue.org/caps/movies/starwars/1/images/starwars1_2312.jpg]
  25. obi-rob-kenobi4 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    Just saw it again with my two aunts and my little cousin. During this scene all 3 of them were crying. :p [face_blush]


    Only one of my aunts saw TPM in the past in 99 and a few times on dvd but other than that it has been years since she saw it. My little cousin is now the perfect age to see star wars (11) and she absolutely loved it. On the way home we stopped at best buy and she bought the saga blu-ray box set. They will be having a marathon all week starting tomorrow.

    I let her borrow my complete visual dictionary book, my aunt says she never put it down lol :-B
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