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Shmi Skywalker: Her impact on the saga and her background

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth Sin, Mar 25, 2003.

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  1. Darth Sin

    Darth Sin Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 14, 1999
    I got to thinking about Shmi Skywalker's impact on the saga and her background as it relates to the overall saga. Now of course we get very little in terms of her background, but there are some things you could speculate on in that regard.

    But nevertheless, when you really think about it, Shmi is the beginning of the Skywalker family in terms of the saga. Obviously she had a father and mother, but we will never learn about them. But she is the beginning of it all now that we have the Prequels to view.

    Shmi became the carrier of the Chosen One, Anakin who will bring balance to the Force. She is also the grandparent of the twins Luke and Leia, who help save the galaxy from the very darkness that will consume Anakin. Her grand child, Luke saves her son and he brings him back to the light.

    But also, by Shmi remaining on Tatooine, as she even stated to Anakin before he left, "My place is here". And how true this was, and the impact it would have on the saga, because had she been freed from slavery and left Tatooine, she would not have met Cliegg Lars and married him, and of course this would have meant Owen would not have become her stepson, and then Owen and Beru would not have been there to take in baby Luke to keep him safe and raise him.

    But by the same token, Shmi's death contributes greatly to how events shape up in the saga, as her death begins Anakin's path down the dark side, for which he will eventually become the evil lord, Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith.

    Nevertheless, Shmi in my opinion has a tremendous place in the saga, being the mother of Anakin the Chosen One, and the grandparent of Luke and Leia.

    I really appreciate Lucas doing the Prequels, because of the opportunity to meet Shmi, the mother of Anakin. Who of us ever considered or imagined that Darth Vader once had a mother when the OT came out?? So not only did we get to meet her, but also how she contributes greatly to how things turn out in the entire saga.

    Lastly, we will never get to know about Shmi's back history. We don't know at what point she became slave or whether she ever knew her own parents. But she did have the Skywalker name whereever she got it from. Also, it appears that she basically grew up in much the same way as did her son Anakin, with little or no family to speak of.

    So I can only imagine for her how special it was for her to marry Cliegg Lars, and gain an adopted son to fill the space in her heart for Anakin while he was away becoming a Jedi. Then to come to know Beru, who I am willing to bet she influenced her greatly, even in how she relates to and helping to raise Luke. I can just imagine how Shmi told Beru about Anakin, and then how this gives impact to her words about Luke to Owen in ANH, because we know she never really gets to know Anakin personally.

    "Owen, Luke's just not a farmer. He has too much of his father in him"!

    I do believe now that she knew this because of what she learned from Shmi in their time together.

    Again, Shmi has made a great impact to the saga, that perhaps could have been overlooked. But in time I think she will generate more discussions.

    Darth Sin! :cool:
  2. OutlawYoda

    OutlawYoda Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 1, 2002
    Great post Darth Sin!
    I think Shmis story is so very sad and short, and ultimately kicks off the story and makes everything happen. :)

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    The writeup on Shmi Skywalker in 'New Essential Guide to Characters' is quite short and is located in the 'Appendix: Other Characters of Note' section.
    "Shmi spent most of her life as a slave. Captured by pirates at an early age, she was sold and passed among slave owners, including Pi-Lippa, Gardulla the Hutt, and Watto. Her son Anakin exhibited a primal connection to the Force, and she suspected the Force may have been involved in his conception. When Anakin left Tatooine to become a Jedi, Watto retained possession of Shmi, and she stayed behind. Cliegg Lars bought her freedom and became her husband. Ten years after Anakin's departure, Tusken Raiders captured Shmi and tortured her. She died after seeing her son one last time."
  4. DamonD

    DamonD Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 22, 2002
    Shmi really seemed to have a kind of sad strength to her. I really admired Pernilla August's portrayal and the character itself.

    And I really love one of her lines to Anakin in TPM -

    "You can't stop change, any more than you can stop the suns from setting."

    Considering Lucas' comments in the AOTC Commentary, about how much Anakin tries to hold onto things, there was a lot of truth in that line that Anakin sadly didn't bear in mind.

  5. Valiowk

    Valiowk Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 23, 2000
    Excellent post, Darth Sin! :)

    I do wonder why Shmi was shown in the Prequels. Was it to show that Darth Vader, after all, was once a little boy who had a mother who loved him? Was it to point out Anakin's uniqueness in being a boy who only had a mother but not a father? Essentially, was Shmi a tool to point out other aspects of Anakin, or is she a character in herself?

    If Shmi was shown because she is special, why then? Is it to show that the Skywalker family descended from a great, understanding woman? Is it to point out a legacy that she has left, in a certain, hidden manner?

    Why do we see so little of Shmi, when she is a character who has so much potential? Her story is a sad one, for how much joy can a slave have in a life? Her one and only, Anakin, goes off to be a Jedi, leaving her alone. It is only when she meets Lars that she can once again have a reprieve.

    DARTHVADER_ANAKIN Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jan 28, 2003
    If she was not in the Prequels I think it would have been tough for Lucas to show Anakin's descent to the dark side. Great Thread. Shmi is very important. I love the line, "What ever you do, don't look back, don't look back."(This is probably not the right wording, but, I like it anyway.)
  7. KenKenobi

    KenKenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jul 11, 2002
    Shmi was a character used not only to convey the conflict in Anakin between the Jedi and his personal ideals (i.e. his mother, Padme, etc.), but also to put reasoning behind the Jedi principle of having no attachments, as well as the reluctance to train significantly older children to become Jedi.

    She also plays a key role leading up to the OT, in how she portrays the very backstory of not only Anakin and Luke, but also Owen and Beru.

    We will most likely see the impact and effects of her characters importance in Episode III, even if we don't get to see her. ;) :)

    [hl=purple]Ken Kenobi- And you have a nice day ;) [/hl]
  8. Falls_the_Shadow

    Falls_the_Shadow Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 31, 2002
    Of what consequence is the life of one slave woman hidden in a backwater planet compared to the galaxy?

    The freedom of the galaxy itself.
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