- "But you can not stop the change, no more than you can stop the suns from setting."
- ―Shmi Skywalker, to her son Anakin Skywalker
Shmi Skywalker Lars as the oldest known Skywalker ancestor, was the human mother of the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker as well as stepmother to Owen Lars and the paternal grandmother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. This made her the great-grandmother of Ben Solo. A slave, Shmi gave birth to a son she named Anakin, who was conceived by the midi-chlorians to fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force. After Anakin left to become a Jedi, 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.
A couple of years after her death, Shmi appeared to her son Anakin on the planet Mortis. This vision was conjured by the Son, a member of a trio of powerful Force wielders who wanted to test whether Anakin was indeed the Chosen One. During their brief meeting, Shmi attempted to convince Anakin to abandon his relationship with his secret wife Padmé Amidala since that attachment would lead to the dark side of the Force.
Shmi Skywalker was a slave who lived on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine during the last decades of the Galactic Republic. About nine years before the Battle of Naboo, she miraculously gave birth to a Force-sensitive son named Anakin Skywalker. At one point, Shmi and Anakin were owned by the female Hutt crime lord Gardulla until she lost them in a bet with the Toydarian junk dealer Watto, who employed Anakin's services at his junkyard. While Watto could be a harsh and demanding master, he still furnished them with a home in Mos Espa's slave quarters. In addition, Shmi and her son also owned a few personal possessions including an antiquated protocol droid named C-3PO and a podracer.
Losing her sonEdit
One day, Anakin returned home with several strangers including the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the Naboo Queen Padmé Amidala, disguised as a handmaiden, the Gungan Jar Jar Binks, and the astromech droid R2-D2, who were seeking shelter from a sandstorm. While Shmi and her son had initially believed that these offworlders had come to free slaves, they quickly learned that the strangers had become stranded on Tatooine after their starship's hyperdrive was damaged during a diplomatic mission to the galactic capital, Coruscant. When Anakin offered to help Jinn and his companions to obtain money for the hyperdrive by winning the upcoming Boonta Eve Classic podrace, Shmi initially disagreed with the idea. However, she relented when Anakin recalled her words on helping others.
While Anakin repaired his podracer, Shmi told Jinn about her son's miraculous birth. Later, Jinn tested Anakin and discovered that he was Force-sensitive. Due to his high concentration of Midi-chlorians, Jinn believed that Anakin was the prophesied Chosen One. The following day, Qui-Gon offered to sponsor Anakin for the upcoming Boonta Eve race in return for securing Shmi and her son's emancipation if Anakin won that race. However, Watto was unwilling to relinquish both slaves at the same time. Instead, they reached a compromise where Watto would agree to free Anakin if he won the race. The following day, Shmi along with the offworld visitors attended the Boonta Eve Classic. Despite great odds, her son Anakin won the race, and Watto was forced to honor his promise to emancipate Anakin.
Following the race, Shmi and her son embraced each other with Shmi expressing pride in her son's achievements. After securing Anakin's earnings from Watto, Jinn informed Shmi that he had secured Anakin's emancipation and offered to train him as a Jedi. With much difficulty, Shmi decided to part with her son. Realizing that Anakin would have a better future offworld, Shmi advised her son to grasp this new opportunity and told him to let her go on the rationale that her place and future was on Tatooine. Prior to leaving for his new life on Coruscant, Anakin made a solemn vow that he would return and free her.
Emancipation, captivity, and deathEdit
A few years before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Shmi met a moisture farmer named Cliegg Lars, who bought her from Watto and emancipated her. The two subsequently fell in love, married, and lived together at the Lars moisture farm in Tatooine's Jundland Wastes. One month before the Battle of Geonosis, Shmi was out gathering mushrooms in the morning when a group of Tusken Raiders kidnapped her. Cliegg assembled a rescue party but lost most of his companions and his right leg during the rescue attempt. Believing Shmi to be dead and unwilling to risk any more lives, Lars abandoned the rescue.
However, Shmi was still alive but had been severely tortured and brutalized. Meanwhile, her son Anakin, who had become a Jedi Padawan under Obi-Wan Kenobi, sensed her distress through the Force. Anakin immediately set off to Tatooine to find and save her; he convinced his love interest, Senator Amidala, to accompany him. After meeting with Watto, Anakin and Amidala arrived at the Lars family farm and learned about his mother's fate after Anakin left for Coruscant: freedom, marrying Cliegg and becoming stepmother to Owen Lars, and her kidnapping. Despite Cliegg' warnings and advice, Anakin traveled into the wilderness to find her. He eventually stumbled on a Tusken Raider camp.
After infiltrating the camp, he found the tent where Shmi was being held. There, Anakin encountered a bound and emaciated Shmi, who was near death. Prior to her death, she managed to tell her son that she was proud of him and that she loved him. Shmi's death threw Anakin into a fit of rage, and he took his first step to the dark side of the Force. In his rage, Anakin avenged his mother by coldly killing every Tusken Raider in the encampment, including the women and children. The following morning, Anakin returned to the Lars moisture farm with his mother's body. Shmi was mourned by both her son Anakin and Cliegg, as well as Amidala, Owen, and his girlfriend, Beru, who all attended her funeral.
Shmi's death had a profound effect on influencing her son Anakin's journey to the dark side. Prior to his mother's burial, Anakin told Amidala that he regretted not being strong enough to save his mother. He also vowed that he would one day become so powerful that he could learn to stop people from dying. Finally, Skywalker confessed to his role in murdering the Tusken Raiders to avenge his mother's death. Skywalker's guilt about not being able to prevent Shmi's death made him susceptible to Darth Sidious' efforts to win him over to the dark side.
During the Clone Wars, Anakin experienced a Force vision of Shmi on the planet Mortis, where he had been put through a series of tests by three powerful beings known as the Force wielders who wanted to determine whether he truly was the Chosen One. In reality, the Son, one of the Force wielders who embodied the dark side of the Force, had assumed the form of his late mother. The false Shmi told Anakin to give up his love for Amidala, whom he had secretly married shortly after the Battle of Geonosis, saying that he did not truly love her and that she was poison to him before transforming into the Son.
Behind the scenesEdit
Shmi Skywalker was portrayed by Swedish actress Pernilla August in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. She reprised her role as Shmi Skywalker one more time in the The Clone Wars season 3 episode "Overlords."
In 1998, it was announced that Anakin Skywalker's mother would be named Shmi and that August would portray her. When the original trilogy was rereleased in theaters and VHS to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope the year before, Star Wars Trivial Pursuit was released to coincide with this. The limited edition game contained a sequestered pack of questions that served as a preview of the first new trilogy installment, two of which divulged those bits of information.
In one of the first drafts of The Phantom Menace, her name was Shmi Warka.
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Obi-Wan & Anakin, Part IV (Mentioned only; in flashback)
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars film (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Overlords" (Vision to Anakin Skywalker)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Kidnapped" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Slaves of the Republic" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (Mentioned only)
- Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 5: The Chosen One, Part V (Vision to Darth Vader)
- Ahsoka (Mentioned only)
- Lords of the Sith (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: A New Hope junior novelization (Mentioned only)
- "Beru Whitesun Lars"—From a Certain Point of View (Indirect mention only)
- "Time of Death"—From a Certain Point of View (Mentioned only)
- "Coda" (Mentioned only, in opening crawl)
- William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First
- William Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh: Star Wars Part the Second
- William Shakespeare's Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge: Star Wars Part the Third (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III (Appears in flashback(s))
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Darth Vader: Sith Lord
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
- ; image #2 (of 9) (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)