In the prequel series, we learned all about the backstory of the man who would become Darth Vader. Seeing this different side of the Sith Lord as Anakin Skywalker in his young days certainly made audiences sympathize with him, only because, well, he seemed so… normal.
Of course, there still were things that made Anakin stand out. He was the chosen one, after all. Anakin himself had been born to no father. It was only he and his mother, Shmi Skywalker, who he called his family. And it was Shmi who taught him to be kind and caring to others, as it was in her nature too. It’s a stark contrast to when he becomes Vader.
But life wasn’t easy for Shmi. She and Anakin had been slaves, owned by the junk merchant Watto when Qui-Gon Jinn and Padme find them on Tatooine. Eventually, Anakin was able to win his freedom so that he could be trained by Qui-Gon as a Jedi on Coruscant, but his mother’s freedom was not part of the deal. And so, Shmi stayed behind as a slave on the desert planet while Anakin was whisked away to begin his Jedi training.
What happened to Shmi Skywalker in Star Wars?
The introduction to Shmi was in Episode I. And by Episode II, things began to take a dark turn. Anakin had been plagued by bad dreams about his mother’s suffering. And so, while keeping watch over Padme (who was supposed to be laying low), the two took a trip to Tatooine to check on his mother.
To their dismay, Shmi had been kidnapped by Tusken Raiders. He found this out through the Lars family. Shmi had been bought and freed by Cliegg Lars and eventually married him and settled down on his moisture farm.
Anakin then traveled to the Tusken camp to rescue his mother. But time was running out. He found his mother in a feeble state; she had been tortured and abused while taken prisoner there. Shmi and Anakin were only able to exchange a few words before Shmi breathed her last breath. In a blind rage, Anakin slaughtered every Raider there. As he admitted to Padme later, that included the women and the children.
Shmi’s death, without a doubt, exposed Anakin’s vulnerability to the Dark Side. But deep down inside, the bit of humility she taught him was still there. And her heart has shown throughout the entire Skywalker line, down to Luke, Leia and even Ben Solo.
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