The Skywalker Family

If you haven’t seen Episodes I to VII, then this section of The Skywalker Legacy is drowning in spoilers.  You might want to give it a miss.

You’ve been warned!

Spoiler Alert

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The Skywalker family are more than those people who have the Skywalker surname – Shmi, Anakin and Luke.  It includes Leia Organa, Luke’s sister and Anakin’s daughter, and Luke and Leia would never have been born without Padme Naberrie.  Likewise, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) would never have been born without Han Solo.

As of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, there are four direct descendants of Shmi Skywalker, the woman who began the legacy back in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace:
– Anakin Skywalker;
– Leia Organa;
– Luke Skywalker;
– Ben Solo (Kylo Ren).

Also as of Episode VII, we know of a total of two other characters who, through marriage, became a part of the Skywalker clan: Padme Naberrie (Padme Amidala) and Han Solo.

As of the end of Episode VII, only three members of the Skywalker Clan remain alive – Leia Organa, her son Kylo Ren, and Kylo’s Uncle, Luke Skywalker.

There are still theories that Rey may also be a member of the Skywalker family, but we will have to wait until Episodes VIII or IX before we find out whether or not there is any truth in that.

This page takes a look at the Skywalkers.  It’s a living document, meaning it will grow over time as we learn more about this important and enigmatic family that is at the core of the Star Wars saga.  It’s aim is to be an easily accessible collection of information on the one single family that shaped an entire galaxy.

Where relevant, links will be provided to some of the great database sources that already exist like Wookieepedia and of course the official Star Wars website.

The best and most logical place to start a journey that focuses on this family is at the beginning – and it all began with one woman: Shmi Skywalker.

The following is written as if “in story”.

“There was no father.  I carried him.  I gave birth.  I raised him.
I can’t explain what happened.”

The Skywalker family’s story is one that is punctuated by tragedy.  Though a former Queen and powerful Senator married into the family, and though one of its descendants became a Princess and a Senator, and eventually a respected leader in the Alliance to Restore the Republic, the family started from very humble beginnings, and each one of them was exposed to truly horrific circumstances throughout their lives.

From what we know, Shmi Skywalker was either born into slavery or became a slave around the time of her son’sbirth.

We don’t know anything about her parents and we don’t know a great deal about her life, but what we do know is that there was something remarkable about her.  Destiny made her the mother of the Jedi’s ‘Chosen One’, and the grandmother of two of the most powerful Force-sensitives in history.

Despite how enigmatic Shmi is, no one can deny that she was one of the most important individuals in recent galactic history.

There is no information on whether or not Shmi was Force sensitive, though it stands to reason she was.  She gave birth to Anakin Skywalker without conceiving normally, her son apparently manifesting from the Force itself.

It is fair to assume Shmi had abnormally high levels of Midi-Chlorians in her body, so much so they were able to spontaneously create new life without the need of insemination.

midi-chlorians

If Shmi Skywalker was infused with an unusually high number of Midi-Chlorians, it is possible her levels exceeded that of her sons.

Because of Shmi’s age, she was not tested by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn when he came across Anakin Skywalker.  Perhaps the Jedi Master could sense Shmi’s ability, but we will never know as he was, sadly, killed soon after by a Sith Apprentice called Darth Maul.

Prior to the fall of the Republic and the destruction and disbandment of the Jedi Order, Jedi set age restrictions around who could and could not be trained – believing that once an individual reached a certain age they were more prone to the influence of negative behaviours that could, conceivably, lead to a fall to the Dark Side of the Force.

It is possible, were Shmi Force-sensitive, that she did not realise it.  Jedi Master Luke Skywalker was not aware of the Force until introduced to it by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan did know about the Force but was unaware of her own sensitivity to it beyond flashes of intuition.

Shmi Skywalker lived on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine, arriving there with her young son who was, at that time, three years of age.

Tatooine, at the time of the Old Republic and the Empire was largely lawless, ruled by the notorious gangsters, the Hutts.

From what little official information that exists, it appears Shmi Skywalker and her young child became the property of infamous criminal figure Gardulla Besadii the Elder (Gardulla the Hutt).  According to anecdote, Gardulla lost Shmi and her son to a Toydarian Junk Dealer named Watto.

watto

Approximately nine-years after the birth of her son, Anakin, Shmi met Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn, his Padawan Learner Obi Wan Kenobi, Padme Naberrie (Queen Amidala of Naboo in disguise) and Jar Jar Binks (a Gungan native of Naboo).  That chance meeting led to Anakin being freed from slavery.  He was taken to Coruscant to be tested by the Jedi Council and eventually trained as a Jedi.

Not long after allowing the Jedi to take her son, Shmi met Cliegg Lars, a moisture farmer who purchased her from Watto.  Eventually, they fell in love and he set her free and married her.

Shortly before the Battle of Geonosis, Shmi was captured by a raiding party of Tusken Raiders.  Cliegg put together search parties, but was unable to find her.

According to the recently discovered diaries of former Queen of Naboo, Padme Naberrie, Anakin Skywalker, urged on by a number of Force Visions, returned to Tatooine as a Jedi Padawan to find his mother.

cleigg-lars

Upon arriving at Tatooine with Senator Amidala (Padme Naberrie), Anakin learned his mother had been freed and had been living for a time with Cliegg Lars and his son, Owen and Owen’s fiance, Beru.

Anakin learned Shmi had recently been captured by Tusken Raiders and that Cliegg and other locals had been unable to find her.

Anakin set out to rescue his mother, and though he found her, she died in his arms, but not before she was able to tell him she loved him, and was proud of him.

Her death, as with her life, would impact the galaxy in incredible ways.

Historians agree that the tragic death of Shmi Skywalker was the incident that started young Anakin Skywalkers fall to the Dark Side.  According to the diaries of Padme Naberrie, Anakin slaughtered the Tusken Raiders who had taken his mother, damaging his psyche.  Padme Naberrie’s diaries state that Anakin felt deeply conflicted by that act, and that it troubled him for some time.

The former Queen and Senator of Naboo’s diaries also state that Anakin developed an “all consuming fear” around losing those he loved.  This fear would continue to manifest for some time as dreams and visions.  Anakin, of course, went on to accidentally kill his wife, Padme, in a fit of rage around the time of the destruction of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and the initiation of Order 66.

While Shmi Skywalker ensured her son was raised in as loving an environment as was possible, considering their status as slaves, the Jedi Order, sadly, were unable to protect Anakin Skywalker from the machinations of Chancellor Palpatine, who, unbeknownst to many at the time, was the Sith Lord Darth Sidious.

The following is an “out of story” comment.

As Lucasfilm and Disney begin to roll out more Anthology Films, it would be wonderful to see one of them dedicated to Shmi’s parents and how Shmi became infused with Midi-Chlorians, and then how she came to be a slave.

One possibility is that she comes from a long line of Force-sensitives.  Another is that her parents were explorers, and found their way to the centre of the galaxy and the mythical “Force World.”  While there, Shmi’s mother, pregnant with Shmi, may have been exposed to pure Midi-Chlorian life-forms that entered her body and effected the development of Shmi in utero.

Perhaps her parents were more than explorers, and had a fascination with the Jedi and were trying to prove or disprove the Midi-Chlorian hypothesis, or were trying to understand how these creatures could make one person prone to the Light Side of the Force, and another prone to the Dark Side.  Perhaps they were pursued by a Sith who wanted that knowledge and killed or captured them for it?  Perhaps knowing that Shmi’s mother had been exposed to pure Midi-Chlorians, she and her husband were placed on Tatooine as slaves to be observed for some future aim of the Sith?

We’ll probably never know, but I think it would make for an amazing story and a worthy entry in the new Anthology series.

One thing is certain, this character deserves far more focus than she has received so far.

Shmi Skywalker was portrayed beautifully by Swedish actor Pernilla August.

For more information on Shmi, visit her Wookieepedia page here or her StarWars.com Databank page here.

To learn more about Pernilla, visit her IMDb page here.

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