- "Cliegg Lars. Shmi is my wife."
- ―Cliegg Lars introduces himself to Anakin Skywalker, his step-son
Cliegg Lars was a human male moisture farmer from the desert planet Tatooine. He lived and worked on a family farm he inherited from his parents with his son from his first marriage, Owen Lars, and Owen's girlfriend Beru Whitesun. Though the Lars family was content with their simple lives, they became involved with the White Suns liberation movement, which helped free Tatooine's slaves. Because of his work with the movement, Cliegg met his future wife, Shmi Skywalker. Through his marriage to her, Cliegg would be the step-father of Anakin Skywalker and the step-grandfather of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.
Cliegg won Shmi's freedom in a bet with her enslaver, Watto, and the two moved to the Lars homestead, where they married and lived happily as moisture farmers. Using a deprogramming device the family had designed to remove Shmi's transmitter chip, the Larses secretly helped emancipate escaped slaves. One day, however, Shmi was captured by a band of Tusken Raiders. Cliegg organized a posse to rescue her, but the attempt failed. As he mourned her, Cliegg was visited by her son, Anakin Skywalker, who led his own rescue mission, but the boy returned only with her corpse. Cliegg never recovered from the incident and died of a broken heart shortly after. He was buried alongside Shmi on the farm, which was bequeathed to Owen and Beru.
A tragic youth
Cliegg Lars was born to Lef and Gredda Lars on the Outer Rim desert planet Tatooine. Cliegg also had a brother, Edern. Despite the arid conditions of Tatooine, which orbited two suns, Tatoo I and Tatoo II, as well as the danger posed by the native Tusken Raider tribes, the family became pioneers of the Great Chott salt flat and operated a moisture farm on the outskirts of a settlement known as Anchorhead. Cliegg helped found and build the underground homestead, and the family made their living harvesting water. Because the water harvests rarely supplied quantities sufficient to sell for profit, the family kept the water for themselves to sustain their hydroponic gardens instead.
While still young, Cliegg wanted to experience life on a bustling Core World, leaving his father in charge of the Tatooine homestead. While away, Cliegg met a woman named Aika, and the two fell in love, married, and parented a son, Owen. They raised the boy together, but tragedy struck when Aika died, after which Cliegg decided to return to Tatooine with Owen. Cliegg was left the owner of the homestead after the rest of his immediate family, minus Owen, died as well. Edern was killed at the age of fourteen when he lost control of the family's V-35 Courier landspeeder, and Gredda and Lef passed away as well. All three were buried on the property. Without the rest of their family, Cliegg and Owen ran the farm together, and they were eventually joined by Owen's girlfriend, Beru Whitesun.
In secret, Cliegg, Owen, and Beru began helping White Suns, a liberation movement aimed at emancipating enslaved peoples on Tatooine. It was by chance that the Larses would be introduced to Shmi Skywalker, who would become an integral part of their family unit. While on a supply run in Mos Espa, Beru's portable navigator unit malfunctioned, and at a recommendation from the merchant she had been bartering with she went to Skywalker's home in the Slave Quarters Row to get it fixed for cheap. When Beru returned to Cliegg's home, she told him and Owen of Shmi's talent for tinkering, which interested the White Suns. Upon first meeting her, Cliegg too became interested after his first conversation with Shmi. In the following weeks, Shmi told Cliegg, Owen, and Beru of her enslaver, the Toydarian junk dealer Watto, namely what his weaknesses were and how he cheated to get around the White Suns.
Shmi spent most of her time with Cliegg, who ostensibly hired her out from Watto to tune his moisture vaporators. They developed a liking for one another and, in their time spent together, they grew close. Shmi and Beru worked on building tracking devices, which they could use to locate the transmitter chips planted in those enslaved on Tatooine. Finally, the day came when Cliegg made his move to free Shmi from Watto's ownership. Knowing of Watto's gambling tendencies from Shmi's information, Cliegg lured Watto into a game where she was the promised prize. Lars won the game, and he quickly brought Shmi back to the boundaries of his homestead, finally setting her free, even though the chip still remained.
Over the next three months of trial and error, the Larses and Skywalker worked tirelessly to complete a working deprogramming device to remove Shmi's chip. The work was tedious, and it was only because of Cliegg's technical ownership of her that Shmi was able to have the device tested on her; had she still been under the control of an enslaver, she would have been killed the moment the chip was tampered with. Cliegg kept the monitoring device that controlled her chip in his office. Though Cliegg, Beru, and Owen continued to fret over the situation, Shmi remained positive, in part because her son, Anakin, who had once been Watto's slave but won his freedom and joined the Jedi Order, had always wanted to build a deprogrammer. At the end of the three months, Shmi and Beru finished the device and had only to test it once again.
Cliegg couldn't bear to watch the procedure again, and Owen took him to the other side of the homestead to keep him distracted. While Cliegg and Owen waited, Beru successfully located Shmi's chip, which was fused to her lower spine. Knowing that they would have only a short window before the monitoring device discovered that the chip was being disturbed, Beru quickly made cuts into Shmi's skin and removed the chip, deactivating it. Though Shmi would have lived even if the monitor found the chip was tampered with, the next person they tried the procedure on would not. Having made a successful scanner, Cliegg and his family continued to help escaped slaves and removed their chips when they could. Some of those they helped died during the chip's removal, but the Lars family remained devoted to their cause and Shmi worked endlessly to improve the device.
- "Thirty of us went out after her. Four of us came back. I'd be with them, but… after I lost my leg I just couldn't ride anymore, until I heal. I don't want to give up on her, but she's been gone a month. There's little hope she's lasted this long."
- ―Cliegg Lars tells Anakin Skywalker about his mother
Cliegg and Shmi married and lived together as husband and wife for many years. Approximately, one month before the First Battle of Geonosis, however, Shmi was kidnapped by a group of Tusken Raiders. An enraged Lars gathered dozens of other farmers and set out to rescue his wife. Although thirty farmers went out looking for her, only four returned alive. Lars himself returned maimed, having lost his right leg to the sand people.
A month after Shmi's disappearance, her son, Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker arrived on the farm looking for her, having had Force visions of her suffering. Lars and his family met Skywalker for the first time and explained to him what had happened with the Tusken Raiders. Although Lars told his stepson to accept that Shmi was gone, Skywalker was determined to find his mother and set out into the desert to locate the sand people. He found them and his mother, but she died in his arms. Skywalker returned to the farm after slaughtering the Tusken Raiders for revenge, with his deceased mother. Skywalker quietly blamed them before he and, along with Lars and his family, buried Shmi on the farm next to Lars's brother and parents. Skywalker left shortly thereafter, leaving the Lars family behind and taking the droid C-3PO with him. Soon after these events, Cliegg died, passing on the moisture farm to his son and his daughter-in-law Beru. He was buried alongside his second wife, Shmi, sometime after his death at the Lars Moisture Farm on Tatooine.
- "Wait a moment...I'm detecting a few rectangular cuboids two meters below the surface...yes, there we go! Cliegg Lars' and Shmi's graves must be down below. Owen and Beru must have removed the headstones. Protecting the boy, probably."
- ―ZED-6-7, discovering Cliegg and Shmi's unmarked graves
After Cliegg's death, the Lars property was bequeathed to Owen and Beru, and, at the end of the Clone Wars, they were made the guardians of Luke Skywalker, Anakin's son. Owen and Beru were entrusted by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to keep Luke safe and hidden from his father, who had turned to the dark side of the Force and become Darth Vader amid the rise of the Galactic Empire. As a measure of keeping Luke safe, the headstones above Cliegg and Shmi's graves were sandblasted. Kenobi, who stayed on Tatooine to watch over Luke, often visited the grave and sometimes left toys there for the young child for Beru to find. At some point, Owen and Beru went one step further and removed all the headstones from the property, leaving Cliegg's grave, as well as that of his parents, brother, and second wife, unmarked.
The Lars homestead was destroyed in 0 BBY when, after unknowingly taking in two fugitive droids, C-3P0 and R2-D2, Owen and Beru were executed by Imperial stormtroopers, and the farm was burned. Luke, who had been away from the farm at the time, joined Obi-Wan Kenobi after their murders and became a hero in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The farm was left abandoned after Luke left, and it became a target for Tusken Raiders, who damaged what was left of the former homestead despite the absence of any inhabitants.
Years later, Darth Vader, after learning of Luke and confronting him, returned to the homestead to learn more about his son. Vader was accompanied by a forensics droid, ZED-6-7, who listed off the former residents of the abandoned farm, including Cliegg and Shmi. Vader was haunted by his memories of his mother's death and his visit to the farm. ZED later located the coffins belonging to Cliegg and Shmi, which he detected were two meters below the surface. ZED speculated that Owen and Beru had removed the headstones, and his further scans found no evidence of Cliegg's son or daughter-in-law's remains. Vader and ZED left shortly after. The farm built by Cliegg Lars was left in its ruined state and, by 35 ABY, had begun to disappear under the sands of Tatooine.
Personality and traits
- "Your mother's dead, son. Accept it."
- ―Cliegg Lars tells Anakin Skywalker to accept his mother's death
Lars was a human male who stood at a height of 1.83 meters. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and light skin. While attempting to rescue his wife, Lars lost his right leg in pursuit of the Tusken Raiders. He felt a wave of anger towards the sand people for taking Shmi, and felt that they were savage and vicious monsters.
Behind the scenes
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
- Attack of the Clones Read-Along Storybook and CD (Indirect mention only)
- The Prequel Trilogy Read-Along Storybook and CD Collection (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Graphic Novel Adaptation
- Queen's Hope (Mentioned only)
- Queen's Hope audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Ahsoka (Indirect mention only)
- Ahsoka audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Vader (2020) 1 (Grave only)
Notes and references
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Queen's Hope
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Darth Vader (2020) 1
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Ahsoka (novel)
- "Time of Death"—From a Certain Point of View
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- 35 ABY. dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker to
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker