There will soon come a day when the future of the galaxy hinges on the fate of one boy... though he does not yet know it. Growing up on the desert world Tatooine, Anakin Skywalker never thought he would venture beyond the small life he has. Simple, boyhood pursuits seem like the only things he should be concerned with. But destiny has other things in mind...
On the galactic frontier of the Outer Rim, the planet Tatooine orbits the inner edge of the twin suns Tatoo I and Tatoo II. A clan of Jawas loots a crashed starship while a band of Tusken Raiders watches on from the cliffs overhead. As one observes the Jawas through a pair of electrobinoculars, two Tuskens pore over a poster advertising the Boonta Eve Classic podrace. The Tuskens mount their banthas and follow the Jawa procession towards the spaceport settlement of Mos Espa.
There, in the junkyard owned by the Toydarian junk dealer Watto, the slave boy Anakin Skywalker works under a large bin with a fusioncutter, and is watched keenly by a womp rat. The critter dashes into a tripwire, springing a trap and causing Anakin to bump his head in the commotion. He's met by Amee, who notices the ensnared womp rat. Anakin cuts it free, stating that all living things should be free, and continues to search for parts for his secret podracer. The pair spot a herd of banthas, unusually close to the settlement, which Anakin suggests is because a storm is coming. Attempting to return to the shop before he can be yelled at by Watto, Anakin again encounters the womp rat, which sits on a gleaming energy binder. Surprised, Anakin inspects the device, having usually been able to know where to find things in Watto's junkyard.
Anakin's inspection is interrupted by Watto, whose yelling in Huttese brings the boy and Amee inside the shop. He tasks Anakin with obtaining a thermal veristat and Thruster relays from the visiting Jawas, and admonishes Anakin for destroying his podracer in the boy's last race. Watto threatens to beat Anakin blind, to which the boy quips that he would not be able to race if he was blind. Watto points out that he doesn't have a podracer to fly anyway, and sends Anakin away. The boy meets his mother, Shmi Skywalker, who asks him to buy fruit from Jira on his way. He asks her to hide his new energy binder, and sets off for the plaza.
Wandering through the crowds, Anakin is accosted by his friends Kitster and Wald, the latter of whom has acquired a peggat Kitster hopes to spend on a ruby bliel. The boys stop off at Jira's stall, and learn her cooling unit has broken down. She gives Anakin some pika fruits for his mother, and Anakin promises to find a replacement unit in the junkyard. They head for Maggy the Gorgon's, but happen upon Sebulba the Dug in the street, admonishing his band over his entrance music for the podrace. Sebulba mocks Anakin about his crash in their last race, and Anakin accuses his rival of cheating and killing fellow racer Rimkar. The two square off, and are about to scuffle when a cantina patron is knocked through the doorway of Maggy's, interrupting the pair. An old spacer and previous acquaintance of Anakin's sees Sebulba off, and warns the slave boys not to go into Maggy's today, instead giving them a ruby bliel to share. Anakin asks the retired pilot to tell him about the Angels of Iego again when he comes back. Anakin vows that one day he'll become a deep-space pilot and walk on all the planets. As Anakin catches up with his friends, a Duros asks the spacer why he bothers talking to the slave, to which the old human replies that there is something about Anakin. The pair laugh it off and return inside Maggy's, where the Xexto podracer Gasgano is in the midst of a violent bar brawl. Forcing his opponents to exclaim the virtues of his Ord Pedrovia podracer, Gasgano is bitten by a Gran. Meanwhile, Aldar Beedo and Wan Sandage negotiate a deal to eliminate Sebulba from the race, while Ark Roose watches Skywalker from the window, plotting his revenge against the boy.
Unbeknownst, Anakin and his friends find the Jawa traders, but only in time to watch a pit droid buying exactly the parts Skywalker is looking for. Back at the shop, Watto is furious with Anakin, and makes him clean the bins again. Anakin gives his mother the fruit from Jira, and Shmi takes a moment to look at her son, momentarily fearing that she might not see him again. Seeing him off, Shmi warns Anakin of the approaching storm.
In the junkyard, Anakin again discovers the womp rat he saved, now standing on a cooling unit. Anakin sits on top of it happily, and stares up at the sky in time to spot a ship coming in a high speed. Anakin wonders if it was an Angel, and dreams of one leading warriors into battle on planets without number. He sees himself as a Jedi, holding a glowing lightsaber as chained hands reach out to him imploringly. However, he is stirred from his vision by Watto's voice, and arrives at the shop in time to find the Toydarian has visitors: Qui-Gon Jinn, Jar Jar Binks, R2-D2, and the beautiful young Padmé Naberrie, whom Skywalker thinks of as the Angel of his dreams.
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- Star Wars: Episode I (1999)
- Star Wars: Episode I Adventures (TPB) (2000)
- Star Wars Omnibus: Emissaries and Assassins
- Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: Rise of the Sith Vol. 2