When Bastila Shan was a child and her father wanted to take her searching for treasure, as he regularly did, it was Helena who prevented him, insisting that it was too dangerous. Bastila thought her mother urged her father to go on hunts. As a result, Bastila grew up resentful of her mother, and the two of them had an uneasy relationship. When Helena sent Bastila to join the Jedi Order to provide her with a better life than that of the daughter of treasure hunters, Bastila took that as a sign that her mother did not want her around.
Over the following years, Helena and her husband continued their treasure hunting. Helena remembered her daughter with fondness, showing holograms of her to one of her husband's employees, a Twi'lek woman named Malare. At some point during this time, Helena developed a fatal disease. Her husband, in order to pay for treatments, desperately continued his search for treasure to raise the money. In the course of these hunts he traveled to Tatooine searching for krayt dragon pearls, and was killed by a canyon krayt dragon in the Eastern Dune Sea. When Helena spoke to Malare again, she was desperate to find her daughter.
During the Jedi Civil War in 3956 BBY, as Bastila and Jedi Padawan Revan traveled to Tatooine during their journey to find a way to stop the Sith Invasion, Malare would cross paths with her and her companion, informing them that Helena was on Tatooine looking for Bastila. Helena's attitude had raised the ire of several patrons of the Anchorhead cantina, including the Duros Maana Demknot, who stormed out just as Bastila and the amnesiac Revan arrived, and was able to direct them to her. Bastila reluctantly met with Helena, but doubted that she was truly ill, and after a brief argument learned of her father's death. Helena asked Bastila to retrieve a holocron belonging to Bastila's father from the krayt dragon's lair. After slaying the dragon, the two Jedi retrieved it, but Bastila was reluctant to give it back to her mother. When she learned that Helena truly was dying and righted her misconceptions about her childhood, Bastila reconciled with Helena and gave her 500 credits to pay for treatment from a doctor on Coruscant. Before she left the Cantina, Helena asked Revan to protect and take care of Bastila. He told her that he would do his best.
Behind the scenes
Strangely enough, Helena herself is wearing Jedi robes. This could either be a mistake on the part of BioWare, or reflective of the simple nature of some forms of Jedi robes from that period in time, and their similarity to simple desert robes. Her portrait is also a generic Human female seen in many parts of the game. With the robes she resembles many Jedi females at the ceremony on Lehon, albeit she has an older face.
In the game, there is another alternative possibility where Bastila does not give the holocron of her father to Helena and keeps it for herself. Bastila is not convinced that her mother is ill, and therefore does not give her credits to find a doctor on Coruscant, with the confrontation between the two ending on bad terms.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)