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"Shmi's motif" is a short theatrical motif used to represent Shmi Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. It was written by John Williams and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in February 1999. It made only two appearances in the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Ultimate Edition soundtrack and one appearance in the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones soundtrack. The motif is usually realized as an oboe solo. It is homophonic, non-metrical, and is in a minor mode.

Conception and developmentEdit

Anakinandmom

The composition is used during the departure scene between Anakin and Shmi.

Composer John Williams was chosen to write the score for the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace,[8] as had been the case for all three of the original trilogy films.[9] He wrote "Shmi's theme" specifically to represent the character of Shmi Skywalker, mother of young Anakin Skywalker and slave to Watto on Tatooine. Williams used the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Voices to perform the score, which was written between October 1998 and February 1999 and recorded durign the month of February 1999 in England.[2] However, only the orchestra was used in "Shmi's theme."[1] The theme was released on the Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Ultimate Edition soundtrack CD by Sony Classical on November 14, 2000.[3] The album was also released on vinyl by "IAmShark" in 2013.[4] The Attack of the Clones soundtrack was released by Sony Classical on CD April 23, 2002,[6] and as an MP3 download on May 16, 2002.[3] On September 25, 2015, Sony Classical announced it would be releasing the soundtracks to The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones along with the other five films' soundtracks in three new sets: the Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection, the Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Edition, and the Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection on January 8, 2016.[5]

SummaryEdit

The entire motif mainly comprises a single oboe solo during its few appearances. The oboe utilizes vibrato throughout the solo. The slow tempo and minor mode accent the melancholy scenes. The solo is backed by quiet violin chords and is homophonic and non-metrical.[1]

UseEdit

In the soundtracksEdit

The motif makes only two short appearances in the Ultimate Edition soundtrack for The Phantom Menace: one three minutes and fifty-four seconds into the track "Anakin Is Free" and the other, with significant variation, four minutes and twenty-eight seconds into the same track.[1] The motif makes one appearance in the soundtrack for Attack of the Clones one minute and twenty-six seconds into the track "The Tusken Camp and the Homestead."[10]

In the moviesEdit

In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the theme appears exclusively in the scene when Anakin Skywalker makes his last farewell to his mother, Shmi Skywalker, before leaving a life of slavery on Tatooine.[7] In Attack of the Clones, it appears solely when Anakin is holding his dying mother in his arms in the Tusken Raider camp.[11]

In other mediaEdit

Shmi's motif was used several times throughout parts two and three of the 2001 mockumentary R2-D2: Beneath the Dome,[12] which began airing following that year's Thanksgiving showing of The Phantom Menace on FOX.[13]

BibliographyEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Leitmotifs and themes
Introduced in Episode IV
Leitmotifs:
Luke Skywalker · The Rebellion · Princess Leia · Jawa · The Force · Tusken Raider · The Death Star · Dies irae · The Empire

Recurring themes/concert pieces/songs:
"Star Wars Main Title" · "Cantina Band" · "Here They Come!/TIE Fighter Attack" · "The Final Battle" · "The Throne Room"

Introduced in Episode V
Leitmotifs: The Empire/Darth Vader · C-3PO and R2-D2 · Han Solo and Princess Leia · Yoda · Lando Calrissian · Boba Fett

Recurring themes: "The Asteroid Field"

Introduced in Episode VI
Leitmotifs: Jabba the Hutt · Ewoks · Luke and Leia · The Emperor

Concert pieces/songs: "Jabba the Hutt" · "Lapti Nek" · "Jedi Rocks"
"The Forest Battle" · "Ewok Celebration"/Yub Nub · "Victory Celebration" (VI)

Introduced in Holiday Special
"Light the Sky on Fire" · "Goodnight, But Not Goodbye" · "A Day to Celebrate"
Introduced in Droids and Ewoks
"In Trouble Again" · "Ewoks" · "Friends Together, Friends Forever"
Introduced in Rogue Squadron and Shadows of the Empire
"Rogue Squadron Main Title" · Xizor's Theme · "Dash's theme"
Introduced in Episode I
Leitmotifs: Qui-Gon Jinn · Jar Jar Binks · Darth Maul · Anakin Skywalker · Shmi Skywalker

Recurring themes: "Droid Invasion Theme" · "The Flag Parade" · "Escape from Naboo" · "Duel of the Fates" · Funeral

Introduced in Episode II
Leitmotifs: Mystery motif · "Across the Stars" · The Republic

Themes: "The Meadow Picnic"

Introduced in Episode III
Leitmotifs: General Grievous · Sith mystery · "Anakin's Betrayal" (II) ·"Anakin's Dark Deeds" (II) · "Battle of the Heroes"

Themes: "Padmé's Destiny" · "Padmé's Ruminations"

Introduced in The Clone Wars and Rebels
Leitmotifs: Clone Wars victory · Ahsoka Tano · Padmé Amidala
Rebels · Ezra Bridger · The Grand Inquisitor · Maul · Thrawn

Diegetic music: Glory of the Empire (V)

Introduced in Knights of the Old Republic and The Force Unleashed
Old Republic theme · The Force Unleashed · Rahm Kota · Juno Eclipse · Redemption
Introduced in Rogue One, Solo, and Galaxy's Edge
Leitmotifs: Jyn Erso and Hope (IV) · Galactic Empire · Guardians of the Whills
Han Solo · Enfys Nest

Themes: Galaxy's Edge

Introduced in Episode VII
Leitmotifs: Kylo Ren (V, VI, I, and II) · Rey (VI) · Poe Dameron · The Resistance · "Jedi Steps"

Themes/songs: "Han and Leia" · "Jabba Flow" · "Snoke"

Introduced in Episode VIII and IX
Rose Tico · Desperation · "Last-ditch fanfare" · Luke in exile · Knights of Ren
[edit]
Real-world music
Soundtracks
Saga:
I · II · III · IV · V · VI · VII · VIII · IX
Original Soundtrack Anthology · Ultimate Vinyl Collection
Ultimate Soundtrack Edition · Ultimate Digital Collection
Spin-off films & TV:
Ewoks · The Clone Wars movie, seasons 1–6, Season Seven: Episodes 1–4, Episodes 5–8, Episodes 9–12 · Rebels Season One & Season Two · Rogue One · Solo · The Mandalorian (Chapter 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8)
Video games:
Shadows of the Empire · Republic Commando · The Old Republic
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Oga's Cantina: R3X's Playlist 1
Composers
Clint Bajakian · Peter Bernstein · Michael Giacchino · Patrick Gleeson · Ludwig Göransson · Mark Griskey
Jesse Harlin · Jerry Hey · Chris Hülsbeck · Dean Kiner · Kevin Kiner · Sean Kiner · Frank Klepacki · Joel McNeely
Lin-Manuel Miranda · John Powell · Ryan Shore · Jeremy Soule · John Williams · Joseph Williams
Performers
London Symphony Orchestra · London Voices
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra · Royal Scottish National Orchestra
New London Children's Choir · Seattle Sinfonia Orchestra
Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra · Los Angeles Master Chorale · Kathleen Battle · Jefferson Starship · The Hu
Sheet music books
The Phantom Menace · Attack of the Clones · Revenge of the Sith
Music from the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition · Selections from Star Wars
Star Wars: A Musical Journey: Episodes I-VI · Star Wars Episodes I, II & III Instrumental Solos
Star Wars for Beginning Piano Solo · The Force Awakens · Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Music videos
"Lapti Nek": The Music Video from Jabba's Palace · The Duel of the Fates · A Hero Falls
Other
Bantha Music · Christmas in the Stars
Special Extended Dance Remix of Lapti Nek from the Original Soundtrack Recording of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Tusken Music · Headspace
[edit]
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