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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 development[edit | edit source]

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,[9] as had been the case for all three of the original trilogy films.[10] 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]

Summary[edit | edit source]

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]

Use[edit | edit source]

In the soundtracks[edit | edit source]

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."[11]

In the movies[edit | edit source]

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.[8] In Attack of the Clones, it appears solely when Anakin is holding his dying mother in his arms in the Tusken Raider camp.[12]

In other media[edit | edit source]

Shmi's motif was used several times throughout parts two and three of the 2001 mockumentary R2-D2: Beneath the Dome,[13] which began airing following that year's Thanksgiving showing of The Phantom Menace on FOX.[14]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Leitmotifs and themes
Introduced in Episode IV
Leitmotifs:
Main Title (Luke) · Rebels · Princess Leia · Jawa · the Force (Ben Kenobi) · Tusken Raider · Death Star · dies irae · Imperials

Recurring themes/concert pieces/songs:
"Star Wars Main Title" · "Mad About Me" (Cantina Band) · "Dune Sea Special" {Cantina Band #2)
"Here They Come!/TIE Fighter Attack" · "The Final Battle" · "The Throne Room"

Introduced in Episode V
The Empire/Darth Vader · Droids · Walkers · "Han Solo and the Princess" (IV) · Yoda · Boba Fett I · Lando Calrissian
"May the Force Be with You" · "The Asteroid Field"
Introduced in Episode VI
Leitmotifs: Jabba · Funeral · "Parade of the Ewoks" · Luke and Leia (IV, IV) · The Emperor (Sith) · Trap

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 Dark Forces, Shadows of the Empire, and Rogue Squadron
Mystery (V) · Xizor's Theme · Dash's theme · Rogue Squadron theme
Introduced in Episode I
Leitmotifs: Droid march · "Duel of the Fates" · Qui-Gon · Jar Jar · Darth Maul · Anakin Skywalker (V) · Shmi

Recurring themes: "The Flag Parade" · "Escape from Naboo"
Diegetic pieces: "Symponik Nabooalla" ("Augie's Great Municipal Band") (VI)

Introduced in Episode II
Conspiracy (II) · "Across the Stars" (IV, IV) · "The Meadow Picnic" · "The Arena" (Republic) · Palpatine's machinations
Introduced in Episode III
General Grievous · Sith mystery · "Padmé's Ruminations" (III) · "Anakin's Betrayal" (I, II)
"Anakin's Dark Deeds" (V, II, III) · "Battle of the Heroes" · "Padmé's Destiny"
Introduced in Knights of the Old Republic I and II
Revan · Bastila Shan · Kreia · Sith Triumvirate (II) · Nar Shaddaa · Korriban
Introduced in Clone Wars and Republic Commando
Advanced Recon Commandoes · Vode An
Introduced in The Old Republic
Songs · The Commander · Valkorion
Introduced in Empire at War and The Force Unleashed
Zann Consortium theme · The Force Unleashed · Rahm Kota · Juno Eclipse · Redemption
Introduced in The Clone Wars and Rebels
Admiral Yularen (V) · Clones · Ahsoka Tano · Plo Koon · Padmé Amidala · Savage Opress · Mortis (IV) · Satine Kryze
Rebels (VI) · Ezra Bridger · The Grand Inquisitor · "Glory of the Empire" (V) · Maul · Thrawn
Introduced in Anthology Series
Galactic Empire · Jyn Erso & Hope Suite (Jyn Erso (IV) · Hope (IV)Guardians of the Whills · messenger (IV) · Rogue One (IV)
Secrets · Han Solo · Han and Qi'ra · "Empire Recruitment" · Enfys Nest
"Chicken in the Pot" · "Stormtrooper JP-054 Karaoke" · L3-37 (VI)
Introduced in Episode VII
Leitmotifs: Kylo Ren (V, V, VI, I, I, II, VII) · Rey (IV, V, VI, II, II, III, VII) · Poe Dameron
The Resistance · Tension motif (II) · Snoke · "Jedi Steps"

Concert pieces/songs: "Jabba Flow" · "Dobra Doompa" · "Adagio" · "Scherzo for X-Wings"

Introduced in Episode VIII
"The Rebellion Is Reborn" · Rose Tico · Desperation (VII) · Luke in exile
Introduced in Episode IX
"Anthem of Evil" (II, II, III, VI, VII, VIII) · Knights of Ren · "The Rise of Skywalker" (Victory motif (II, VII) · Friendship motif) · "Lido Hey"
Introduced in Jedi: Fallen Order
"Sugaan Essena" · Cal Kestis · Second Sister · Eno Cordova
Introduced in Battlefront II and Squadrons
Iden Versio's motif · Main Theme
Introduced in the LEGO Freemaker Adventures and the Holiday Special
Main Title/Freemakers' motif · Connection motif · "Joh Blastoh"
Introduced in Galaxy's Edge
Galaxy's Edge Symphonic Suite · Theme park music · "Tara's Theme" · "Pinteeka Dub" · "Age of Jedi"
Introduced in The Mandalorian
Din Djarin (main theme) · Grogu · Gideon · Bo-Katan Kryze · Boba Fett II
[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: film, Seasons 1–6, Season Seven (1–4, 5–8, 9–12) · Rebels: One, Two
Rogue One · Solo · The Mandalorian (Chapter 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9-12 · 13-16)
Video games:
Shadows of the Empire · Republic Commando · The Old Republic: Collector's Edition · YouTube playlist
Jedi: Fallen Order · Squadrons
Galaxy's Edge:
Oga's Cantina: R3X's Playlist 1
Composers
Brennan Anderson · Clint Bajakian · Stephen Barton · Peter Bernstein · Paul Dinletir · Michael Giacchino · Patrick Gleeson
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Kevin Kiner · Sean Kiner · Frank Klepacki · Bear McCreary · Joel McNeely · Lin-Manuel Miranda · Danny Piccione
John Powell · Ryan Shore · Jeremy Soule · Joseph Trapanese · James L. Venable
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
Los Angeles Master Chorale · 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 Duel of the Fates · A Hero Falls
Other
Bantha Music · Christmas in the Stars · Lapti Nek Dance Remix · Tusken Music · Headspace
[edit]
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