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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 two appearances 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 motif 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 motif.[1] The motif 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 motif 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 when Skywalker mentions his mother to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Coruscant, and for a final time 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]

Themes and leitmotifs
Introduced in Episode IV
Main Title (Luke) · Rebels · Imperials · the Force (Ben Kenobi) · Princess Leia · Death Star · Jawa · Tusken Raider · dies irae
"Star Wars Main Title" · "Mad About Me" (Cantina Band) (IV) · "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 · dark side · 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
Jabba · Jabba's Baroque Recital · revelation · funeral · "Parade of the Ewoks" · Luke and Leia (IV, IV) · The Emperor · trap
"Jabba the Hutt" · "The Forest Battle" (V) · tension · mystery (IV, V) · "Ewok Celebration" (Yub Nub) · "Victory Celebration" (VI)
Introduced in Shadows of the Empire and Rogue Squadron
Xizor's Theme · Dash's theme · Rogue Squadron theme
Introduced in Episode I
droid march · "Duel of the Fates" · Qui-Gon · Jar Jar · Darth Maul · Anakin Skywalker (V) · Shmi
"The Flag Parade" · "Escape from Naboo" · "Symponik Nabooalla" ("Augie's Great Municipal Band") (VI)
Introduced in Episode II
conspiracy (IV, II) · "Across the Stars" (IV, IV, IV) · "The Meadow Picnic"
descent (IV, II) · "The Arena" (Republic) · Palpatine's machinations
Introduced in Episode III
General Grievous · Sith mystery · "Padmé's Ruminations" (III) · "Anakin's Betrayal" (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 Empire at War
Advanced Recon Commandoes · Zann Consortium
Introduced in The Force Unleashed and The Old Republic
The Force Unleashed · Rahm Kota · Juno Eclipse · Redemption · the Commander · Valkorion · Aryn Leneer
Introduced in The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Batch
Admiral Yularen (V) · clones · Ahsoka Tano · Plo Koon · Padmé Amidala
Savage Opress · the Force (mystery) (IV) · Satine Kryze · Bad Batch
Rebels (VI) · Ezra Bridger · the Grand Inquisitor · "Glory of the Empire" (V) · Maul · Thrawn · Omega
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 · L3-37 (VI)
Introduced in Episode VII
Kylo Ren (V, V, VI, I, I, II, VII) · Rey (IV, V, VI, II, II, III, VII) · Poe Dameron · the Resistance · Snoke · "Jedi Steps"
"Adagio" · "Scherzo for X-Wings"
Introduced in Episode VIII
"The Rebellion Is Reborn" · Rose Tico · desperation (VI) · 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)
Introduced in Battlefront II, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Squadrons
Iden Versio's Theme · Cal Kestis · Second Sister · Eno Cordova · Main Theme
Introduced in The Freemaker Adventures, Galaxy's Edge, and LEGO Holiday Special
Main Title (Freemakers) · Symphonic Suite · "Tara's Theme" · "Pinteeka Dub" · "Age of Jedi" · connection
Introduced in The Mandalorian
Din Djarin (main theme) · Grogu · Gideon · Bo-Katan Kryze · Boba Fett II
See also: Songs
[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) · The Bad Batch
Video games:
Shadows of the Empire · Republic Commando · The Old Republic: Collector's Edition · YouTube playlist
Battlefront · Battlefront II · 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
Ludwig Göransson · Mark Griskey · Gordy Haab · Jesse Harlin · Jerry Hey · Chris Hülsbeck · Nick von Kaenel · Dean Kiner
Kevin Kiner · Sean Kiner · Frank Klepacki · Peter McConnell · Bear McCreary · Joel McNeely · Lin-Manuel Miranda
Angela Morley · Jesi Nelson · Danny Piccione · John Powell · Ryan Shore · Jeremy Soule · Joseph Trapanese
James L. Venable · Paul Webb · 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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