Tag Archives: Shmi

What Does “Choice” Have to Do with Star Wars? – The Phantom Menace

As we all know Star Wars is a franchise that can explore deep themes related to characters and classic mythology.  Through the years we’ve seen the theme of loss and redemption, family ties and the like.  One theme that has come to the forefront of my mind recently is the intriguing commentary that Star Wars has on “choice”.
We start off where the (in-universe) story begins, The Phantom  Menace.  One of the most memorable instances of choice is Queen Amidala’s willful decision to resist signing the Trade Federation treaty.  Amidala undergoes many hardships and trials to protect Naboo, all if which were willful, and made with full understanding of the consequences.  She even rode into the proverbial “valley of death” (with probably more than 600 :) ) to free her planet.

queen-amida
What can we draw from this?  It appears that even while Amidala could have gone with her gut  and simply signed the treaty which would make Naboo a puppet state and end all hostilities (and risk), she made the conscious decision (the filmmakers were probably somewhat influenced by the modern interpretation of American ideals) that it is better to do die standing than to live on one’s knees.  We can also extrapolate that exercising our free will and choosing to go above impulses for the good of others is harder and more rewarding than the former.
Another one of the big moments of choice in the saga is when Anakin leaves Shmi, his mother, behind to join the Jedi Order.  This may appear to be nothing more than a regular development of the plot, but when it is examined closely it’s actually very interesting.  Anakin is a nine-year-old boy who has probably never been more than 10 miles from his home for the majority of his life.

phantom-shmi2

He is extremely close with his mother and when the time comes for him to make the decision to stay at home Shmi and be a slave or go with Qui-Gon and be a Jedi he chooses to leave everything and everyone he’s ever known, including his only family for what he considers to be the betterment of himself.  All that in a nine-year-old boy, most of us probably had trouble deciding what color clothes we would wear when we were nine, let alone deciding on the fate of our lives!  Also, it’s not like he made the decision without thought.  While he didn’t take a long time I think it’s quite evident in the film that he is seriously considering the consequences of his actions and the effect that it will have on his life, and he ultimately the right decision, this is possibly part of the reason that Qui-Gon has so much faith in Anakin.  What can we glean from this instance?  That when we make a choice using all of faculties and seriously consider it and the consequences it we will have more success both for us and for others.  I would even venture that this instance is the height -or at least the beginning of it- of Anakin’s decision making process as by the end of episode two he begins to slip into the void of brashness and impulsiveness when he starts to crash and burn emotionally, but that will be covered in the next installment.

Parenting in the Saga – SWBTF #22

Welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

Kelly Adams joins Nathan and Mark this week as they focus on parenting in the saga far far away.
How did some of our more prominent character handle raising their brood?
Nathan ponders back in the day with black and white TV, Nick at Nite and how Star Wars fits into the equation.
Did many of the kids raised by the characters focused in this episode grow up “normally”?
The hosts start with the Skywalkers and look deeper at the relationships there in.

Kelly brings up Padme’s WILL TO LIVE, and how it is ESSENTIAL to parenting. No will to live. No parent. Not very in-character of Padme.

Shmi the virgin Mary of our beloved saga was explored as well. The single mother struggling to provide for a very special boy.
The hosts have a lot of fun this week, exploring as well as poking fun of some situations the saga has provided.
Imagine a galaxy where Shmi struggled with Anakin’s being born with no father….

Maybe using the saga as examples of good parenting isn’t such a good idea……
Moving a long the hosts break down the Skywalker line by generation.
The Solos it would appear average 1 out of 3… No wonder Han said never quote him the odds.
In fact the Solos could be some of the worst examples of parenting in the EU. Or a good example of what not to do.
But is this the fault of the books? A lot of the kids early lives were offscreen. Perhaps this is something a crafty author could go back and correct?
Duty over honor- is this the descision that hurt the Solo kids? That the parents were too focused on the government and the galaxy and less on parenting?
Should the Solos have taken more time off? They certainly seem to be better grandparents than they were parents to their own three kids.

Mark STILL wants more fleshing out of the gaps in the timeline. More Solo kid adventures and so forth.

At least we’re seeing character growth in the next gen characters in the last few 9 book series (Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi).
The hosts even focus on some of the EU exclusive characters as well, and how their style of child rearing worked out.
Who was the best? And who was the worst?
One thing seems certain- kids in the EU will work in the profession of their parents more often than not.
Kelly mentions Chewie’s family as represented by the Holiday Special.
Like the balance to the Force the hosts discuss the balancing of Shmi Skywalker and the anti-Shmi, Jango Fett.

Also, quick show of hands, who wants us to cover the Mandalorian culture sometime in an episode?
Lastly they touch on adopted and foster parents.
The moral of this week’s episode: Don’t use Star Wars as an example of parenting!

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