The death of Anakin's mother, Shmi Skywalker, conducted him to his first steps on the path to the Dark Side of the Force. In an act of anger and vengeance, Anakin slew everyone in the Tusken camp.

This event is a milestone in Anakin's fall, and we know Anakin is a crucial part of Darth Sidious's Grand Plan. So, is Shmi's abduction, torturing and death part of the plan? Did Sidious order, suggest, or cause those event in any way? Or, to the contrary, did he not even foresee them?

5 Answers 5


Reviewing all the relevant Wikis/Wikias (Tatooine, Vader, Anakin, Palpatine, Tusken), I didn't find any canon information confirming that theory.

However, neither have I found any info that disproves it.

I read "Tatooine Ghost" and it doesn't mention anything there either (one likely source)

  • 6
    It was surely on Sidious' TODO list, but it may have just been a lucky turn of events. Mar 6, 2012 at 19:43
  • Tatooine Ghost deals with incidents taking place after the death of Vader. Nothing in there references a Sidious/Tusken connection
    – The Fallen
    Jun 21, 2012 at 20:47
  • Sidious is the most powerful Dark Sider in the Galaxy. Many events that are not under his direct control will still tend towards results that will favor him. As Ben Kenobi said in A New Hope "In my experience, there's no such thing as luck"
    – Michael
    Feb 18, 2018 at 18:17

Palpatine was Anakin's advisor long before Shmi's death. Palpy was the first to congratulate Anakin on his first real assignment protecting Padme. Even prior to that, he suggested detailing Obi-Wan and Anakin to Padme, knowing full well the emotions it would stir within Anakin. He was already pulling the strings in preparation to placing Anakin on the path of the Sith. It's not outside the realm of possibility that Palpatine orchestrated Shmi's death, although there's no proof of it.


"That act took place before Anakin really entered Palpatine's radar."

Actually no since at the end of "The Phantom Menace" before the celebration, the just named chancellor Palpatine says to Anakin that he will follow his career closely.

Also in the first draft of REVENGE OF THE SITH, when Palpatine tries to lure Anakin into the dark side and the young jedi finds out that Palpatine is actually a Sith Lord... Palpatine tells him that he was the one who orchestrated the death of his mom.

In that same script, there is no mention of Darth Plagueis but Palpatine tells Anakin that he fathered him through midi-chlorians in his mom. Something that was taken out of the final film.

  • 3
    This answer would be better if you could cite or link to some sources.
    – DavRob60
    Mar 7, 2012 at 2:45
  • Sorry I am new to this site.
    – Arc-Vile
    Mar 7, 2012 at 3:03
  • Actually the first paragraph is directly taken from THE PHANTOM MENACE film. As for the first draft of REVENGE OF THE SITH, this part of the script has been well documented. You can actually read about it in the Secret History of Star Wars book.
    – Arc-Vile
    Mar 7, 2012 at 3:05
  • 1
    Those are words of a politian. They ring hollow while foreshadowing in the corny way the first movie was full of. And yest that was in the first draft script for 3 but Lucas nixed it and forced a revision. So this is NON Canon as it was rejected.
    – Chad
    Mar 7, 2012 at 14:05
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    @Arc-Vile Sorry, A draft script is N-Canon : From starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Canon : "N is Non-Canon. What-if stories (such as stories published under the Infinities label) and anything else directly and irreconcilably contradicted by higher canon ends up here. N is the only level that is not considered canon by Lucasfilm. Information cut from canon, deleted scenes, or from canceled Star Wars works falls into this category as well, unless another canonical work references it and it is declared canon."
    – DavRob60
    Mar 9, 2012 at 18:02

It seems pretty obvious that Palpatine arranged this just from circumstantial evidence. What benefit to the Tuscans did torturing Shmi provide? Further, influencing people by torturing their loved ones is typical Sith tactic, as we see in The Empire Strikes Back with Vader torturing Han ("they didn't even ask me any questions.") So while not stated, it's so strongly implied as to be likely.

  • 1
    No. It does not seem obvious. May 7, 2021 at 14:57

That act took place before Anakin really entered Palpatine's radar. It was on his return from this adventure that the Chancellor (he wasn't even emperor yet) first took a significant interest in Skywalker. I suspect that it was at that point that Palpatine noticed the potential for full conversion to the dark side that now existed in the young Jedi. Had Obi Wan been there to reign in his apprentices rage then Sideous would have gone forward with his current apprentice.

  • 3
    I think you're forgetting the last scene in the Phantom Menace. I think the phrase Palpatine used was "great interest". Sounds like a radar signature to me.
    – Rex Kerr
    Mar 6, 2012 at 22:27
  • @RexKerr - It sounds like hollow words of a politician combined with the corny foreshadowing that the first movie was full of. It was after he returned that the Chancellor began to bring Anakin in for his counsel.
    – Chad
    Mar 7, 2012 at 14:01
  • @chad from Star Wars: Darth Plagueis novel plot resume : "such as seeking Dooku as a placeholder Sith apprentice and ally in the war. But the biggest part in Darth Sidious's plan is young Anakin Skywalker"
    – DavRob60
    Mar 7, 2012 at 14:30
  • When started reading the bounty hunter series this book was not available. I am just about to finish it (planned as the new FoJ book is out next week) But I will push this one in front of it. I may agree after I read it...
    – Chad
    Mar 7, 2012 at 14:40
  • @DavRob60 - That book confirms my thoughts that Anakin was not really part of Palpatines plans when she died. He did notice that Anakin had hatred in his heart and that the jedi tactics would push him towards the dark side. But Dooku was his plan until he could find the appropriate apprentice.
    – Chad
    Apr 26, 2012 at 20:54

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