In this version of events, Padmé has a younger sister who was taken away to be an apprentice Jedi, never to see her family again. As a result, Padmé is rather less idealistic about the Jedi and their doctrine of detachment, and when Qui-Gon takes Anakin Skywalker from Tatooine she knows that the Jedi won't let Anakin stay in touch with his mother, nor can they be expected to do anything further to help Anakin's mother or friends. So Padmé decides she will help Shmi Skywalker herself, and gives Anakin a secret way to keep in touch with her. Anakin, in turn, decides that he will do what he can to find out for Padmé what has become of her sister.
The consequences of their actions spread out like ripples on the surface of a tranquil pool.
This work contains examples of:
- Affectionate Nickname: "Grandmother" is Anakin's way to show his respect and fondness for Madam Jocasta.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: The raison d'être for the story, since the Naberries don't agree at all with the Jedi tradition of totally cutting children from their families and want nothing more than to learn their youngest daughter's whereabouts.
- Exact Words: Anakin's relations with most of the Jedi Masters tends to rely on him describing exactly what he's doing, while in reality he holds a different viewpoint or motive entirely. He calls these "Jedi Answers," and it's clear where Obi-Wan got his "Certain point of view" excuse from.
- Expy: Here, Madam Jocasta Nu is basically Granny Weatherwax IN SPACE!.
- In Spite of a Nail: Because Shmi is freed from slavery earlier, she never meets and marries Cliegg Lars—but she still meets and befriends Owen and Beru under other circumstances, because some of the author's other works had developed Shmi's friendship with Beru and the author wanted to show a version of that in this timeline.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Anakin seems to have a talent for creating these.
- Madam Jocasta quite enjoys his help in the library, enough to grumble over the other Masters constantly borrowing her "assistant".
- Many Padawans grow to consider him a Cool Big Bro, but the fic mainly focuses on his relationship with Aloo.
- I Will Find You: When he learns Padmés baby sister was taken away by the Jedi Temple, Anakin promises he will help her to reunite the girl with the Naberrie family.
- Meaningful Rename:
- Anakin recalls that one of his ancestors adopted the surname "Skywalker" for herself because her family had been split up and moved around by the slavemasters and she didn't know what her real family name was. It's a homage to a folk hero called Ekkreth, the Sky Walker.
- Jedi younglings who come from a famous family, like Ilaré Naberrie, are given new names to prevent them from finding out who their birth families were and reforming an attachment. This is one of the things that makes it more difficult for Anakin to find out what became of Ilaré.
- Mythology Gag:Ah, says Anakin. I knew I had a bad feeling about this mission.
Rabé rolls her eyes. No, you just picked that up from Obi-Wan, she says. He always has a bad feeling about everything.
- Not So Different: Anakin draws more and more uncomfortable parallels between the Jedi way of living and slavery.
- Aloo snoops a bit in Count Dooku's file and learns he too was born under another name and taken away, leading her to ponder on her identity.
- Recurring Dreams: Aloo has a recurring dream that's actually a memory of the family she was taken from when she was too young to still remember them consciously.
- Scary Librarian: Madam Jocasta is quite upset to realize someone is deleting precious data in her library.
- Stating the Simple Solution: Anakin is perplexed by how the planet Kamino was erased from the Jedi Archives. Shmi has to point out that the Jedi Archives are not the only database in the galaxy.
- Stealth Insult: On Tatooine, there is a saying, "help from the Core", which means either no help at all or help that is worse than nothing. Anakin uses it in a conversation with Chancellor Palpatine to describe how helpful Palpatine is, and Palpatine takes it at face value.
- The Talk: Master Windu has the job of giving the Talk to young Jedi when they reach an appropriate age, with a large side of warning against succumbing to temptation. The young Jedi tend to find it hideously embarrassing.
- Titled After the Song: The fic is named after a song by The Mountain Goats, and the chapter titles are all Mountain Goats lyrics.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: His Royal Highness, Lord of the Fifteen Mysteries, Prince of the Infinite Isles, August and Radiant Fount of Wisdom, Crown of Justice and Throne of Mercy, King Ordained by All the Powers of the Cosmic Oneness, Marlonartan, Seventh of that Line.
- Underground Railroad: The Tatooine freedom trail, a secret network that helps escaped slaves. Shmi Skywalker is a member even before being freed, and Padmé helps out with money and equipment, as well as helping set up places offworld for slaves to escape to.