I recently watched the documentary film, THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS, that takes a look at the Star Wars universe that George Lucas has altered, tweaked, and even changed over the years from the fan perspective. For the fans, myself included, there was some good, more bad than we’d like, and (with the prequel trilogy) a whole lot of ugly.
From week titles (‘Attack of the Clones???), to the casting of the pivtol character of Anakin Skywalker (“Yippee!”), to that other silly character that will remain nameless in the post because “heesa” was close to being the worst part of the entire trilogy, there’s on thing fans rail against that, in my opinion, gets a worse wrap that it deserves.
And – as the title of this posts suggests – that would be midichlorians. Qui-Gon Jinn described them as microscopic organisms that exist in the cells of all living things and we communicate with The Force through them. Without them, there would be “no knowledge of the living force.”
For the majority of fans, this was an outrage! One forum post I’ve read says this changes Star Wars from “Science-Fantasy to Sci-Fiction”. I think Space Fantasy would have been the correct genre to mention there, but lets not split hairs about that in this post. The point is, the majority of fans felt like a biological explanation for force sensitivity takes the mysticism out of The Force in the Star Wars universe, and they would be correct…
…had it been added to the original trilogy (more on this later).
However, the universe in the prequel trilogy was very, very different from that depicted in episodes IV, V, and VI. Back then, there were almost no force users left and there hadn’t been for nearly twenty years or so. No one was left to educate anyone else about the force. Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader weren’t going to do it. Yoda was a bazillion miles away and Obi-Wan was a dusty old fart that probably spent more time practicing that big lie he was going to tell Luke to get him to do he and Yoda’s dirty work after they’re failure two decades prior.
Back then, the force was mystical and to add the midichlorian explanation in to that place in the time line would have probably broke the franchise.
No let’s set the way back machine some years or so Star Wars years. There was no empire. As far as anyone was concerned the Sith had disappeared a thousand years prior. The Republic was the ruling body of the galaxy. and there were so many Jedi, they amounted to a dime a dozen.
The Jedi order was at its peak. Did you see that Jedi temple on Coruscant? It sure all seemed very scientific and very technological. But they still followed the same “mystical” principles of the light side of the force with their actions and discipline. But what we discovered was it was more than that. The Jedi were meticulous records keepers almost to the point of believing that if something did not appear i their archives, it did not exist. But when they discovered a force sensitive being and needed to decide if they should be brought into the order, they tested their midichlorian count. Higher count, indicates greater sensitivity to the force and more potential power. I promise you those numbers were documented in each Jedi’s file AND those they had found, but decided NOT to bring into the order because of the potential of turning to the dark side. A biological explanation for the strength of the force in someone makes sense.
The force was less mystical during the prequel trilogy because everyone knew about it, in my opinion. And given what we saw in the Jedi order, during those movies, embracing the scientific side of the force wasn’t that much of a stretch, in my opinion.
And here’s something else you midichlorian detractors need to consider. George Lucas came up with midichlorians when he created the original trilogy. Yeah…they’ve been there all along. You ca read about it on Wookiepedia HERE. Scroll down to the behind the scenes section.
I’m in the minority, but I like it. As someone that reads hard science fiction, this concept is right up my alley. It makes a hell of a lot more sense then trying to convince us of the absolutely ludicrous notion that Anakin Skywalker built C-3PO. That ranks up with “Han shot first” with me. Interesting side-note to that one. I oddly don’t hear too many fans complaining about it. THAT makes no sense.
Till next time…