Audiences first learned about the Force when STAR WARS blasted its way into theaters some forty-two years ago. Alec Guinness‘ Obi-Wan Kenobi said of the Force, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.” While most took that to mean the Force was a metaphysical/spiritual construct, STAR WARS creator George Lucas altered the paradigm a few decades later with THE PHANTOM MENACE. In it, Lucas introduced a biological bent with the concept of Midi-chlorians, microscopic organisms which exist symbiotically in all living things. In sufficient numbers they allow a person to detect the Force.
Aside from Jar Jar Binks, the idea of Midi-chlorians was one of the most harshly criticized parts of THE PHANTOM MENACE. Many fans felt it was incongruent with the mystical properties of the Force. Perhaps as a consequence the subject was never mentioned again in any subsequent STAR WARS film. However, it’s possible we may see a return of the much maligned biological bogies in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. In a recent interview with Total Film Magazine, director J.J. Abrams discusses conversations he had with George Lucas when prepping for THE RISE OF SKYWALKER and the subject of Midi-chlorians did come up:
“He had a lot of things to say about the nature of the Force, the themes that he was dealing with when he was writing the movies. Yes, there were some conversations about Midi-chlorians – he loves his Midi-chlorians. But it was a very helpful thing. Sitting with him is a treat, just to hear him talk, because it’s f*cking George Lucas talking about Star Wars. I always feel it’s a gift to hear him talk about that stuff. Because the effect that he had on me at 10 years old is utterly profound.”
While George Lucas has since relinquished control of STAR WARS to Disney, it’s nice to hear Abrams picked Lucas’ brain regarding the themes and nature of the Force. I find those concepts much more interesting than the biological ramifications of a microscopic organism. Although there’s no guarantee Midi-chlorians will be mentioned in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (in fact I highly doubt it) it’s important to note that the final film is supposed to tie all three trilogies together. Like it or not Midi-chlorians are part of STAR WARS canon and even THE LAST JEDI made reference to the prequels when Luke Skywalker referred to Emperor Palpatine as Darth Sidious. Consequently I’d say anything is possible.
What about you guys? Are you pro or anti Midi-chlorians? Would you like to see them return in some form in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER? Sound off in the comments below!