I like Midichlorians

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I thought the midichlorians were a way to measure how much of the force flowed through you. Granted I had a problem with the new trilogy being that the SGI was too much and took away from the human element of episodes 4, 5 and 6. Also the OG trilogy had good acting.

As far as I see it, in my limited understanding of biology, midichlorians are similar to our own mitochondria. They're found in cells, but they're almost a separate organism. Instead of solely generating energy, though, midichlorians also allow a being to sense, affect, and/or control the Force if their numbers are high enough. It was just a pseudo-biological way of explaining the hereditary aspect of Force sensitives.

It ruins it by turning star wars into star trek. Let me explain, Star wars for better or for worse has for me and many other people been more of a fantasy story set in space, mythical and sage wizard, a young ward destined for greatness a black and terrible knight who serves an evil and powerful evil sorcerer and hell even a princess in distress.

I dislike midichlorians and the prequels for that matter, precisely because it ruins the fantasy aspect of Star Wars, by trying to explain magic with bogus science. Add the badly imagined and nonsensical politics and you have a dumb man's Star Trek. Conversely its one of the reasons I disliked DS9, because it tried to bring magic into a thoroughly scientific borderline anti deist universe. Lukes journey could just as well have been part of a medieval Grimm brothers tale.

Its thematically jarring to have all kinds of techno babble shoehorned into a universe like that. How do midichlorians even fit into the scheme of a light and dark side? doesn't it make more sense (again thematically) to see light and dark as black and white magic?

Micichlorians ruining Star Wars and their "space wizards" is like saying mana ruins dungeons and dragons.

BrotherRool:

*The EU was really silly about them. In the film Qui-Gon "Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you'll hear them speaking to you." and I assumed that the 'speaking to us' was metaphorical because they connect people with the force and the force is all about the universe wide interconnected harmony etc etc. But in the EU, no, they're sentient and are literally telling you things.

I know people who are suffering from this condition. However, they are not Jedi, but schizophrenic.

I hate and despise the prequel trilogy, because it poops and potentially timeless oeuvre of fun films and completely destroy the man and the myth George Lucas. Indiana Jones 4 just rubs it in some more, for the stubborn ones.

Don't forget that the original trilogy was already a marketing vehicle, as keenly observed by Mel Brooks in Spaceballs. But, and that's a big but, it also seemed to promote petty little things like hope, friendship, strength through meditation and focus, finding your true calling and much more if you care to just watch the movies and see them as a little bit more than they are. With the prequels - nah, they're just nonsensical trash, severely degrading and downgrading the Star Wars experience. See, everyone can strive to be better by internalizing the wise words of Obi Wan or Yoda. No one has to bother bettering themselves much after watching the prequels, since being good or successful is obviously just due to midichlorians, a nonsensical name to a nonsensical thing that does not exist, and even if it did, it wouldn't work that way. I see it as a successful deconstruction of the Jedi 'cult' by atheists & friends.

BrotherRool:
But I don't even see midichlorians as an attempt to explain the Force, it's another example of the force interacting with all life and it explains why some people connect more easily to the Force than others, but it doesn't try to explain the nature of the force or the power of the force, neither of which midichlorians create (except in some of the EU -_-)

It ties the Force to your body like a predetermined energy supply. It flat-out tells a Jedi how much Force they got in them. And it's never even used in any way beyond Liam Neeson saying "Oh yeah, there's these Force germ things in your body". And then it's never followed up on ever again.

It stops the Force from being the mystical power that binds us all and turns it into a simple superpower.

BrotherRool:
...in the Phantom Menace* as symbiotic life-forms that help people connect with the force.

It solves the problem I've always had with some people being force sensitive and others not for no particular reason. It felt like election in the worst sense. And the idea that some people could connect with the force because they were 'better' or something, reinforces the idea of smug Jedi.

Midichlorians solve that problem. It's not about the value of the person, there's natural causes that give some people opportunity to do fantastic things.

To me it doesn't destroy the magic of the force. Midichlorians aren't the force and they don't even generate it, they just help people connect with it. Something so mystical manifesting in the biological thats found in all life even adds to the awe factor for me.

And people connecting to the force through the assistant of microscopic things in a symbiotic relationship emphasises the balance and harmony and how power isn't found in the big brash darkside things.

So yeah, for me they fix something that would really bug me otherwise and only increases the Force's mystique.

I believe this is a view that's not shared by many others...

(Though they weren't presented particularly well in the film. Also I was 8 when the Phantom Menace came out so I'd didn't have the experience of having 20 years of previous conceptions overturned which might be flavouring my view a little)

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*The EU was really silly about them. In the film Qui-Gon "Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you'll hear them speaking to you." and I assumed that the 'speaking to us' was metaphorical because they connect people with the force and the force is all about the universe wide interconnected harmony etc etc. But in the EU, no, they're sentient and are literally telling you things.

It always reminded me of the role of mitochondria from Parasite Eve.

And who knows, maybe Lucas ripped off the idea since that's all he can do story-wise anyway.

JediMB:

DoPo:
And if Palpatine is to be believed, then it is possible to manipulate Midichlorians - apparently Darth Plagueis did so. Why don't more people try it? You could have a legion of magic mooks at your disposal - somebody would be interested, I'm sure.

Supposedly, the Force itself created Anakin as a form of retaliation against Plagueis' manipulations of the midi-chlorians.

Yes, the Force spawned its own hitman to eradicate the Sith line responsible. So maybe it's not the best of ideas.

Isn't it meant to be implied that Plagueis created Anakin? Certainly adds to the irony.

OT: I've never had a problem with it. They're described as an indicator of force potential, the force is still a separate, magical entity. I think it ties in with the fantasy-in-space style quite nicely.

Its not a sufficient explanation for powers like telekinesis over non-living matter, or force-lightning, stuff like that. Its just contrived and unnecessary to the idea of the Force. It also makes no sense that we never hear about it until the prequels.

I always felt that The Force as explained by Obi Wan in the first movie was reminiscent of the concept of "chi" in the martial arts.

This fit with the film's retelling of the "Hero's Journey" myth and added a little depth and subtext.

And defining it as a Universal Energy that all can feel but only the trained or gifted could manipulate nicely straddled the line between myth and pseudo-science.

The vagueness of the explanation enabled the viewers to fill in the blanks for a more scientific definition if they wanted

The Midichlorians just seemed like a childish attempt to be scientific by someone who clearly doesn't understand science.

It didn't really ADD anything to the story and in many ways unraveled some of the World Building (or in this case, Galaxy Building) from the first films.

Basically it opens up more questions than it answers. And the only reason it exists is so that Qui Gon can have a scene where discovers anakin's force perceptiveness by testing his blood.

Why doesn't the republic(or the sith) cultivate midichlorians and inject people with them? Why don't rich people have monthly midichlorian shots so that they can sense more and utilise force powers(even if only weak ones)?

It just doesn't add up with the way everything else is in the story and opens up very plausible opportunities that everyone in the story seems uninterested in pursuing. Han Solo doesn't seem to believe in force powers, why didn't Obi Wan offer to inject him with some midichlorians and let him experience it for himself?

The force is magic, no question about it, trying to bridge it with science is generally a bad idea.

There are heaps of problems like this that midichlorians open up.

That said, they're only mentioned in, like two lines, in a single movie. They don't bother me that much, though I'd prefer future movies to avoid mentioning them unless they want to do a little ret-conning or explain away some of the really obvious(and advantageous) possibilities that never seem to be taken advantage of.

Woodsey:

JediMB:

DoPo:
And if Palpatine is to be believed, then it is possible to manipulate Midichlorians - apparently Darth Plagueis did so. Why don't more people try it? You could have a legion of magic mooks at your disposal - somebody would be interested, I'm sure.

Supposedly, the Force itself created Anakin as a form of retaliation against Plagueis' manipulations of the midi-chlorians.

Yes, the Force spawned its own hitman to eradicate the Sith line responsible. So maybe it's not the best of ideas.

Isn't it meant to be implied that Plagueis created Anakin? Certainly adds to the irony.

That's what I assumed when I saw the movie, but apparently it's been expanded upon so that Anakin's creation was a direct consequence of Plagueis' actions... but not what he actually intended to do.

I like the idea that inside of all of us is a hero waiting for our circumstances to change the world for better- the concept of midichlorians introduces an element of determinism into the universe. It doesn't matter how much you want to be an awesome Jedi, you either have the midichlorians or you don't. The idea that we are destined before we are born isn't a new concept, but not one I particularly enjoy in fantasy.

thePyro_13:

Why doesn't the republic(or the sith) cultivate midichlorians and inject people with them? Why don't rich people have monthly midichlorian shots so that they can sense more and utilise force powers(even if only weak ones)?

Because midichlorains are inside every single living cell. How could you inject something into every cell in someones body? Midichlorians aren't a bacteria, they're symbiotically tied to every single living life form (neatly implying that without the force there could not be life)

EDIT: And there were sith that experimented with manipulating them. But because midichlorians are connected to the force, it's not something you can do completely with science. Midichlorians don't generate force or anything

Woodsey:
OT: I've never had a problem with it. They're described as an indicator of force potential, the force is still a separate, magical entity. I think it ties in with the fantasy-in-space style quite nicely.

But that's the point, Star Wars never wasted our time with explaining how anything got done, when you live with things everyday you don't then waste time explaining them to other people that live with them all the time. Keeping it inexplicable lets you fill in the details your self to your own satisfaction.

BrotherRool:
It solves the problem I've always had with some people being force sensitive and others not for no particular reason. It felt like election in the worst sense. And the idea that some people could connect with the force because they were 'better' or something, reinforces the idea of smug Jedi.

Except now the reason is genetic superiority rather than "magic".

The problem is Star Wars was never about science fiction. The original movies? Good guys vs. bad guys; throw in princesses, magic and shiny swords. You didn't know or care about taxation of trade routes, endless congress debates, greedy trade federations or MIDICHLORIANS (i.e. measure unit of magic). It takes away the fun, the spontaneity, the adventure. The original movies were just a series of narrow escapes while this kid went through the hero's way or whatever you call it. Midichlorians were never necessary, they're just one more boring thing Lucas came up with for no real reason on his way to crush what was once a pretty carefree fantasy into some half-baked, half-grounded plot.

Spot1990:

BrotherRool:
It solves the problem I've always had with some people being force sensitive and others not for no particular reason. It felt like election in the worst sense. And the idea that some people could connect with the force because they were 'better' or something, reinforces the idea of smug Jedi.

Except now the reason is genetic superiority rather than "magic".

Yep, but that's less problematic for me because genetics has natural variance as something known. It's okay for natural forces to do things like that, but the idea of a magical force picking and choosing bothers me. And in the end, you can't really boast about being tall or having dark hair because it wasn't your doing. It works even better in this case because midichlorians are only a sign of your potential and then you have to put in the work and training to unlock it. (which is slightly different from the smug argument because it's not the training that's made them force sensitive. So it's not that all non-Jedi are incapable of training or being wise)

piinyouri:
I personally just don;t like how it clashes with the already established themes of the universe.
It was a science-fiction solution for a fantasy world.

Sentient bacteria that help people hear the universe and do magic? IMO, just as fantasy as what they had before, but with more stupid...

Didn't like it then and I don't like it now. The Force worked better as pure mysticism in the original trilogy. Stapling some arbitrary and half-baked micro-biological explanation onto it just made it needlessly complicated. The fact of the matter is that the general explanation for the Force's workings was fine as is; no one was clamoring for any more clarity on why and how it worked, so I don't understand why Lucas bothered with it at all.

I watched the phantom menace first and when it came to the midichlorians I was like "that's cool. Now have more lightsaber fights." And one of the big counter arguments together is that it ruins the wonderful mysterious and magical air set up in the first movies. And to be honest I never really got that feeling, maybe I was too you to appreciate the finer points of the films when I saw them but the force was never this amazing awe inspiring thing to me. The best it could do was let people shoot lightning, choke a few people and throw some others around and I never felt that was great enough to be ranked as insignificant when compared to blowing up planets.

O maestre:
It ruins it by turning star wars into star trek. Let me explain, Star wars for better or for worse has for me and many other people been more of a fantasy story set in space, mythical and sage wizard, a young ward destined for greatness a black and terrible knight who serves an evil and powerful evil sorcerer and hell even a princess in distress.

I dislike midichlorians and the prequels for that matter, precisely because it ruins the fantasy aspect of Star Wars, by trying to explain magic with bogus science. Add the badly imagined and nonsensical politics and you have a dumb man's Star Trek. Conversely its one of the reasons I disliked DS9, because it tried to bring magic into a thoroughly scientific borderline anti deist universe. Lukes journey could just as well have been part of a medieval Grimm brothers tale.

Its thematically jarring to have all kinds of techno babble shoehorned into a universe like that. How do midichlorians even fit into the scheme of a light and dark side? doesn't it make more sense (again thematically) to see light and dark as black and white magic?

I think this is a nice way of explaining it, I mean Yoda pretty much said it was magic in Empire Strikes Back and it was unnecessary to explain it further than that... I mean it's magic. The original Trilogy is literally The Heroes Journey in it's most complete form, it's got all the themes, tropes, parts and people. You could literally change it to a medieval style setting by making Vaders armor plate mail, the Death Star into a castle and the mechs into Golems and Beasts.

BrotherRool:

Spot1990:

BrotherRool:
It solves the problem I've always had with some people being force sensitive and others not for no particular reason. It felt like election in the worst sense. And the idea that some people could connect with the force because they were 'better' or something, reinforces the idea of smug Jedi.

Except now the reason is genetic superiority rather than "magic".

Yep, but that's less problematic for me because genetics has natural variance as something known. It's okay for natural forces to do things like that, but the idea of a magical force picking and choosing bothers me. And in the end, you can't really boast about being tall or having dark hair because it wasn't your doing. It works even better in this case because midichlorians are only a sign of your potential and then you have to put in the work and training to unlock it. (which is slightly different from the smug argument because it's not the training that's made them force sensitive. So it's not that all non-Jedi are incapable of training or being wise)

Well yeah, but how many other settings do we just accept that some people can do Magic and some can't? Most of them really, it doesn't really need explaining with science because it's Magic, they're complete opposite ends of the scale. It's no different than people in some settings being Psychic. Granted being able to use the force was always genetic, but as far as I'm aware, as long as you were somewhat force sensitive you could be just as good as the others, you just had to put the work in.

Well said, I couldn't agree more. Midichlorian hate is mostly about nostalgia, people decided to hate on the prequel trilogy because they "weren't as good as the first" and so everything that was in the prequels was bad, and everything in the first series was better, no matter what was actually good or bad.

I much prefer the mystical argument for the Force that Obi-Wan made in the first trilogy. I find the idea of midichlorians to be atrocious; that by having a higher count of these little microbes in your blood you can become a more powerful force user. I mean, what's to stop Jedi or Sith from blood doping? Who wouldn't run around in a galaxy with futuristic tech and just start draining "force power" willy-nilly?

As for anything the EU has to offer on the subject, George Lucas has already said that the stuff isn't canon.

Its not star wars, simple as that.

BrotherRool:
-snip-

It always seemed unnecessary to me. Obiwan says the Jedi mind tricks work better on the weak-minded, suggesting the force is something inherent to the strong-minded and willed. It's almost like a side-effect of being a strong person (not strong physically, but strong in character). Like charisma given form. And that works perfectly with the idea of light and dark side because if someone is strong-willed and kind then naturally the side-effect will enhance them that way. But if someone is strong-willed and cruel, then when that in them is enhanced then they'll go the other direction.

And that also means your life experiences and trials are taken into account, as well. If there's one theme that is threaded throughout Star Wars, it's the idea of growing and making your own choices as to how you deal with life's problems. Taking the idea of the force which blends with that theme so well and turning it into something so impersonal as genetics completely undermines that theme. A good story isn't just about how much stuff "makes sense." And if you are looking for stuff that completely makes sense then sci-fi may not be the best genre to be examining. It's about fully exploring its themes and using all of the tools at its disposal to realize those themes in as many ways as possible. The last thing you want to do is throw in something that totally sabotages the very essence of your story.

Ed130:
It turned the Jedi from a bunch of Zen Warrior Monks into a eugenics program.

Way to fuck up spiritual enlightenment Lucas.

It can't be much of a eugenics program when you forbid the Jedi to procreate.

Just imagine the long-term effects! After many thousands of generations of the most force-sensitive people being taken at a very young age and then kept from reproducing ... you're going to get the opposite effect. The Jedi are artificially selecting against force-sensitivity.

I never had a problem with the whole midichlorian thing, as it's presented in Ep I. It just seemed like a lazy writing trick to allow a scientific measurement of Anakin's force-sensitivity. I think most of the people who were the most upset by it were the ones who didn't really understand it. Midichlorians are not the force. They don't generate the force (any more than any other living thing does). The force is an energy field that is created by ALL life. Midichlorians just have a unique ability to help people "hear" the force.

Sort of like tiny little Babel fish living in your cells. XD

Ok look at it this way if all jedi know that the force is from this thing in them maybe dna related. They are not allowed to whine about the end of their era when they have not been out there fucking like rabbits to get the magic space genes back into the universe. Think about it they take all the people with the power they can find tell them no relationships/sex now be a Jedi. I wonder why they are dying out? It opens up many flaws in the story/Jedi ways as well as being a throwaway line with little substance that asks more questions rather than answer the intended question.

Also I do dislike the fact that the more you have the more destine you are to be a great jedi/sith. I never thought of the force as a numeric thing until that line. Before I fight him R2 check his Midichlorian count so I know if I can beat vader. It took away much of the value that training, meditation, and life experiences gave to the force and the users power (such as why anger and hate make you stronger if you are willing to sacrifice your looks.

BrotherRool:
...in the Phantom Menace* as symbiotic life-forms that help people connect with the force.

It solves the problem I've always had with some people being force sensitive and others not for no particular reason. It felt like election in the worst sense. And the idea that some people could connect with the force because they were 'better' or something, reinforces the idea of smug Jedi.

Midichlorians solve that problem. It's not about the value of the person, there's natural causes that give some people opportunity to do fantastic things.

To me it doesn't destroy the magic of the force. Midichlorians aren't the force and they don't even generate it, they just help people connect with it. Something so mystical manifesting in the biological thats found in all life even adds to the awe factor for me.

And people connecting to the force through the assistant of microscopic things in a symbiotic relationship emphasises the balance and harmony and how power isn't found in the big brash darkside things.

So yeah, for me they fix something that would really bug me otherwise and only increases the Force's mystique.

I believe this is a view that's not shared by many others...

(Though they weren't presented particularly well in the film. Also I was 8 when the Phantom Menace came out so I'd didn't have the experience of having 20 years of previous conceptions overturned which might be flavouring my view a little)

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*The EU was really silly about them. In the film Qui-Gon "Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you'll hear them speaking to you." and I assumed that the 'speaking to us' was metaphorical because they connect people with the force and the force is all about the universe wide interconnected harmony etc etc. But in the EU, no, they're sentient and are literally telling you things.

It's the same: special because they are 'more force sensitive" or because "there's natural causes that give some people opportunity to do fantastic things." (special because A or special because B = both are special)

It's utterly unfair and completely realistic in comparison to life. ;)

TheMyffic:

It's the same: special because they are 'more force sensitive" or because "there's natural causes that give some people opportunity to do fantastic things." (special because A or special because B = both are special)

It's utterly unfair and completely realistic in comparison to life. ;)

It's true but I'm bugged by the idea of the magical force being responsible for some people having it and others not, it sort of feels like it diminishes the force for me

BrotherRool:

Because it's not about them being more righteous or anything. It's a genetic/organic thing they had no control over. It's like being really tall. You're 'better' than other people but not in a way that would induce smugness

They conduct themselves in the same way, though. They're just as "smug" as they were before.

So again, how is this better?

When I first saw The Phantom Menace, I thought Midichlorians were a neat idea because I was expecting to find out later on in the series that they were some kind of red herring or ruse concocted by the Emperor that would unfold a plot or theme involving the Jedi's religious ways clashing with popular scientific opinion and weakening their resolve before being defeated.

I was wrong.

I think everything's already been said though: Poorly placed sci-fi in a fantasy story, diminishes the Force (in making it more of an arbitrary superpower than a rigorous and mysterious discipline), diminishes the Jedi (in making it more about what you can do than who you are as a person), and "May The Force Be With You" has absolutely no meaning in that world any more - it used to be something you could say to anybody to wish them luck or to be the best they can be, but now it all depends on what your "count" is. So why would anyone say it? I would never say "May The Walk Be With You" to someone in a wheelchair.

Casual Shinji beat me to a quote that I like to use whenever comparing the original trilogy to the prequels.... but I'll repeat it anyway to emphasize the point, because it's damn good.

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."

Regardless of whether or not you believe that, it's what Star Wars used to be about... until the prequels shit all over it in style and content, Midichlorians being the reigning champion of the content side of it.

Zachary Amaranth:

BrotherRool:

Because it's not about them being more righteous or anything. It's a genetic/organic thing they had no control over. It's like being really tall. You're 'better' than other people but not in a way that would induce smugness

They conduct themselves in the same way, though. They're just as "smug" as they were before.

So again, how is this better?

I don't know if they have to be smug. The best jedi understand they've been given a gift and they have a responsibility that comes with that. For a real life analogy a world class athlete should understand that they've been gifted with a body that can do incredible things and then their hardwork and dedication has taken them to where they are. If it is true/that start talking about only that hardwork and dedication that they put in to get them where they are then it gets into smug territory

Midichlorians made the Force a quantity. Being "strong in the Force" was no longer a matter of character, fate and destiny, it was about how many midichlorians you had. It became something tangible and physical. George Lucas tried to make his Science-Fantasy into a Science-Fiction by trying to create answers.

He only ended up creating more questions.

To be honest, what killed it for me was the fact that the 'Force' could be measured. I could accept that a predisposition for Force sensitivity or even Force ability was genetic, but it strikes me as odd to suggest that you can never be 'better' at the Force than what your stupid Midichlorians say you can.

Yoda was so magical and interesting in ESB & RotJ because we understood that he was a centuries-old creature, whom -after several lifetimes' worth of discipline and training- was able to Veeeerrrry slowly pull an X-Wing out of a swamp. It was understood that for him to be able to do that required intense focus and drawing upon abilities that he had spent all his life honing.

But no, apparently that was the best he could ever do because of stupid cellular organisms. Were it Starkiller in that swamp, he could have grabbed it and thrown it into orbit if he wanted to because he had more midichlorians. This isn't to say that the Force doesn't require considerable training before you're able to wield it respectably, but it just seems...weird to place an arbitrary limit of one's entire potential (regardless of time or training) to this "mystical energy field" based on microscopic organisms.

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