Exactly How The Force Has Always Worked

I think I may have had a weird epiphany on the subject of midichlorians.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, you’re probably not an angry Star Wars fan still smarting over the way George Lucas RUINED YOUR CHILDHOOD by introducing, in the much-, and not-entirely-unfairly, maligned Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the idea that a Jedi’s sensitivity to the Force depended on the presence in their blood of microscopic symbiotes called ‘midichlorians’. The more midichlorians are present, the more attuned to the Force the individual will be.

Qui-Gonn Jinn takes a sample of the young Anakin Skywalker's blood to test for midichlorians

And many people, myself included, have decried the concept of midichlorians as a crazy Lucas brain-fart that’s RUINED a key facet of Star Wars’ mythology: the Force is supposed to be available to everyone, and sensing it and using it is a matter of training. Making it dependent on the level of midichlorians in the blood means it becomes a genetic lottery, and creates an elite of sorts. The only ones who can make the most of the Force are those born to it – those who literally have it in their blood.

And that RUINS it.

A lot of people think so. I thought so: I thought it entirely removed the mysticism of the Force… until I clicked onto the many references in the original Star Wars trilogy that tell us, explicitly, that this is exactly how the Force has always worked.

Yes, the Force is created by all living things, because all living things carry midichlorians. But some individuals’ midichlorian counts are higher than others, and these beings consequently hear more clearly the quiet voice of the Force.

This isn’t inconsistent with what’s shown in the original trilogy, where several characters refer to people being “strong in the Force”. Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia Organa are noted as being highly Force-sensitive because of their descent from Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader, a man with the highest midichlorian count ever recorded.

“I have it. My father has it. And my sister has it.” So says Luke Skywalker in The Return of the Jedi — making it sound very much as though Force-sensitivity runs in his family. And why would it run in his family, even though neither he nor his sister grew up in a Force-using environment, if not for a hereditary quality they both share?

There was no-one in the Star Wars universe who didn’t have midichlorians. They were a part of the cell makeup of every living thing. No-one was left out — no individual, no species. Anyone could learn to listen to the Force, even guide the Force, because the Force spoke through everyone. But some people had a higher level of midichlorians than others and, really, this is no different from the idea I’ve always cheerfully accepted that some people are just more Force-sensitive than others.

In short, while it may get me thrown out of the Proper Star Wars Fan Club For Proper Star Wars Fans, I think I’m going to say that I’ve made my peace with midichlorians. I’m good with them.


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