In a very politic statement, J.J. Abrams, recently spoke on the topic of how he was going to handle the Force in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ especially in light of the disappointing scientific and genetic explanations we got from George Lucas during the prequel trilogy with his midi-chlorians. The real question seemed to be whether Abrams favored the idea of the Force as more all-inclusive, as in anyone could become a powerful Jedi with time and training, as opposed to the current idea that a lot depends on who your parents were, and how many mid-chlorians you just happen to have, all of which seems to make it difficult for anyone outside of the Skywalker blood line to be powerful Jedi. Read JJ’s full response below:
“I will just say this: I would never presume to question anything George Lucas says is canon in ‘Star Wars.’ And our job was not to negate or undo. A lot of people who are critics of our ‘Star Trek,’ and I respect all of them, said we destroyed what they loved and negated everything. And we worked hard to clarify that we are not saying that our ‘Star Trek’ over-rides a thing of the original ‘Star Trek’ — it was a parallel timeline. I never wanted to negate canon that fans held so dear. And because I love ‘Star Wars’ and have for too many years… … And having said all that and meaning it — I don’t want to presume over-write or change what George says the rules are.
I’m not someone who quite understands the science of the Force. To me ‘Star Wars’ was never about science fiction — it was a spiritual story. And it was more of a fairytale in that regard. For me when I heard Obi-Wan say that the Force surrounds us and binds us all together, there was no judgement about who you were. This was something that we could all access. Being strong with the Force didn’t mean something scientific, it meant something spiritual. It meant someone who could believe, someone who could reach down to the depths of your feelings and follow this primal energy that was flowing through all of us. I mean, thats what was said in that first film!
And there I am sitting in the theater at almost 11 years old and that was a powerful notion. And I think this is what your point was, we would like to believe that when shit gets serious, that you could harness that Force I was told surrounds not just some of us but every living thing. And so, I really feel like the assumption that any character needs to have inherited a certain number of midi-chlorians or needs to be part of a bloodline, it’s not that I don’t believe that as part of the canon, I’m just saying that at 11 years old, that wasn’t where my heart was. And so I respect and adhere to the canon but I also say that the Force has always seemed to me to be more inclusive and stronger than that.”
While I appreciate how careful Abrams is with what he is saying here, I even more appreciate the sentiment behind it, which is that he does not like the exclusivity and randomness of bloodlines and midi-chlorian count being the only factors in making a person strong in the Force, which is why that is not what they are going to be following in ‘The Force Awakens.’ George Lucas was a creative genius when he launched the original trilogy, but it was clear that for the prequels he was grasping at creative straws, and ignoring or working around certain canonical items from the prequels is certainly not something most fans would argue against, especially since Abrams has always been very careful to be as deferential as possible to Lucas (aside from throwing out his ideas for Episode 7).
What are your feelings on midi-chlorians and the Force? Do you think we should be stuck with Lucas’ explanation, or are you ok with Abrams circumventing that understanding of the Force? Share your thoughts below!