Back in 1999, amidst the complaints about Jake Lloyd’s acting, the stilted dialogue, and Jar Jar Binks in ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,’ there was one other bit of controversy that sprung from the first of the prequels, being George Lucas’s attempt to explain the biological nature of a Jedi’s connection to the Force. I’m speaking of course about the midi-chlorians first mentioned by Qui-Gon Jinn while recruiting young Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine, which could apparently be measured in one’s blood, and forever tainted the spiritual nature of the Jedi and the nature of the Force in the ‘Star Wars’ universe.
According to Qui-Gon, the midi-chlorians were a type of symbiotic life-form that existed in all things. If a person had enough midi-chlorians in them, they could access the Force, and use it to give them the abilities of the Jedi. The disappointment for fans at the time was that the explanation took away from the more mystical aspects of the galaxy far, far away, especially since it meant the Jedi could detect potential candidates by something as mundane as a blood test. It was yet another item for fans to complain about, and has remained a controversial point for those who believe the prequels ruined the magic (no pun intended) of the original series.
And now, as JJ Abrams was on the red carpet for the premiere of ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ (which opened in theaters last Friday), he received the inevitable questions about his upcoming ‘Star Wars’ film, most of which were rather joking as the interviewers knew he could not give many details just yet. However, he was asked whether or not the midi-chlorians would be mentioned in the new film, to which Abrams replied with a definite “No,” which is exactly what the fans wanted to hear. While the prequels are canon in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, it seems the director has deftly decided to leave out all mention of the controversial science introduced in ‘The Phantom Menace,’ which makes sense story-wise, as if most of the Jedi’s knowledge was lost when the Empire rose, it stands to reason that the only ones who still knew about midi-chlorians were Darth Vader and the Emperor, and they both died on the second Death Star at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi.’
What are your thoughts about midi-chlorians? Did the science behind the Jedi’s connection to the Force bother you as much as others? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!