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This essay is from Scott2eyes
Published on October 13, 2001

A Fanatic's Crazy Rationalisation of Midichlorians

Midichlorians are essentially the same as mitochondria - the real-world microscopic things that live inside every cell and basically provide energy to the cells. They are no more special than any other form of life, and don't have some sort of extra-special, supernatural microJedi powers. They aren't some amazing force-portal to another dimension. They aren't the Force in biological form, and they aren't some kind of mad force-antennae. They are alive and distinct from their host, but rely on their hosts to live - they cannot live without them and vice-versa.

Now, from what we know in the original trilogy, EVERY living thing generates the Force-logically, this must include every single mitochondria/midichlorian. And in turn, the Force flows through, penetrates and binds every living thing- including the mitochondria/midichlorians.

Now, my assumption has always been (although I realise that it wasn't actually stated in the original trilogy) that the Force, as it's generated by life, must somehow reflect, or be representative of the living beings that create it. So in a time where the entire galaxy is in turmoil, with conflicts, wars etc. etc, the Force itself is also in turmoil.

Also, the accumulation of the hopes and desires of every single living thing will give rise to a kind of universal "will" - the will of the Force. (Crucially, this comes from the countless real, living things- NOT some external god-like deity which some have complained about.)

Taking this down from the macroscopic, galactic scale to a more microscopic level, the Force generated by a single being is representative of the being that generates it - their opinions, desires, beliefs etc., are somehow reflected and represented in the Force. This is what I think Yoda focuses on when he's deciding whether to train Anakin and Luke, and the "presence" that Darth Vader recognises on the first death star.

(An aside - it's not really right to isolate "the Force generated by a single being" - it's more like the influence on the Force generated by a single being. But that doesn't read as well.)

Now, as the Force is generated by AND penetrated by every living thing, all this life living inside your body is going to act like some sort of focus for the flow of the Force, which is distinct from the Jedi themselves (more specifically, from their own brain/mind.) Also, as they exist in large numbers, the result of listening to them as opposed to tapping directly into the Force is that you get a kind of averaged out version, rather than a single being's (for want of a better word) interpretation of the Force. Kind of like the difference between trying to find out what the population of a country thinks about an issue by giving a questionnaire to one person and giving the same questionnaire to a million people.

That means that tapping into the midichlorians "part" of the Force (as opposed to tapping directly into the Force) means that, theoretically, "their" Force will be unclouded by the Jedi's own emotions, prejudices, desires etc. etc. In addition to the fact that they are just little tiny things, so they wouldn't have any emotions or opinions etc. that are likely to concern a Jedi. (Such as "is this boy the chosen one I've been waiting for?")

How Anakin came to have an enormous midichlorian concentration - I don't know. What they have to do with the prophecy of the "chosen one" - I don't know. How Qui Gon thinks the midichlorians conceived Anakin - I don't know. But I DON'T think that their introduction means that a Jedi no longer taps into the force without them, or that the Force is somehow different to what it used to be in the days before the summer of '99.

This is basically my own interpretation of what is going on with the midichlorians, and also how they are linked to the other new concept introduced in The Phantom Menace of the "will of the Force". Feel free to take it as the crazy rationalisation of a Lucas-worshipping nutcase, but please bear in mind that I think (hope) I have read and taken in what those who really dislike the midichlorians seem to dislike about them, and kept that in mind when writing this. Hopefully it will help someone, somewhere enjoy the film a little more.

Feedback welcome


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