This Is How Star Wars Can Redeem Midichlorians

Rhykker

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This Is How Star Wars Can Redeem Midichlorians

Can we do a better job than George Lucas did with midichlorians by instead invoking genetics?

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Squilookle

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All I got from that was how royally screwed that X-wing was, on account of you pitting the poor thing up against a pair of TIE Defenders..

Seriously though, I agree. Don't mention them. Just pretend they never happened, along with everything else from the Prequels. Just as it should be.
 

Nurb

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Dec 9, 2008
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Yea, agreed, don't even bring them up at all. Everyone is already pretending they never happened.

Everyone assumes it's partly genetic, partly living vague power and that's all it needs to be.
 

Neverhoodian

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People, you're missing an incredibly easy explanation (and my personal headcanon):

The Jedi had it bass-ackwards. The Force creates midichlorians, not the other way around.
 

immortalfrieza

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Episode 1 is the only Midichlorians are even mentioned as far as I'm aware. I've seen the other 2 prequel movies and plenty EU stuff and neither seems to ever mention them so I don't think they will going forward either.

However, I still do not understand the hate that Star Wars fans seem to have for the idea of Midichlorians. All it seems to do is confirm that there's a biological medium through which The Force is manipulated and thus a means to detect who is Force Sensitive and who isn't. It doesn't demystify The Force in any way or seem to affect much of anything about Star Wars at all for that matter.

Neverhoodian said:
The Jedi had it bass-ackwards. The Force creates midichlorians, not the other way around.
I don't see how anything that the Jedi say about midichlorians gives any indication that the Midichlorians create The Force in the first place or why Star Wars fans could even get the idea that they do or that the Jedi think they do.
 

Tanis

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What if 'The Force' is like gravity or something?

With Midichlorians being a bacteria that somehow 'feeds' on it while inside a host.

The resulting 'Force Levels' are there, regardless of the midichlorian.
But, because the number of midichlorians is dependent the concentration of The Force in something, they're used as a measurement.
 

Kenjitsuka

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I was hoping for this to be interesting, but it's just very basic genetics.
When you say to me "Redeeming Midichlorians with Science" I'd say; make The Force the ability to manipulate dark matter, and dark energy.

I have a limited understanding of those topics, -unlike genetics- but as far as I know there is much wiggle room in the theories and what dark matter forms there are out there. But we do know it generates intense gravitational effects, so for instance drawing a lot of WIMPS could be used to explain force pull. The WIMPS are undetectable, except that they are very heavy and can attract regular matter.

Force push could be anti-dark matter particles, which could generate anti-gravity.
(Before you jump on that; we still cannot determine wether the REGULAR anti-matter we produce has anti-gravity (G=-1), regular gravity (G=1) or anything in between (G>-1 & G<1) ...). This is because anti-matter currently needs to be magnetically constricted to prevent it from annihilating with regular matter, and thus we have yet to let it move about freely and see if it (slow) falls up, down or just floats...

And also no hating on the idea of trying to explain some Force things with science, please...
I like my Force awesome and very mysterious like most of us, but I agree wholehartedly that if we must we can at least do better than cringe worthy magic bacteria that only convolude things and make everyone reflexively facepalm.

The one thing farthest from science IMHO would be Jedi Mind Trick. Which, as the name implies, is more of a trick than a power per se? Something psychological-ish. Can't see how anything else would make much sense, science wise.
 

RicoADF

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Jun 2, 2009
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I think people bitching about Midichlorians is ridiculous, even in the original movies it was clear that the force was passed down through the family lines and thus it was a genetic trait of some sort, all Ep 1 did was make a name for what was already basically established.
 

Albino Boo

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Small but rather important point force users appear in different species with entirely different DNA. Its very unlikely that different species would have the same recessive genes. My money is on Gandalf on a Friday night on the Romulan ale
 

Quellist

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Ugh, really this article was a big nothing. Abrams has the right idea, lets not go all geeky trying to explain it with science, unless you want to explain hyperspace with science too.

"A wizard did it" is good enough for me in this case
 

Kahani

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immortalfrieza said:
However, I still do not understand the hate that Star Wars fans seem to have for the idea of Midichlorians. All it seems to do is confirm that there's a biological medium through which The Force is manipulated and thus a means to detect who is Force Sensitive and who isn't.
Firstly, that's exactly the problem - it gives an explanation for something that didn't actually need one. In the original films, the Force was some vague, mystical thing. It existed, it could have some effect on the world, but for the most part no-one knew much about it or even necessarily knew it existed. The Jedi were a religious order, not a science lab. The problem isn't so much that mitochondria are a terrible explanation, the problem is with the idea that the explanation was needed at all. We suddenly jumped from ancient mysticism to common blood tests for no apparent reason. It's as though halfway through Lord of the Rings Tolkien suddenly started using Vancian magic. There's nothing inherently wrong with Vancian magic, but not only does it not fit well in Tolkien's universe, changing halfway through would be extremely jarring. I like Tolkien and I like D&D, but that doesn't mean I want Gandalf to suddenly start explaining how he can only cast two fireballs per day until he gains another level.

Secondly, Jesus. The midichlorian explanation was given to us at exactly the same time we were told that Anakin was space Jesus, born from a virgin to fulfil the prophecies about the messiah. Religious metaphors aren't always bad (see Robocop for example), but being that incredibly blatant and then never actually going anywhere with it or even mentioning it again at all (the prophecy pops up a couple of times, but the virgin birth thing never does despite apparently being an incredibly important, unprecedented occurrence) is just terrible. And while space Jesus and midichlorians could have been introduced entirely independently with neither actually being relevant to the other, the fact is that they weren't. Midicholorians were introduced to us in the same breath as the most ham-fisted and misplaced bit of religious nonsense ever forcibly inserted into a silly space opera, and are forever tainted by association as a result.
 

Spacewolf

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Just say what I always assumed the Midichlorians are just parasites that feed off Force energy or whatever you want to call it. There for more power in the force more parasites you have.
 

Mortuorum

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It should never be spoken of again. If Force aptitude was measurable by a quick blood/tissue sample test, the Empire would have every kid tested at birth and either drafted or euthanized. Best to leave it as it was after the original trilogy - a cryptomystical energy that can't be completely explained or scientifically quantified.
 

FirstNameLastName

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Honestly, not to get all offensive here, but this does seem to just be fanboy whining, as usual. I'd bet my entire lifesavings that if midichlorians were mentioned in the original trilogy there wouldn't be a peep about it. Likewise, if the prequel trilogy were actually good in their own right, then people would probably just accept them as another part of the canon. Yet because the prequels were so disappointing it seems everything must be hated regardless of their own merits.

Yeah yeah, demystifying the lore, blah blah didn't need to be explained, I've heard it all before. May i ask what this great lore was that they ruined?
"The force is this mystical phenomenon that gives people plot-convenient powers, and some people are more sensitive to it because..." has now become "The force is this mystical phenomenon that gives people plot-convenient powers, and some people are more sensitive to it because midichlorians."

Come off it, the only reason midichlorians existed was to prop up their chosen one story by giving people a quantifiable way to measure their power. After all, even in the original trilogy it was implied that some people had a greater affinity with the force, all they did was put a name to it. It really doesn't change anything, nor does it make the theme less mystical.
I still don't see why this is such a big deal.
 

babinro

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They should take the DBZ approach and constantly bring up midichlorians as a measure of how awesome someone is in order to add tension/drama. Embrace the existing lore and make the best out of something that was received poorly.
 

Ihateregistering1

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Sorry, but who cares? No one complains about how you can hear sound in space, so why does anyone care about whether people have force powers via genetics, magic bacteria, or plain old "you just do"?

I love Star Wars, but I think people sometimes forget that Lucas intended them to be kid-friendly movies that adults could enjoy too. This isn't "2001: A Space Odyssey", and kids don't want to sit through long drawn out scenes of characters talking about genetic mutations and the probability of acquiring inheritable traits.

babinro said:
They should take the DBZ approach and constantly bring up midichlorians as a measure of how awesome someone is in order to add tension/drama. Embrace the existing lore and make the best out of something that was received poorly.
Ok, I could totally get behind this: "His midichlorian level is 976! We don't stand a chance!"
 

happyninja42

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immortalfrieza said:
However, I still do not understand the hate that Star Wars fans seem to have for the idea of Midichlorians. All it seems to do is confirm that there's a biological medium through which The Force is manipulated and thus a means to detect who is Force Sensitive and who isn't. It doesn't demystify The Force in any way or seem to affect much of anything about Star Wars at all for that matter.
Because the explanation of the midichlorians doesn't actually explain anything. How do these little biological thingies allow energy and awareness to cross distances of a galactic scale? How does it allow a force user the ability to lift tons of weight with his mind? It doesn't, it doesn't explain anything. It just makes a really stupid "scientific" reason for something that before was mysterious and mystic, without actually doing anything to explain how it works.

It basically replaces "It's a mystery" with "It's SCIENCE! LULZ", but doesn't actually provide any new information on the matter at all. It would've been better to just leave it a mystery, instead of trying to provide some lame scientific, hand wave excuse for it.
 

Proto Taco

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The only way The Force makes sense to me is as an adaptable trait present in all creatures, like empathy.

Empathy, in its truest form, is instinctual perception. Every animal is instinctually capable of interpreting body language and non-verbal cues from other animals, that's how they communicate almost silently. Some animals are more social and by extension better at it than others, but all animals are capable of this action, including humans.

Where humans differ with animals in this regard is the degree to which they can exploit it when they are skilled and/or talented at it. Just like math or art, anyone can learn to be empathic and instinctually read creatures' nonverbal cues, but some people naturally excel at it. Those who naturally excel at it often experience moments in their life when people look at them funny because they will say or do something that shouldn't make sense unless they had some knowledge they didn't have (I'm talking natural everyday occurrences, not paid psychics).

With refinement skilled empaths can take their talents to seemingly supernatural levels, but that skill isn't beyond anyone. In fact it is quite common for dedicated monks, especially of meditative disciplines, to be adept at sensing a great deal about someone just by looking at them.

This probably sounds like a useful skill much like basic force levitation right? Well it is. But you also don't see everyone dedicating hours of study every day to develop such skills. Why? Well mostly because people think it's 'hokey' or nonsense, much in the manner of Han Solo. Greater empathy also brings with it a level of responsibility because you begin feeling what others feel more deeply and it becomes harder to accept and deal with everyday common cruelties (there's more than one reason monks live in seclusion).

Translate this to force powers and it neatly explains every facet of the force in established canon (both with and without the EU). Not to mention it jives with the 'flavor' of the force far better than something as asinine as midichlorines or genetics.

People have children with personalities and skills similar to their own, so a couple who's adept at understanding and manipulating the force will have children who are naturally inclined to understand and manipulate the force.

Animals are capable of basic force skills, but only the ones who've developed an instinctual understanding of that facet of the force for survival.

Every person is capable of developing force skills, but only a few are either brave, disciplined, or instinctually inclined enough to do it (hello punishingly-demanding-Jedi-training).

Sith who've never had Jedi training, like poker grifters, learned to use their skills for self-gain, on their own, without a code of morality to guide their greater understanding of life. Genetics or midichlorines would provide no method of understanding how to use force 'abilities' without instinct, and as I've spent this whole post explaining, instinct renders all this predestination genetics/midichlorine nonsense moot and unnecessary.

Finally, both midichlorines and genetics fly in the face of 'The Force'. The force has always been described as something that binds the whole universe together, a kind of shared omnipresence between organisms, not a super power lottery. Reducing the force to a simple gene or physical characteristic destroys its spiritual significance and by extension the entire presence of the Jedi/Sith orders. I mean the Star Wars universe already has the capability to clone an entire army in half a human lifespan. If the force were as easy to understand as genetics or midichlorines in a universe like that, you'd better believe someone would have already made and mass marketed 'force pills' or something to give everyone super powers.

Anyway, I don't hold the reigns on the franchise, and predestination is all the rage now, but I wanted to get this out into the aether. I don't know if anyone else holds a similar view on 'the force' or if everyone totally digs the predestination schtick, but for my part I always have to plug in the above to any given Star Wars story or the force just doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever.
 

Mahorfeus

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Happyninja42 said:
Because the explanation of the midichlorians doesn't actually explain anything. How do these little biological thingies allow energy and awareness to cross distances of a galactic scale?
They don't. They sense and channel that energy, not project it.

How does it allow a force user the ability to lift tons of weight with his mind?
Again, it is still the "mystical" Force doing the literal heavy lifting here. The midichlorians just allow the Jedi/Sith/whatever to channel the Force. How does the Force lift heavy crap and toss it around? We don't know.

It doesn't, it doesn't explain anything.
Asides from why certain animals can be Force sensitive, or why Force sensitivity is passed down through bloodlines, or why some Force users are outright more powerful than others, or how the Jedi even identified Force-sensitives, et cetera, et cetera. In other words, the things that it was meant to explain. The real handwave nonsense would be to answer all of these questions with "Oh, because the Force is mystical, and do pretty much anything."

It just makes a really stupid "scientific" reason for something that before was mysterious and mystic, without actually doing anything to explain how it works. It basically replaces "It's a mystery" with "It's SCIENCE! LULZ", but doesn't actually provide any new information on the matter at all. It would've been better to just leave it a mystery, instead of trying to provide some lame scientific, hand wave excuse for it.
It was never meant to explain "how it works." It applies science to mysticism in an ostensibly science-oriented universe, without actually demystifying anything. The things that midichlorians don't explain are precisely what still make the Force the mystical, omnipresent energy field that it is. Having a scientific basis for why certain people can sense/manipulate it and why others cannot does nothing to ruin what makes the Force mysterious.
 

jabrwock

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Reminds me of Discworld, and why wizards aren't supposed to have offspring. Because a seventh son of a seventh son of a wizard is a sourcerer, and that kind of craziness just ends up breaking the world.