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  1. #1

    Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    I know this topic has been harped upon endlessly over the past 6 years, but something that caught my attention while listening to the ANH DVD's commentary track was this little number from George Lucas himself:
    Quote Originally Posted by George Lucas
    ... in terms of fantasy films and everything, I can't stand it when you sit around and try to explain how a teleporter works or why, you know, it's just not what the movie needs to be about.
    I agree with Lucas on this, and this is something he said only a few months ago so it's not like it's a 30-year-old quote and his mind had changed with the passage of time. Up until TPM, the Force was what it was, magic and intangible and it was simply accepted by the characters and the audience once a quick, cursory explanation had been given to our hero. Yet why then did Lucas feel the need to explain the Force with the technical midichlorian stuff in TPM, wasn't he breaking his own rule, why did he think we wanted to hear that sort of thing if he himself did not?
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

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  2. #2

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    I could not agree more.

    I'm sure someone is going to jump in with some argument about how the midichlorians were necessary to show that Anakin was the chosen one. Of course, I never would have had Anakin be the chosen one either. I would not have had the prequels be the story of how the Messiah goes bad, but how a typical good person can go down the wrong path.

    Another midichlorian defender might offer that it was necessary for the implication in Revenge of the Sith that Palpatine might be Anakin's father, in some fashion. Or that it shows manipulation of the midichlorians can not only create life (Anakin) but cause someone to not die (as Anakin hoped for Padme). Well there you go. I never would have had Anakin turn evil because he was tricked into it under the false promise that if he turned evil he would learn a special power to keep people from dying.

    If the midichlorians were so darned important, why weren't they mentioned in Episode II? I think because Lucas knew it ticked people off. But he did mention them in one line of Episode III to show that he did it for a reason and it wasn't just something stupid in Episode I, but part of a grand scheme.

  3. #3

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    The Ep 3 references seem pointless to me, we never get confirmation that Palps or another Sith is Anakin's father, and we could have just as easily had Palpatine say that the Force could be used by a Sith to create life and save them from dying, without the midichlorian mumbo-jumbo. Hell, Merlin from the King Arthur tales ages backwards and lives for a long time, don't need to know that it's actually Merlin's skills as a wizard which let him manipulate his mitocondria and chronitons to keep him alive in backwards-time (not unless this were Star Trek, but that's a whole other ball of wax ).
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  4. #4

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    Droid, you hit the nail on the head. This whole business about there being a "chosen one" is ridiculous. The story should have remained being about normal people caught up in extraordinary circumstances, just like Luke was.

    But so many Apologists hang their argument around Luke's ROTJ words that "the Force is strong in my family" to justify the need for some kind of magic elixer or superpower that no one else has. That's just ridiculous. All he was saying is that, just like any other ability like athletic or art, the Skywalkers are a little more adept at tapping into the Force than other people. There was no need to "explain" this with blood mites.

    All this talk of "chosen one" and "balance to the Force" is never explained ever in the course of 6 movies. Completely ridiculous.

    Lucas indeed lost his way. I think it was the doc that came with ROTJ when he was talking about the Sail Barge and why he didn't feel the need to linger on it. It was just a tool to help tell the story and to gratuitously keep the camera on it just to show off the coolness of the model would detract from the story. What happened to the guy that said that?

  5. #5

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    I think the midichlorians were a story device, just another example created to support the symbiotic relationship motif in The Phantom Menace. By introducing the midichlorians, parasitic bacteria that give their Jedi hosts their "power", Lucas was reinforcing the other main symbiotic relationship in the story, between the Naboo and the Gungans. There may be other examples of symbiotic relationships in TPM, but the Jedi/midichlorians and Naboo/Gungans are the two obvious ones.

    I agree that it was a bad mistake. I prefer the interpretion that the Force is an energy field created by all living things, something that can be drawn upon and used by anyone with the ability to attune themselves to it. Some individuals and families are more adept or "strong in the Force"; others may not be able to use it at all. As was noted in another thread, the "wizardly, magical" quality of the Jedi Knights is also severely lessened in the prequels and I think the midichlorians are one of the main factors for that.
    Weird War Tales: Featuring the Creature Commandos #105 November 1981 (DC Comics)

  6. #6

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    JT, do you have Lucas' quotes regarding midichlorians from his 2001 TPM commentary ? It would be interesting to compare that to his 2004 commentary on ANH.

    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    But so many Apologists hang their argument around Luke's ROTJ words that "the Force is strong in my family" to justify the need for some kind of magic elixer or superpower that no one else has.
    I've used that line before, guess it makes me an Apologist, but I always used it in opposition to your idea that "anybody" (as in, the average moviegoer) could no longer 'relate' to the character because Luke was "chock full of midichlorians."

    My saying that is not a direct support of the presence of midichlorians, just that ROTJ came along and said that Leia had this power as well . . . and she didn't even know it.

    I don't care much about midichlorians either way - I could take them or leave them, I really don't care, but like it or not, the Force was already more hereditary and tangible in the OT before Lucas even got to prequels and (for better or for worse, probably for worse ) solidified the biological details of the midiwhatevers.

  7. #7

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    I just believe he used it to steer off the whole religious debate issue and clarify it wasnt
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  8. #8

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    Quote Originally Posted by KH
    I just believe he used it to steer off the whole religious debate issue and clarify it wasnt
    I wish he could have found a better way to do so. I can understand him wanting to do so, but this wasn't the way. Maybe in "TPM:SE" Greedo can shoot the midis. Yeah, that was dumb....
    It's a blacked-out blur but I'm pretty sure it ruled.

  9. #9

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar
    I've used that line before, guess it makes me an Apologist, but I always used it in opposition to your idea that "anybody" (as in, the average moviegoer) could no longer 'relate' to the character because Luke was "chock full of midichlorians."
    I can't remember what you said about that. It just logical to me given our initial introduction to Luke Skywalker... he was a normal farmboy trapped in nowheresville dreaming of bigger and better things. That was even confirmed by Yoda just one film later. This was a character that was pretty normal and a generation of kids could relate to him. What made him great is that he was very normal and then something extraordinary happens to him. Who doesn't dream of that? Well, some people relish a mediocre life, but a lot of people dream of getting out of Dodge.

    But by making him a superhero, it negates all of that. Suddenly Luke isn't "normal" anymore and all "we" can do as an audience is merely watch him go through the paces of his "destiny." Originally, we could pretend that we too (being normal like Luke) could be caught up in the extraordinary (Batman), but instead, with Midichlorians, it became an impossible dream (Superman).

    I can't remember how you countered that...

  10. #10

    Re: Midichlorians shouldn't have existed

    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    It just logical to me given our initial introduction to Luke Skywalker... he was a normal farmboy trapped in nowheresville dreaming of bigger and better things. That was even confirmed by Yoda just one film later. This was a character that was pretty normal and a generation of kids could relate to him. What made him great is that he was very normal and then something extraordinary happens to him. Who doesn't dream of that? Well, some people relish a mediocre life, but a lot of people dream of getting out of Dodge.

    But by making him a superhero, it negates all of that. Suddenly Luke isn't "normal" anymore and all "we" can do as an audience is merely watch him go through the paces of his "destiny." Originally, we could pretend that we too (being normal like Luke) could be caught up in the extraordinary (Batman), but instead, with Midichlorians, it became an impossible dream (Superman).

    I can't remember how you countered that...
    I don't think it has changed things all that much and I don't think he's a superhero from the getgo. Luke is still from a backwater planet who's salty towards his uncle and wants bigger and better things. We now know that there was faith put into him and his sister but when we next meet Luke he's just a normal kid. He goes on to these great things he just taps into that potential. It could be said that we all have that potential in us we just need to tap into it... although why then bother with midichlorians then? Anywho Anakin has a destiny to follow himself but makes a major U turn and things turn out slightly different then expected. I do not think Luke/Leia had a destiny to follow but Yoda, Bail and Obi Wan did have certain plans for them.

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