Midichlorians- certainly sparked plenty of debate upon the release of the The Phantom Menace in 1999. Some of it interesting, but most of it stupid as some wrongly interpreted it to mean they were THE Force, which has been said many times since, they are NOT, NOT NOT, the Force, but mere conduits of the Force.
Convoluted some have said, blasphemy from others!
Both are wrong as it laid the groundwork showing how the Jedi were slowly losing their grip and their ability to effectively communicate with the Force and the two distinct interpretations of the Force and how it formed its users.
As a story concept, it was used as a quick narrative device to show how the Jedi discovered their potentials, but also, the most important aspect is how the Jedi slowly lost their way.
When Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi meet Anakin, Jinn proclaim him the “Chosen One,” referring to the ancient Jedi prophecy. Instead of vetting the kid properly they take a simple blood sample and test it. They discover he has more Midis than Yoda- he’s never asked any questions, his character is not explored and Jinn never listens to the (hind-sight) group who said no to the boys training. Take his blood and declare him GOD. Never once do they explore the possibly that the kid is not emotionally strong enough to sustain the training and separation from his mother.
I see the midis as the perfect distillation of the two distinct personalities, emotions and agendas in the first two trilogies. In the prequel years, everything is shiny, new and the Jedi have become complacent, arrogant know-it-alls who have lost touch with the basics of the Force. They are reduced to finding potentials through blood tests, council squabbling and an obligation to a dead friend. The character of the individual is ignored- THE individual is ignored. It explains Anakin’s virgin birth scenario and sets him up as being very powerful. It shows how clueless the Jedi were/are in not considering the prophecy was in favor of the Dark Side. The Sith had been extinct for almost a millennia, it makes sense that the Jedi’s days were numbered.
By the time we get to the original films, events have changed dramatically – Jedi all mostly exterminated and Anakin/Vader has taken a despotic hold on the galaxy. Yoda’s once cavalier view of the force has now changed; humbled, no longer the work of biology and with blood tests, but by listening to the Force, one can become a powerful user. Lucas of course was writing backwards in essence, but being the clever cat he is, he makes the Midis work as Yoda never once mentions the Midis because his POV has radically shifted thanks to Vader and Palpatine’s campaign of evil. Luke doesn’t need to know how powerful he is down to the cellular level lest he becomes like Dear old Dad. Luke is aware of Vader, but has yet to learn the whys. The Force became an ally to him, not an office toy as shown by the Jedi.
Even though they are linked, they have their own distinctions. The Jedi, at least the prequel era ones, saw themselves as above it all, arrogant, demigods. Jinn were one and he flouted his powers and used them to his advantage; Wato and Anakin for example. The force to him and others was to be used at their pleasure and for whatever purpose, there was no restraint or reverence of something bigger, it was biology after all. Don’t worry about the future. Jinn tells Anakin of the living force. It seems to be regarded as merely a tool, a selfish device to get from A to B. On several occasions it’s used for attack while in battle. This is where people miss the point, it doesn’t contradict the Force origins, and the midis are merely messengers/conduits of the Force. What old Ben and tell Luke is still relevant. When you don’t listen to the Force, bad things happen.
That wonderful scene with Yoda explaining the Force to Luke is still intact- now more than ever as that moment seems to be a revelation for him, as if he’s confessing his sins of the past to the boy; a Eureka moment for him, changing his ways after many, many years of being misguided.
The Prequel trilogy Jedis see the Force as something you are born with, biology. No more, no less. If you have it, use it. It became a crunch of sorts to settle disputes. They didn’t bother getting to the heart of the problem, use the Force, it will solve it. The Prequel kids relied too much on the Force for things; meetings, policy; trying to find meanings for things- stuff that should have been handled with a “human touch,” instead of clinging to tradition.
The original trilogy Jedi, Yoda and Ben have learned their lessons big time and see the Force as spiritually something bigger than the person using it; a source of comfort and especially strength. Luke was asked to look inside himself and find the courage and strength BEFORE tapping into this mysterious Force, the most important thing was to rely on oneself. Not the other way around. It was something you listen to and use only when necessary. If you abuse it, or don’t acknowledge its power, it will get you, i.e. turn you over to the Darkside, hence Darth Vader. Qui-Gon didn’t mention Darkside stuff because it hadn’t happened yet, Anakin was yet to be turned. Luke was a good person, Ben and Yoda knew that so they instilled fear and patience of the Force. Luke was blissfully ignorant of the politics and the ego behind the Jedi S.O.B. (standard operation Bull). No one fed his ego like they did Anakins, who was constantly told he was the most powerful-ever and the Force was HIS tool, not the other way around. Power corrupts indeed.
Written by Dan S. Turpin
Pictures by: Peter Wadsworth
Edited by: Krystee Anidem
Luminous beings are we- not this crude matter. Midis do matter.