About Abrams, Midichlorians, and Canon

Many of you have seen on Yahell News or references to said piece a claim that J.J. Abrams “promised” there would be no midichlorians in TFA and that this was further proof that Abrams considered Eps IV-VI the sole canon of Star Wars.

Unpacking this story, it is true MTV asked Abrams quick yes or no questions about Star Wars and when asked about midichlorians in TFA, he said “no.” When I heard the Yahell version of the story, I thought it was greatly disappointing they are not utilizing the mythology they are given. But on second thought, it might be one of two things. One, Abrams is pulling another “Khan’s not in the movie” or more likely, the subject of midichlorians isn’t relevant to what happens in the film.

Midichlorians were always in Lucas’s notes about how the Force worked, going back to the ’70s (I believe it’s in “The Making of Star Wars” by JW Rinzler). They were mentioned explicitly in TPM for the reason of letting the audience know why Anakin was so danged important, Qui-Gon had to whisk him away and demand the Council break its own rules to train Anakin. And it explains the whole “the Force runs strong in my family” bit from ROTJ, so by extension why the Skywalker clan is so danged important. Midichlorians are brought up again in ROTS so that the audience starts to wonder if Anakin was created as a result of Sith experimenting with the Force (it certainly works to get Anakin’s attention). Midichlorians are not brought up in AOTC because there was no reason to.

The stuff Abrams said about canon during the SDCC panel was clumsily-worded and Yahell took it to mean that Abrams was retconning the prequels out of existence, which he can’t do. The frustrating thing for all of us is that Disneyfilm refuses to clarify this stuff and I think we all know why…they don’t care as long as it makes the anti-PT crowd jazzed to see TFA. Why do you think nobody’s called Simon Pegg and told him to knock off bashing the prequels in public?


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15 Responses to “About Abrams, Midichlorians, and Canon”

  1. darth66zannah Says:

    I’m boycotting anything Disney for this nonsense. They are completely disrespecting me and the things I love with no regard. I love the prequel era EU and they ignored it, now their openly dissing the source material?! Sure, I’ll see TFA….a month after it’s released and I’ll buy a ticket for a different movie and sneak in. This is a new low…no respect for Lucas at all…i HATE Simon Pegg with all my heart now and I’m throwing out my Star Trek dvd because I never want to see his face or JJ’s stupid movie ever again!

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Pegg’s been singing that song for years and years. It’s nothing new.

      • M. Marshall Says:

        To top it off, Yahoo had an article where he ranks the films from best to worse. Let me guess: he only picks four films where he ranks TFA above TESB because he’s in it.

  2. Andrew Weaver Says:

    The Midichlorians is to me a humongous mountain of a molehill made of a relatively minor detail of Jedi being able to detect strength in the Force more than pointing at him and going “I can sense Force, he can be a Jedi, let’s take him.” Everyone who sees it as doing in the wizard of the Force’s “magic” seems to just not like people taking scientific-esque explanation to that particular aspect of Star Wars. Guys, c’mon, you have detailed reference books that expose every wire and mechanism of nearly every darn starship from the movies, did you really expect them not to prod the biological aspect of Jedi at least a little bit? And it’s not like they alone cause people to be Jedi, it’s a symbiotic thing if you pay attention (though I think one could argue that Qui-Gon’s explanation may’ve been a little unclear in wording)

    And like said here, they’re really not relevant in the long run of the saga. Let’s save our concerns about them being excluded next time a character is trying to determine someone’s Force potential again.

    …Heh, I just had a funny thought of some Sith determining the minichlorian count of a Jedi the way Vegeta uses a scouter to determine that one guy’s power level. AKA the “Over 9000” meme.

    • M. Marshall Says:

      And where “fans” got the idea that the Force is something “mystical” and “magical” is beyond me. Nobody in the OT ever said that the Force was a “mystery” except for Han because he’s not a jedi. To them there’s nothing mystical about the Force.

      • Edward Diego Says:

        So you’re basically saying all people that became Star Wars fans in the time period from 1977 to 1999 are all … wrong? They never grew up with the concept/term called ‘Midi-Chlorians’. To them the Force is very ‘Mystical’ & ‘Magical’ – Obi Wan Quote: “An energy field that binds the galaxy together.”

      • Bob Clark Says:

        Energy isn’t exactly mystical or magical. It’s basic science. And especially considering that from Day One the force is created by “all living things” means it’s not mysterious. At best, you’re talking Chi.

  3. Noah Says:

    Even though the media is getting the truth wrong, the fact that Abrams has to consider IV-VI as “canon” when they were already canon to begin with, and the dismissing of midichlorians… is basically assaulting prequel/saga fans and kissing up to the crybaby children who only fuss and fuss

    And as for Disney… oh Disney, a company I have loved since my childhood… this is from a kid who grew up in the 1990s with VHS tapes (although Disney wasn’t the only one with videos, but this is not the place to talk about VeggieTales-&-Bibleman and Thomas the Tank Engine), who considers Treasure Planet one of the greatest films of all time, and an admirer of animation as a medium (not to mention Disneyland is a nice place, although Legoland has an arm over you no matter how popular or successful you are). However, Disney has pulled questionable and really dumb choices lastly. Instead of trying to throw a third pitch, the company has shut down their 2D animation department until further notice (not to mention that their last hand-drawn feature, 2011’s Winnie the Pooh, was released on the same day as the final Harry Potter as well as marketed poorly compared to the marketing of Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Transformers 3, Cars 2, The Smurfs and anything else that same summer), canceling well-received programs like Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in order to produce more simply made shows (while making the same teen sitcom over and over again), and trying their best to please recent political agendas in the U.S at the moment… (cough… Maleficent… and Disney Channel). Even though their Star Wars marketing is not “far worse” than those decisions, it is still unfair and mean-spirited of the company to pander to the people who don’t even show love to the parts of their own fandom that they consider “good”. Like darth66, I may as well avoid the new movie… (although what he-or-she said about going to the last minute but paying for a different movie….hmmm). All I feel like I have been able to do for I-III is fanart, and my Jar Jar cosplaying for SWC, SDCC, and the upcoming D23 (which I’ll also be Treasure Planet’s Jim Hawkins, if any of you are there and notice me in that costume and want to have a friendly conversation)

  4. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    It boggles my mind how people can’t wrap their heads around such a simple concept.

  5. Frida Nyberg Says:

    And where would these people (haters) expect the heredity of the Force come from? Since it seems to be obvious that the Force is hereditary, Luke and Leia got their strong Force ability from Anakin, where would they get it from except from something biologically tangible? “Just magic”?

    And it’s true that Lucas had planned the midi-chlorians all along, but there’s no point to include them in IV-VI. I’m absolutely sure that had the movies been made chronologically, with Episode I back in 1977, NO ONE would have had a problem with midi-chlorians.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Yeah, been making this point myself for a while now. Midichlorians ruin the Force, but deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is A-OK!

  6. Jacobesico Says:

    Well if he is going to disregard an importantant piece of lore in the Star Wars saga, then Episode 7 will be nothing but a silly little fan film with nothing original in it.

    From the rumours that I am hearing about it, I am getting less sure about the movie each day. I come away frustrated feeling that Disney have blown it and that’s before it even hits the theatres.

    But all that fuss over a tiny plot point that promotes symbiosis. Somehow I doubt that we would have any meaningfull themes in Episode 7….

  7. kenkraly2004 Says:

    Once again The Mainstream Media is taking it out of context. Rant time here let’s not get carried away Star Wars Fans . Remember Star Wars (Episode 7) The Force Awakens is still 4 months away from release. He (J.J.) grew up with the OT that to him is his Star Wars. Also everything will turn out fine for TFA trust me it will. Besides you can’t believe every rumor you hear out their. Once the film comes out in 4 months them will know for sure what is real and what was rumor plus we know J. W. Rinzler will eventually write about in The Making of Book for TFA when that comes out in a few years. The Mainstream Media is blowing this out of context. J.J. was being funny in the interview he did not mean it seriously and I’m sure J. J. Is not taking shots at the prequels intentionally. Also as some have said said I like the idea that science and spirituality can merge. J.J. NEVER said he doesn’t treat the prequels as canon. It’s unrealistic to expect Midi-chlorians to be in this movie in chronologically it will be the 6th movie to not use them. Their not going to Reference things 60 years after TPM and before TFA. More likely they will have little nods to both The PT and OT but not going to reference things 60 years back.

  8. Stefan Kraft Says:

    “Also as some have said said I like the idea that science and spirituality can merge.”
    That’s basically what I think, too.
    My impression is that there are the Midi-Chlorians haters (let’s call them like that) that do not get the basic idea (“The Force is reduced to some microscopic life form!” No, it’s not…)
    Then there are the haters that do not think that the strength in the Force cannot be passed on, at least in the case of Luke and Leia. However, they prefer to let it open how this works and also how living beings interact with the Force. That’s not bad per se, but GL had a different idea. I can understand why some may not like it, but it is as it is.
    Anyway, the Force itself is indeed as mystical as you want it to be, regardless of the Midi-Chlorians. Qui-Gon is sure that it was the will of the Force to find Anakin (you may of course say that “will” is only one way to talk about the properties of an energy field, but that’s your interpretation šŸ˜‰ ). There is a prophecy that the Force will be brought balance. The Force connects all living beings. (And so on…)

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