Dave Filoni on Midichlorians

Comic Book.com spoke to Dave Filoni at SWCE and the subject of midichlorians came up (which CB.com refers to as a “dirty word” among Star Wars fans…eyeroll):

For a long time I’ve used someone like Bruce Lee as an example. He has, if you like, a lot of talent for martial arts – or a very high midi-chlorian count. If I train in martial arts, can I learn martial arts? Yes, I can improve my midi-chlorian count in that discipline. Will I be as good as Bruce Lee? No, that’s not my talent. We were always able to find real-world equivalencies to Star Wars to make comparisons that make it feel like it’s a real thing.

Whatever Filoni learned on that issue came from Lucas himself. Thank goodness this guy is still on board. Read the rest here.

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13 Responses to “Dave Filoni on Midichlorians”

  1. Jim Raynor Says:

    I’ll say this every time someone brings up Midichlorians “ruining” the mysticism of The Force and “raping” our childhoods:

    Fanboys had no problems accepting Force potential as an inheritable trait passed down from parent to child (every Original Trilogy movie). They had no problems with Expanded Universe books, particularly the beloved Thrawn Trilogy, featuring cloned Jedi stepping out of test tubes with fully developed Force abilities.

    Midichlorians ruin The Force but DNA doesn’t?

    Sure, the Midichlorians sound a bit odd, but The Phantom Menace never focused on them beyond using them as a brief plot device to objectively state that Anakin was the real deal. TPM never even violated the “mystical” concept of The Force, with all that talk about prophecy and how The Force has a will of its own outside of any individual living being.

    After nearly two decades, it’s long past time for the aging Star Wars fanboy audience to acknowledge these things and quit their whining and moaning.

    • Anthony Echevarria Says:

      I don’t even understand what the issue is. In the X-Men universe, both Apocalypse and Professor X have the ‘X-gene’, yet Apocalypse is undoubtedly mightier in terms of physical and metabolic capabilities than the Professor. Just because one comes close to godlike and the other is simply a powerful psychic, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong the ‘X-gene’ concept. And Xavier’s DNA-born abilities allow him and other people like Jean Grey and Emma to be aware of a part of reality (“The Astral Plane”) that most people never know about. What people like Dr. Strange and others have to do through magic and training, Xavier does through genetics.

      Another example is Zahn and the ‘Farscape’ universe. Zahn’s Delvian DNA allows her to reach a spiritual enlightening, through the Delvian Seek, that John Crichton will never attain. John Crichton can study the beliefs and reach his own certain level of spiritual awakening, but he will never achieve the spiritual enlightening that she can. Because he’s simply not a Delvian.

      I look at the midichlorians as simply allowing you to reach a level of supernatural awareness (“the Force”), that most people never will, simply because they’re not capable of it. Everyone is connected to it, it’s just that most people simply can’t reach it. That seems like a good enough explanation to me.

      (And now I’m wondering what would happen if you injected Apocalypse with midichlorians, and trained him in the Force. Can you say “End of the Universe”? 😀 )

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I always thought the midichlorians served two purposes in storytelling: one is establishing why some are able to become Jedi or Sith and can use the Force in ways others apparently cannot and two, why the Skywalkers in particular stand out from even others gifted with the Force. There are other things too, like Lucas musing on the difference between those with a lot of raw potential and those who may not have as much but maximize their talents with what they have. As Bruce Lee said, I’d rather go against the guy who has learned 10,000 different kicks than the guy who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. But that’s the practical reason for the midichlorians.

      The rest of it has a lot to do with Lucas’s personal views on life, the universe, and everything. Whenever he talks about the Force he sounds like he really buys what he’s selling and the midichlorians have been a part of this belief system since the beginning.

  2. Hoggle Says:

    We don’t know much about Midichlorians.
    One quantifible measurement is not necessary a whole elephant.

    The ‘count’ as it relates to force ability, i like to speculate….is an aspect of the intersection of destiny & fate, which has a real life equivalent in persistent traditions through the ages in all kinds of different cultures pertaining to the universal workings of Astrology….🐚

  3. jayoungr Says:

    I wonder what the fan reaction would have been if, instead of checking Anakin’s midichlorian count, Qui-Gon had asked to have his blood sample checked for the Force-sensitive gene. Would it have been better or worse?

    • lazypadawan Says:

      That’s a good question.

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      “Force-sensitive gene” might prompt thoughts of “you have it or you don’t,” which wasn’t quite what was being talked about… To be honest, I can see the comment about “midichlorians being in all cells” (which I’m sure some miss in their fits of indignation) as more inclusive than the old concept of “Force sensitivity.” Too, while I can suppose there are impressions Anakin’s count somehow amounts to “unearned power,” I’ve been fully willing to suppose Yoda’s count also being high could be connected to him having been around for so long, and that characters aren’t necessarily “stuck with what they were born with…”

      • Hoggle Says:

        There are mysterious powers involved with Midichlorians in the star wars galaxy – that much is obvious.

        Symbiance with midichlorians is a prerequisite to direct force powers we associate with Jedi & Sith, but such direct force powers are not necessary a stimulas to symbiance to the workings of midichlorians; the Siths are actually polar opposite.

        As relates to destiny & fate, that is maybe the providence of the mysterious workings of the Midi, as it is many ways that character types can be highly developed symbiance in the force without being inclined to have taken up the ability of being able to have direct force powers.

        To me, Padme and Anakin are out of the first six films, the two clearly seperated halfs of this, as they are developing mutually as characters in these aspects of the force before being torn apart. Luke seemed to be on an arc of Jedi hood balance, & Leia seemed like she was just starting to come into her own as a galactic symbiant Deus Ex 🚀 with some latent & lightweight secondary direct force mind powers that volunatarily manifest in different ways as a by product.

      • jayoungr Says:

        I agree that it would have had a slightly different connotation. I just wonder if the fans would have complained about the Force being “demystified” in the same way.

  4. Jacobesico Says:

    I’ve never had any problems with Midichlorians as they were there in George Lucas’s first draft and I like the scientific approach that Lucas takes toward The Force .

    They fit into the theme of symbiosis that was in The Phantom Menace. Lifeforms living together of mutual advantage.

    It’s a pity that these “fans” who bash Midichlorians can’t open their minds up a bit more.

  5. solitaryidler Says:

    Midichlorians always made sense to me so it always baffled me to see all the uproar against them amongst the main fandom, especially with the bashers. I personally think that midichlorians basically established for certain that the Star Wars galaxy humans weren’t actually our humans since it was using something we decidedly don’t have to explain the Force powers and stuff, which makes sense to me but basically pops the bubble for a lot of the fanboys who were secretly entertaining decades-long fantasies of being Jedi or Sith. So I tend to assume that the people who find midichlorians distasteful do so because their secret dreams of living vicariously through were somehow destroyed. It just shows an inflexibility and inability to realize that not having it be real doesn’t ruin the fun.

    Really, all the cries over ruined childhoods are really cries over the canon getting into the way of their masturbatory fantasies, which is an entirely different animal altogether.

    • Hoggle Says:

      A Midi-chlorian ‘count’ is used to identify potential Jedi & it (the count) has a correlation to (direct) force powers & abilities.

      Apart from that, what Qui-gon talks about is totally different in relation to Midi-chlorians. He’s all about the universality of Midi-chlorians infusing everything with an omnipresent mystical force that co-creates life with everything else (i.e the force works in a symbiant way in star wars speak) – This is the opposite of an exclusiveness of the force.

      As is the nature of mystical stuff, there’s also supersition/prophecy/lore involved.

      The use of a ‘count’ alone of Midichlorians may be limiting to the potential & powers of what a Jedi or Sith order can be, but whatever the case, it’s perfectly understandably how the logistics can become route overtime & so common place that they are not thought twice about once the practise is established – that’s a pretty common characteristic of any societies conventions.

      We don’t know much about Midi-chlorians at all. The Sith have some lore about the scientific aspects of how they work which is a mystery to them but they give it alot more emphasis, than the Jedi who have their one measurement & leave it at that.

      An analogy of the Jedi science to Midi-chlorians, is that they associate electrons with one form of electricity generation, & therefore ever form of electricity must be of that one form of generation.

      In a story sense, this is actually symbolic of a major issue that is flowing through the Prequels for the Jedi order.

  6. Daniel Says:

    Love hearing this. I wish George Lucas was on Twitter and would answer questions about the saga like Pablo Hidalgo does. I would ask him so many questions about the Force.

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