Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.
Midi-chlorians Ruins Star Wars
Remember when Star Wars came out, back in the 70’s, just as we were entering the technological age. Along came this story that showed technological advancement in all of its coolness – laser guns, space ships, light speed, robots, pointing us towards one possible future for us – technology being the ultimate demonstration of human power.
And yet, what set Star Wars apart from all the other sci-fi adventures was that, in the midst of all of this technology, there was some great mysterious power that was always GREATER – they called it “the FORCE.”
“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” Even the bad guy new it.
Even in the midst of ultimate technology and science, man’s dominion over nature, Star Wars injects RELIGION – with all of its supernatural transcendence. Human pride must give way to humility in the face of an “all powerful Force, controlling EVERYTHING.”
In this galaxy, far far away, scientific knowledge is good, but faith in the mystical is better – that even the smallest (Yoda) could be mighty. It was GREAT. It gave hope, even to nerdy little guys like me.
That is until “the Phantom Menace” when we learned that the Force is nothing but micro-biology. “Midi-chlorians” they were called, microscopic organisms living symbiotically with organic material on a cellular level. That was it.
Midi-chlorians were merely a PLOT DEVICE – intended to show that young Anakin Skywalker’s aptitude with the Force was something that could be quantifiably measured - why it was so important that he be trained as a Jedi. That’s the only reason I can think of for introducing them.
It could have been that Yoda, Qui-gon Ginn, or whoever could have just SENSED that he was strong with the Force, just like Vader, Obiwan, the Emperor felt it with Luke, but NOOOOO – George Lucas, for some reason, wanted it to be something measureable under a microscope.
What’s the problem here? The problem is that the Force is no longer supernatural – its just nature. Those endowed with it are not chosen by Divine Providence – they’re just pumped full of the most microscopic Gatorade. Magic, mysticism, transcendence, they’re all gone.
Way to go George.
So, when I talk about Star Wars, I prefer to pretend that whole “midi-chlorian” non-sense was never mentioned in the first place. Not that he would ever admit making a mistake, I suspect George Lucas does too.