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The Star Wars franchise has been entertaining moviegoers for decades. George Lucas created a colorful galaxy of characters, and changed the world of cinema with the original movies. Lucas expanded the franchise with the prequel trilogy, although some of his narrative choices for those movies haven't aged well. One of these includes the concept of Midi-chlorians, which give a scientific explanation for The Force.
Midi-chlorians were introduced in The Phantom Menace, which is one of the least favorite installments in the beloved franchise. They are microscopic lifeforms that lived within the blood of all life forms. The Force flows through said Midi-chlorians, and measuring them could give an indication for Force sensitivity. The Jedi Council measured them in Anakin Skywalker, revealing that he had more than even Master Yoda. J.J. Abrams spoke with George Lucas ahead of The Force Awakens, and it turns out that Lucas brought up the controversial Midi-chlorians in their conversation. As Abrams put it,
Lucas gonna Lucas. The iconic filmmaker is known for his vision, and the years and selling of Lucasfilm hasn't changed that. Because while George Lucas isn't involved in the current trilogy, he still made his intentions known to J.J. Abrams. Midi-chlorians and all.
J.J. Abrams' comments to Total Film will no doubt trigger Star Wars fans who are still sore about the prequels. George Lucas' second set of films left something to be desired, and have been the butt of countless jokes throughout the years. The Phantom Menace in particular seems to be the most controversial installment from George Lucas.
One of the common criticisms of The Phantom Menace was that it was too kid-friendly. Jar Jar Binks was an infuriating clown character, while Darth Vader was reduced to a bumbling kid on Tatooine. The Midi-chlorians certainly didn't help the situation, as they seemingly made The Force from a mystical invisible connection to a quantifiable measurement.
Despite George Lucas' best attempts, Midi-chlorians ultimately haven't been acknowledged in the sequel trilogy. And while The Rise of Skywalker still hasn't hit theaters just yet, J.J. Abrams doesn't seem interested in bringing them into his pair of films. Moviegoers who would like a reintroduction to them can check out The Phantom Menace, which is available to stream on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will hit theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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