This is a rant and rave post. Something I have been arguing for a year now.
Get your panties out of a wad. The Midichlorians did not ruin your childhood and did not ruin Star Wars. The Jedi Order, perhaps, but not Star Wars. And that is a very important distinction. I saw the light over a year ago, at SLCC FanX, in an open discussion panel on Star Wars mythology. Some of the ideas I got from there, and some I have come up with and fleshed out on my own,
Now, granted, I was never overly bothered by midichlorians in the first place. I mean, yeah it messes with the fact that the Force is an energy field the surround us, penetrates us, and binds us together. But apparently the majority of people were furious at what they saw as Lucas’ attempt to scientifize (sciencize? Scientificize?) the Force. But I just brushed it off as Lucas needing to somehow quantify Anakin’s connection to the Force, so he could easily be identified as the one who will bring balance.
Turns out the rage-monsters were right. Midichlorians were an attempt to make scientific something that is religious in nature. But here is what makes it ok:
Lucas did not ruin The Force. The Jedi Order did.
The Jedi Order (and Sith I’m sure) is a religion. Or they were supposed to be. There are a couple references to this in Episode IV-
Admiral Motti: “Try to to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes…”
Grand Moff Tarkin: “The Jedi are extinct. Their fire has gone out of the universe. You my friend are all that’s left of their religion.”
From the mouths of characters in the very first movie that came out. The Jedi Order was a religion. But it doesn’t really seem like much of a religion in Episodes I-III. A definite Order, yes. But not really a religious one.
Well, I choose to view this as purposeful. One thing that many people liked (or at least I liked) about the prequels is that it showed the Jedi Order at the height of its power. But the truth is, it is already in a state of massive decay.
The Jedi Order has been around for tens of thousands of years. Any Institution (religious or secular) is subject to decay and corruption given time. The Jedi are no exception. The Force became a tool to use and not something to be followed. They have given up following the Living Force in exchange for obeying the Jedi Code (Except Qui-Gon. But that’s a future post).
They also had tens of thousands of years to research the Force. And they discovered there is a correlation between midichlorians and Force sensitivity. I mean, this would be like Christians discovering the physical properties of the Holy Spirit. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And it shouldn’t be your focus. The Jedi were letting blood counts and Code rules guide their way to new Jedi, instead of letting the Force pick its own.
In short, The Jedi replaced Faith and Obedience with Science and Rules. And destroyed their own religion in the process.
Even Mace Windu admitted in Episode II says
“I think it’s time to inform the Senate that our ability to use The Force has diminished.”
Why would this be the case? Truthfully, the Sith can’t control the Jedi ability to use the Force. They can hide themselves, yes. Kill them, yes. But they can’t affect the Jedi’s ability to use the Force themselves. The Jedi are losing that ability because they lost their Faith, and they stopped listening to the Living Force. So the Living Force stopped speaking to them.
So to recap: The Jedi screwed up. The Force abandoned them. Stop blaming Lucas.
Now, onto part two: Anakin is the Chosen One to bring balance to The Force.
Knowing that the order is already in decay, the Force creates Anakin and a Prophecy. I remember when Episode I and II came out, everyone was speculating what this elusive Prophecy was.
Then Episode III happened. And then Yoda drops the bomb that the prophecy could have been misread, and neither Windu nor Kenobi argue it. And then, of course, Anakin murders the younglings and the Jedi Order is destroyed in a single night (or morning, or daytime. Depending which planet each Jedi was on.) Oh, and this:
In case you can’t read the tiny print, and for some strange reason you don’t have it memorized, you get Obi-Wan screaming
“You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. You were to bring balance to the Force, not leave it in Darkness!”
No disrespect to Obi-Wan’s pain, but I feel positive he was reading a little too heavily into the prophecy. If it were that specific, Yoda wouldn’t have said it might be misread.
Lucas never told us the prophecy. It was never confirmed if the Jedi read it accurately or not. It was never confirmed what the “Balance” was, and if it was ever achieved (which is awesome storytelling, in my opinion. Let the audience draw a few conclusions on their own). The ones I have heard drawn were 1) Anakin eventually brought balance to the Force by killing Palpatine in Episode IV. 2) The Prophecy was indeed misread and he brought balance by destroying the Jedi (see this link, then start at the beginning of this comic and read them ALL). and 3) He brought balance because he left the galaxy with two Sith (Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader) and two Jedi (Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi). But here is my (obviously correct) interpretation:
Anakin brought balance to the Force by destroying both the Sith AND the Jedi Orders.
Both were well out of control. I have already explained how the Jedi Order screwed up their own ability to follow and use the Force. On the other side, the Sith Order had gotten way too powerful. Palpatine had gotten way too powerful. ONE MAN (using various apprentices as pawns) was able to bring the entire galaxy into civil war while controlling both armies, orchestrate the destruction of the ENTIRE Jedi Order, and construct a machine that would destroy entire planets in the blink of an eye. Both Orders were perverting their original purpose. So the Living Force hit the Hard Reset button on them in the form of Anakin Skywalker — A midichlorian infused virgin-born Chosen One who happened to have attachment issues and a not-insignificant rage problem. And he wiped them out. All of them.
In Conclusion: Both the Jedi and the Sith were out of Control. Anakin brought balance by killing everyone.
And I am SUPER EXCITED to find out what happens in Episode VII! (and do not tell me anything, I have not read any spoilers and haven’t even watched the trailers.)
Tell me what you think in the comments! If you want to disagree that’s fine, just don’t be mean about it.