The piece suggests how to make midi-chlorians work (besides cutting them completely) starting with one tiny little change in numbers that could have drastically altered the entire Star Wars franchise. (Portions of this discussion appeared in a previous video analysis, and based on the ensuing discussion and feedback, I’ve decided to expand my conclusion somewhat and provide it separately here.)
But first, a little bit of backtracking.
We learn in Episode I that Anakin had no father. It seemed kind of strange at the time, most people rolled their eyes at the heavy-handed biblical parallels, nobody was impressed. And George never really made much of it other than this one line: “it’s possible he was conceived by the force”.
But what if he had made more of it? Particularly in Episode II.
We also learn from Obi-wan’s journey in Episode II that a clone army was commissioned at the behest of the senate nearly 10 years ago. But consider if Lucas had pushed that number back further. What if he had made it uncannily reminiscent of Anakin’s age?
Consider this for a moment. Why start a clone army at the same that Anakin is being conceived by Midi-chlorians?
The answer could have been left for fans to speculate over until the third movie, when the Emperor has his unusual monologue where he talks about manipulating midi-chlorians to create life. What if Lucas had connected this brief moment to the even briefer mention of Anakin having no father in Episode I. What if Lucas had made part of Anakin’s journey in Episode II be trying to learn about his father? It could have been what led him to seek out his mother, not just because he missed her. And say she hadn’t died right away, and say she’d been able to give Anakin some answers about the mystery surrounding his birth. So now, in this third movie, Anakin, armed with the knowledge, or lack of knowledge about his true parentage, would have learned the truth about his father as well as the reason behind the Emperor setting about creating a clone army all those years ago. Suddenly Episode II exists for a stronger and more compelling reason than simply to get Anakin and Padme hitched (as it currently exists). There’s a better reason now why it’s now called “Attack of the Clones”. In a startling instant that would’ve rivaled Vader’s reveal in Episode V, we would most likely gasp when we realized that the Emperor had cloned and raised his perfect disciple in a master strategy covering Anakin’s entire lifespan. It would have been an eerie echo to the clone army he also had assembled. And what better leader of a clone army than a clone of himself. And suddenly all that pseudo-scientific babble about midi-chlorians from Episode I has an unbelievable purpose to the entire saga.
This revelation, by the way, could have been the deciding moment in the third film, the beginning of the end for Anakin. The question that he would have to grapple with for the rest of the film would become whether it is in his nature to be evil. Is he determined by his maker to be damned? Or does he still have a choice? Then, his redemption in Episode VI would’ve extended beyond merely one man’s redemption, but that of human nature–a suggestion made all the more powerful by Luke’s subsequent rejection of the same fate that befell his father, the Emperor’s clone. It would have been a positive statement on our power to choose who we will become. More than our past, or even some all powerful force controlling our destinies, it’s free will that represents the ultimate power in the universe. More than any Jedi, or Sith, or technological terror, it would all be insignificant next to the power of the force of our will.
It’s like Lucas had all the pieces, he just didn’t bother to put them together. Simple little changes, big consequences.
And that’s how to make midi-chlorians work.
Agree, disagree? Have a better way of making it work? Post in the comments below.