BTS New info regarding Midiclorian debate: GL initially felt that anyone could learn the Force

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by grimlockbedi, May 25, 2013.

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  1. Placeholder Force Ghost

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    Jan 30, 2013
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    Yes, this isn't a surprise to me in the slightest. That's the disconnect here I think.

    Something that is evident in my posting history here by the way.
    Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin, Jun 29, 2013
  2. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Yeah, fair enough - but like I said, it's kind of rough when something gets a date attached and it turns out to be not only wrong, but deliberately so.

    You'd like to think that a book so specifically about the making of a film released in 1977 (as opposed to one just referring to the development in passing) wouldn't do such things, otherwise you could go mad questioning the validity of everything.
  3. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    There seems to be some misunderstanding about this. Lucas, as pointed out in the article, merely made the quote more consistent with what's presented in the PT. That doesn't make the quote any less about midi-chlorians than what it originally was. In other words, there was this quote about midi-chlorians (or the basic concept) and Lucas edited it to make it consistent with what's presented in the movies. He didn't edit the quote to make it related to midi-chlorians. It already was.
  4. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    No it wasn't. The two paragraphs are the same except for the inserted line about midichlorians. Lucas may feel now like that's what the concept turned into, but it apparently wasn't what he originally said. And the paragraph is from a transcript of dated interview, ie, you'd not expect it to have later additions just inserted into it.
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  5. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    I'm curious. What is the point of this revelation? If Lucas had stuck to his initial idea regarding midiclorians, there really would have had a fundamental shift in the way the Force was presented and perceived . . . well, on how individuals can use the Force. Instead, there isn't. Not really.

    After 14 years, I'm still puzzled by this belief that midiclorians had changed the portrayal of the Force. The Force is still a mysterious entity. Many people seemed to think otherwise, erroneously believing that the midiclorians are the Force, instead of a connection between the Force and sentient beings.



    That's correct. Because Lucas didn't stick with his initial concept of midiclorians, Chewie, Lando or Han simply don't have the count to be that strong with the Force.
    Last edited by DRush76, Jun 29, 2013
  6. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    It was. It doesn't mention midi-chlorians to begin with. It merely makes the quote consistent with the PT, it doesn't change the concept. It was already there.

    Where exactly is the contradiction between the original and the edited quote? Again, he expanded it to make it consistent with the PT.

    Agreed. The edit should have been pointed out to begin with.
  7. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    We don't know if the original quote was 'about' midichlorians, because it made no mention of midichlorians. This is like the "is Vader Annikin?" question we sometimes discuss. It's possible Lucas already had the idea for midichlorians during the summer of 1977, but as the quote talking about them turns out to be a "quote" (scare quotes indicating not-real-ness), we have no reason to think the idea was fully formed in his mind. It does seem logical that there is some connection between what he was originally talking about in that interview and the eventual notion of midichlorians, but since he didn't mention that word or the notion of microscopic organisms in cells allowing for communication with the Force, etc, we have no reason to assume that the idea was any more developed than what is actually present in the original quote.

    Yes, that's exactly what he did, which would be fine, except that it's not mentioned as an expansion or alteration. The section of the book this comes from is labeled as a collection of interview transcripts from various days in July 1977. Lucas is altering the deal. I pray he doesn't alter it any further.

    It's not that the concepts he's talking about necessarily conflict with one another; as we all have seen, fans can make pretty much diametrically opposed ideas 'fit' where necessary. The issue many of us are having is that we like to try to piece together the chronology of background information, figuring out when certain ideas first entered the narrative, examining alternate possible paths the story could have taken, etc. To do this, quotes and information from "original" time periods is really helpful - less so when it has been changed to reflect later developments and additions, or even when it has been merely 'clarified.'
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Jun 29, 2013
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  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    You just answered your own question. One says there are beings that "have more midichlorians in their cells", the other doesn't. Whether or not that's a contradiction in terms of GL's vision of Force users is a matter for debate, but the simple fact of the matter is that the 2007 book presented a quote from George Lucas dated 1977 in which he refers to the notorious midichlorians no one had heard of until 1999, i.e. stating that the very specific nature and even the name of this biological aspect to the Force existed as far back as 1977.
    It was presented as 'proof' that "it was like that all along", so suck it up, haters.

    Now it's been admitted that the very specific nature of this concept did not exist in 1977. The quote was a complete misrepresentation.

    It's similar (worse, IMHO) to the January 15, 1976 date attached to the script of 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' published in 1979. The 1976 shooting script did not bear that title (it was actually called 'The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the “Journal of the Whills" by George Lucas. (Saga I) STAR WARS'), and it contains a great deal of different content to the published version (although the story is the same, apart from Obi-Wan Kenobi not dying). Main difference is the name of the hero - Luke Starkiller, as opposed to Luke Skywalker, but this name isn't mentioned in the 1979 publication.

    For all intents & purposes, the official published script is a transcript of the film (with deleted scenes included), but it's sold as being the Revised Fourth Draft, January 1976, which it simply isn't.

    Exactly. I think we can all agree on that.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jun 30, 2013
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  9. Heero_Yuy Chosen One

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    I don't get how implying that Lucas had the midis on his mind since the 70s makes him look BETTER. If anything, it reinforces the perspective of many that GL is a hack and Star Wars succeeded despite him.

    Seriously, such lies don't benefit Lucas AT ALL!
  10. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    Star Wars can't succeed in spite of Lucas since without it him it wouldn't even exist at all.
  11. grimlockbedi Force Ghost

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    I was/am a huge fan of these books and this author. Very disappointing. I understand that he probably was subject to some kind of agreement that stated GL/Lucasfilm would have final edits, but this seems egregious. I was gob smacked when I read that later comments were added unattributed. Why do such a thing? It's deceptive, and unnecessarily so. Why add that? It's silly. Is it a "Making of" book, or not? The "Definitive Story Behind the Original Film"? Not really, I guess.
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  12. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Supposedly, having had a 'controversial' idea 'all along' makes one look 'genuine', i.e. not just making things up on the fly, or - worse - resorting to the cheap tactic of employing 'shock' elements to your story. Some have seen it as a means to deflect criticism, specifically the accusation of being a 'hack'.
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  13. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    Again, I'm with you on this. The revisions should have a disclaimer. My point is that the subject of the debate doesn't change (i.e: using the Force is not just a matter of belief, it has a biological side to it as well).

    It's still proof that the concept was present since then. He merely hadn't a name for it yet. Or maybe he did and didn't felt it was necessary to explain it in detail for a press interview (of course, this last part is pure speculation).

    It's been admited that the name midi-chlorians made it's debut in '99 instead of '77. From what I understand, the concept is still there.
  14. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Let us see if the concept (midiclorians) is still there.

    "It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different."

    Without the adition of the reference to midiclorians, added later (what the fuss is all about) all this really says is that some non-humans are, perhaps, better able to learn to use the Force. If anything this is possibly a hark back to his (dropped) concept of the whills. It may have been the basis for Yoda's character. What it is not is the same concept as midiclorians, where Force sensitivity appears to be subject to the number of microscopic creatures in the blood.

    In fact, taken at face value one might question...how come the Chosen One would turn out to be human?

    What is certainly not to be taken from that quote is; that there was , in 1977, the concept of microscopic creatures residing in the blood that mitigated the use of the Force; further that the term 'midiclorian' existed as a concept in 1977. Both of these are explicitly back projected onto the process of the making of Star Wars by the pretence that the words added were, in fact, a part of the original conversation.

  15. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    It also says that the ability to use of the Force is dependable of the anatomy of their bodies (in this case, the brain). Therefore, the ability to use the Force is not just a matter of will, which is where the whole midi-chlorian controversy resides.
    Last edited by Alexrd, Jul 1, 2013
  16. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Really, is that what it says?

    "Anyone who studied and worked hard could learn it."

    It is specifically about species other than humans. What is said here actually matches up with what is quoted later in the Making of ROTJ. Something that is referenced in the same post:

    "In this [concept of 'anyone could use the Force] Lucas was consistent with what he’d said in the summer of 1977 — the first time he’d had to explain in more detail many of his concepts:"

    So, here we have Lucas talking of how anybody could use the Force, and your arguing that it argues that it supports the concept of genetic heritability. The only way that it does is in terms of differences between humans and other species - that other species may be more adept. Strangely there seem to be a predominance of powerful human Force users in the story of Star Wars - Sidious/Palpatine, Anakin/Vader, Count Dooku, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu. The idea of a genetic elite (other than species driven) is not there.
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  17. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    The bit in brackets was me paraphrasing, but I think it's what Rinzler was talking about. Anyone can check the article too.
  18. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    The concept of genetic heritability is present in RotJ, I'm not arguing it because it doesn't need to be argued.

    What I'm saying is that the use of the Force is not just a matter of will, but of biology as well. The movies establish that every living being has midi-chlorians and the more midis you have, the more attuned you can be. The quote from '77 establishes that there is a connection between Force awareness and your body and that some species have more awareness because of it.

    No, what you call "genetic elite" (although I would hardly call it that) is present in RotJ.
  19. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Not quite. While it's presented as being possibly hereditary, that's something present in fantasy novels as well as sci-fi, and as such, in ROTJ it seems to be more about the exceptional power of the Skywalker family than a straightforward biological factor that would be part of regular Jedi testing. Rather than Skywalkers being a 'genetic elite', it's more that they're 'blessed'.

    Or 'Chosen'...
  20. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

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    Within a context, and a background of "anybody can use the Force". To use an analogy I used in another discussion. Someone who is naturally tall may have more affinity with the sport of basketball than someone who is genetically pre-dis-positioned to be less tall. That does not confer any 'basketball sensitivity' onto tall people.

    The quote is with reference to differences in biology between species. Specifically.

    The concept of midiclorians is established in the movies from TPM onwards, and is a very different concept to that suggested (actually) in the quote here, and what you have explicitly accepted (ie that such differences are inter species).

    I disagree - and refer you to my first part of this post. The idea of genetic differentiation (as to whether one could access the Force) is predicated upon, specifically, inter-species differences. Twice we have Lucas stating that Anybody could use the Force, and somehow it is being argued that...it was always the case that only certain individuals could.

    There is a huge difference between the concept of "Force sensitives" (what I refer to as 'genetic elite') and subtle differentiation in affinity.
  21. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    RE: What the original quote said.

    It talked about their BRAINS, and that is important. Could an insect or animal ever learn to use the Force?
    I rather doubt it. Their minds are not advanced enough, they can't grasp the concept. Or think about it enough.
    Using the Force is, in part, and I would say a major part, a mental discipline. There is a physical side to it but focus, control, training your mind, to expand your belief is key in learning to use the Force. Humans have a rather large brain compared to the size of our bodies.
    If an alien race has even bigger brains compared to their body size then their minds could be more advanced than ours and thus they might be better at using the Force.

    So the quote, to me, doesn't say anything about differences among humans. And the possible difference to other alien species could simply be a result of them having more advanced brains. It is biological in the same way that a Bantha can't become a Jedi because their brains aren't advanced enough.

    RE: RotJ, as Darth_Nub said above.
    The Skywalker family can be the lone exception. The Force is strong in their family, not due to biology but due to spiritual matters. The Force has "blessed" them if you will. The Force is referred to as a religion more than once, the phrase "May the Force be with you/us" is used as a general blessing/wishing good luck. Like saying "May God be with you." The Force is also said to have a will. If it has a will then that sort of implies a sentience in a way. If so, a sentient, very powerful being has "chosen" one particular family and they are all strong with the Force. And this goes back a while.
    Others can learn it but not as easy.
    This could explain why Yoda/Obi-Wan was so focused on Luke/Leia as their only hopes.

    With the midis, they would have had many other options. If a midi count is always passed on, then the siblings to each Jedi in the PT has as high a count as the Jedi in question. Their children would also have as high a count, if not higher. So say 1000 Jedi, lets say each have two siblings on average, then add children to that. This would be many thousands of potential Jedi. Sure getting to them is probably hard but they have other options.
    Maybe not as high a count as Luke/Leias but high enough to be Jedi.
    Unless Yoda/Obi-Wan were also counting on the family connection to Vader, that he might not be so quick to kill a child of his and this could sow dissent between him and Palpatine.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  22. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    Interesting. But... Come on.
    Saying that an energy field created by all living things favours one entire family, that's just... Unbelievable.
    One man can be an exception, two or three generations, hardly.
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  23. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

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    Why not, if you can accept that the Force favors ONCE, why not more than that?
    Having the Skywalker line be the exception.
    Also in some old Sagas and Myths, the family line is often important. The Hero's father or grand father or ancestor was a great legend. That many times, those of that family or house, have been called out to adventure or sometimes having been called by the Gods themselves.
    That the family is "special" in some ways, the Gods favor them, they are chosen.
    And at times you have reverse, that a family line is cursed, either by God/Gods or by some King.

    If the Force is sentient to some degree, it can do what ever it wants.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
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  24. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    I agree with both Samuel Vimes AND Visivious Drakarn: however, I think re: it was more of a case of LUCAS 'favoring' the Skywalkers (and Ben and Yoda) during the time of writing/filming the OT, rather than the 'Force' favoring them (in-universe).

    What I mean is that - for whatever reason - Lucas chose to have Star Wars feature few surviving Jedi, rather than showing Jedi in their 'normal' state - ie, many Jedi in the galaxy.
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    You gotta make your hero special somehow; just look at the fan reaction to having prequel Jedi still around in the OT/post-ROTJ EU. It also, as the trilogy rolled into TESB and ROTJ, (discarding the prequels for now) amplifies just how impossibly dangerous the Emperor and Vader are-back in 1980-1983 it was literally these two guys who were primarily responsible for destroying the Jedi to the point where a Jedi even as powerful as Yoda had to go hide in a swamp to avoid them.

    I might be taking what you're saying wrongly, but having more Jedi than the three we have in the OT both lessens Luke's specialness and the level of danger the Emperor and Vader represent.
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