Why do some STAR WARS fans still have a problem with the premise of Midi-Chlorians ??? (AN OPINION.)

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by currentswillshift, Jul 24, 2002.

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  1. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Well if the Republic was in full swing when Merlin furrowed his brow, it's society might have theorized as much.

    I can see why you don't need more than Anakin's apparently fatherless conception, but why can't there be more than that?

    Lucas is trying to make a myth for our time, because those old myths didn't seem to do it these days. To make it a myth for our time, it has to acknowledge the science we are currently surrounded with. The reason those older myths don't explain anything scientifically is because they thrived primarily on superstition.
  2. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I can see why you don't need more than Anakin's apparently fatherless conception, but why can't there be more than that?

    Because at that point he exceeds the territory of his self-professed Campbellian myth and it becomes something else.

    The whole "sociology of knowledge" thing leading to the midiclorian explanation is also without parallel in historical mythology. The standards were set by establishing the hero along the lines discussed above; the Greeks, Japanese, Hindus, etc. all simply accepted that Heroes were something other than themselves - there is no significant literary corpus devoted to the physiological explanation of how Heroes did what they did.

    Lucas is trying to make a myth for our time, because those old myths didn't seem to do it these days. To make it a myth for our time, it has to acknowledge the science we are currently surrounded with. The reason those older myths don't explain anything scientifically is because they thrived primarily on superstition.

    "Our time"? "Acknoledge the science we are currently surrounded with"? I'm sorry, did ANH come out in the 1860s? While we certainly have improved upon the technology employed, late-70s society was also steeped in science. And yet, we were given pure mysticism with the Force, and, *AND*, here's the kicker, the purely mystical explanation *worked for 22 years*, until GL decided to change it. In April 1999, a great majority of the fan base (as well as those studying literature and modern myth, as well as those studying the sociological impact of the films) was *perfectly happy* with the presentation of the Force thus far. Binary Sunset is the obvious exception here.

    How could mysticism work in April 1999, but no longer work in May 1999? Did I somehow miss the collective ideological and sociocultural paradigm shift?
  3. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Right, that is what makes SW a "modern" myth.
  4. bleh19 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2001
    star 4
    Quix, that doesnt make Lucas wrong though...

    Just because he further explains the origins, and goes outside his "set guidelines" doesnt make him wrong.

    No one is telling you have to be in love with it, but Lucas adding another aspect to HIS story that HE is telling doesnt make him wrong.
  5. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    They are right. A modern myth takes the established and adds something new and unique. Same as all versions of a novel or fairy tale or what have you have variations of the classic tale that was first told. And still, there is no evidence that Midichlorians have ruined anything. They served their purpose in explaining Anakin's birth, how Jedi are found and why Anakin is the only one to do what he has done in the ROTJ.
  6. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    Ok, firstly thanks Durwood! Things can get a bit...heated in these threads, and it's good to see that people can reflect on their posts and see where they might have overstepped the mark.

    Now, on topic, I disagree with Quixotic-Sith (nice name), in so far as I don't think the introduction of Midichlorians goes beyond the Campbellian hero-structure.

    Let me explain. Merlin had demon's blood in his veins. Know, for people of that time, no more information was needed simply because the connection between demon's blood and magic was already understood. Explaining that nature of a demon's power and hence how having the blood of a demon would enable Merlin to access that power would have been superfluous.

    So, in this sense, we can view the Midichlorians as being akin to the demons blood, flowing through the veins of the Jedi. However, because we don't know anything about them, they have to be explained.


    All that's not to say I like Midi's...I don't. I think they are a terrible addition to the SW myth, but for different reasons (go back a couple of pages to see why).
  7. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Now the bashers are making vague accusations about the midichlorians "contradicting" the films that follow Episode I and claiming that Lucas "didn't think things through" when he introduced them.

    To answer the first, how do midichlorians contradict anything? The only thing they contradict is people's interpretation that the Jedi were nothing more than a devoted religious order with nothing to physically seperate them from the average humanoid. However, Return Of The Jedi made it very clear that there was something unique about force users and there was some kind of genetic connection between certain bloodlines and the force ("The force is strong in my family."). Secondly, in A New Hope, Vader says of Luke, "The force is strong with this one." When describing Luke's potential and power, Vader gives ownership to the force implying a uniqueness in force users. If everybody had the same potential to be strong in the force then why wouldn't Vader have said, "This one is strong in the force"?

    So there you have two examples from the hollowed Original Trilogy that prove that only certain beings can wield the force signifying that there is something unique about the Jedi that enables them to tap into the force. Until we had Episode I, we weren't sure what that connection was, so some people starting making up their own theories based on incomplete information. But now that we have another very important piece of the puzzle, some people seem unwilling to admit that their interpretation is flawed and make childish comments about George Lucas.

    As for the accusation that Lucas isn't thinking things through clearly, I find that hard to believe as it is obvious he puts a great deal of thought into his stories. And while Lucas may be trying to create modern mythology and borrows from mythological archtypes, it doesn't mean he has to walk an unwavering path in the way he chooses to tell his stories.

    So now not only must the story fit exactly into your interpretations (or else they're "wrong" somehow) but now Lucas can not enjoy the freedom to tell his story the way he wants?

    Look, midichlorians are part of Star Wars and no amount of explaining them away or attacking Lucas' character is going to change that. Just accept it and move along.
  8. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    "As for the accusation that Lucas isn't thinking things through clearly, I find that hard to believe as it is obvious he puts a great deal of thought into his stories."

    why is it obvious that he puts alot of thought into the stories? it certainly isnt obvious to me. he may ahve out alot of thought into the stories many years ago, but i simply dont see any evidence to back that up today.
  9. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Now, on topic, I disagree with Quixotic-Sith (nice name), in so far as I don't think the introduction of Midichlorians goes beyond the Campbellian hero-structure.

    Let me explain. Merlin had demon's blood in his veins. Know, for people of that time, no more information was needed simply because the connection between demon's blood and magic was already understood. Explaining that nature of a demon's power and hence how having the blood of a demon would enable Merlin to access that power would have been superfluous.


    Thanks, JenX, your name is catchy, too. Read Douglas Copeland?

    I understand where you are coming from, but I still disagree. Explaining Merlin's origins does indeed separate him from the rest of the crowd; however the same could be said for Anakin's fatherless conception - that alone suffices to fulfill the archetype requirements.

    There really was no need to go further - again, the fanabse was on the whole satiated with the presentation thus given for 22 years.

    There are sections of The Hero with a Thousand Faces that talk about divine origins becoming more mundane that suffice to demonstrate the special nature of the character - I'll post them later today (I have to leave for a conference at my hospital).

    It a nutshell, by introducing the means of how the Hero exercises his Power, GL has moved beyond myth (or the nebulous "modern myth) into science fiction, which undercuts what he established in the saga originally (according to his standards).

    So, in this sense, we can view the Midichlorians as being akin to the demons blood, flowing through the veins of the Jedi. However, because we don't know anything about them, they have to be explained.

    I can see this interpretation, but I think it's a bit of a stretch. It goes far beyond what is necessary to establish a difference between the Hero (Jedi) and the normal populace.

    As a general caveat: I recognize that there is still one movie to go. It is entirely within Lucas' ability to debunk the notion that midiclorians have anything to do with the Force. As such, everything that I am saying is provisional - it will depend upon what, if any, information is given in the last film. If they are a red herring, then *there is no mythological/genre conflict.*
  10. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    Regarding my midi's/demon blood theory:

    I can see this interpretation, but I think it's a bit of a stretch. It goes far beyond what is necessary to establish a difference between the Hero (Jedi) and the normal populace


    It's totally a stretch, but I already hate midichlorians with a firey passion; I fear that if I'm given another reason to hate them, I might my lose my sanity and become one of those individuals who sets up a website devoted to the object of their rage.

    Hmmm...www.ihatemidichlorians.com isn't taken yet... :)

    All that being said, I'm still not convinced that the move from fantasy to science fiction (and the extent and significance of the difference between the two, especially with regards to SW, is debatable) is enough to remove Anakin from the Campbellian myth structure. The fact that GL provides more information then is strictly necessary isn't, by itself, cause enough.


    P.S. Argh, now I can't get the tune to "Girlfriend in a coma" out of my head! Why is that?

    ;)







  11. Lagniappe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 1999
    star 4
    I thought the whole idea of "myth" was of a tale that did not adhere to science... something mystical and strange to explain natural phenomena. Once the phenomena is scientifically explained, it moves into the realm of fact and is no longer myth. Myth is mysterious and full of questions by its very nature...no?
  12. JenX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    star 3
    Well, no not really.

    I mean, think about it, if your story involves a human being, or a tree, or a star then on some level, your "myth" is adhere's to the science of biology or astronomy.

    Now, just because Homer didn't sit down and explain the process by which Odysseus's digestive system breaks down bread, doesn't mean that if he had, Odysseus's would be any less of a mythic hero.

    Hey, there's an idea! Parallel foods journey through the body with Odysseus's journey home! History and biology, two great tastes that taste great together! The kids will love it!


    I need more sleep :( ;)


    Does all that make any sense at all (I mean the first two paragraphs, not the last bit)?




    "Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know, it's serious..."

    Argh! Damn it! :D

  13. uralllosers Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    It must be weird for the most successful filmaker of all time to read some schlub sitting at his computer saying "George made a mistake, George didnt put thought into this, etc.

    Actually its probably not weird since if I were him I would not read it.

    Actually I probably would read it. And laugh, and laugh, and laugh

    :) :eek: :0 ;) ;( ;0 ;O :D <:D
  14. endboss Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 1998
    star 3
    <<<It must be weird for the most successful filmaker of all time to read some schlub sitting at his computer saying "George made a mistake, George didnt put thought into this, etc.>>>

    Exactly, ya buncha little ants! Until you're as almighty and rich as George, he is above your criticism. Those're the rules. Don't you know anything?!? If you feel he has become a poor storyteller, just STFU and realize it's _your_ failure as a viewer, not _his_ failure as a filmmaker. If in Episode 3 we learn that the true Anakin dies after refusing to succumb to the dark side and that the Vader of the OT is nothing more than a weak-willed Anakin clone created by and for Palpatine, don't you dare argue that it cheapens Vader and lessons the impact of his redemption. If such a plot twist occurs, it won't contradict anything in the OT, right? Right! And it'll be in line with that Campbell mumbo jumbo, right? Right! Therefore, it'll be yet another glorious, brilliant choice from our supreme lord George Lucas. *twitch* *twitch*

    Remember, if you don't like certain things in Uncle George's films, it's not his fault. It's _your_ fault as a viewer. I cannot stress this enough, people.
  15. uralllosers Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    i dont deny anyone their right to criticize, its just a little thought excercise. imagine yourself as GL, having entertained millions of people who have happily forked over money time and time again for his inspired work. He is probably pretty happy with himself, and rightfully so.

    Then some accountant writes their "review" saying - "He obviously didn't put thought into this"

    Strictly as a thought exercise, what do you think your reaction would be? Would it be "Hmm...maybe this guy is right, I have been slacking off.." or would it be "I'm in the wrong business", or "Umm..perhaps we should get back to doing my taxes?"

    I just think the mentality of critics (both professional and amateur) in general is funny.
  16. endboss Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 1998
    star 3
    <<<Strictly as a thought exercise, what do you think your reaction would be? Would it be "Hmm...maybe this guy is right, I have been slacking off.." or would it be "I'm in the wrong business", or "Umm..perhaps we should get back to doing my taxes?">>>

    If I stumbled upon his review, I'd weigh what the fellow had to say about my film and determine if he has a point. For example, if the imaginary accountant reviewer pointed out how brainless I was to have the Clone Trooper pilot announce he's out of rockets and cannot fire upon Dooku as a result, when it was made clear in earlier scenes that the Republic gun ships had lasers in addition to rockets, I'd put my hands to my head and say "Good grief, the accountant's right! I'm getting old. *in a sad Luke voice* McCallum, why didn't you tell me?"
  17. uralllosers Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    I stand corrected. There is nothing funny about this at all.

    This is serious bid-ness.
  18. Stitch Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 1
    Maybe Lucas should have brought up midis in the originals just so that people wouldn't be b-wording later.
  19. Krash RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2000
    star 5
    "The things some people have put forward as "things that are contradicted by the Midichlorian concept" are nothing more than things they assumed based on things from the classic trilogy"

    Always a pleasure to get your "certain point of view" on things Go-Mer-Tonic!

    The problem between some fans and the concept of midichlorians, is about fans' perceptions about all those unanswered questions from OT; not Lucas' creation of a scientific method of evaluating one's Force-potential.


  20. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Lucas puts a hell of a lot more thought into these things than his detractors seem to.
  21. Darth-sennin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2001
    star 3
    Quixotic-Sith,

    Your totally right about Lucas stepping away from all that Cambell buisness. Your argument is well thought out and I personally can't see how anyone can disagree with your statement that Lucas has strayed from the classic mythic structure. That being said, who cares?

    I don't like to use the "they are his babies" argument (just because he made it doesn't mean we can't criticize it) but, he can't be wrong when he is making his own universe unless he seriously contradicts something in that universe. Who says he has to stick to any structure? The only thing he needs to do is create an entertaining film (whether you think he did or not is your own opinion). Lucas is BORROWING from myth. If he chooses to stray from that from time to time it's his choice. As long as it's not confusing to the viewer Lucas should feel free to explain whatever he wants.
  22. BIG_BEN Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2002
    star 3
    A number of you have said in your rebuttals that some of us arguing against midichlorians are saying George was wrong. I don't think we are necessarily saying he's wrong, I think we are saying he's inconsistent. There is a difference. That is actually the common theme that I have heard in all of the statements against the PT in general, not just about midichlorians.
  23. uralllosers Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2002
    star 1
    Inconsistent with previously held speculations and notions about the force, Not inconsisent with the OT.
  24. BIG_BEN Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2002
    star 3
    And where did we get those "notions and speculations"? From the information given us in the OT. What else were we supposed to base it on? If the OT came later chronologically in the storyline, then shouldn't the things in the PT be explained in the OT, rather than the other way around? See, the problem is that Lucas painted himself into a creative corner by making the last three stories first. As time went on, and basic ideas had more time to be developed and finalized, George realized he wanted to make some changes, but the only way to do it was retrofit. Enter the contradictions, apparent and otherwise.
  25. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Lucas is trying to show the same thing from multiple points of view. Not to say any one of those points of view is wrong, but to say that perhaps they are all right in their own way.

    Yes your suppositions were based on the OT, but they were wrong.
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