Index The Jedi Way-The Jedi Discussion, Index, and Challenge Thread--First challenge up-- pg 2!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by The_Jedi_Index, May 29, 2006.

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  1. The_Jedi_Index

    The_Jedi_Index Jedi Youngling

    May 28, 2006
    ?For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.? --Obi-Wan Kenobi


    Welcome to The Jedi Way. I am your host, The_Jedi_Index, otherwise known as [link=]Luna_Nightshade[/link].

    This is the official discussion forum, index, and challenge thread devoted to the Jedi Order leading up to and during the Jedi Purge. These ancient guardians of the Republic and followers of the Force found themselves intertwined with the history of the Republic. While the Star Wars Saga was built upon the story of such Jedi as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Master Yoda, their story is but one of the Jedi Order.

    This thread?s purpose is to explore all of the Order?s other stories.


    This thread is first and foremost a discussion forum. This is the place to discuss and seek information on such topics as:

    --Jedi not normally discussed, such as Adi Gallia and Plo Koon
    --The Jedi Code (relationships, selflessness, tranquility, etc.)
    --The Force, specifically the differing perceptions of the Force shown throughout the films like midichlorians and the Living Force
    --The life of a Jedi, from being brought to the Temple Crèche, to life as a youngling, Padawan, the Trials, Knighthood, and the eventual attainment of the rank of Master
    --Jedi history, hierarchy, and specialization
    --the Jedi Purge specifically
    --what powers are connected to the Light and Dark Side respectively
    --The Jedi Council

    This is NOT a discussion forum for specific main characters such as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. While conversations concerning the Jedi will inevitably contain these characters, there are separate threads for most major Jedi and discussions regarding only them should be directed to the appropriate thread. For example, a question about whether Obi-Wan should have been allowed to take Anakin as a Padawan or not should be directed to [link=]The Obi-Wan Discussion Thread[/link] instead of here. However, discussions about the rules of taking a Padawan are welcome. Fear not?I?d be happy to redirect you if necessary.

    I will monitor the discussion, and if necessary offer new topics; however, the conversation is free to morph as it pleases. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for the Forums and act accordingly. No flaming, baiting, trolling, or otherwise impoliteness will be tolerated, and I will refer to a moderator when necessary. Yes, I do harass college students and middle school students for my meager college pittance of a pay. I have a grouchy face, and I know how to use it. Thanks much.

    If you have a specific topic of discussion you would like to see brought up, feel free to pm this sock or its current owner, [link=]Luna_Nightshade[/link]. You are also free to bring it up yourself.


    Secondly, this thread serves as an index for all fics pertaining to the Jedi Order that focus on aspects of the Jedi specifically. This description is a bit ambiguous, so I have sought to clarify it as follows. If your fic fits any one or more of these descriptions, I?d be happy to index it here.

    1) such fics that include Jedi not normally written about IN MORE THAN A PASSING MANNER. Such Jedi could include Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Jocasta Nu, etc., or OC Jedi. While these fics may include ?bigger name? Jedi, they should also include a lesser-known Jedi in a capacity that goes beyond small talk in the hallway.
    2) Such fics that delve, in a moderate to great level of depth, with the life of a Jedi: life in the Crèche, the actual Trials, reassignment, battle as a Jedi, the death and funeral of a Jedi, etc. They do NOT have to be only about these things; however, they must make a
  2. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 13, 2006
    Let?s start this place off with something fairly controversial. How do you perceive the Force, particularly the idea of midichlorians? How do you believe the Jedi perceived the Force? Qui-Gon Jinn warns us to be ?mindful of the living Force??what is this, and how does it relate to the midichlorians? What about the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force? Are they one or are they separate? How do you believe the Jedi perceive these ideas?

    May I suggest that you make the first challenge these very questions. I think that it would be interesting to see everyone's posts about them.
  3. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Wrangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    Lovely thread Luna. I don't think I knew there was a Jedi cost of arms before. I like it.

    As to the questions, I'll pick one out of the bunch to start.

    What about the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force? Are they one or are they separate?

    To me, I always saw the Lightside and Darkside as being what the intentions of the user was. There is only one Force and it is what the user does with it that makes it light or dark. To me, even from the OT, I though Yoda's quotes from ESB

    But beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice.

    To me he was saying if you use anger, fear, or agression that's what makes it the dark side. Not that it was a seperate thing from the LIghtside. As to 'forever will it dominate your destiny', I had thought that hard to swallow back then. Everybody changes. If a Force user can go bad, they can go good just as quickly.
  4. Star_Angel

    Star_Angel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 18, 2006
    Cool! I?m in.

    Qui-Gon Jinn warns us to be ?mindful of the living Force??what is this, and how does it relate to the midichlorians?

    It simple, just as Qui says, midichlorians is in each living creature, it?s what bounds us together but also what?s separates us.

  5. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    I think of the Unifying Force and the Living Force in these terms:

    The Living Force is what inspires the current events. When you call on the Force to know what is needed in the current situation, that is what the Living Force is.

    The Unifying Force is like a beta for an entire story. It is what directs the overall ramifications of history. The Force that allowed the balance of the Force is the Unifying Force.
  6. Noelie

    Noelie Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 11, 2005
    Wow, this is so cool.

    It is a great idea Luna.

    in the Universal/Living force discussion I often wonder if the one is truly set or if only the possibilities are there, always depended of our actions in the here and now.
  7. Jade_Pilot

    Jade_Pilot Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 10, 2005
    Oh, ISH, I think you nailed both definitions! =D=
  8. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    On "Light Side/Dark Side:"

    It's always difficult to analyze an imaginary thing, and there are a few different ways of doing it. One of them is to look at what the creator has said about it, what his influences were, etc. I tend to use that method a lot when doing "research" for fanfic--or just looking into questions about imaginary worlds in general. (Like the time I spent 3 months tracking down every reference the Wachowski Brothers ever mentioned when talking about the Matrix films, in an attempt to understand "The Matrix: Revolutions." Even after all that, the movie still didn't make any ******* sense. :p)

    Anyway, I dragged out my copy of the Annotated Screenplays and found that the concept of "the Force" was there from the very first draft, where it was called "The force of others" (no caps). The "others" part was apparently a reference to "the importance of being part of a group and helping for the common good . . . compromising and sacrificing [your] own welfare for those of others."

    That sort of helps explain Lucas' own definition of the Force (taken from the ESB meeting transcripts, apparently): "The act of living generates a force field, an energy. That energy surrounds us; when we die, that energy joins with all the other energy. [. . .] We are part of the Force because we generate the power that makes the Force live. When we die, we become part of that Force, so we never really die; we continue as part of the Force."

    Okay, so the Force is created by the interdependence of life. We trade the trees carbon dioxide for oxygen, and our mutual happiness makes the Force. Got it. That sort of fits the riffing on how TPM Anakin "gives without any thought of reward," how he was "meant to help you," and Anakin's comment, " said that the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other . . ."

    That's a nice idea, but unfortunately it doesn't fit terribly well with the other part of the Force myth, the bit about the light side and the dark side. If life creates the Force and makes it grow, why do bits of it turn evil and come back to get us . . . ?

    Redefining "light" and "dark" as near-moral-neutrals helps: "The idea of positive and negative, that there are two sides to an entity, a push and a pull, a yin and a yang, and the struggle between the two sides are issues of nature [ . . . ] Obviously, in terms of moral issues, you always have what's considered moral and what's considered immoral. At the same time, if you are dealing with possible influences beyond what we can see, it's traditionally been the good and the bad." I'm not entirely certain how the "moral" and "immoral" fits in with the "yin" and the "yang," to tell you the truth. "Yin" and "yang" do not have moral connotations that match up with the Judeo-Christian "moral" and "immoral."

    The ideas of "yin" and "yang" are part of Taoism (almost certainly one of the RL religions GL borrowed from), and Taoism's premise is that nature is made up of complementary yet opposing forces that work together to create balance. This is sort of like how your blood pressure pushes your blood vessels *out* while air pressure pushes them *in.* The opposing forces create an optimal balance that prevents things like the nosebleeds you get at very high altitudes, where the air pressure is low.

    There *is* a sense of morality in Taoism, and in some ways it fits in rather well with the SW mythology--"evil" is deliberately pushing the forces of nature out of balance, especially for personal aggrandizement or gain. Such an act is evil both because it represents an attempt to defy cosmic laws that humans have no right to interfere with, and because pushing forces out of balance has far-reaching negative consequences. Due to the interconnectedness of all things, an act of extreme selfishness--say killing someone in the act of robbing them--pulls the whole fabric of the world out of true. To rephrase a crude expression, we're all drinking out of the same stream we go potty in.

    However, what Taoism does *not* have is "sides"
  9. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2005
    Great thread Luna.
    I'm really floored by the work that you've put into this marvelous thread. :D

    Unifying Force and the Living Force
    I always think about the Unifying Force as the dharma (not the Buddhist definition here, but the more general concept)as in the collective sense of being/oneness/nothingness that binds the different threads of the galaxy together. The Living Force seems to be more situational, more organic--a little less tame than the Unifying Force. So, I suppose what I get out of the distinction is that the Unifying Force is the more sophisticated concept (more academic-y, if you will) whereas the Living Force is perhaps more accessible and less highbrow.

  10. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    Leave it to ophelia to look up the philosophical roots of the creator and then make it all make sense...

    That's a good explanation of unifying vs. living, oqi.

  11. Persephone_Kore

    Persephone_Kore Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2006
    Perhaps this will merely show everyone reading that I don't really understand philosophy, but I don't actually see it as impossible to reconcile the idea of Balance as an ideal state with that of a battle between Good and Evil where the ideal state is presumably the victory of Good. (Reconciling anyone's favorite assortment of real-life religions or philosophies is a different matter. I'm sticking to Star Wars here.) It seems to me to work reasonably well to look at it this way: evil and imbalance are both cases of something in the universe being seriously out of whack. Good and evil don't have to strike their own balance. (I'm familiar with the notion that good things couldn't exist or be appreciated without bad things to contrast them with. For the record, I don't subscribe.)

    My favorite theory of the Force, and the one I've been working with, is that despite appearances the term "dark side" does not actually imply that there's a light side for it to be in balance with. That we're dealing with a mixed metaphor, basically. There are yin/yang type aspects in their various balances, and that includes darkness and light; for that matter, it probably includes gravity and the expansion of the universe, or something like that. But the Dark Side of the Force, which is made by and seduces toward letting anger, fear, selfishness, malice rule you, is something else.

    There is the Force -- which comfortably spans day and night, birth and death, growth and decay, space and time, energy and matter, now and then, here and there, active and passive, and what have you, and yes, light and dark and passion and peace -- but what the Jedi refer to as the Dark Side is a matter of imbalance: anger and fear and malice in particular are emotions that are inclined to run away with people. Most passions are. I do believe loyalty and love are virtues, but to be willfully blind to where you're being led is disloyal to yourself, and slaughtering friends or innocents to buy the life of a loved one is not a love I want to receive. Perhaps not all, but a great deal of evil in the world can be described in terms of imbalance -- of one thing that might be neutral or good in its own place getting out of hand or turned around and running roughshod over the things next to it.

    The Sith (among others) naturally pounce with glee upon this semantic vulnerability and maintain (at least when trying to lure over Jedi) that if you want balance you must acknowledge dark as well as light. Possibly some even mean it. But others could also be deliberately blurring the distinction between darkness as a needed part of the universe and "Darkness" as a metaphor for deliberately mucking things up for other people/creatures/things.

    And this would probably all be much more interesting as part of a fic. ;) But I couldn't resist the thread.
  12. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    I think Palpatine definitely meant it or at least pretended to. After all, isn't he the one who spouted off about embracing a larger view, not just the "narrow, dogmatic" view of the Jedi?

    I think you've made a good point about imbalance, but I think that there is a balance possible in favor of the light. We are taught that there must be opposition in all things, not only so that there can be balance, but that there can be reasoning to our choosing one option over the other. I think that Anakin Skywalker's role of the Chosen One made sense because he saw both the light and darkness and, in the end, chose the light. Luke, on some level, had that same struggle on the second Death Star and I don't think there's anyone, even in a non-Jedi context, who can say that they've never faced that choice themselves.
  13. The_Jedi_Index

    The_Jedi_Index Jedi Youngling

    May 28, 2006
    Wow, what a wonderful way to christen and start off a thread! Thanks everyone, and thank you for your words of encouragement!

    First off, one fic has been added to our index, to start this place off right. Thank you, Exeter! Keep your fics coming, guys.

    Secondly, I'd like to bring in a very important point. I had considered this when bringing up the conversation, but I decided to test the waters, so to speak. ophelia kindly brought it up for me again, so I've decided to share with you so that this never becomes a problem.

    All of us here surely have different real-world religious beliefs; however, the Force is not a real world belief. Therefore, to describe it, we must use terms that we understand, coming from real world philosophies and religions. However, the Force is not a religion meant to reflect upon any real world religion.

    Therefore, I won't forbid any talk of real-world religions or philosophies when discussing the Force, because those concepts are what help us understand something abstract and generally foreign to us. However, as ophelia kindly wrote, "The Jedi religion can accomodate the core beliefs of nearly any real-world faith, which was exactly the effect GL was hoping for."

    I would like to remind us to not feel required to accept any part of religious expression as the sole way of seeing the Force or the Jedi. I wholeheartedly hope that we can accept ophelia's suggested rule:


    Thank you, all. I trust that we all can handle that. Thanks, ophelia, for putting the spurs to me.

    Now. I must go find my real name so I can join this conversation. Thank you all for coming in here. I will be accepting any ideas for the first challenge, which will be coming out within the next few days. If you'd like to see one about the Dark Side/Light Side of the Force, let me know.
  14. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2006
    And, here I go.

    I will start out with this quote I have devised for a fic as the structure I have used to work with the Force.

    How can one understand the light without first standing in the darkness? How can one be light without seeing the dark to know your own boundaries?

    If I look at it this way, I seem to be saying that the Force is formally balanced already, or at least was set up to be. There is "Light," and there is "Dark," neither of which can exist without each other. If one, however, becomes stronger, the other inevitably shrinks away.

    Yet from my slight scientific background, I know that darkness is not a thing itself, but the absence of light, much the same way as coldness is not its own thing but the absence of heat. Heat, and light, inevitably travel outward and try to fill up the negative space, to naturally balance themselves, even if it means their destructions.

    So, it would seem if I take this idea, the galaxy was destined to balance itself per natural events and natural balances between the built halves, Chosen One or not.

    And yes, I did take most of my concepts about this from Paradise Lost. Its philosophical concepts are extremely helpful when trying to wrestle with choice (or lack thereof) and destiny in achieving perfection. While perfection is not balance, it does help some.

    Now, you guys have offered some incredible things to ponder, which I will have to come back and dig into myself later... but for now, I'm going to bed.
  15. KrystalBlaze

    KrystalBlaze Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2002
    Yeah, a thread to discuss the Jedi Order! Good job, Luna, a thread like this needed to take place. :D

    How do you perceive the Force, particularly the idea of midichlorians?

    Oh, the Force. Oh boy. My personal perception of the Force, in RL base ideal, is that it is GL's way of pointing out something about religion. I think it was, in the very basis and barest, some sort of symbol for religion. It's not hard to grasp that concept when you consider what GL gave it, the properties it has similar to what religion also has. That being said, when you step away from that connotation, can mean a many different things. The Force is obviously a great encompassing entity, meant to connect and unify and all that jass. I percieve the Force as being just that and nothing more: a connecting, invisible entity.

    Midichlorians always make me laugh because GL was trying so hard to back up something he didn't need to. Personally the idea of midichlorians is absurd to me, if that can be possible. I think they were GL's way of trying to scientifically explain something SW fans don't care to have explained. I've never really given them much thought, actually, and I don't think they need much thought. I think it's a silly way to rationalize another silly thing people just happen to take more seriously, if that's possible.

    How do you believe the Jedi perceived the Force? Qui-Gon Jinn warns us to be ?mindful of the living Force??what is this, and how does it relate to the midichlorians?

    I've always been of the notion that there is a Living Force and the Unifying Force. The Living Force is the art of the motion, of what happens in the now. To put in literary terms (forgive me if I'm wrong, of course), I percieve the Living Force to be realism, or modernism. The Living Force deals with what the Jedi can see in front of them, such as the consequence of their action or their inaction. The Unifying Force is the overall mindset of the thing, the big picture. It goes greater than a touch or action; rather, I think it's the touch that drives the action. Why does the Force call for a Jedi to do something? The Force calling for action will probably have the consequence of something in the future. The Unifying Force encompasses all, past and future. The Living Force is the present.

    I think the Jedi percieve the Force in the Unifying and Living Force. Yoda and Qui-Gon hold different views of these things, and deal with them differently. I think the Jedi took the Force for what it was without questioning. You don't question why you brush your teeth or comb your hair, the same way you don't question why you need an arm. There are explanations for these questions, logical ones, but no one really thinks about them. In that way, I think the Jedi never really questioned why they had powers. It just was, burnt into them from birth, and enitity they had and took advantage of.

    And the midichlorians make me loopy, so we'll not speak of them. :p

    What about the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force? Are they one or are they separate? How do you believe the Jedi perceive these ideas?

    Ophelia mentioned the yin and yang, and I agree. You can't have one without the other. You can have someone telling you something's right, but at the same time there is something telling you its wrong. You can't be all knowledgeable; that means there are two sides of a coin. The Force must have both sides to be balanced, in terms of Light and Dark, and in terms of Living and Unifying. I don't think Jedi actually think of the two sides as we do, where one is right and one is wrong. I think they see the two sides as outlooks on life, as actions that are good and bad. They are separate, but they make up the Force. You can't have one without the other.

    *is loopy from pain meds*


  16. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 20, 2002
    Oh, wow. It's way too early for my brain to be philosophizing. :p I'll just say this for starters: in ROTS, when Palpatine told Anakin that to be the most powerful Jedi, he had to know the dark side as well as the light side, I cheered big time. :D

    Great thread, Luna! I'm definitely coming back in here later.
  17. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    You did an incredible job with this thread! =D= I think I have a new place to hang out! :p
  18. Just-Plain-Shmi

    Just-Plain-Shmi Jedi Youngling star 1

    Mar 7, 2006
    This looks like an incredibly useful and well organized thread. =D=

    JPS :)
  19. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 10, 2002
    Fascinating thread. It took me about three days to get through the intro alone and I'm not sure I still took everything in. :p But this is a terrific idea and long overdue. I definitely know I could have benefited from a discussion like this long ago.

    Now to the questions....

    How do you perceive the Force, particularly the idea of midichlorians?

    [face_thinking] That's a hard one. It depends. Sometimes I see the Force as a seperate entity - a sort of Supreme Being, so to speak - with powers that it dispels to those it favours. It has a seperate intelligence and a seperate, powerful Will - which it uses to influence the lives and fates of 'lesser' beings.

    On the other hand, I also see the Force as the collective consciousness and consciences of all living creatures in the GFFA - and by living, I mean both sentient and non-sentient. It is a balance of life - both physically, spiritually and morally.

    Midichlorians: are like mitochondria. They are symbiotic with life and are the aspect of biology that forms 'part of the living Force that binds us, connects us all.' Whether life made the midichlorian or the midichlorians made life is a mystery that I'd like to keep that way. ;)

    Someone's midichlorian count influences just how easily the person 'communes' with the Force 'that binds us all'. Everyone is bound by the Force so everyone is sensitive to a certain degree. But just like certain parts of biology makes someone a fast runner and another a fast swimmer, a midichlorian count makes the Force more accessible to some than the others.

    However midichlorian count only implies a latent potential. (As evidenced in ANH), a being with a high midichlorian count, if never trained, cannot attain the skills of someone with a low midichlorian count who was trained from birth by say, Yoda.

    How do you believe the Jedi perceived the Force?

    I have been led to believe from hints of old Jedi and even older scripts, that the Jedi started out as students of the Force: a cross between scientists and monks. Which means they could have had either view - as a Seperate Being that the monk-part of their nature worshipped; or as something less intangible that the scientist-part of their nature studied.

    How the Jedi crossed over from observing the Force on the outside, to being a very near part of it on the inside is another mystery. One I would like to know. ;)

    How the Jedi perceive the Force in the time of the films: I think it's a cross between the two possible incarnations, mixed with their own failings. Or, in simpler words, they see the Force as a mirror that reflects back to them their own selves.

    Qui-Gon Jinn warns us to be ?mindful of the living Force??what is this, and how does it relate to the midichlorians?

    Very simply: the Living Force believes the sacrifice of many for the one, while the Unifying Force believes in the sacrifice of the one for the many.

    Or: Let's say that a little girl is about to be killed by a runaway speeder, but in order to save her a Jedi would have to abandon his mission to protect the Queen of Alderaan whose death will plunge the Republic into a hundred years of war. And this is something he knows for a fact. So what does the Jedi do?

    The Living Force Jedi would save the girl at the cost of the peace and lives of hundreds whose safety are not in his direct control.

    The Unifying Force Jedi would (with great regret) let the girl die for the sake of the rest of the galaxy.

    As for midichlorians: I'm not sure Living/Unifying relates to the midichlorians. I think this is where human inclination plays a role. I have the impression that the first 'real' Jedi (after the era of student monks) were more Living Force Jedi. As the Jedi Order as a whole became more unified, became more regulated and (most importantly) became a major political player in the Republic, the Unifying Force Jedi became the dominant trend.

    What about the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force? Are they one or are they
  20. CrazyAni

    CrazyAni Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 23, 2006
    First, I want to congratulate The_Jedi_Index (or Luna_Nightshade) for such a well-organized and educative thread! =D=

    As to your questions...

    I think I'm the only one here so far who is actually content with the midichlorian theory. It is a good scientifical explanation for the Jedi' special powers. Their Force sensitivity have to come from somewhere (specific gen etc), and the theory of micro cells in their blood explains it perfectly. Oh well, given that I never paid attention in biology, and it's SW, I'll drop this subject. :p

    As for the Jedi perception of the Living Force...[face_thinking] It's late evening, and I can't philosophize now. IMHO it's like the inner voice of consciense that tells the Jedi what is right and what is wrong. They can reach into the Force and let it guide them, let the Force make the decision for them.

    I agree with the others that the Light Side can't exist without the Dark Side - they are two parts of the whole, and therefore can't be separated.

    And now off topic:

    One small question concerning the Jedi education:

    What lessons do the Jedi Padawans have in classes? Do they have geography, and if they do, what is the SW aquivalent for it? It's kind of necessary for my fic.

    Thanks a bunch if someone knows the answer! :)

  21. Star_Angel

    Star_Angel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 18, 2006
    Well, CrazyAni I do think that they have classes, but I seriously doubt that they call it Geography but I think that they do have something like it, they probably have some classy name like Graphical description of the outer space or something ells just as complicated to mess up the younglings heads, poor things.

    However, I do believe that they have History and probably call it history or Jedi History or History of the Jedi Order or something like that.

    Chemistry, doubt it.

    Biology, not sure, maybe something to help them listen to the ?living? force, which I guess could be some type of Biology.

    They also probably have some type of a computer class and of course, I?m guessing that I have training to fly starships.

    Languishes, not sure but I don?t think that they do, I guess that if a Master have a Padawan that speaks another languish then they might have some sort of a class for that but with many students in one classroom, no.

    What ells?

    Well, Lightsaber and meditation classes are obvious.
  22. lazykbys_left

    lazykbys_left Jedi Padawan star 4

    Feb 17, 2005
    How do you perceive the Force, particularly the idea of midi-chlorians?

    Personally, I think GL made midi-chlorians to assert the validity of the Prophecy. I do have in-universe ideas, though. But be warned: they are extremely SF-ish ones.

    The evolution of midi-chlorians

    In the beginning, there was the Big Bang. Not the same one that started our universe, but - hey, one Big Bang is pretty much like another. From the remains of that Bang came hydrogen, and from that, eventually, everything else.

    Part of that everything else was Life - or rather, the complex chemical reactions that would one day become Life. Put simply, things that made more of themselves became plentiful and multiplied until something happened to stop them. Sometimes that something was a new version of themselves: evolution is inevitable.

    Somewhere along the line, an organic structure (it's hard to think of something that has no cells as an organism) evolved which took certain forms of energy and used it to make sugars. This, of course, is the process known as photosynthesis. As always, there were variations on the theme. One of them was a mutation that tapped into hyperspace.

    This was not as potent a source as some might expect. At the time, there was no Force - only weak background energy field and a group of sub-cellular beings. However, one of the benefits was that, through hyperspace, these beings could communicate (although this is too strong a term; we are talking about random data transfers one or two bits long here) with other beings on worlds light-years away.

    Normally, the survival value of this ability would be negligible. But when a chance mutation made it possible to send and receive hyperspace carrier waves - and when it started to send its own chemical composition - then it was only a matter of time before these sub-cellular beings spread out through the entire galaxy, if not the universe.

    Billions of years later, these beings would no longer exist. But their descendants would, in the form of midi-chlorians.

    Midi-chlorians and the Force

    This is the setting: a galaxy (or, perhaps, a universe) in which life is starting to evolve. Among the players are beings which can constantly be in contact with another, no matter how far apart they are. This means there is an interconnected network spanning the entire galaxy - at the very least. Under the circumstances, it is impossible for some complex system not to develope.

    In the case of the GFFA, this system became the Force.

    It is practically a given that complex interconnected systems become sentient with enough complexity. And since most systems become more complex as they grow, it would seem that a sentient Force is inevitable.

    However, the instantaneous nature of hyperspace (or, at least, the zero-time-lag areas the Force uses) makes it difficult for complexity to develope. Imagine a conversation where no-one stops speaking and you will understand why. Without a way of buffering information, order cannot form from chaos.

    Midi-chlorians (or rather, the sub-cellular beings that would one day evolve into MCs) fulfilled this task, using internal chemical reactions to provide buffering space. It needs to be stressed that individual pre-MCs were not intelligent, the same way single brain cells are not. Nor is the binding energy field. In fact, the components themselves have very little power by themselves. It is only when they are joined as a whole that they become the omnipresent Force.

    . . . okay, have I bored you to death or can I go on with the next question? :p

    How do you believe the Jedi perceived the Force?

    I'm sure they saw it as a lot of things. Anakin Skywalker seems to regard it as a tool. Whereas for Qui-Gon, the Force is a guide. I would like to think none of them thought of the Force as a deity, but it's possible.

    I find it interesting that the Jedi see the Force as being mostly good.

    what is [the Living Force], and how does it relate to the midi-chlorians?

    I'm not
  23. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    Note: This post cannot be posted. I've been trying to post it for 48 hours now, and I get a board error every time. So I'll cut out a bit that had extra board coding in it, and see if that helps.

    Thanks for posting that, lazy--that was very clearly and succinctly put, and may help my own post make a shred of sense. :p

    You know, I thought George was going somewhere with midi-chlorians. Somewhere--I think back in the TIME interview just pre-TPM? He was talking about the glowing!dead Jedi thing, and he said something about how Obi-Wan's TPM comment about a "symbiont circle" was a clue, and that it wasn't that complicated. Supposedly if you really thought about it you could figure it out. It's not a major jump to get from the idea that if the Force is about the interconnectedness of all life, and you die in the service of life, then you don't really die, because you're still interconnected. You only get wiped out by physical death if you've already spiritually cut yourself off from life. This does *not* explain why there's a special trick to it, how Qui-Gon figured it out, or why he sat around on his dead butt for ten years before he got around to explaining the "secret of immortality" to someone. Yoda and Obi-Wan are the only Jedi he liked enough to spend eternal consciousness with?


    Anyway, midi-chlorians (which do, in fact, have one of the most awful names in Star Wars) are supposedly based on the idea of mitochondria, which might literally be the descendants of symbiont bacteria. The theory goes that these bacteria came to live inside other cells, and eventually became the means for the host cells to produce energy. (This is accomplished by a rather boring ion pump system, and not by the Force at all, but that's as may be.)

    The other "magical" thing about mitochondria is that they have their own separate kind of DNA (mDNA) that is only passed on through the mother. For various reasons I got sick of explaining to my middle school class last year, all mDNA all over the world has identical genetic markers, which shows that everybody currently alive is descended from the same African woman who lived between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. The ?mitochondrial Eve? story is a happy, world-unity, vaguely-related-to-interconnectedness idea that was apparently incorporated into the concept of midi-chlorians. (FWIW, there are those who argue that at least one other mDNA line existed among anatomically modern humans as recently as 35,000 - 40,000 years ago, which would mean A) "the mitochondrial Eve" had a "sister" whose genetic heritage was nearly?but not quite?as successful as hers, and B) that it's a bit silly to get misty-eyed over mitochondria.)

    Anyway, if the mito-- er, midi-- oh, whatever, the make-believe things, are the "energy-producing" symbionts that are (presumably) identical in all living beings, maybe they do more than pump energy from cell to cell. Maybe they pump energy from one creature to the next, thus creating a vast power web called "the Force." A person born more naturally interconnected than others (through his massive number of midi-chlorian links) would be able to draw on this mysterious power more than others.

    I am about 99.9% sure that this is where GL was trying to go with the midi-chlorian stuff. I think there was also supposed to be an implied criticism of the Jedi in TPM for focusing on machines, counts, and numbers instead of mystical things when it came to the Force, but this was never really made clear. So midi-chlorians are important, but it?s not very spiritual to sit around and count them. I think. In any case, they seem to have been dropped completely after TPM, so perhaps George got sick of them, or he realized they annoyed people, or he discovered they just weren?t necessary after all.
  24. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    This is the part of my post which couldn't be posted--that couldn't be posted. Apparently, it needs to be isolated so as not to hurt itself or others.

    Anyway, no more references to midi-chlorians were forthcoming, which is a pity, since their existence raised some troubling questions, such as:[ul][li]If the Sith think only about themselves, and midi-chlorians generate power through interconnectedness, why don't the Sith lose their power as soon as they become evil and stop caring about other people?[/li]

    [li]What happens to noble and self-sacrificing people who don't have much of a midi-chlorian count? Are they annihilated when they die, due to a lack of midi-chlorian connections?[/li]

    [li]How is Star Wars a story about interconnectedness when it's mostly about a tiny sliver of the population that is separated from everybody else by some weird accident of birth?[/li][/ul]
  25. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    I agree that it seemed like George was going to go into the midichlorian thing because he made such a stinkin' big deal about it in TPM. I even heard the rumor that originally, it was supposed to be revealed that Anakin was created by Plagueis' manipulation of the midichlorians.
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