For Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, George Lucas and J.J. Abrams discussed the most controversial part of canon.
In canon, sometimes certain plot elements are best left forgotten. In the case of the Star Wars franchise, there is, of course, continuity found in the new canon and some discovered in the Legends lore. There is one plot element, though, from the prequel trilogy that seems to have reared its head again — midi-chlorians.
Per Total Film, J.J. Abrams and George Lucas have been revealed to have had discussions around the time Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was being developed. The conversation, in particular, had to do with the nature of the Force. The interview detailed how Abrams sought Lucas for guidance on the matter, even the much-maligned topic of midi-chlorians. About the topic, Abrams said:
“He had a lot of things to say about the nature of the Force, the themes that he was dealing with when he was writing the movies. Yes, there were some conversations about Midi-chlorians – he loves his Midi-chlorians. But it was a very helpful thing. Sitting with him is a treat, just to hear him talk, because it’s ******* George Lucas talking about Star Wars. I always feel it’s a gift to hear him talk about that stuff. Because the effect that he had on met at 10 years old is utterly profound.”
The concept of Midi-chlorians was introduced in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Midi-chlorians are extremely tiny, sentient-like life forms that live inside the cells of all living things. Those with a high count of symbiotically intelligent life forms in their cells are said to be “Force Sensitive”. Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) explained this to a young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), as well as how they relate to being Force-Sensitive.
Admittedly, the scientific explanation of the Force removed some of the mystery behind the concept and made it seem only those destined are capable of becoming Force-sensitive, rather than someone having the potential to share this trait. The natural selection angle when it came to biology and the Force irritated fans.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is set to close the chapter that began with the last two installments, stars the late Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Kelly Marie Tran and Billy Dee Williams. J.J. Abrams is to direct from a screenplay co-written by Chris Terrio. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan are producing for Bad Robot and Lucasfilm. Walt Disney Studios will distribute. Episode IX will land in theaters on December 20.