Resonate throughout Disney’s revival of the Star Wars franchise has been a call back to the original trilogy. References to the prequels have been far and few between. Director J.J. Abrams has frequently boasted of his use of practical effects. Even the forthcoming Battlefront video game draws exclusively from the original Star Wars films. It’s like Episodes I through III never happened.
Furthering that trend, Abrams recently confirmed that a particularly upsetting aspect of the prequels will not be referenced in the new film. From IGN:
During the red carpet premiere for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Abrams was asked by MTV whether or not midi-chlorians will be a part of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to which the director responded with a simple “No.”
In The Phantom Menace, the mystical properties of the Force were given a metaphysical explanation in the form of midi-chlorians, microscopic symbiotic lifeforms which “speak to us” and make life possible. Fans didn’t react well to having the Force rationalized so literally. Perhaps the larger problem was that the explanation did not serve the narrative, either of that particular film or the franchise as a whole. In either case, we won’t be revisiting the controversy when The Force Awakens hits theaters this Christmas.