George Lucas appeared on James Cameron’s series Story of Science Fiction and at one point went into the origin behind the idea of midi-chlorians and their connection to real life science, and how he blended that with his mythical Force to further explain its tangible side in the prequels, uncovering his idea behind the nature of the Force. What is interesting about this discussion is George Lucas stating had he kept Lucasfilm, he would have made more movies telling this aspect of the story. Here is a transcript from the exchange between the two iconic filmmakers.
Lucas: Everyone hated it when we started talking about midi-chlorians in The Phantom Menace. A whole aspect of this film is about symbiotic relationships. It’s about recognizing that we’re not the boss. There is a whole ecosystem there.
Cameron: There’s a whole ecosystem called microbiome inside that we’ve just started getting to know.
Lucas: [The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into a microbiotic world. But there’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force.
Cameron: You were creating a religion, George.
Lucas: Back then, I used to say it means we’re just the cars, the vehicles of the Whills they’re traveling around with. We are the vessels of Whills. And the connection is via the midi-chlorians. The midi-chlorians are the ones who communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in the general sense, are the Force.
Cameron: But in fact you’re just drawing a surface, a facade of science around an idea that is timeless, namely, the mind, the soul, the sky, the cause of all being. In your world, you’re accessing the basic archetype, the mind, a deity, and all that.
Lucas: I worked this whole concept with the Force, the Jedi, and everything from beginning to end. I just never had the chance to finish it and tell people about it.
Cameron: It’s a creation myth, and without a creation myth you can not build a world. Every religion, every mythology is based on it.
Lucas: If I’d held on to the company, I could have done it, and then it would have been done. Of course a lot of fans would have hated it, just like they did Phantom Menace and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would have been told.
There is a certain overtone of sadness here, as it seems George Lucas has at least some level of regret having sold Lucasfilm. Lucas has been known to flip-flop on the truth behind his saga, at one time saying there were nine films to make, and at other times saying it was Darth Vader’s story and it was completed after six. But that is the mind of a brilliant creator isn’t it? Just as the Force itself, it’s always in motion. Perhaps George Lucas will never be completely at peace with his decision to sell Lucasfilm to Disney, as the limitless dreamer will always have stories to tell in his brilliant imaginative mind.
Regardless of who legally owns the brand, Star Wars will always belong to George Lucas. It is forever his playground of limitless ideas in this fantastically wonderful galaxy he created over 40 years ago that he has allowed different creators and us fans to play in whenever we’d like. Whether we believe he was smart to sell Lucasfilm or that he should have kept it and told more of his ideas doesn’t matter. What matters is that he alone gifted the world with a myth that transcends movies, transcends fiction, and has created a community that while toxic at times, ultimately exists as a place friends and families can escape to and dream as he did four decades ago, and for that we are all eternally grateful.
Thank you George.
“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.”