A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
I remember the first time I saw those words scroll across the screen. I was just a wee lad of seven and I didn’t know that my parents had taken me to the most important movie I’d ever see.
I also didn’t know enough to be afraid. I didn’t realize that those words were a warning.
I didn’t know that they were here.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m sorry, I should be more clear… more concise. It’s hard not to rush. I don’t know how strong they are right now. I don’t know if they can stop me. I don’t know what they’ll do.
I don’t know if I’ll even be me any more when they’re done with me.
All right…enough stalling. This is hard enough as it is without my own fears getting in the way of doing what needs to be done.
Let’s start with something that has been going around the internet lately,Lumpawaroo’s Darth Jar-Jar theory. If you haven’t read it already I strongly advise it, it’s quite excellent. Otherwise and for the more easily distracted, here’s a little video primer on the topic
It’s so close, so very close. Maybe Lumparawoo simply missed the other player in the game, the real power…or maybe he had the whole thing at first but he was manipulated too.
I’ll have to be careful.
Jar Jar was never a Sith. He never even had force powers. Waving hands does not a force user make, and that’s the only part of the theory that you can see as ‘trying too hard’. But of course, why not? What else could he be? The seeds are so firmly planted.
He wasn’t a Sith, but he was far more than he seemed. Sometimes a true master of what’s real can make things look like magic, after all. He is, also, the master of stupid-fu.
Jar Jar was an exterminator and an assassin. He was the best there was at what he did, but he wasn’t good enough. He failed, and because he failed, we’ve already lost.
Let your mind wander back to just before the prequels…let’s look at what wasn’t shown.
Senior Scout Nilsia Bain was focused intently on his target, so much so that he nearly jumped when Lord Harlequin appeared next to him.
“That’s him. That’s Qui-Gon Jinn. Well done, Scout”
“What are you going to do, sir? There are hundreds of carriers. They’re raising them on purpose! Are they mad?”
“They don’t understand. That’s part of the plague, it blinds them to what they do. I may be able to turn that against them.” He looked to Qui-Gon. “I’ll start with him.”
“Good luck, sir.”
Lord Harlequin hunched forward and began making subtle alterations to his body and posture. When he was done he looked back to the scout and winked.
“Theysa never know what hit thems.”
Jar-Jar was there to exterminate a plague, a plague that could manipulate its hosts, a plague more dangerous than anything we’ve ever imagined.
I know most of us just pretended they didn’t exist, and that’s part of their power. It’s part of how they won. Maybe it’s even part of their plans.
I’m speaking, of course, of the one thing even worse than Jar-Jar Binks in the minds of most Star Wars fans.
I don’t know what Midi-chlorians actually are. They might be something like symbiotic/parasitic bacteria or archaea, they might be organelles that live inside a cell, they might even be coherent chunks of molecular code…machines living inside the very DNA of their hosts.
What I do know is what they can do. They manipulate their hosts, they control them and eventually take them over. Eventually, they force them to fight while releasing as much dark energy as they can possibly manage, because that’s how they continue their life cycle.
Being force sensitive just means you’re more heavily infested and more easily manipulated.
The most commonly known parallel here on Earth is probably cordyceps, that lovely fungus that makes ants crawl to just the right height before locking themselves in place before our little friends burst out by way of their head to infect a new generation of ants below.
( _________ The dulcet tones of Sir Richard Attenborough should help…a little. _________ )
Of course, people aren’t ants, right?
So what did the Midi-chlorians do a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away?
Let’s put together a little timeline.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
After discovering an infestation of Midi-chlorians, a society of guardians sends Lord Harlequin/Jar-Jar Binks to attempt to exterminate them directly and avoid a ‘Nuclear Option’. He judges setting the Sith against the Jedi is the best approach and sets things in motion.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Jar-Jar/Harlequin manipulates Palpatine/Sidius into getting a senatorial seat, guaranteeing influence and information. He frames the Tusken Raiders for the death of Anakin’s mother in an effort to create chaos within the infected.
The Midi-chlorian influenced Jedi are pulled into the struggle and their population is greatly reduced, though the most dangerous carriers remain.
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Anakin’s Midi-chlorian addled mind begins to crack. Without the discipline to resist their quorum sensing he kills the youngest of the infected. By the time things are done, only a few infected remain and all but Anakin/Vader and Palpatine scatter.
Palpatine finally discovers Jar-Jar’s intentions/treachery and captures him. He has his head removed and placed in a sphere for interrogation.
Episode IV: A New Hope
After interrogating/torturing Jar-Jar, the already infected Palpatine learns the danger the Midi-chlorians present. He is unable to properly resist them, but is able to take advantage of their exploitation and begins a galaxy-wide campaign to exterminate all but those hosted by himself and Vader.
He discovers that part of their life cycle involves creating spores that use dark matter (which light sabers radiate quite a bit of, hence the Jedi’s unwitting favoring of them) that then create a high energy explosion to launch themselves far and wide. He makes sure Vader hoovers up the dust left behind any Jedi he kills to use in his superweapon, the Death Star.
Unfortunately, the Death Star is destroyed before the last of the carriers can be exterminated.
(____________And a trillion trillion tiny voices go ‘yay!’_____________)
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Undeterred, the Emperor sends Vader after his own son, unaware that the Midi-chlorians are already manipulating Vader more than he could have imagined. Vader refuses to kill Luke and instead attempts to convert him.
Also: Yoda dies.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Deciding Vader is becoming unreliable, the Emperor lets him continue to try to convert Luke with the intentions of replacing Vader when the time is right. He meanwhile begins work on his next superweapon which he intends to use to scour any Midi-chlorian infected planets from the galaxy, saving it from destruction and finally completing Jar-Jar’s failed task.
Unfortunately, Vader turns on the Emperor and sacrifices himself to kill him, leaving Luke completely unaware of the real threat and the Midi-chlorians without any remaining enemies.
Meanwhile: the sphere containing Jar-Jar’s disembodied head breaks free and is eventually found by a scavenger searching for scrap. Seeing an opportunity for a quick profit, he cleans it up and adds a droid module to it, eventually selling it on Tatooine, completely unaware that it’s not what it seems.
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Tortured and traumatized, Jar-Jar/BB-8 still remembers his mission and manages to keep himself close to the center of action but can only subtly influence the events that are unfolding.
Meanwhile, a new batch of infected/Force users has started to spring up, aided by Luke Skywalker, who is turning out to be an optimal host
Episode VIII: Invasion of the Forgotten
Unrestrained and with no further threats to their existence, the Midi-chlorians quickly spread through the galaxy. Force users begin popping up everywhere and the cycle begins anew.
The Midi-chlorians begin another stage in their life cycle and begin hijacking the DNA of anything their host touches or infects, giving their hosts the ability to change their forms almost at will and their own infected cells the ability to escape and hunt for new hosts.
Episode IX: A Galaxy Destroyed
Wars rage throughout the galaxy as infected/Force users are set against each other. Eventually there is little left but a few scattered outposts of life and few remaining hosts for the Midi-chlorians.
Luke Skywalker, the greatest of their hosts, is sent to seed a distant galaxy.
A long time later and a few thousand miles from here, his ship crashes. Weak and driven by little more than instinct he leaves seeking new hosts, but is quickly frozen solid by the elements.
Episode X/The Thing
Luke’s frozen, morphed body is discovered by a team of Norwegian scientists.
After some wacky hijinx, he eventually takes over Childs, kills Kurt Russel, and escapes to warmer climates.
Mark Hamill: The New Host
Luke Skywalker begins to realize that his powers are depleting. Without the Dark Energy radiating from the light sabers his Midi-chlorians are quickly running out of resources.
He comes across a young actor and quickly replaces him. He uses the last of his shape changing abilities to plant some seeds in an aspiring filmmaker’s mind and returns to Mark’s form to play the very role he played early in his own life.
He quietly manipulates things to place himself at the center of events while placing a drive within all of us to want to create the very thing he needs while guaranteeing that once we invent it, he’ll be among the first to get to hold one.
Meanwhile, he has been slowly spreading his plague. It just takes a touch, after all.
I, tragically, was infected at a very young age. He signed a comic book I had eagerly handed him and then he reached out and preferred his hand for shaking. What would you have done?
I haven’t felt the same since.
I know I’m not alone, I’m one of many.
I can already feel them fighting me, trying to get me to delete this whole thing. But I won’t give in…everyone needs to know.
But this is so much harder than I thought. I didn’t know they could be so…persuasive.
I think this is what happens next.
“Here it is. We think you should be the first to hold one.”
“Is it really…?” Luke/Mark asked. He didn’t need to ask, he knew. His children were almost shuddering with hunger inside him. But he did have to keep up appearances.
“Yes sir! And I’ve got to say I’m a huge fan. The button is right there, works just like the ones in the movies. Just be careful.”
“Don’t worry, I haven’t pointed one of these at my face since Episode IV”
The assembled scientists and reporters laughed appreciatively. Some more than others, because…nerds.
Finally, he couldn’t wait any longer. The anticipation was too great, and it’s not as if he didn’t have permission.
He pressed the button and a brilliant green light stabbed out in front of him. He barely saw it. He could barely think at all…his children we feeding.
“Wow. Thank you.” he said when he could control himself again.
“If you’re done…?”
Luke passed his hand in front of him, duplicating his movements from the movies.
“No. I think not. I think this is mine forever.”
The assembled crowd nodded as he let out an epic laugh as only he can, and the cycle begins again to the cheers of his adoring fans.
(________________Somebody’s been practicing!________________)
I expect somewhere, in some distant future, another galaxy will see words much like the ones we saw as kids. However in this case the long time ago will be now and the galaxy far, far away will be right here.
And I know I’m infected too, because I still want that to happen more than anything in the world.
Originally posted at Brains Are Fun!