Mentions of Midi-Chlorians On-Screen

Dr. Pershing mentions M-Count in The Mandalorian
Dr. Pershing mentions M-Count in The Mandalorian

How about this weekend’s new episode of The Mandalorian? It seems to be from Dr. Pershing mentioning The Child’s “M-Count” that the former Imperials are after The Child for something to do with his “M-Count”.  What is this “M-Count”? Well, it could be midi-chlorians count.

If so, that would be an interesting return to the screen for the reference of midi-chlorians, as fans greatly disliked this notion of midi-chlorians from The Phantom Menace. While midi-chlorians were most famously (or, perhaps, infamously) mentioned in that 1999 film, it is not the only time this term has been mentioned on-screen.

The Phantom Menace

Obviously, the first mentions of this term were in The Phantom Menace, getting mentioned in this dialogue between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi:

Qui Gon Jinn: I need an analysis of this blood sample I’m sending you.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Wait a minute…
Qui Gon Jinn: I need a midi-chlorian count.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: The reading’s off the chart… over twenty thousand. (V.O.) Even Master Yoda doesn’t have a midi-chlorian count that high!
Qui Gon Jinn: No Jedi has.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: What does that mean?
Qui Gon Jinn: I’m not sure.

We next hear of Qui-Gon Jinn speaking about midi-chlorians in this scene with the Jedi Council:

Qui-Gon Jinn: With your permission, my Master. I have encountered a vergence in the Force.
Yoda: A vergence, you say?
Mace Windu: Located around a person?
Qui-Gon Jinn: A boy… his cells have the highest concentration of midi-chlorians I have ever seen in a life form. It is possible he was conceived by the midi-chlorians.
Mace Windu: You’re referring to the prophesy of the one who will bring balance to the Force… you believe it’s this boy?

Qui-Gon Jinn speaking to Anakin in The Phantom Menace about Midi-chlorians
Qui-Gon Jinn speaking to Anakin in The Phantom Menace about Midi-chlorians

And the final, and most descriptive, mention of midi-chlorians, appears in this dialogue between Qui-Gon Jinn and Anakin:

Anakin Skywalker: Master, sir… I heard Yoda talking about midi-chlorians. I’ve been wondering, what are midi-chlorians?
Qui-Gon Jinn: Midi-chlorians are a microcopic lifeform that reside within all living cells.
Anakin Skywalker: They live inside of me?
Qui-Gon Jinn: In your cells, yes… and we are symbionts with them.
Anakin Skywalker: Symbionts?
Qui-Gon Jinn: Life forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you will hear them speaking to you.
Anakin Skywalker: I don’t understand.
Qui-Gon Jinn: With time and training, Ani… you will… you will.

Revenge of the Sith
After a strong backlash from fans, this term only receives one subsequent mention in the movies, during this scene from Revenge of the Sith:

Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create…life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side, he could even keep the ones he cared about…from dying.

That’s it for its appearances on the silver screen, but it actually has been mentioned a few times elsewhere on screen, in a few episodes from Star Wars the Clone Wars.

Star Wars The Clone Wars
The first time is actually in a not-serious reference by a lady at a bar in the 4th season episode, “Deception”

I want to check his midi-chlorian count.

However, it would return in back-to-back episodes in the 6th season in a serious way. First, we have Force Ghost Qui-Gon Jinn speaking to Yoda in the episode, “Voices”:

All energy from the living Force, from all things that have ever lived, feeds into the Cosmic Force, binding everything and communicating to us through the midi-chlorians. Because of this I can speak to you now.

This makes significant thematic sense, as he has been the character on-screen who has spoken about midi-chlorians the most. However, in the very next episode, “Destiny”, Serenity, one of five Force Priestesses, mentions them:

All that surrounds us is the foundation of life, the birthplace of what your science calls midi-chlorians, the foundation of what connects the Living Force and the Cosmic Force. When a living thing dies, all is removed. Life passes from the Living Force into the Cosmic Force and becomes one with it. One powers the other. One is renewed by the other.

I find that reference to be quite the serious reference.

The Mandalorian
And then, of course, we have this weekend’s episode in which Dr. Pershing talks about The Child’s “M-count”:

Replicated the results of the subsequent trials, which also resulted in catastrophic failure. There were promising effects for an entire fortnight, but then, sadly, the body rejected the blood. I highly doubt we’ll find a donor with a higher M-count, though. I recommend that we suspend all experimentation. I fear that the volunteer will meet the same regrettable fate if we proceed with the transfusion. Unfortunately, we have exhausted our initial supply of blood. The Child is small, and I was only able to harvest a limited amount without killing him. If these experiments are to continue as requested, we would again require access to the donor. I will not disappoint you again, Moff Gideon.

This scene provides a fascinating context of some sense of what we heard last season briefly of the client telling Dr. Pershing about the material. And it will be interesting to see how they further factor into The Mandalorian with regards to The Child.

It should be interesting….

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