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Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

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"Is it possible to learn this power?"
"Not from a Jedi."
Anakin Skywalker and Palpatine[1]

Midi-chlorian manipulation was a form of Sith alchemy mastered by Darth Plagueis. Requiring immense knowledge of the dark side of the Force, it was the ability to create, maintain, or save life through the influencing of midi-chlorians to a certain degree. Palpatine told Anakin Skywalker that Plagueis used this power to save the ones he loved from dying. Indeed, Plagueis was able to use this ability to make creatures give birth without a second partner, referred to by his droid servant 11-4D as the Magister's "pregnancies". Plagueis testing his abilities found he was able to bypass the defense the normally inherent immunity to telepathic defenses of a Yinchorri by manipulating the midi-chlorians that under normal circumstances protect a Yinchorri from all forms of telepathic influence. Plagueis was able to kill the comatose Darth Venamis and then bring him back to life several times, before the Bith's organs failed, and Plagueis granted him everlasting death. In addition, he turned this power on himself, in order to heal his many injuries afforded to him by the Maladian assassins who almost killed him in 52 BBY, and was confident that he would stop aging at all with this power. However, despite all this, Plagueis was still unable to keep himself from dying at the hands of his apprentice.

Darth Plagueis stated that a child born of this power would be the embodiment of the Force. The Muun tried to impose his will on the Force into creating a Forceful being, but considered this a failure, as Anakin Skywalker was created by the Force itself to bring an end to the Sith once and for all. Later, Palpatine used the promise of this power's effects to entice Anakin Skywalker further to the dark side.[1] He had also made the same proposition to Ferus Olin, telling him that he would teach him powers to defeat Darth Vader and the power over life and death.[2] Palpatine himself also possessed this power to a limited degree, having participated with Darth Plagueis in the aforementioned experiment that ultimately resulted in Anakin's conception.[3] However, he was unable to fully master the ability prior to slaying Plagueis, forcing him to utilize Transfer essence regarding clones to cheat death.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

"I used the power of the Force to will the midichlorians to start the cell divisions that created you."
"I don't believe you."
"Ahhh, but you know it's true. When you clear your mind, you will sense the truth. You could almost think me as your father."
"That's impossible!"
―Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker in a scene from the rough draft of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith[5]

The concept of Midi-chlorian Manipulation appeared in Revenge of the Sith, in form of a story of an ancient Sith, Darth Plagueis, who was allegedly able to create life and defeat death by manipulating midi-chlorians. In the rough draft of the film, Palpatine seduces Anakin Skywalker to the Dark side, revealing Anakin's mysterious birth in the process.[5] Despite George Lucas scrapped the scene, the idea that the Chosen One may have been actually the result of Darth Plagueis' experiments became a popular theory among fans. The 2012 Star Wars Legends novel Darth Plagueis combined the presented interpretations of Skywalker's birth stating that Plagueis was indirectly responsible for Anakin's creation yet the Force conceived Anakin as a way to stop the Sith.[3] Lucas himself initially said the mystery of the Chosen One's birth is up to the audience to interpret, since it bears no relevance to the outcome of the events.[6] However, in the interview given to Paul Duncan, author of the book Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III, 1999-2005 he clearly stated that Anakin was created by the Will of the Force by the midi-chlorians, verifying the circumstances of Anakin's birth proposed in Episode I. Lucas also stated that the legend of Darth Plagueis' abilities was a lie.[7]

This ability bears resemblance to the real-world alchemic concoction called the elixir of life, which was said to grant the drinker eternal life and/or eternal youth, and create new life.


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

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