“I’ve used someone like Bruce Lee as an example”: Dave Filoni Defended George Lucas’ Most Controversial Star Wars Idea That Fans Still Haven’t Forgiven

The current chief creative officer of Lucasfim has been a life-long fan of the sci-fi franchise.

dave filoni, george lucas’
credit: wikimedia commons/150tcy3tya3ql/Justass


  • George Lucas created a whole universe filled with creatures, powers, and mythologies in Star Wars.
  • The sci-fi epic had many concepts that were mystical as well a scientific such as the Force.
  • While Lucas' explanation of the Force's workings was not accepted by all fans, Dave Filoni defended the concept.
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George Lucas’ Star Wars is a vast and complex universe filled with its own mythos and artifacts. The filmmaker had reportedly crafted most elements while making the first film, while some of them were tweaked during subsequent sequels and prequels. One such element that has been debated is the way the Force works.


While the Force is something that someone trains to obtain control over, the prequel The Phantom Menace established the idea of midi-chlorians, a microorganism that every life form is made of. The concept was not impressive to many fans who felt it was more of a mystical element in the sci-fi films rather than having an actual scientific explanation.

What Are Midi-Chlorians And How Do They Affect The Force In Star Wars?

Qui-Gon Jinn explains to a young Anakin Skywalker the concept of midi-chlorians in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
A still from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace | Credits: Lucasfilm Ltd.

The concept of the midi-chlorians is officially introduced in the prequel film Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, where Qui-Gon Jinn tells a young Anakin Skywalker what they are. The film establishes midi-chlorians as microorganisms that are attached to the cells of a life form and can be controlled in order to use Force.


According to Qui-Gon, the midi-chlorians formed a symbiotic relationship with the cells and hence formed the foundations of being. George Lucas reportedly conceived the idea during the making of the first Star Wars film in 1977 but only introduced it much later. Though the explanation is more vague, the concept of anyone being able to use the Force was there.

George Lucas in an interview | Credits: Charlie Rose
George Lucas | Credits: Charlie Rose

This is evidenced in the book The Making of Star Wars by JW Rinzler, which says,

It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different; they have more midi-chlorians in their cells. The Force is a perception of the reality that exists around us. You have to come to learn it. It’s not something you just get…The Force is always there, however. Anyone who studied it and worked hard could learn it, but you would have to do it on your own.

While there is contention that George Lucas did not think of the Force in the original film and only added it on later, many of Lucas’ statements about anyone being able to use the Force and everyone having access to it prove that it was always on his mind. It is also established that Anakin Skywalker had the most midi-chlorian count in his body in the entire galaxy.


Dave Filoni Defends George Lucas’ Midi-Chlorian Concept

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker use the Force against each other in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
A still from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith | Credits: Lucasfilm Ltd.

The response to the inclusion of midi-chlorians in the Star Wars mythos was extremely divisive upon release. For many fans, the scientific explanation took away much of the mystery behind the Force, which until then was something that felt like a superpower that only a few had the privilege of accessing.

However, some were also of the opinion that the concept made the Force more democratic and accessible. Dave Filoni, the chief creative officer of Lucasfilm and the creator of many Star Wars shows defended George Lucas’ explanation with an analogy of his own. He said in an interview with ComicBook.com,

For a long time, I’ve used someone like Bruce Lee as an example. He has, if you like, a lot of talent for martial arts – or a very high midi-chlorian count. If I train in martial arts, can I learn martial arts? Yes, I can improve my midi-chlorian count in that discipline. Will I be as good as Bruce Lee? No, that’s not my talent. 

The filmmaker also mentioned how he always thought of the Force as something everyone possessed and that a good amount of training and discipline was what made it easier to use the Force. The midi-chlorian theory proved that it was an accessible force while also acting as a metaphor for the choices the characters make through the course of the story.


All Star Wars films and shows are available to stream on Disney Plus.


Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 1149

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 1,000 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.