If fans had to point to one aspect of George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels that made them scratch their heads, it would probably be the introduction of "midi-chlorians," microscopic organisms that live within our cells and explain to us the will of the Force. And apparently, Lucas wanted the story to double down on midi-chlorians after "Return of the Jedi."
According to a companion book for the AMC series "James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction" that contains transcripts of various interviews, Lucas wanted Episodes VII-IX of "Star Wars" to be all about the "microbiotic world."
"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," Lucas said. "They feed off the Force."
Whills are evidently not the same thing as midi-chlorians, but Lucas seems to have conceived of them as sharing a close relationship.
"Back in the day, I used to say ultimately what this means is we were just cars, vehicles, for the Whills to travel around in," Lucas told director James Cameron, according to an excerpt from the companion book posted at io9. "We're vessels for them. And the conduit is the midi-chlorians. The midi-chlorians are the ones that communicate with the Whills. The Whills, in a general sense, they are the Force."
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While there is some passing reference to the Whills in "Rogue One," the microscopic world of the Force is something fans probably want to forget. And Lucas does acknowledge that "Star Wars" devotees would not have been on board with the idea.
"Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did 'Phantom Menace' and everything," Lucas said. "But at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told."
Probably dodged a blaster bolt on that one.