Midichlorians are microscopic, sentient lifeforms that live symbiotically inside the cells of all living things in the Star Wars universe. The higher the Midichlorian count a being has, the stronger their ability to use and manipulate the Force. This has led to an enduring fascination among Star Wars fans over which characters and species have the highest Midichlorian counts.
In this article, we will examine what Midichlorians are, how they relate to Force potential, and which Star Wars characters and species have been revealed or speculated to have the highest Midichlorian counts. We will look at canonical information from Star Wars films, TV shows, books, comics and video games as well as non-canonical Legends sources to paint a comprehensive picture of those wielders of the Force with the highest Midichlorian numbers.
What are Midichlorians?
Midichlorians are microscopic, intelligent lifeforms that reside within the cells of all living beings in the Star Wars universe. They have a symbiotic relationship with their hosts, benefitting from residing within the cell while also enabling the host to detect and interact with the energy field known as the Force. As revealed in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Midichlorians communicate the will of the Force to Force-sensitives, allowing them to use supernatural abilities like telekinesis, mind control, enhanced reflexes and senses, and more.
The Jedi Order used Midichlorian counts to identify Force potential in prospective Jedi. Blood tests could determine the number of Midichlorians in an individual’s cells. Generally, the higher the Midichlorian count, the greater potential the person had to wield the Force. However, Midichlorian counts did not absolutely determine Force ability. Factors like training and willpower also played an important role.
According to Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace, the average human had a Midichlorian count around 2,500 per cell. Gifted Force users could have upwards of 10,000. Here are some known Midichlorian counts:
|Anakin Skywalker||Over 20,000|
|Obi-Wan Kenobi (old)||13,400|
While Midichlorian counts provided an objective way to measure Force potential, the Jedi came to believe the numbers alone were not a perfect indicator of one’s strength. As Qui-Gon Jinn said to the Jedi Council regarding Anakin Skywalker, “His cells have the highest concentration of Midichlorians I have seen in a lifeform. It is possible he was conceived by the Midichlorians.” In other words, Anakin’s off-the-charts Midichlorian count was so inexplicably high, the Jedi wondered if he was conceived by the Midichlorians themselves, implying his powers were shaped by more than just genetics.
Yoda – Strongest Jedi
Yoda, the iconic Jedi Master, is confirmed to have the highest Midichlorian count of any Jedi, at around 17,000 per cell. Given his centuries of experience and immense knowledge of the Force, it is no surprise he would test so high. Despite his small stature and advanced age, Yoda was possibly the strongest Jedi who ever lived. He showed amazing mastery of the Force, displaying incredible telekinetic powers, foresight, and proficiency with a lightsaber despite the physical handicap of his size. He went toe-to-toe with Count Dooku and Emperor Palpatine, two of the most powerful Sith Lords. More than merely having an astronomical Midichlorian count, Yoda’s centuries of diligent study and meditation on the Force made him the greatest Jedi the Order had ever known.
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader – The Chosen One
While Yoda may have been the Order’s wisest and most skilled Jedi, Anakin Skywalker was regarded as the Chosen One prophesied to bring balance to the Force. When Qui-Gon Jinn first encountered the young slave boy on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace, Anakin’s blood test revealed a greater number of Midichlorians than any Jedi on record. His exact count was over 20,000 per cell, estimated to be even higher than Yoda’s.
This impossibly high Midichlorian count foretold Anakin’s potential to be the most powerful Force user to ever live. And indeed, throughout the prequel trilogy, Anakin displayed astonishing Force abilities even as a child. He won the Boonta Eve Classic podrace at nine years old, something no human could ordinarily achieve. As a young adult during the Clone Wars, Anakin’s Force abilities were considered legendary.
Unfortunately, fear led Anakin to the dark side and prevented him from reaching his true potential as a Jedi Knight. As Darth Vader, encumbered by his life-supporting suit and wounds, he likely could not command the Force to the degree he could have as a Jedi Master. Nonetheless, Vader was still strong enough in the dark side to be a menacing enforcer of the Emperor’s will. Had Anakin fulfilled his destiny and brought balance to the Force, his unmatched count of Midichlorians might have made him the greatest Force wielder the galaxy had ever known.
Luke Skywalker – The Last Jedi
As the son of the Chosen One, naturally Luke Skywalker was endowed with an exceptionally high Midichlorian count. Though not as high as his father’s, Luke’s count of around 15,000 still marked him as an exceptionally gifted Force user. He rose from humble beginnings as a Tatooine farm boy to becoming first a Jedi Knight and eventually the last of the Jedi Masters, restoring the Order in the wake of the Empire’s defeat.
Luke’s Midichlorians fueled his rapid growth under Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. Without much formal training, he was capable of manifesting advanced abilities like telekinesis, mind control, enhanced agility and reflexes, and even Force projections across the galaxy. His innate strength allowed him to resist the temptation of the dark side’s quick and easy path to power. By remaining true to the light, Luke upheld the virtues of the Jedi and helped bring about the Empire’s downfall.
Other Notable Jedi
In addition to Yoda, Anakin and Luke Skywalker, a few other powerful Jedi from the Star Wars films were noted to have very high Midichlorian counts:
Qui-Gon Jinn clocked in at around 12,800 Midichlorians. As one of the wisest and most attuned Jedi of the waning days of the Republic, Qui-Gon Jinn recognized tremendous Force potential in the young Anakin Skywalker when all others dismissed it. His belief in Anakin would prove vital to the prophecy of the Chosen One. Qui-Gon’s mastery of the living Force granted him a unique perspective among the Jedi Council, perhaps allowing him to identify Anakin’s importance when others could not see it.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, who trained both Anakin and Luke Skywalker in the Jedi arts, possessed over 13,000 Midichlorians. His strong connection to the Force made him one of the most skilled Jedi Knights of his time. As a Master, Obi-Wan showed incredible skill in lightsaber combat, once defeating the menacing Sith Lord Darth Maul during the Invasion of Naboo. His devotion to the Jedi Order drove him into exile on Tatooine following the rise of the Empire. In his elder years, Obi-Wan remained attuned enough to the living Force to appear as a ghost and give guidance to Luke as he took his first steps to becoming a Jedi.
Emperor Palpatine, the sinister Sith Lord Darth Sidious, possessed over 12,000 Midichlorians. A figure of pure evil, he manipulated events galaxy-wide to orchestrate the downfall of the Jedi Order and Republic so that he could rule the Empire. Palpatine concealed his Force abilities for many years while playing the role of a benign Republic politician. In truth, he was unmatched in abilities like Force lightning which he wielded to deadly effect against the Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Yoda and Luke Skywalker at various points.
The Ones – Force Wielders of Mortis
In a special three-episode story arc from the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, Anakin encountered extraordinarily powerful Force wielders on a mysterious planet called Mortis. These god-like beings were known as the Ones and existed outside the normal Jedi vs. Sith dichotomy. They included:
The patriarch maintained balance between his children, the Son and Daughter. The Father possessed the ability to take away or restore the Force powers of others. Given this extraordinary power that dwarfed even Jedi abilities, presumably he would have had the highest Midichlorian count, though a specific number is never cited.
The embodiment of the dark side. He could drain the life force from other beings and possessed powers like telekinesis, shape-shifting, energy projection and control over thunderstorms. The Son attempted to disrupt the balance on Mortis by allying with Anakin and enlisting him to leave Mortis and destroy the Jedi.
The embodiment of the light side. She possessed powers of healing and nature manipulation. The Daughter helped Obi-Wan and Anakin resist the Son’s temptations. Her death at the hands of her brother pushed Anakin closer to the dark side.
The story of the Ones is considered a vision experienced by Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka rather than literal canon. But within the vision, these Force wielders demonstrated god-like abilities unlike anything possessed by the Jedi or Sith, suggesting Midichlorian counts higher than any others in the galaxy.
The Species with the Highest Midichlorians
In addition to specific Force-sensitive individuals, certain species and races in Star Wars lore have been mentioned to have unusually high Midichlorian counts. Here are some of the species with naturally high Midichlorians:
Yoda himself is confirmed to have the highest Midichlorian count of any known Jedi. It stands to reason others of his mysterious species may possess similarly impressive numbers. Indeed, in The Mandalorian, it is revealed Yoda’s people are attuned enough to the Force that their infants can levitate objects and perceive events at a distance instinctively. This points to very high Midichlorians being common for their kind.
The Miraluka are a humanoid species with no eyes, only empty eye sockets. Yet through the Force, they can “see” their surroundings with a sixth sense. According to Legends sources, the inability to see forces Miraluka to rely on Force Sight from birth. As a result, Force potential is very high among these people, with the average Miraluka possessing as many Midichlorians as most Jedi Knights.
Zeltrons are a near-human species native to the planet Zeltros. They are a hedonistic culture obsessed with self-gratification. In Legends, Zeltrons are known to be strongly Force-sensitive and produce unusually high Midichlorian counts. However, they rarely join the Jedi Order or practice the discipline required to become skilled Force users.
The cloners of Kamino possess long necks that house an additional brain used specifically to provide precognition. This adaptation gives them limited Force abilities to see possible futures, useful for their genetic experimentations. Their precognitive abilities suggest Kaminoans have higher-than-average Midichlorian counts, though no exact number is provided.
The vampiric Anzati have a nasal organ called a chemoreceptor that allows them to consume “soup,” secreted chemicals of their prey when feeding on their brains. Consuming soup provides an Anzati psionic powers and Force sensitivity according to Legends. As Midichlorians are present in all cells, the Anzati ability to extract them from their victims and absorb them could lead to temporarily heightened Midichlorian counts after feeding.
Highest Midichlorian Counts – Conclusion
Based on canonical and Legends sources, these appear to be the characters and species with the highest known Midichlorian counts:
- Yoda – ~17,000
- Anakin Skywalker – Over 20,000
- Luke Skywalker – ~15,000
- The Father (Mortis) – Unknown but likely the highest
- Yoda’s species – Unknown but naturally very high based on Force abilities
- Miraluka – Up to Jedi Knight levels in the average individual
- Zeltrons – Naturally prone to high Midichlorian counts
Midichlorian counts provide insight into the raw strength of a being’s connection to the Force. However, they alone don’t determine one’s skill in using the Force. Training and experience remain crucial in cultivating one’s abilities. Nonetheless, those rare few with incredibly high Midichlorians, like the Jedi Masters and the Chosen One, showed the greatest Force potential in the galaxy.