Thursday, March 1, 2007

Midichlorians versus Slave Coral

Reading through the EU we are often presented with odd and eccentric facts about the story line. Things which initially do not seem to make sense in the overall structure of the mythology or even things that do, but not quite as clearly as you sometimes would like.

For example, take that initial set of slaves on Belkadan during the New Jedi Order.

Dark Tide: I don't know. Sentient life-forms, definitely under stress, perhaps diseased. They seem worn away, frayed somehow.
Dark Tide: Concentrating, Luke got a sense of them through the Force and could see the life energy flowing in them in a muted fashion; these people were the stressed life-forms he'd sensed before. The energy seemed to eddy around these odd formations, revealing that, at least on some of them, the bony protrusions also extended deeply into their skulls and body cavities.
When I first read these passages, my thoughts were that the slave-coral was basically slowly killing them, and this theory was reinforced during Conquest when Anakin talked with Vua about the slave-seed. But, that never answered why.

We know that the initial version of the slave-coral killed humans and other species native the the GFFA, but we're not really given an exact reason on why that happens. So, while I was considering that, I tried my best to figure out why native species are different from the Vong.

And then it hit me. Midichlorians.

That little concept from TPM introduced a physical component to the Force - and was described as a symbiotic lifeform which lived in everything.

So what do Midichlorians and the slave coral have to do with one another? It all goes back to those slaves on Belkadan. Luke described them as "worn away" and "frayed." My proposal: the slave-coral was destroying the Midichlorians.

Consider, Dark Journey says this about the slave-coral:
The computer showed several columns of numbers and a moving image that resembled a swarm of Dagobian frog tadpoles within an ovoid enclosure.

"This is a single cell, taken from the adrenal gland. See these small, mobile black dots? They are genetically related to the coral creature."

"It spawns?"

"In a manner of speaking. Coral reefs are communities of living organisms. The Yuuzhan Vong have refined these communities, organizing them into something that functions as a single creature. Apparently the coral can reproduce, sending microscopic offspring through the bloodstream and into every cell."
It makes sense to me that when the coral is introduced into a host body, that part of what it does is actively tries to destroy the host body's Midichlorians. The Yuuzhan Vong wouldn't notice it, as they've been stripped of the Force as a species. Yet it shows up, in a dramatic fashion, in the first wave of slaves that the Vong take in the GFFA. Later on, the Shapers learn how to slow down the process, control it better, and basically make the coral's destruction of the Midichlorians take longer.

And what makes this even better, is that it explains both Jacen's and Anakin's Vongsense. They were both implanted with a slave-seed, one that was in there body long enough to spread throughout it. Jacen's was killed, and removed (or at least as much of it as Vergere was able to extract).

But what happened to Anakin's?

There is no explicit scene in the novels where he had it removed, in fact there's no explicit scene discussing it after Anakin and Vua begin their rescue mission of Tahiri. And we only have Vua's word for it that that particular slave seed is a shaper's reject. As far as we truly know, it was a perfectly functional slave-seed.

But even if it was a modified one that did not actually do what was expected, it still spread throughout Anakin's body. Dark Journey made it quite clear that there was basically a biological imperative for the coral to spread throughout the host organism.

Anyways, as the coral slowly replaced the Midichlorians in Jacen and Anakin's bloodstream, they slowly began to be able to access the Vongsense. When Jacen's was killed, it left the, basically child coral, in his body in place of a certain amount of his Midichlorians. This is what allowed him to access the Vongsense.

Yet Anakin's never was killed. His just continued growing in his body, replacing more and more of his midichlorians.

Until a couple of things happen. First, as Anakin is in the midst of a battle, he is suddenly able to feel the Vong, full fledged in the Force. That could easily be read as the slave coral reaching some critical mass where they began to actively infringe on his Force senses. The second thing to happen, is that Anakin suddenly disappears from the Force. There's not the sudden shockwave of death, but rather a simple feeling of being "gone." He blanked out, disappeared, from the Force, possibly as the number of coral in his bloodstream became greater than the number of Midichlorians.

There has always been huge holes in the storyline as to what exactly happened to Anakin between the time that the strike force left him in the grotto fighting against Nom Anor and the hours later, when they went and retrieved a 'husk' (which oddly resembles the description of the YV cloning chamber for the voxyn) which contained his body. The only thing that I truly kept stumbling over was his disappearance from the Force. While it's not that surprisingly when in orbit of a planet full of ysalamiri, it still rankled a bit. Yet, here we have a valid reason for his disappearance from the Force as well as a valid argument for the Vongsense and the fact that Anakin was able to feel them fully within the Force right before he 'left.'

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin