In the novel "I.Q" a member of the "M" continuum describes a universe where sentient organic beings were unaware of microscopic beings that existed symbioticaly within them. In fact these micro-organisms were the controlling species unbeknownst to the larger. This reminds me of the "midichlorians" that make up the Force, which controls the Star Wars "universe".

Could that be a subtle slipping of Star Wars in the novel by the author?

  • IQ was published in 1999, same year as The Phantom Mennace. So its doubtful. – Doug T. Jan 19 '16 at 2:51
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    Besides, anything that references the concept of midichlorians should be burned, nuked from orbit, then fired into the sun. You can never be too careful. – Jane S Jan 19 '16 at 3:29
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    "a universe where sentient organic beings were unaware of microscopic beings that existed symbioticaly within them" - But people in the Star Wars universe are quite aware of the existence of midichlorians! Also, midichlorians don't actually "make up" the Force, they just help larger organisms to interact with it. – Hypnosifl Jan 19 '16 at 6:57
  • @JaneS I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. Only way to be sure. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jan 19 '16 at 6:57
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    Sounds more like humans and bacteria. If you pick up a handful of soil, there are more bacteria in there than there are humans on planet earth, and we have no idea what 95% of them do. – Paul D. Waite Jan 19 '16 at 9:41

According to Peter David this is entirely coincidental. To quote him

We turned in the MS [manuscript] like a year before "Phantom Menace," so no. Just coincidence.

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  • Nice work, @DougT. :-) – Praxis Jan 19 '16 at 17:49
  • At this point, I think we need to start getting concerned. Why have midichlorians been "invented" independently twice? Is there some controlling micro-entity in us that's trying to make itself known? – thegreatjedi Jan 19 '16 at 18:24
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    @thegreatjedi It's not much of a stretch to come up with this idea if you know anything about mitochondria and intestinal flora. Heck, the name "midichlorian" has long been assumed by many to just be a corruption of "mitochondria." – fluffy Jan 21 '16 at 3:06
  • @thegreatjedi I remember that shortly before then, "The Children Star" by Joan Slonczewski (April, May, June, and July-August 1998 issues of Analog), it also turns out there are sentient microbes that govern the ecology of a planet and can manipulate even sapient minds if they need to. (Sorry if this is spoiler-y. If you want a very spoiler-y desc., see kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/joan-slonczewski/… .) She apparently revisited the idea of microbe sapience in Brain Plague (2000, Tor). I wouldn't be surprised if yet others had used the idea before, as well. – Jacob C. says Reinstate Monica Feb 9 '18 at 1:39

No evidence

Note that The Phantom Menace was released theatrically on 19 May 1999 in most locations, while the audio book version of I, Q was first released in September 1999.

This means that the audio recording would have happened prior to September 1999 (or done very hastily that month), meaning that a complete manuscript of the book would almost certainly have been available for recording purposes in the summer. This leaves only a very short period of time between the release of The Phantom Menace and the completion of I, Q.

Neither John de Lancie nor Peter David (co-authors of the novel) have commented publicly on any connection between Star Wars and I, Q (midichlorians or otherwise).

Given the timing and the lack of information, I suspect this is a coincidence at best.

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  • The Force works in mysterious ways – webejaxx Jan 19 '16 at 14:01

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