Is there any canon information on what a midi-chlorian looks like?

This question is based on the fact that if it can be measured, it can seen. Non existent things cannot be measured and therefore cannot be seen.

In Wookieepedia a Midi-chlorian was:

Midi-chlorians were microscopic, intelligent lifeforms that live within the cells of all living beings.

Microscopic does not mean unable to be seen, and in the advanced technology when Star-wars took place, they surely would have been able to observed as Qui-Gon did measure them with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

So what does a Midi-chlorian look like?

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    starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Midi-chlorian/Legends Don't know if it's a fan made or an official representation
    – Saphirel
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 11:42
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    Mitochondrion, but add ethereal glow and tron-lines?
    – Radhil
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 12:19
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    "This question is based on the fact that if it can be measured, it can seen" What does gravity look like, Kylo? Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:55
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    Sorry, but the premise is completely wrong. Many things that can be measured can't be seen. Apart from the obvious things such as gravity and velocity, anything smaller than the wavelength of light can't be "seen". It can be detected and measured and manipulated but we can only "see" what our eyes can deal with and those, by definition, only deal with visible light and can't detect very small things. So any particle the size of an atom or smaller can never be seen, only detected.
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 16:39
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    Pretty sure they look like early 90s electronic music equipment covered in bleach.
    – Lexible
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 17:37

2 Answers 2


The following image appears in Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection. Despite being a non-canon source, it appears to be the best representation of a midi-chlorian that we have.

The middle panel is a close-up. The lower picture gives some idea of scale (inside a red blood cell).

enter image description here
enter image description here

George Lucas offered the following description

"Midi-chlorians are a loose depiction of mitochondria, which are necessary components for cells to divide. They probably had something--which will come out someday--to do with the beginnings of life and how one cell decided to become two cells with a little help from this other little creature who came in, without whom life couldn't exist. And it's really a way of saying we have hundreds of little creatures who live on us, and without them, we all would die. There wouldn't be any life. They are necessary for us; we are necessary for them. Using them in the metaphor, saying society is the same way, says we all must get along with each other."

E! Online - From the Star Wars Flu to His Beloved Pit Droids, George Lucas Talks Phantom Phenom

You can see the similarity between a mitochondrion and a midi-chlorian below.

enter image description here
Electron Microscope picture courtesy of Keith R. Porter

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    Midi-Chlorians are the powerhouse of the cell...
    – Aux
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:31
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    As someone who studies the origin of life as my profession, I would like to react to the George Lucas quote in the following manner: Aaaaarrrrggggrgghh. Only eucaryotes have mitochondria. Bacteria and archaea don't have them, and they existed for a long time before eucaryotes like us. It's not at all true that "life couldn't exist" without mitochondria, though it does seem that multicellular life is pretty difficult without them. (This is not in any way a criticism of your answer.)
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 14:25
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    @Nathaniel it tickles my fancy that not only do midichlorians annoy Star Wars fans, now they also annoy biologists. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:41
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    @WayneWerner as a biologist and a Star Wars fan, I can assure you I am doubly annoyed :) Oh, and don't get me started on zobie viruses. . .
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 16:40
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    That awkward moment when you realize Star Wars ripped off Parasite Eve... Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 18:48

In Wookieepedia you have this picture.. Seems to be a good microscopic-thing representation.midi-chlorian

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    Wookiepedia is a largely-user-generated content that may or may not be canonical. You have to explain where Wikia page got the picture from and whether that source is canonical or fan-generated. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:47
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    You should also give credit to its creator. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:56
  • I reverse-searched this picture and found it only in fan-based websites. Feel free to edit my answer if you find it :)
    – Saphirel
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 19:32

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