I know the whole "midichlorian count = Force potential" is a touchy and controversial topic among Star Wars fans, but the fact is Lucas has confirmed it as canon so it is, unfortunately, what it is. Lucas said that when Anakin loses his limbs on Mustafar, he can now only reach 80% of his true potential. Yes, he does become more powerful, his Force connection at the very least, not necessarily his dueling ability, as Vader, but that's only because of;

  1. His anger feeds his "dark side rage", and
  2. Despite losing physical strength as their bodies age, their Force connection, if I'm not mistaken, continues to grow and strengthen.

That being said, I know Maul must be equally affected when he loses his limbs, i.e. midichlorians and so potential Force connection the same way Anakin did, but is there ever any "official", "canonical", mention of this?

  • 1
    "Lucas has confirmed it as canon" — if only there was an entertainment company with enough money to buy Star Wars from George Lucas, and take control of what's canon and what isn't without his input. May 11, 2020 at 10:51
  • We've seen in The Empire Strikes Back (X-Wing lifting) that your confidence is a big component of Force powers. A severe life altering injury like getting your legs cut off is almost certainly going to do enough psychological trauma to affect your ability to use the Force. May 11, 2020 at 13:48

1 Answer 1



Midi-chlorian are not The Force nor they create it. They are just "indicators" of the innate potentials. They do not determinate the upper cap you can reach, since training in the Force makes you stronger;

as noted in Star Wars official site:

So, despite blood-tests that show your aptitude, learning the Force is still like Yoga, or boxing. You might be born more lithe, or bigger and stronger, but, because we all have midi-chlorians in us, we can all develop the Force to lesser or greater extents — in the world of Star Wars.

and in the Star Wars wiki:

A misconception exists that rather than being indicators, midi-chlorians actually are the Force or create it; there is no canonical basis for this belief.

I think there are continuity errors between the differents canons.

There are at least 3 differents canons you can follow here, and I'm ignoring all the Legends stuff.

  1. G-Canon - Original and Prequel trilogy, plus George Lucas statements.
  2. T-Canon - For what we need here, Clone Wars
  3. Disney's 2014 Reboot - All the movies, TV-series and all novel/comics/VG made AFTER 2014, with some exceptions.

You can found more info on the various canons here.

In G-Canon, there is a statement wich confirm Vader lose strenght with the Force following the injuries he received so it's safe to assume it'd be the same for Maul, but Maul does not appears in G-Canon after Episode I.

In Clone Wars Maul appears near the end of S4. Here we are in T-Canon and there is no statement about the loss of power of Maul, the only consequence of the events of Episode I seems to be his mind shattered.

After 2014, in the current Canon, there are different novels, labelled as canon, wich states Vader grown stronger with the Force after losing half his body.

I am not considering Legends ( or Expanded Universe ) as it contains even more different approaches to the questions that might not be what the op is looking for.

From here, I'll give an anserw following the current Disney's Canon and assuming Midi-Chlorians count determine your power with the Force.

Midi-chlorians count refer to their number per cell.

In Episode I: The Phantom Menace there are some information about the midi-chlorians, in particular:

Thanks to Qui-Gon Jinn we know that Anakin had a count of

Over 20,000. Even Master Yoda doesn't have a midi-chlorian count that high.

And when he speak later with Master Windu he says

His cells have the highest concentration of midi-chlorians I've ever seen in a life form. It's possible he was conceived by the midi-chlorians.

In The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film Lucas says

It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different; they have more midi-chlorians in their cells.

The website theforce.net quote an explanation of Lucas where he states

Midi-chlorians are a loose depiction of mitochondria

That said, losing part of your body doesn't lower your midi-chlorians count, because this refer to the number of midi-chlorians in a single cell, not in your whole body.

Regarding Darth Vader, in both Tarkin and Lords of the Sith is explained that his connection to the Force were strengthened after his duel with Obi-Wan in Episode III, while his body were severely crippled, and further states

Though his injuries had physically crippled him, Vader believed that the suffering that he had experienced had both perfected his spirit and freed him from the needs of the flesh, allowing him to concentrate solely on his relationship to the Force.

Back on the question:

  • Anakin/Vader doesn't have his potential lowered due to losing midi-chlorians when he lose his limbs.
  • There is nothing that suggest Maul lose power after being cut in half. What it's know, is that his mind shatters and only after years and the help of Mother Talzin he was able to recover from his state.
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    Despite your claims it is common knowledge that Vader's injuries weakened him. I further disagree with your math. A loss of body cells from a limb will reduce the total midichlorians one has access to. Now this may be mitigated by rage dialing up all the ones remaining but still there's less to work with when a body is cut in half. It may also be mitigated by diminishing returns - that is a rock could be lifted by a 500 level or a 5000 level but not a 400. (Made up numbers) May 11, 2020 at 17:39
  • Don't want to start a discussione, since it's not the place. Anyway, "common knowledge" means nothing, if I said something wrong and you have access to a source to confirm it, post it, otherwise it's just an opinion. For what regard the second part of the comment, I still disagree. It's not the total count of midi-chlorians that matter but it's density. Again, if you have sorces that I lack and prove otherwise please link them, I'll edit or remove the anserw! May 11, 2020 at 21:12
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/113232/… George Lucas's quote mentioned in the question states Vader went from possible 2x the emperor to 80% because there's not that much of him left. May 11, 2020 at 23:35
  • Thanks! I've seen the source, that said I think you have to decide wich canon you want to follow! I'll update the anserw! May 12, 2020 at 9:43
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    @lucasbachmann Do you have high force potential because you have lots of midichlorians, or do you have lots of midichlorians because you have high force potential? If the latter, then body mass (or missing limbs) has no impact on force power. If the former then organ transplants from a powerful force-wielder or just working out to build up muscle would increase force power (more cells = more midichlorians) - or, eating loads of food, if midichlorians can live in fat cells - and Yoda starts at a huge disadvantage May 12, 2020 at 14:08

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