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In The Phantom Menace, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, during his conversation with Anakin Skywalker's mother, says:

Had he been born in the Republic, we would have identified him early. The Force is unusually strong with him.

How could the Jedi have done that? Do they have a midi-chlorian count for every newborn forwarded to them?

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  • 4
    Yes. That's what happens
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 6:57
  • Any canon or legends backing that? Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 7:50
  • 1
    They probably take a reading with that little device when the kid gets their first vaccinations innit. Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 10:17
  • I'm away from my books, but it's confirmed in the Legends 'Jedi Path' and canon 'Jedi vs. Sith' books that the Jedi use mass blood testing in the Republic to detect potential Jedi candidates
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 10:41
  • 3
    Man, and all this time I thought it was through casting calls...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 17:32

2 Answers 2

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In Legends, taking a midi-chlorian test was apparently a common part of early childhood care on planets within the Republic:

Although the method by which the ancient Jedi detected potential Force-users was almost lost to time, records indicate that the Jedi—shortly after the battle of Ruusan—either discovered or rediscovered the existence of midi-chlorians, microscopic life-forms that reside within all living cells and communicate with the Force to reveal its will. Midi-chlorians can be detected by a simple blood test, and a high midi-chlorian count indicates great potential as a Jedi. The Great Holocron confirms that the Jedi relied upon this blood-analysis method up until the Jedi Purge.

While some beings considered it an honor to have their child become a member of the Jedi Order, others likened the Jedi to baby snatchers. However, records indicate that most parents—after being educated about the myriad risks and responsibilities of raising Force-sensitive children—were genuinely relieved to relinquish their offspring to the resourceful Jedi.

(Source: Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, page 57)

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Addressed in The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force.

Most of you came to the Temple as infants. Locating Force-strong newborns is a straightforward process, at least within the Republic's borders. Mandatory blood tests performed at birth record the concentration of midi-chlorians in an infant's cells, and positive results are forwarded to the Jedi Temple for follow-up.

Because midi-chlorian analysis is not always definitive - particularly among older children or beings with unusual physiologies - special tools or puzzles may be employed instead. These include the testing screen, a tool that records a subject's ability to read minds or view images remotely, and the mental maze, a test that demonstrates whether a subject can use rudimentary telekinesis.

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