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Mace Windu vs Darth Plagueis - Page 3 Empty Re: Mace Windu vs Darth Plagueis

on October 3rd 2019, 3:53 pm
Message reputation : 100% (2 votes)
@ILS Great post; I've never thought to use the quote about people having a predetermined location and time of death in a combative context. I've always used it as proof midi-chlorians are sentient in a sense, which fits as they are the interlocutors of the will of the Force, and through that way their awareness is beyond time and space: they grant the user the ability to sense things from the past, in the present, and from the future after all. Plagueis is overriding their wills and supplanting them with his own is therefore a pretty crazy feat - he's mindfucking entities with a cosmic perception of the universe and beating them into submission. But you've taken it a step further by connecting that with the Veruna instance - it's more evidence he can essentially command the midi-chlorians to do practically whatever the Force can tell them to do; his will is analogous with that of the Force and actually more potent because he managed to overpower it in the first place.

Nonetheless, I have some corrections to make and disagreements to voice.

We know that 1. Healing is harder than killing and 2. Using Midichlorian manipulation on yourself is harder than using it on someone else. Which means that Plagueis healing himself with midichlorian manipulation while Sidious was blasting him with lightning, "stopping short of defending himself", he was doing the hardest possible variation of the technique.

Basically, healing yourself > healing others > killing others.

We also know that he can either do this passively, or he can put active effort into accelerating the process.

Yup. And given Plagueis' self-healing was outpacing Sidious' destructive output, we know that Plagueis can kill midi-chlorians faster than Sidious "drawing on the dark side more deeply than he ever had" can roast unprotected flesh. In other words, Plagueis' midi-chlorian manipulation is an instantaneous one-shot if the opponent isn't shielding themselves with a barrier.

-The more you have, the stronger your connection to the Force (typically). At a certain number of midichlorians, you become Force sensitive (IIRC it's 5000). At a certain point, you also die (IIRC it's about 1250 or thereabouts). And I think the average midichlorian count for a human is 2500? Feel free to correct me as the numbers themselves aren't that important. We know that midichlorian testing machines only went up 20,000, and Anakin blew way past any form of conventional measurement, he was basically off the scales (which, him having the potential to succeed The Father, makes a great deal of sense in hindsight). We know that Tenebrous was amazed at the prospect that someone could create a being who would have 12,000 or more midichlorians. All of that is to say that, Yoda and Sidious' midichlorian counts likely fall somewhere between 12-20k. I'm thinking it's much more conservative to say they are closer to 10k than 20k. So, if sheer quantity of midichlorians was the only factor, we could say that we use Plagueis' killing of Veruna to estimate how long he would need to kill someone with 10k+ midichlorians. Veruna would have about 2500 midichlorians roughly, and if we adjust for the fact Plagueis let him die passively and slowly rather than accelerating the process, then he could reduce even someone with 12k+ midichlorians to being very weak, to barely Force sensitive, to non-Force sensitive, to physically decrepit, to dead in a very short amount of time. At least, he could reduce their power at such a rate that they would basically be incapable of competing with him because they would be so weakened, to say nothing of the shock they might experienced at the rapid decline in their abilities.

The number Tenebrous cited was actually 15 000. Furthermore, he clarifies that that number far exceeds his own count, and that a being with more than 15 thousand midi-chlorians per cell would have the highest Force potential on record:

The key, he'd discovered, lay in an obscure legend obliquely referenced in the Journal of the Whills, about a hero fairly typical in most cultures - the sort of promised future savior who appears in the foundational myths of nearly every developed society. What distinguished this particular savior from his run-of-the-mill equivalents was that he, according to four of eleven possible translations, was to be "born of pure Force." After three standard years devoted specifically to exploring all possible permutations of the interpretation, Tenebrous determined that such a birth was indeed possible, at least metaphorically - "born of pure Force" could be read as indicating the creation of a living being through direct manipulation of midi-chlorian processes in an already living being.

And further, as Tenebrous discovered with rising excitement, such a being’s Force potential might be limited not by its creator's own midi-chlorian count, but instead only by its creator's level of discipline and attention to detail. Indeed, his calculations indicated a range potentially far beyond his own. With proper execution, the "savior" might have a midi-chlorian count as high as fifteen thousand!

Perhaps even more.

It might be possible to create a being with the greatest Force potential ever recorded!

Star Wars Insider #130: The Tenebrous Way

I don't know if he's aware of Yoda's midi-chlorian count, but he wouldn't be making such a definitive declaration if he didn't know what he was talking about. Tenebrous is a scientist who clinically and dispassionately analyzes situations, probabilities, and all other kinds of phenomena - note how he explored "all possible permutations" of a single phrase in the Journal of the Whills over the course of three years (perhaps unrelated, but it's stated there he has indeed read the Journal of the Whills, the implications of which I'm unsure as of yet) - so it's more likely than not that he would be quite familiar with midi-chlorian count records opine something about the matter with such certainty. If you recall, the Banite Sith can sense a person's midi-chlorian count just by looking at them without the need for sensory equipment like the Jedi use, and Sidious and Maul used to visit the outskirts of the Jedi Temple disguised as tourists, so it's possible Tenebrous may have gotten a read on the counts of the most prominent Jedi. Speculation, of course, but definitely possible.

I personally think Yoda and Sidious' midi-chlorian count caps out at roughly the fifteen thousand mark based on Tenebrous' comments, but I doubt it's much lower considering that they are the most powerful members of their respective factions in all of galactic history, and a being above 15k would have the highest Force potential ever, so someone must be at that number or approaching it, and I think Yoda and Sidious are the most likely candidates.

-Finally, we know that midichlorians vary in their individual strength and tenacity, and that more Force sensitive individuals, and also individuals with more willpower and mastery, have a better grasp and control over their own body than weaker individuals. And to add to this, we know there is a genetic component to midichlorians in terms of what powers manifest in an individual and with what intensity, but this is also modified by what powers they choose to focus on training, and what powers they neglect training. Point being: Yoda isn't just extremely powerful because of the amount of midichlorians he has. He's extremely powerful because he has an extreme amount of control and mastery over his available power. He may not have the same maniacal pursuit of power and reaching his full potential that a Sith does, but the point remains, Yoda's midichlorians, even on a pound to pound qualitative basis, are likely far more tenacious and resistant to influence than those of your average non-Force sensitive. And Yoda himself, being one of the most powerful and masterful Jedi to have ever existed, will surely have more awareness and control over his own midichlorians and power, and thus ability to resist influence, than a non-Force user.

So, what I think makes the most sense is this: Plagueis would be able to use midichlorian manipulation to some level of success against someone like Yoda. But rather than it being like Force Drain affect where Yoda is fighting a battle of attrition, trying to quickly kill Plagueis as his midichlorians wink out one by one, I think it would be more like a telepathic battle of wills. As in, Plagueis would try to exert influence over Yoda's midichlorians, and Yoda would feel that pressure, as if someone was reaching into his body with an invisible hand and trying to upend his physical being on a fundamental level (which doesn't sound pleasant to me, it sounds horribly unnatural), but Yoda, being more intimately familiar with his own body and power than anyone, would mount an extremely strong defence to that influence. And with Plagueis having to exert active effort and attention to this battle of wills over Yoda's midichlorians, that opens up the possibility for Yoda to fight back and close the distance.

I'm not sold on the connection between an individual's mastery and control of their own power and the control over their midi-chlorians in being who haven't delved into manipulating midi-chlorians directly by hand. Midi-chlorians, by default, execute the will of the Force, not the will of the person whose cells they reside in; it's a far, far different thing to take control and harness the power pouring out of midi-chlorians than to seize command of the midi-chlorians themselves. I therefore don't understand why midi-chlorians would be inherently more tenacious and willful in beings with more mastery of their power.

Yoda is a being who follows the will of the Force to a T. He would never even think of exercising some sort of personal control over his own midi-chlorians and supplant the will of the Force with his own like Plagueis has. If the Muun ever gets a grip of Yoda's midi-chlorians, he would have to overcome only the will of the Force, which he already done on numerous occasions, not Yoda's own will. In other words, Yoda would be dead in a blink. However, I don't think Plagueis can necessarily get a hold of Yoda's midi-chlorians in a fight as the latter would still be coated with a conventional Force defense. Midi-chlorians are still physical organelles after all, so influencing them can be guarded against the same way the rest of the body is protected from the Force attacks of the opponent. It is for this reason why I don't think Plagueis is too broken for versus matchups - well, he still is broken in a sense, considering that if the opponent slips up for in their concentration, it will result in instant death rather than merely pushed against a wall, but so long as one does maintain their composure and Force defense perfectly, Force-users like Yoda, Luke, Krayt, etc. can defeat Plagueis as they are more powerful and in the same league in terms of mastery.

There are also beings who can resist midi-chlorian manipulation directly, such as Valkorion and Sidious. Valkorion because he showed an extremely high level of proficiency in midi-chlorian manipulation himself when he enabled the Outlander to house his spirit - in his own words, he forged the Outlander "into a vessel of supreme power" whereas previously when Valkorion's spirit channeled his power through the Outlander, the latter was hospitalized. This interpretation is solidified if the Outlander is non-Force-sensitive, because Valkorion literally makes them Force-sensitive with a wave of his hand regardless. And Sidious because he is confirmed by quotes to have learned all of Plagueis' knowledge, including midi-chlorian manipulation, and he kept Darth Vader alive with an ability labelled "Power Over Death" in Sith Wars during the trip from Mustafar to the Emperor Palpatine Surgical Reconstruction Center (yes that is its official name), and healing others is noted to be more difficult than healing oneself per Plagueis himself. The telepathic war of wills idea you describe applies in the cases of Plagueis vs. Valkorion and Plagueis vs. Sidious since they have all taken control of their own midi-chlorians and superseded the will of the Force with their own, but not with the likes of Yoda or Luke who follow the will of the Force. I'd say especially Sidious at the time of the Original Trilogy would be successful in thwarting Plagueis' attempts to meddle with his midi-chlorians as he was able to resist the pull of the void in the vacuum of space without an anchor for over a year. It can be interpreted from the text in Darth Plagueis that the Muun did also manage to linger on as a spirit without a tether for a short while after his bodily demise, but that was for minutes at best before he deliquesced into the void. Minutes versus years is a colossal disparity that denotes willpower orders of magnitude greater than Plagueis' on Sidious' part, and by the time of Dark Empire, he could survive disembodiment "with little difficulty" when he put in the same situation as in Return of the Jedi. Now just imagine him focusing all that indescribable willpower and rage in combat and you'd get something like a Force storm capable of shredding the Eclipse and threatening all of space… Anyway, I'm digressing.

All that said... while the potential applications of midichlorian manipulation basically amount to reality warping (control of life and death, engineering the ability to learn and create any new Force power imaginable through sheer will, stripping others of their powers, altering the qualitative properties of existing midichlorians, separating midichlorians from the Force itself essentially making them blind/ostracised from the Force's circle of influence, and so on), it doesn't seem to me, at the moment, like Plagueis reached that level of power yet. For all we know, he could have used his powers to give himself celestial-status and live an as immortal deity ruling over the galaxy, or if not that, at least he could engineer the birth of such a being and attempt to transfer his own essence into theirs at the moment of their birth. But it's clear that he was, in a relatively short amount of time, surpassed by his apprentice following his death - Sidious was the most powerful Sith ever, and that declaration does factor in Plagueis' own use of the Force, and Yoda did nigh-stalemate Sidious in RotS in a contest that saw the use of their full range of powers.

I think it's unfair to use Sidious to curtail Plagueis in that way. Sidious being the most powerful Sith ever doesn't mean he has to be the most masterful or better than everyone at everything. You yourself made the point that Force-users can have specific talents and savant skills, and Tenebrous engineered Plagueis to be preternaturally proficient at manipulating midi-chlorians. Sidious himself mused in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, that he never achieved Plagueis' level with the art. I'd also like to draw your attention to this quote which, I feel, encapsulates what I mean:

She turned her focus back to their surroundings. It still rankled her that she hadn’t noticed the Cthons before they had attacked, and she had vowed to herself not to let something like that happen again. Seeking out life-forms around her with the Force was a task with varying degrees of difficulty. Intelligent, Force-sensitive beings were usually easy to spot, of course, while lower-level forms—insects and animals, for example—did not broadcast nearly as much of a blip on her mental radar. It was true that her mastery of the Force was nowhere near perfect, but that was no excuse for not doing the best she could. Her Twi’lek Master had once explained to her that sensitivity and fine-tuning came with time. “As a Padawan,” he had said, “I could push boulders around with ease, but seeds were next to impossible.”

Star Wars: Darth Maul - Shadow Hunter

It's a fact that Sidious has more raw, pure Force strength at his disposal than Plagueis and the discipline to channel it to devastating effect, so in a telekinetic or elemental tug-of-war, he'd win every time. But that doesn't mean he can influence infinitesimal, microscopic organelles as capably as his Master. In addition to Anoon Bondara's case, I'd cite Darth Bane having the power to topple a temple but straining with creating a holocron, and I'm sure plenty of other examples can be found.

With that in mind, I'm curious from where you derive these limitations for Plagueis, if from anywhere besides a faulty comparison with Sheev? I don't recall the book making any mention of what Plagueis cannot do except at the points where he was still developing his powers. He did "master the equally powerful energies of order and disorder, creation and entropy, life and death." He did make the fundamental building blocks of the Living Force completely subservient to him. He did alter the intramural structure of midi-chlorians to strip a Yinchorri of their immunity to Force suggestion back when his understanding and mastery were like those of a child in comparison to his prime decades later. He did all that and then some. I would say the level of "reality-warping" you describe is perfectly within his grasp.
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Mace Windu vs Darth Plagueis - Page 3 Empty Re: Mace Windu vs Darth Plagueis

on October 3rd 2019, 4:45 pm
Plagueis takes force, Windu for sabers and all out.
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