With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we’re getting what looks to be a revitalizing installment in the franchise, something to help make the bad memories of the prequel trilogy disappear. It’s an intimidating challenge, but everything we’ve seen in the trailers and heard in early reports leads us to believe that director J.J. Abrams has largely accomplished that impossible task. We don’t know exactly how much of the prequels Abrams ignored while making The Force Awakens, but we do know one particular bit of canon that he purposely left out.

In an interview with MTV, Abrams was asked a bunch of questions about The Force Awakens — most of these questions aren’t super serious, since Abrams can’t get into details, but there is one bit that might be of interest to fans. When asked if the new film incorporates midi-chlorians, Abrams simply replied “No.”

As you will likely recall with a huge eye roll, midi-chlorians were introduced in the prequels as a way to explain what The Force is and how it works. In the original trilogy, The Force was an inexplicable, spiritual thing. Few people have it, and those that do can mysteriously tap into an energy in the universe and harness power — for good or bad. But George Lucas didn’t think that explanation was good enough, so the prequels made a big fuss about midi-chlorians, turning The Force into something biological, thus making it less special.

It’s been fairly apparent that Abrams and the new Star Wars creative team are distancing the new trilogy from the prequels, and it’s a safe bet that we won’t see any references to those films in The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18 — without midi-chlorians.

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