Are droids alive? In the Star Wars galaxy, this isn’t purely a philosophical question. It’s connected to biological questions about midi-chlorians, said to exist in the cells of all living things and grant Force-users their power. Yoda told us that the “crude matter” of physical bodies has nothing to do with Force energy.
So are droids also “luminous beings?” Does the “crude matter” of a mechanical body have any bearing on accessing the Force? A compelling fan theory on Reddit suggests R2-D2 is Force-sensitive, and there’s good reason to believe this is legit.
Except for rare instances like Solo, the canon of Star Wars rarely has anything profound to say about artificial intelligence. In Joseph Campbell’s Power of Myth, Campbell basically asserts his belief that the message of Star Wars – at least in the original trilogy — was somewhat anti-technological. Luke switches off his targeting computer in order to destroy the Death Star, and Obi-Wan sadly ruminates that Anakin is “more machine now than man,” because of his cybernetic Vader enhancements. Philosophically, Star Wars tends not to favor technology, unless it’s beautiful like a lightsaber.
Still, there’s a huge difference between Luke’s targeting computer and droids like C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8. If we think these characters as living beings (which we clearly do), then there’s no reason they can’t have some kind of interaction with midi-chlorians. Here are three sensible reasons why.