Before the second trilogy (actually the first three films) came, the force was something spiritual that some people had more than others. As Obi-wan described: “an energy field created by all living things, that surrounds and penetrates living beings and binds the galaxy together”, the force was magical and intended to be interpreted as some form of God’s will.
Then the first film came with the midi-chlorians non-sense, trying to please religious as well as sceptical people, but failed to explain why midi-chlorians would please the gods more than normal cells would. After all, aren’t we all “sons of God”? Apparently, only the midi-chlorians were…
Anyway, getting rid of all that God stuff, I came up to a perfectly rational explanation of how the midi-chlorians work (not that I like them more than the energy field).
It’s actually quite simple. As Qui-Gon Jinn explains to Anakin when he was just a boy (before the pod race), the force helps you predict when things are going to happen, so you can avoid them before they actually happen.
Throughout the film, Jedi are always happily (and effortlessly) avoiding all moving boulders, laser shots, attacks from behind, and things like that. They can easily avoid danger but rarely love. Anakin couldn’t avoid fallnig in love with Padmé, not even the force, for he was the chosen one, could help him with that matter.
So, as it’s shown over and over on all six films, the force helps you avoid bad things, not good things. This brings me back to the famous axiom that we all know to be true, but was beautifully postulated by Douglas Adams:
Axiom #1: “Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own rules”.
Now, if you’re following my thinking you’ve guessed already. Midi-chlorians are nothing more than “bad news detectors“. If you haven’t been in sync with recent physics you might be puzzled, but the fact is that faster-than-light travel actually goes back in time!
Now, if midi-chlorians are bad news detectors, it’s perfectly clear that they will detect them in the past! So, you (in the past) will detect (bad) things that are about to happen, like: “Your head was just smashed by that boulder” or “Darth Vader has just cut your head off with his light sabre.”
Being trained in the Jedi art is to be able to understand this information faster than they do actually happen, otherwise you’re a dead Jedi.
Disturbances in the force
Now, you can often see Jedi masters saying “I sense a disturbing in the force” when some serious shit happened elsewhere in the galaxy but not a single master (not even Yoda) sensed that Obi-wan was in danger when he went after Jango Fett. He had to send a crappy message through Anakin to the high council in Coruscan to be heard.
This reinforces the idea that the midi-chlorians are detectors, and that the detection quality (or precision) depends on the distance of the event and the strength of the original signal.
What about the rest?
It still doesn’t explain how a Jedi can move boulders in the first place. Nor how can the light in the light sabre be confined to a limited range and interact with light from other sources.
Indeed, it’s all connected. We cannot throw away a very good theory like that just because it doesn’t address all the points of reality. Therefore, we force reality to fit our model, as usual.
So, the light sabre is not made of light, but some condensed bad news, confined by a midi-chlorian rich crystal. As we all know, bad news comes in bunch. A bunch of bad news is worse than just bad news, so when two sabres hit each other, sparks comes out of them.
Also, some bad news won’t cope with other bad news. Like, bad news for a Jedi is a Jedi dead, which in turn, is a good news for a Sith. So, when the sabre of a Jedi clash with the sabre of a Sith, the universe conspire to not allow them to co-exist in the same space, otherwise the whole universe will cease to exist in a picosecond. Pretty much the same way the black holes protect our universe from singularities.
In a similar way, Jedi (and Sith) can lift thing just by thinking of doing some really bad things to the universe just above the boulder. That thinking will make the universe emit help signals to every Jedi or Sith around. Emissions must carry energy, otherwise they wouldn’t be detected by anyone. Loosing energy makes the space around the boulder have a negative pressure (of energy or mass) and therefore move the object towards it.
Because bad news travel in the past, you don’t have to actually do anything to the universe at all, as thinking to do something in the future will act in the past (your present) and lift the boulder right now. If you keep doing that in straight lines you can actually make it move in any direction you want.
As confirmation of this statement, watch the films again and see the faces of Jedi masters moving boulders (except for Darth Vader, of course, we can’t see his face). Yoda lifting Luke’s ship or protecting Obi-wan and Anakin from the pole Count Dooku threw at them cowardly to escape in his cool ship.
They all do pretty bad faces. They’re obviously thinking some serious shit on the universe around things. I can almost hear Yoda thinking about the air above Luke’s ship: “I’m going to transform all your atoms into plasma soup and rip your space-time continuum and mix it with a Tom Jones’ album”. That would freak me out for sure!