Well, here there be an invitation to pain. I’ll be stunned—yes, stunned—if anyone/everyone who comments stays on topic. Let the games begin!
At the outset I have to give credit to The Clone for this question, as he ponders some interesting angles having to do with everyone’s favorite Space Saga. I was fairly dismissive of the question, citing numerous factors—all of which I’m remaining silent about due to the fact that I don’t want to bias potential comments/answers to this question.
Does Anakin’s High Midichlorian Count Constitute a Performance–Enhancing Drug?
The Clone maintains that it does, in fact, constitute a PED on the basis that it enhances his natural abilities above those of a normal being (regardless of race/species). To quote Qui–Gon:
He can see things before they happen. That’s why he appears to have such quick reflexes. It’s a Jedi trait.
Now, this is undeniably an advantage to a being regardless of age. While Anakin may not knowingly manipulate the Force at this tender, untrained stage in his life, he nevertheless has an innate ability to react to events quicker since he can see things coming before they actually happen. He may consider it instinct, but it’s really a Force–based ability.
So Is It An Unfair Advantage?
The main counterpoint to which I doggedly return in conversations with The Clone is that it’s not so much an unfair advantage as something by which the playing field is leveled. As Anakin notes, he’s the only human that can do it. Is that true or just vain braggadocio? I suppose that’s left up to interpretation; Qui–Gon may be gently trying to play a hunch about Anakin at that point as he plies him with the follow–up line that he “must have Jedi reflexes.”
However, isn’t that really what a PED is? Something by which you ‘close the distance’ between yourself and your opponents, and possibly overtake their own natural abilities, in an effort to win. Most importantly, you’re supplementing your own innate abilities as a human being.
To wit, on a level playing field of age and fitness, I might be unable to outrun Usain Bolt naturally due to my own physical limitations. However, if I supplement my training to ‘close the distance’ in our abilities with a PED, I can. Or I can recoup from injuries quicker, build more muscle mass to help the Steelers win Super Bowls in the 1970s or whatever.
I can’t escape the fact that the kid wasn’t injecting himself with midichlorians. And, midichlorians are a part of all life; they just manifest in greater numbers and with deeper Force connections within other beings. And besides, who’s to say another racer didn’t have a latent Force ability? They just may not have had a connection as strong as Anakin’s.
In other words, Anakin did nothing to change his midichlorian count, nor to knowingly enhance it. Therefore, he’s not “enhancing” himself, therefore it’s not a PED but rather a natural characteristic.
I say that I’ve got a logical counter–argument, of a rather iron quality.
What say you?