The following article contains SPOILERS for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. If you’ve not seen the blockbuster yet then you probably shouldn’t read ahead.
Rogue One delved us right back into the world of Star Wars in an enthralling manner. However, there was one part of the universe that wasn’t explored, as Rogue One featured a severe lack of Jedi.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did make reference to the Kyber crystals that power the lightsaber, and Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) had his own mantra of “I am the Force, the Force is with me,” but the film didn’t actually have any Jedi, though.
That wasn’t always the case, because screenwriter Chris Weitz has now admitted that Jyn Erso’s mother Lyra Erso (Valene Kane) was originally a Jedi. Chris Weitz made this admission to The Art Of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, via Yahoo Movies U.K, explaining,
“For a long time in the story, there were Jedi around, even if only in the background. Jyn’s mother was a Jedi.”
Chris Weitz then went on to explain why they decided to drop this angle from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, insisting that it allowed the film to be much more grounded and relatable. Weitz continued,
“We thought that it would be more interesting to have a story without Force powers, without lightsabers. We could explore a period of broken faith, a galaxy without hope. There’s despair because the Jedi are gone – and with them, for many, even the memory of the Force. That meant our story could be about normal people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.”
This sentiment was echoed by director Gareth Edwards, who told Entertainment Weekly in the build-up to Rogue One’s release, “This idea that magical beings are going to come and save us is going away, and it’s up to normal, everyday people to take a stand to stop evil from dominating the world.”
During the same interview, Rogue One producer Kathleen Kennedy explained that despite the lack of Jedi in the film, the character of Chirrut still “falls into the category of being a warrior monk. He very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about.”
It has also now been revealed that Chirrut had a “kyber sliver,” but not a full Jedi Kyber, hidden at the end of his staff that increased his powers and gave him more awareness, despite being blind. This revelation was made in Pablo Hidalgo’s book Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, via Comic Book, with the passage explaining that Chirrut listens to it during his fight. The book notes,
“Designed as a symbolic source of inner illumination, it also allows Chirrut to better gauge where the end of the staff is, as he can hear both the battery and crystal harmonic.”
Since the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, further revelations regarding the production and how the script and film itself was altered have been revealed.
Director Gareth Edwards recently admitted to Empire Magazine, via The Verge, that the original script saw everyone survive, with Edwards assuming that Lucasfilm would want it that way. However, when the powers that be over at the studio read the script, they insisted that it could go darker. Edwards explained,
“Everyone read that and there was this feeling of like, ‘They’ve got to die, right?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, can we?’ We thought we weren’t going to be allowed to but Kathy [Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm] and everyone at Disney were like ‘Yeah it makes sense. I guess they have to because they’re not in A New Hope.’ I kept waiting for someone to go, ‘You know what? Could we just film an extra scene where we see Jyn and Cassian, they’re okay and they’re on another planet?’ And it never came. No one ever gave us that note, so we got to do it.”
Gareth Edwards never even shot this ending. You can see what he replaced it with now, because Rogue One is finally in cinemas across the world.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]