This Rogue One Character Was Supposed To Be A Jedi

Many Star Wars fans were buzzing after the news that last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story almost had a very different ending, but now it turns out that the film could have started very differently as well.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards and screenwriters Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta revealed that, back in Rogue One‘s early pre-production stages, Jyn Erso’s (Felicity Jones) mother was written as a Jedi who was killed by a member of the Empire in the movie’s prologue. In Edwards’ words “we were witnessing one of those kills and [Orson] Krennic would be the person sent to do it.” Though Weitz hinted at the former Erso-Force connection back in December, we weren’t given many details about it until now.

Rogue One is notable for being the only Star Wars film to not feature any Jedi or otherwise Force-wielding protagonists, (unless Darth Vader can suddenly be classified as a protagonist) so appointing Lyra Erso (Valene Kane) to be the film’s sole Jedi representative certainly would have been a drastic change.

But Edwards’ reason behind eliminating the Jedi backstory makes a lot of sense—he told Entertainment Weekly that by making Lyra Erso a Jedi, he would have led viewers to mistakenly believe that Jyn, too could be a Force-user. “Eventually, we came up with the idea that her father should have designed the Death Star, ” Edwards explained. “That became a stronger way into the stealing of the Death Star plans. We let go of the mother being a Jedi, and she became just a rebellious mom.”

Edwards and the Rogue One writers also ultimately decided that Rogue One would be a more interesting film “without Force powers, without lightsabers,” and that choosing to depict the Force as an ever-present energy as opposed to something that drives the plot would allow himself and the writers to “explore a period of broken faith, a galaxy without hope.” They also would have had to explain how Lyra got away with giving birth to Jyn (since she would have been breaking the Jedi code by doing so), but as Whitta cheekily points out, ““You could ask the same question about Anakin.” Touché

Because of the change, Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) is the Rogue One character who filled the Jedi “void,” as he feels and is a dedicated believer in the Force—that is, unless, you don’t count confirmed Force-user Princess Leia, who makes a brief appearance at the end of the film.

And speaking of Princess Leia, video editor Barre Fong recently put together a clip that perfectly combines the ending of Rogue One (which features Norwegian actor Ingvild Deila as Leia in place of Carrie Fisher) with the beginning of the very first Star Wars film, A New Hope. You can check out the video below: