I liked the fact that there were no Jedi characters in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This movie had to be about regular people coming together to fight for a cause that they believe in. I love that the film turned out to be a war movie that wasn’t really heavy on the Jedi mythology.
Before we get into who was originally supposed to be a Jedi in the film and why they decided not to use any Jedi in the story, writer Gary Whitta revealed on Twitter that there were originally supposed to be Nerf Herders in the movie!
— Merry Whitta ? (@garywhitta) December 20, 2016
That would have been interesting. I’m sure you all remember Princess Leia calling Han Solo a “scruffy-looking nerf herder.” We’ve never seen an actual nerf herder in the Star Wars universe, but in case you don’t know what a nerf herder is, they are individuals who herd members of the nerf species, which are kind of like buffalo.
As for the Jedi, in The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story book, writer Chris Weitz revealed that an earlier draft of the script would have included a Jedi Knight. He explains:
“For a long time in the story, there were Jedi around, even if only in the background. Jyn’s mother was a Jedi.”
It seemed like we did get some kind of hint of that in the movie when she gave her daughter Jyn a Kyber crystal. But now we know that it wasn’t because she was a Jedi, but she was definitely a believer in them. He goes on to explain why they decided not to include any Jedi in the story:
“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.”
That’s certainly an excellent reason not to have Jedi in the film, and I’m glad that they went that route. I think it helped make the presence of Darth Vader that much more powerful.