If you still haven't seen Rogue One heading into its second weekend, what are you waiting for? You're missing out on these great stories that are full of SPOILERS! Hurry, go see it, then come back so we can continue telling you all about how this new standalone adventure in the Star Wars saga almost had Jedi! It's important stuff.
Yes, you read that right. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is the first live-action spin-off since the Ewok movies in the 80s, was almost going to feature the Jedi Knights. In the finished film, we do hear mention of an old Jedi that has gone into hiding. And we see a Jedi statue on the holy planet of Jedha. But no Jedi show up in the flesh, save for Darth Vader, who used to be a Jedi when he went by his birth name of Anakin Skywalker. We do get to see the Dark Lord of the Sith use his bleeding red lightsaber as he kills off a bunch of Rebel soldiers. But he's no Jedi.
Having no flesh and blood Jedi in the movie is one of the new ways this adventure has differentiate itself away from the 9-Part Skywalker saga, which will continue next December in Star Wars: Episode VIII. The religion does still play a key part in the movie, and there is a lot of talk about hope and the first-ever spotting of a Kyber crystal in a live-action adventure. These give the Jedi power to fuel their lightsabers, while also serving as fuel for the dreaded Death Star. But the Jedi ban on the movie came into play a little later in the game. The original script actual had Jedi. In fact, it had one very important Jedi.
The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a book released last week in conjunction with the movie's premiere, gives this little tidbit away. Thanks to ComicBook.com, we now know that Screenwriter Chris Weitz revealed the movie's original screenplay did feature Jedi. And in fact, Jyn's own mom, Lyra Eso, wife of Galen, was a Jedi Knight. Weitz exposes this fact in the book.
"For a long time in the story, there were Jedi around, even if only in the background. Jyn's mother was a Jedi. But 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 certainly did bring an everyman approach to the story behind Rogue One, and it did away with the Chosen One trope, something many fans have been praising while other fans have frowned at the conceit. This makes for a more realistic war movie, which the filmmakers had intended from the get-go.
We know that there are some Jedi still alive during the Rogue One timeline. Both Obi-Wan and Yoda are living out their Lite Beer years in seclusion. Ezra Bridger and Kanan of Star Wars Rebels are also present, and played a role in the Battle of Scarif at the end of the movie, if a few well placed cameos are to be believed. As of now, it isn't known if future spin-offs will follow this no Jedi rule.
The next movie in the pipeline that doesn't directly tie into the Skywalker saga is Han Solo, which will follow the space pirate and his first mate Chewbacca as they team up with Lando Calrissian on an intergalactic adventure. That movie takes place 10 years before the events depicted in Rogue One but it's possible that Han and Chewy could have a run in with a Jedi or two. We'll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.