Nerf Herders Were Almost In ‘Rogue One’ And Other ‘Star Wars’ Info Gary Whitta Just Revealed

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is heavy on our minds. Whether we loved it, hated it, or fell somewhere in between, everyone seems curious to learn more. Writer Gary Whitta took to Twitter today to answer a few burning fan questions on the film, its characters, and what could have been.

Need more Rogue One? We’ve also broken down a bunch of the references and homages in Rogue One, talked about all the stuff in the trailers that didn’t make it into the film, wondered what Felicity Jones’ contract means, and discussed the potential of Gareth Edwards’ original ending.

But hey, we’re Star Wars fans, we eat this kind of stuff up. Let’s have more.

Unlike Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling who gives us new bits of info here and there, Whitta (one of a few writers on the film) spent quite a while responding to fans as part of a “Star Wars Canon Chat” in conjunction with Audible (promoting the prequel novel Catalyst by James Luceno). There were a lot of questions but let’s start with a fun one. A fan asked if droid K-2SO was a believer in the Rebels cause beyond his reprogramming considering the didn’t noticed a restraining bolt (a device used to force obedience).

K-2SO’s “freedom of expression” was my favorite part of the film. Ok, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to hit you with a depressing one now. Someone asked Whitta if he thought Jyn, may the Force be with her, would have gotten along with the original trio of Luke, Leia, and Han. “This question makes me impossibly sad,” he replied. Um, yeah!

“Both Jyn’s parents are pacifists but Lyra isn’t afraid to pull a blaster to protect what she loves,” he replied to what aspects of Galen and Lyra, her parents, are visible in her. He later added “[Galen] was always a pacifist. His act of defiance in sabotaging DS-1 makes him a Rebel for sure. He risked his life to do it.” In fact Whitta had a lot to say about Galen: “In the writing it was always intended as an act of defiance and also a way to unmake what he was forced to help make. I personally love the poetry that in a way it falls to the daughter to absolve the sins of the father. That feels like Star Wars to me.”

The writer was also asked if he thought Jyn might have “followed in her father’s line of work had circumstances been different?” The answer is, again, quite bleak.

Another fan asked whether Galen held out any hope his scientific work might be used “for free energy on developing planets, as he was initially promised?” Whitta feels he was naive to even consider it.

“That’s the real tragedy, all of Galen’s genius and good intentions corrupted in the purpose of something truly horrific,” he added, “Also horrific: the idea of kyber crystals, once a power source for peace and justice, now being used to kill planets.” This is the first Star Wars film to actually address kyber crystals, so I’ve been wondering how fans were reacting to this knowledge.

Whitta didn’t always give the most direct answers, but they were interesting. Like when one fan asked why Saw left Jyn. He said, “What I love about Jyn is that she’s a child of two fathers, one a pacifist, one a warrior. She carries a little of both within her. The Jyn/Saw years fascinate me. I always saw her as a kind of ‘Beasts of No Nation’ child soldier under Gerrera’s command. Tough upbringing.” But did he abandon her for her own good or his?

And were there any characters he wished he could expand on given the chance? He replied with Chirrut and Baze (I concur!). What about comics or novels to tell their story, or perhaps Cassian’s past? He said, “I would swim through a lake of Mustafan lava to help tell those stories.” Ok, so he really wants to do that.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Leia’s famous line: “Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder!” In case you weren’t aware, Nerfs are a creature in Star Wars canon and apparently they were almost in Rogue One. We learned this when the writer was asked if there were “any other character you would have liked to see cameo” in the film.

Apparently they would have been on Eadu.