Rogue One: A Star Wars Story releases on digital HD this Friday, so the crew have been making the rounds talking about the film, revealing new details like the drastically different ending in the first draft. But that’s not the only part of the movie that underwent a huge rewrite before the final draft. There was going to be a Jedi — lightsaber and all — in the story, as Director Gareth Edwards and writer Gary Whitta have revealed to Entertainment Weekly.
In an earlier version of the story, Jyn Erso’s (Felicity Jones) mother Lyra (Valene Kane) was a Jedi. Edwards told EW, “The prologue, at one point a long time ago, was going to be the Empire coming to kill the Jedi, and Jyn’s mom was going to be a Jedi. […] We were witnessing one of those kills and Krennic would be the person sent to do it.”
This seems to answer some questions we had about why Jyn Erso had an actual damn kyber crystal as a necklace, although a later tie-in book explained that the crystal was in cache of kyber crystals stolen by Krennic and gifted to Galen Erso for his research. It would make sense for a kyber crystal to make it into the final draft as a seemingly important possession (which never figured into the plot after all) if Jyn’s mom was Jedi in an earlier draft.
The reason this changed was obvious. Aren’t Jedi supposed to be unattached and childless (not that it’s stopped some of them anyway)? As Whitta explained, “part of the reason why we got rid of the idea was because people would ask questions like that.” Also, as Edwards elaborated, “Our instinct told us that we wanted a scene where Jyn is orphaned because of what Krennic does, which sets her on her path of being a child of war. The problem was that the second you make her mom a Jedi you spend the entire movie questioning whether Jyn is a Jedi or not.”
Something great came out of the rewrite, though. We lost a Jedi and gained blind warrior monk Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), a character thought of by writer Chris Weitz and added because they still wanted someone who could feel the Force.
The reasons for the change make total sense, but we admit it still would have been cool to have a Jedi mom in there. We know Krennic ultimately killed her in the earlier draft, but we’re hoping it was at least a losing battle for him at first. Can you imagine Director Krennic fleeing in terror, luxurious cape flapping in the breeze, being pursued by an angry mamma bear with formidable Jedi powers? Glorious.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)