Star Wars: Rogue One isn’t your typical Star Wars story. There isn’t an opening crawl, there are heroes that don’t want to be heroes and there are, shock, horror, no Jedi. Things could have been very different though – Jedi were included in various early drafts of Rogue One, including a Jedi linked to Jyn Erso.
Taken from the Art of Rogue One book (see some concept art from the book here), and reported by ComicBook.com, Jedi were around for “a long time in the story… Jyn’s mother was a Jedi,” according to screenwriter Chris Weitz. I’m gonna assume they threw around the idea of Qui-Gon Jyn too...
Rogue One underwent a lot of chops and changes but none as potentially planet-shattering as Jyn’s mother being a Jedi.
It does go some way to explain why Jyn’s mother gave Jyn a Kyber crystal but the lack of Jedi, thankfully, made Rogue One a more grounded story, as Weitz explains: “[W]e 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.”
A rebellion built on hope wouldn't have been much use if you had a few ass-kicking Jedi next door. But I digress.
If you’ve seen the movie then you’ll know that Weitz isn’t technically telling the truth about Rogue One having no Force powers but, as Weitz mentions, the story is definitely “about normal people.”
And Rogue One is all the better for it… right?