Rogue One’s original script had Jedi in it. But the filmmakers decided the movie could still be powerful in the Force without anyone actually using it.
Screenwriter Chris Weitz discussed the Jedi’s presence in Rogue One‘s original script.
"“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.”"
I think it would have been fascinating to see Lyra as a Jedi. But I like the concept of a story without Jedi, about normal people forced to fight evil on their own, far better.
A story about normal people is exactly what Weitz and the Rogue One filmmakers were going for.
"“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.”"
But despite the fact the Jedi are gone, the Force is still strong in Rogue One. It is especially pervasive in characters like Lyra Erso and Chirrut Imwe. These people believe in the Force and its hand in the fate of the universe.
"“The fact that there’s no Jedi is what makes Rogue One so unique. There’s beauty in empowering people and in not relying on magic or superpowers… And yet, there’s the underlying mythology of the Force that’s still pervasive throughout our story. We needed to find those things that could root Rogue One in the middle, because spirituality is such a huge part of Star Wars.”"
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In fact, I would argue the Force is what makes Star Wars unique as a franchise. Spirituality is an integral element to the saga. Without the Force, Star Wars would be far more shallow; a simply fun adventure without any of the meaningfulness we’ve come to associate with it. The proof is in the fact that Rogue One, a film devoid of Jedi, still needed the Force to achieve its full poignancy potential.