Early 'Rogue One' Scripts Suggest Chirrut Imwe Was Supposed to Be Jedi Master Rahm Kota
Throw a rock into the Star Wars extended universe and you'll hit a character with a backstory interesting enough to build a feature around it. We all love and want more of the Skywalkers and the Solos (and the Fett clan), but Rogue One proved that there are so many other stories to tell. According to filmmaker Marcos Cabota, however, an early draft of the Rogue One script hinted at the inclusion of a blind Jedi Master known primarily from Star Wars video games—Rahm Kota.
During an interview with a Star Wars-themed podcast called La Fosa del Rancor (The Rancor Pit), Cabota, who produced the David Prowse documentary "I Am Your Father," said that Jedi and Clone Wars general Rahm Kota was mentioned by name in a version of the script. "In fact, they were talking about a Jedi, who then did not appear in the movie but did appear somehow," Cabota said (roughly translated). "Rahm Kota was on Rogue One, I can tell you, he was a blind Jedi. And what do we find in Rogue One? A user of the Blind Force."
If you've seen the film, you know that the "user of the Blind Force" that he is referring to is Donnie Yen's character, Chirrut Imwe, who is not a Jedi but is from an order of "spiritual warrior monks" called the Guardians of the Whills. Cabota suggests that Rahm Kota, who was introduced in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, later became Imwe as the script evolved. Fans smarter than I have pointed out that Kota may have just been a clever misdirection or a placeholder, used to keep Imwe's identity under wraps until the right time.
Rahm Kota's story is more or less told through video games, comics, and novels, but it would have been interesting to see the Jedi make an appearance in Rogue One. Luckily, there will be plenty of other opportunities for Lucasfilm to throw some extended universe curveballs with the roughly 300 other Star Wars movies we're getting in the next decade.