"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's" Lyra Erso was almost one with the Force. Speaking to Yahoo! Movies, scriptwriter Chris Weitz revealed that Jyn's mother was a Jedi in early drafts of the film.
“For a long time in the story, there were Jedi around, even if only in the background,” he said. “Jyn’s mother was a Jedi.”
As to why that was ultimately cut, he added, “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.”
“There’s despair because the Jedi are gone – and with them, for many, even the memory of the Force,” he concluded. “That meant our story could be about normal people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.”
Though she does appear in "Rogue One," Lyra has a brief -- if significant --role. In the flashback scene that opens the film, she gives her daughter a necklace with a kyber crystal -- the same crystal used to create lightsabers in the "Star Wars" universe. She then tells Jyn to find their hiding place and advises her to trust the Force, before she attempts to free Galen and dies for her efforts. As such, it's clear Lyra has great respect for the Force and its teachings.
Lyra played a larger role in "Star Wars: Catalyst," the in-canon novel that leads into the events of "Rogue One." The novel develops the Erso family's relationship with Orson Krennic and the Empire and follows their adventures up to the point where they go into hiding, which is where "Rogue One" picks up.
As Weitz explains in his interview, "Rogue One" primarily focuses on the ordinary heroes of the "Star Wars" universe. That is to say, "Rogue One's" heroes must rely on their strength and wit in order to accomplish their goals, though the blind Jedha monk Chirrut Îmwe does appear to tap into the Force in order to compensate for his lack of sight. He is an exception, though, because characters like Jyn, Cassian Andor and Bodhi Rook accomplish extraordinary feats through ordinary, non-Force means.
Directed by Gareth Edwards from a script by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker and is now in theaters.