Rogue One has done a lot to differentiate itself from the episodic Star Wars films, including nixing that famous opening crawl. The film centers around Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), and actually guides fans through several different stages of the female protagonist’s life. Based on where events begin Star Wars: A New Hope, and the three prequel films, it’s safe to assume Kennedy’s comments are so that fans taper their expectations. With only one film to cover such an emotional story, fans can pick up Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel which will include more of Jyn and Galen Erso (her father and Director Krennic) and their backstory in relation to film events.
Trailers have always painted these early rebels as the underdogs taking on what appears to be the insurmountable forces of the Empire. Though Diego Luna tries to lighten Kennedy’s admission on the fate of the characters, claiming, “that’s a conversation they haven’t had [yet],” it remains pretty obvious that the Star Wars anthology films will not be franchises. Kennedy adds with a laugh, “It’s devastating to everybody.” And when asked one final time if any characters will return, she simply replies, “doubtful.”
Source: Rogue One Press Conference