Chirrut was awesome. Both for his humor, and his action scenes. So what exactly is this guy? I know from the movie that he was part of some Jedi-affiliated religion which protected the Kyber crystals, but what exactly does that mean? Was he ever using the Force, even a little bit? If so, did his connection start to fail later on? Or was he just an old Daredevil?
He's not outright stated to be Force sensitive, but he sure does things that can lead no other conclusion. Quacks, walks, and swims like a
duck Force Sensitive.
All quotes below are from Alexander Freed's official novelization:
Aside from his fighting abilities (See Terriblefan's awesome answer) he:
Sensed that Jyn wore a Kyber crystal necklace (while it was hiddent beneath her clothing)
“Would you trade that necklace for a glimpse into your future?” The voice of the pilgrim. Jyn frowned and took another step forward, trying to locate the source.
“Your necklace?” the man repeated.
Jyn felt the crystal against her skin. Her necklace was still hidden, buried under layers of cloth.
And the man was blind.
“I am Chirrut Îmwe,” the man said.
“How did you know I was wearing a necklace?” Jyn asked, and felt like a fool, like a mark, even as she spoke.
It was the reply of a con artist. Jyn shook her attention from Chirrut to search for his partner (he must have had a partner, one who had spotted her necklace somehow) and immediately found her quarry: a hulk of a man with hair as wild as Chirrut’s was neat, in a filthy civilian flight suit and battered red plastoid armor half concealed under a wearable tarp. On “How did you know I was wearing a necklace?” Jyn asked the second man, who shook his head slowly and snorted. ... (Chapter 4)
Not only that, but he knew it was a Kyber crystal shard!!!
“What do you know of kyber crystals?” Chirrut asked. His tone was patient, prompting.
Called Cassian "Captain" when he had no way of knowing his rank
“There is more than one sort of prison, Captain,” Chirrut said. “I sense that you carry yours wherever you go.”
Cassian frowned and turned back to the lock and the cavern. It was some minutes later that he realized no one had told Chirrut he was a captain. (Chapter 5)
Spotted someone (ended up Bodhi) in the next cell. Blind. NEITHER Cassian nor Baze noticed anyone was there.
“Who’s the one in the next cell?” Cassian tore his eyes from the guards and glanced over to Chirrut. It was the first time the blind man had spoken for nearly an hour. ... Baze grunted and shuffled to his feet. “What? Where?” He crossed the alcove, lightly shouldering Cassian aside to make room at the door. He peered into the darkness of the cell across the way; all Cassian could see was shadows, but Baze pulled back abruptly, snarling. “An Imperial pilot.”
Realized that earth shaking while in the cell wasn't Proton Bombs but something worse (Death Star blast)
“Proton bombs,” Baze said, turning his eyes to the ceiling.
Chirrut shook his head. “No.” But he ventured no alternatives. (Chapter 8)
Claims to be able to sense when someone has dark intent
She should have been irritated by the curt explanation. Instead she could muster only vague confusion. “Why do you ask that?” she said, looking to Chirrut now. “What do you mean, Does he look like a killer?”
“The Force moves darkly near a creature that’s about to kill,” Chirrut answered. (Chapter 10)
Claims to sense anger in Baze (though that could just be knowing his close friend)
Baze readied himself to pull the trigger on his cannon. To burn the platform with more blaster bolts than there were drops of rain on Eadu. “I sense anger in you,” Chirrut said.
Baze himself, internally in his head, claims that the Force helps Chirrut
They hunted in sync, Chirrut always prowling near the rebels and Baze always prowling near Chirrut. Baze did not limit his targets to those who might spot the blind man, but he kept Chirrut under observation nonetheless; where the Force would fail Chirrut, Baze would not.
He himself doesn't outright deny it, and claims the Force protects him, whatever that means:
Cassian, evidently, had other things on his mind. He watched Chirrut’s partner. “Is he Jedi?” he asked, with the hushed doubt of a man on the verge of a great discovery.
“No Jedi anymore,” Chirrut’s partner said. “Only dreamers like this fool.” Chirrut shrugged mildly. “The Force did protect me.”
Chirrut Îmwe is established as a non-Jedi upon his introduction, but he is probably Force-sensitive.
He is a Guardian of the Whills, part of an order on Jedha that we currently know nothing about (because of the Disney retcon; the Whills, pre-retcon, were the group that taught Qui-Gon how to become a Force Ghost).
That said, Chirrut shows signs of Force sensitivity numerous times through the film. He dodges blaster fire, shoots down a TIE fighter without a line of sight (because he's blind, get it?), and reads what people are going to do via what he claims to be the Force gathering around them.
Either he's sensitive, or Ki is a thing in the Star Wars universe.
A blind warrior-monk and a disciplined fighter, Chirrut is attuned to the mystical energy known as the Force.
Meanwhile, Chirrut's Databank entry on starwars.com states that:
Though he lacks Force abilities, this warrior monk has rigorously honed his body through intense physical and mental discipline.
So it looks as though Chirrut masters what we could liken to Force sense, but not the more spectacular displays of the Force used by the Jedi, such as Force jump, Force push, or telekinesis.
This should remind you of the way George Lucas originally envisioned the Force:
Kasdan: The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it? Lucas: Yes, everybody can do it. K: Not just the Jedi? L: It's just the Jedi who take the time to do it. [...] Like yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it. [...] Also like karate.
The Jedi are an order, no one is born one, and by the time of Rogue One they were effectively wiped out (barring some who went into hiding). But that doesn't mean force sensitive people stop being born or stop existing. If there's no Jedi order left there's certainly no one around to train Chirrut to be one. It looks like he certainly could train to be full fledged Jedi if given the chance.
Name one blind person that can dodge anything not just gunfire. Yes it does make other senses more acute but the things he does are beyond normal human so by his dialog admissions and his action scenes he IS FORCE SENSITIVE! Or he's just Donnie Yen aka IP MAN!
Oh and if y'all didn't know Imperial Stormtroopers couldn't hit the broadside of a barn let alone two stiff jointed droids that can't even bend to dodge. So there is that...