When Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was officially revealed, I gave a shrug of indifference. This looked like basically every other Star Wars action title ever made and was starring one of the most boring looking characters I’ve seen in a while. I’ll always stand by a director/developer’s choice to cast whomever they want for their titles, but Star Wars is so much more than generic ass human’s fighting for the fate of the galaxy. So apart from focus testing likely giving us a male lead, was there some reason why Respawn Entertainment settled on Cal Kestis for its game? Why yes, there was.
In a recent episode of the Game Informer show, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order director Stig Asmussen revealed that the reason Cal was chosen as the protagonist was because of Rey being the star of the current Star Wars film trilogy. I suppose that is some form of logic. “We arrived at where we were because at the time [new film trilogy protagonist] Rey was kind of the thing for Star Wars, so it made a lot more sense for us to have a male protagonist,” Asmussen explained.
Asmussen admits he personally wanted to see an alien character take the lead, but the team decided against it. Their reasoning was that they wanted the audience to make a human connection to the character, though I’m not sure how that explains the different species. Star Trek famously puts aliens in roles that let the writers explore themes of racism and xenophobia, which is how the characters end up learning to treat others as individuals.
However you spin it, I feel like this is a missed opportunity. I can’t really comment if Jedi: Fallen Order will be bad or not (apparently the game is actually a Metroidvania title), but I do wish something wildly different was done with the story.
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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s lead is male because of Rey