Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order devs wanted a Black/female protagonist, but were shot down

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A former lighting artist claims developers lobbied for a different protagonist design

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
(Image credit: EA)

A former Respawn developer has revealed staff originally wanted the protagonist of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to be Black, or a woman. 

In a Twitter post on May 10, former Respawn lighting artist Nora Shramek claimed developers of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order advocated for the game’s protagonist to be Black and/or a woman. However, the former Respawn dev reveals the group met resistance when asking for this, and the idea was ultimately shot down.

It’s not entirely clear from Shramek’s tweets who exactly at Respawn shot down the proposal, but the dev hints that it wasn’t just one person opposing the idea. Shramek says those opposed to making Fallen Order’s protagonist Black and/or a woman believed they didn’t need to since the game already featured two Black characters.

Additionally, Rey being a female protagonist of the new Star Wars sequel trilogy factored into the idea being shot down. Shramek gives some valuable insight into how Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s protagonist ultimately came to be, and the sort of protagonist we could’ve had instead, if those in the studio had got their way.

As things turned out, Cal Ketsis became the protagonist of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The game follows Cal in the aftermath of the Order 66, as Jedi are hunted down around the galaxy and he’s forced into hiding. Cal was generally viewed as a bit of a bland protagonist back when Fallen Order launched in 2019, and that’s even more of a shame considering what we could have had instead.

In the meantime, it’s been strongly hinted at by EA that developer Respawn has been working on a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The game has been slated for reveal at Star Wars Celebration later this month in May, and it remains to be seen whether original protagonist Cal will return for a second adventure in the new game.

Here’s how the Book of Boba Fett linked back to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in its debut series earlier this year.

 

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