Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order didn’t want to alienate fans with an alien protagonist

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A million planets,a  billion species and somehow Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has decided to go the late 2000s route with its protagonist and cast a vanilla white guy as the lead. NOW HOLD ON A SECOND! Before you get the pitchforks out and race to the comments sections to lay into me for Polygonning up a piece for teh clickz, hear me out.

Cal Kestis looks okay and his performance by Cameron Monaghan is probably going to shine but holy heck I’m bored with this type of protagonist. It’s Star Wars baby! Give me a Jedi with some alien lineage, take a gamble and center the game on someone from outside the human species for once. We’ve seen Luke Skywalker, Rey Last Name Withheld and Galen “Starkiller” Marek fill the role of all-powerful Jedi already.

So why can’t we see some Zabrak destruction ala Darth Maul’s species? How about we whip our head tentacles back and forth as a Twi’Lek? Play as whatever the hell this thing is?

Crumb_btm

Okay, maybe that’s a step too far but you get me. So what’s the deal then? Why was Kal chosen to be the face of Star Wars instead of one of its many many alien species? According to developer Respawn Entertainment, they didn’t want to “alienate” the fans. “Yes, we talked about doing an alien creature,” Respawn Entertainment game director Stig Asmussen  said to GamesRadar.

We talked about different genders. We arrived at where we were because at the time Rey was kind of the thing for Star Wars, and so it made a lot more sense for us to have a male protagonist. Ultimately we didn’t go with an alien race because we felt like, no pun intended, that would alienate a lot of people. We wanted to make sure that there was a real human connection to the character we have in the game. That’s the broader decision of why we did it, personally I think it would be really cool to have an alien protagonist.

Here’s the simpler reason: Having a human character is a safe bet. A white guy in a video game is a safety net that’ll ensure that the game sells well enough in its target demographic, even if it would be infinitely cooler to have an alien protagonist at some point in a big budget Star Wars game. Will I let Kestis prove himself as a character when the game ships? Absolutely, as I still reckon that Starkiller’s entire story arc in the first Force Unleashed game is a franchise highlight.

But would it be more exciting to see future Star Wars games take a gamble and cast someone different? Double-absolutely, as there’s no shortage of great characters within the franchise who would excel in such an environment. I’m still waiting for a Hera Syndulla game that would prove this point.

Last Updated: July 9, 2019

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