Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Focuses on Character Growth

Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order debuts next month, giving gamers a new single-player adventure to sink their teeth into. It’s a big change from both of EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront games, which mainly focused on multiplayer skirmishes. Recently, Variety had the chance to discuss this shift with Respawn CEO Vince Zampella. He spoke at great length about the importance of the game’s narrative, which picks up right after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Obviously, the game wouldn’t work if the developers didn’t have a good story to tell. Players control young Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan on the run from the Empire after Order 66. According to Zampella, this post-Revenge of the Sith setting was the perfect backdrop for Cal’s journey.  

“Well, I think when we set out to make this kind of journey of a Jedi, we looked at, where does that fit most?” recalled Zampella. “And post-Order 66, it’s kind of a dark time, of, you know, if you’re a Jedi, you’re in danger, you’re being hunted. That journey just becomes that much more gripping. So it fit with what we wanted to do with the game.”

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“ You look at the history of what all the Jedi are and have been, and you fit within that world,” Zampella continued. “There’s no one specific icon, but being a Jedi is such an important kind of piece in this amazing universe – that reverence of what that is carries through in everything that we do with him.”

As trailers have shown, Cal also faces some competition for the spotlight in the form of his robot companion, BD-1. Early gameplay footage has demonstrated how BD will be able to help Cal during his various missions throughout the campaign. The game’s director, Stig Asmussen, even came up with a cute analogy to describe the pair’s relationship.

“Stig always says ‘a boy and his dog,’” Zampella explained. “I think it kind of comes through, but it’s more, you know, it’s a buddy droid. BD is the buddy droid. It is your friend, just like R2 kind of fits that message of, he’s there. He helps you. He’s kind of central to everything that you do. He’s just kind of a piece of you, an extension.”

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Because it’s been a while since we’ve gotten a Star Wars game that’s single-player only, the studios faced pressure to get Fallen Order just right. That’s probably why Lucasfilm had “tons” of involvement over the course of the development process. But in Zampella’s opinion, showing the clash between light and darkness is what makes Star Wars great in the first place. 

“For us, it’s about telling a story,” Zampella said. “Star Wars is that story of, you know, good and evil, of triumph, overcoming great odds. So for us, single-player makes much more sense in what we wanted to do, which is to tell that story, that big narrative. It fit our need and I think it fits really well in the Star Wars universe.”

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order arrives on November 15 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. You can share your thoughts on Zampella’s remarks in the comment section below!

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