The thing about Star Wars that annoys me (one of many things, really) is that despite the Galactic Empire claiming dominion over a million worlds, the focus is always on a tiny number of white people getting up to trouble. Sure, you've got Yoda and Ackbar and the guy with the face, but it's purely window dressing: When the rubber hits the road it's usually Han Solo or Carth Onasi or Jaz Handso or Kyle Katarn who's actually at the center of the action.
Wes took a more nuanced look at the matter earlier this year, calling the selection of Cal Kestis as the lead guy in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order a "wasted opportunity" because he's so bland. "The hood, the clean jaw, the broody face," he wrote. "I can't remember the last time I was this instantly bored looking at a videogame protagonist, and the rest of the Jedi: Fallen Order reveal trailer doesn't do much to bolster its flat lead."
In an interview with Game Informer, game director Stig Asmussen said that Respawn actually talked about "doing an alien creature" in the early stages of development, but decided against it for fear of—wait for it—alienating potential players.
"Ultimately we didn't go with an alien race because we felt like—no pun intended—that would alienate a lot of people," Asmussen said.
"We wanted to make sure that there was a real human connection to the character that we have in the game, although I personally—I mean, that's more kind of like [a] broader decision why we did it—personally I think it would be really cool to have an alien protagonist."
I think it would be very cool too, and given the breadth of the Star Wars universe (and the fact that you can just make up anything you want) I don't think coming up with a relatable non-human lead would be all that terribly difficult—I'd play the hell out of a Mass Effect spinoff about a Salarian STG agent, for instance. And if it has to be a human, why not opt for something other than another Han Skywalker retread?
Respawn also looked at "different gender" for the lead, Asmussen said, but went with a male "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." I don't understand that at all—how does a woman leading the show in a Star Wars movie cause it to make more or less sense that a man at the helm in Fallen Order?
Despite the uninspiring protagonist, our E3 hands-on with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was promising, and it will hopefully prove to be the grand Star Wars adventure we've all been waiting for. It's set to come out on November 15.