Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is less than a month away and after last week’s batch of media previews, there’s a renewed sense of excitement surrounding EA’s latest stab at the mega popular franchise.
You can read what we thought of the game in our recent Fallen Order preview. In the meantime, we sat down with Lead Level Designer, Jeff Magers, and Narrative Lead, Aaron Contreras, to discuss their lead protagonist, Cal Kestis, and his relationship with the Force:
TSA: The battle between light and dark within a character is always really important in Star Wars, but you’ve said flat out that Cal can only be on the light side. Why have you decided to be so clear, as opposed to muddying those waters and letting players decide?
AC: I think that there’s a desire early on to differentiate ourselves from past Star Wars games that really emphasised and made a feature out of the light-dark meter. That was a way early on to be like, “We’re not like what you’ve seen before.”
Of course, every Jedi faces the Dark Side, so it’s not like it isn’t or couldn’t be a part of Cal’s story, we just wanted to come right off the bat and say this is a Jedi story and you get to become a Jedi. And again, we really believe in player agency, choosing your path through the game, playstyles, skill upgrades, and those are the areas where we let the player influence what’s going on…
TSA: As opposed “I’m going to be a bad dude this playthrough.”
JM: And Cal is an authentic character in this universe, so we need to be true to him as well.
We also talked about Cal’s former training as a Jedi Padawan before the execution of Order 66 during Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. It’s this sudden power shift that leads to the exile of the Jedi as Emperor Palpatine rises to power. As a result, Cal never completes his Jedi training and this gives him some nuance compared to other heroes who appear in the Star Wars saga, as Contreras explains:
I will say that he’s got a very difficult relationship with the Force. So you can see it in his animations, like when you use a Force Echo to sense something out in the open world. There’s a physical reaction that Cal has to the Force, so it’s not really a comfortable relationship for him. It’s not the same relationship that Luke or Rey or Leia have with the Force, and that ties into his story and where he’s at when the game begins, and what he has to overcome to be where he needs to by the end of the game.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches on November 15th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.