Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is easily the most ambitious, experimental game to come from EA’s partnership with Disney and Lucasfilm. Battlefront and its sequel brought us huge scale multiplayer warfare across stunningly detailed Star Wars vistas, though Respawn Entertainment is aiming for something more original with its upcoming action adventure game.
Fallen Order is centred around a new character from the Star Wars universe: Cal Kestis – a former Jedi Padawan forced into exile following the execution of Order 66. He’s been trying to keep his head down and avoid the clutches of The Empire though he’s ultimately forced to come out of hiding, embarking on a Star Wars saga that will take fans to previously unexplored corners of the galaxy.
Sitting down with the game’s lead level designer, Jeff Magers, and narrative lead, Aaron Contreras, we discussed the challenges of creating new stories in such a well-established multimedia franchise:
JM: It’s all a collaboration. We’re really excited to carve out our own piece of the Star Wars universe and try to make a really authentic Star Wars story. We’ve got a mix of established planets that you’ve seen in other parts of the IP, like Kashyyyk for example, and then Zeffo, so we’ve got a mix of these two things.
Both come with their own challenges and strengths. So Kashyyyk, you’ve got to fit in all the things that have happened before it, whereas on a new planet, it still needs to feel authentic and part of Star Wars as well. That’s been a really fun challenge to tackle.
Not only will players get to land on new planets, they’ll interact with a diverse cast of mostly original characters. For those die hard Star Wars fans who look beyond the films for their sci-fi fix, Fallen Order features a relatively new faction introduced to the canon led by the Second Sister, as Contreras explains:
The Inquisitors actually come from Star Wars Rebels, the animated series. So the Second Sister is an original character, but the Inquisition came from Rebels and Second Sister’s first appearance was in a comic book. LucasFilm is kind of trying to push this meta narrative of Star Wars across multiple mediums, and we’ve been able to work with that, take here and give there to find our own path.
At the end of the day, we want people to pick up the game, look at it and go “That’s Star Wars!”
The tone, the music, the way people carry themselves, that the galaxy looks lived in. We’re really trying to realise it as best as possible. But at the same time, we want people to see that this is a completely original story and nothing like what they’ve experienced before. We want to expand what Star Wars is and not just rehash what’s gone before, but have a new story or a new take on a classic tale.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches in just a few weeks on November 15th and will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.