We’re a few weeks away from the launch of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and as we slowly approach November 15th we’re finding out more about the game and its cast of characters.
We’ve already gone into detail about Cal Kestis, Fallen Order’s playable protagonist. He’s a Padawan (Jedi in training) who is forced into exile during the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. When speaking with game’s lead level designer, Jeff Magers, and narrative lead, Aaron Contreras, they went into more depth about his origins as well as his interesting relationship with the Force.
We were also dying to chat about his droid companion, BD-1. Cal’s little helper – like many of the characters you encounter in Jedi: Fallen Order – is a completely new character in the Star Wars universe.
He’s arguably just as cute and resourceful as the BB-8 droid introduced as part of the current cinematic trilogy. One interesting fact about BD-1 is that Ben Burt created all the original sound work for him. That name will be instantly recognisable to those Jedi adepts out there: Burt is the man responsible for R2 D2’s “voice” as well as the iconic Tie Fighter screams and lightsaber hums.
During the game BD-1 and Cal will actually speak to each other, with the droid’s dialogue accompanied by adorable subtitles like “bwee dee doo!”. However, we wanted to know if there’s an actual droid language behind those beeps and boops that can be reinterpreted. Here’s what Contreras had to say:
So this was an interesting facet of development. I–We misunderstood, we screwed up! We tried to be really good with the Star Wars, and we thought that Luke understood R2-D2. Luke does not understand R2!
We went down the road of Cal actually understanding what BD-1 is saying. Cal is fluent in binary, which works into Cal’s backstory, where he worked as a scrapper, he worked with lots of droids. He’s translating on the fly; he knows Assembly.
So we have that legacy where Cal is having conversations with BD-1, and over the course of script development, I had to jump in and say we can’t write full lines for BD-1, because the conversations were getting really difficult for the player to process.
BD-1 does have full lines written for almost everything that you’ve experienced so far, but I’ve been pushing the writing team to just write “beep boop” and an emotion, because that’s all the player will get. If we can say it with a “beep boop”, it’ll read to everybody across the world.
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