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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a damn good Star Wars game. It's certainly not a perfect adventure (in fact, some might argue that it's pretty damn far from perfect), but it captures what it feels like to be a Jedi with a real flair.
The lead character Cal Kestis is honestly the human equivalent of drying paint, but controlling him as you tear through hordes of Stormtroopers, deflecting blaster bolts and slicing into 'em with your lightsaber is never not a thrill.
Amazingly though, the best part about Jedi Fallen Order - playing as a Jedi - was very nearly not a part of the game. According to developer Respawn, Lucasfilm (which controls the Star Wars franchise) wasn't into the studio's original pitch at all.
Appearing on the AIAS Game Maker's podcast, Jedi Fallen Order Director Stig Asmussen admitted that Lucasfilm were initially reluctant to the idea of a Star Wars game that focused on the Jedi. In fact, when Asmussen first pitched the idea of melee-based action game with lightsabers and force powers, Lucasfilm's first response was to suggest an action game featuring blasters and bounty hunters instead.
"They weren't super comfortable with the idea," Asmussen explained of his initial meeting. "I pitched, 'Hey what if we do a game about Jedi and Force powers, and they were not super comfortable with that. They threw it back and said, 'What about blasters and bounty hunters?'"
"That's not the background of the team we've built. You might as well ask us to start building a racing game at this point. I don't think anybody's going to be happy with the results of that."
The reason for this reluctance, according to Asmussen, is that Lucasfilm are incredibly protective when it comes to the Jedi. He explained that, to Lucasfilm, "Jedi is the Holy Grail."
"To make a game about Jedi, you gotta earn it," he said. "There was a little bit of a back and forth but they could see where I was coming from."
Obviously, Lucasfilm eventually agreed to the idea, under the provision that Cal be a character who could use the Force but wasn't yet a true Jedi Knight. At least not right away. Still, as Asmussen tells it, development led to numerous disagreements between Lucasfilm and Respawn over several creative decisions. At various points, it seems Lucasfilm came back to the team with a "hard no" on several ideas, which frustrated Respawn.
With that said, Asmussen admitted that he understood Lucasfilm's protective position, as well as its right to have a final say as the owner and controller of the Star Wars franchise. It all worked out for the best in the end, at least, In fact, rumours are already swirling that Respawn is hiring for a sequel. I wonder how Lucasfilm feels about more Jedi action?
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