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A former developer at Respawn Entertainment has claimed that requests from team members to make the hero of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order female and/or Black were rejected.
2019's Star Wars adventure instead features a white male hero called Cal Kestis. While actor Cameron Monaghan certainly gives an excellent performance in the role, Jedi: Fallen Order was widely criticised for giving us yet another playable white dude in a galaxy filled with possibilities.
As we're now learning, it sounds like many of the team at Respawn were trying to go down a different road. Nora Shramek, a lighting artist at Respawn who worked on Jedi: Fallen Order recalls on Twitter (via GamesRadar) that their pitches were shut down because the Star Wars games and movies already featured enough female and Black representation.
"When I worked on [Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order], a lot of devs wanted and advocated for the main character to be Black and/or a woman," Apparently the reasons against this were that "we already have two Black people in the game" and "Rey is a woman and we can't do that too."
Shramek clarified in a follow-up tweet that these decisions were very much made at Respawn, and had nothing to do with an "evil EA" or "overly controlling Lucasfilm/Disney."
"It was our team's game and yes, a few of the people with decision making power made choices," she said. She also stressed she had no problem with the character of Cal, or Monaghan for playing the part, but laments the lost opportunity to have done something different with their Star Wars game.
She added that these were simply her experiences with "a few people who had the opportunity to push change," and noted "I no longer work at Respawn and, from my understanding of people who do, there have been changes since my departure."
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