Dev Accuses Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Of Blocking A Black Lead
If the Star Wars franchise loves one thing, it's a white male lead. From the floppy-haired Anakin Skywalker to the floppy-haired Luke Skywalker, we also had the floppy-haired Kylo Ren. Admittedly, the sequel trilogy had Daisy Ridley's Rey as arguably the lead, but even then, the toxic fandom wasn't impressed.
It's much the same in the world of Star Wars video games, with Force Unleashed focussing on Galen Marek and Knights of the Old Republic on Darth Revan (who is canonically male). When it came to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, of course Cal Kestis was another plucky young Jedi out to save the day. However, it was nearly completely different.
Did Fallen Order Push For A Black Female?
Posting on Twitter, Respawn Lighting Artist Nora Shramek claimed that a lot of devs pushed for the main character to be black, a female, or a black female. Apparently, this was rejected from higher up because there were already two black people in the game. We assume at least one of these is referring to Debra Renee Wilson's Cere Junda.
As for a female lead, the legacy of Ridley's Rey in the sequels could've nixed these plans. Shramek heavily implies that the demographic of people making these decisions are white men, but she stops just short of outwardly confirming it. She concludes by saying, "Im NOT blaming, EA, Disney, ect I'm saying that individuals have power in the process. If those individuals have massive privilege and by the nature of thier life experience shelter them from a full view that means they need to be extra intentional about thier choices."
As we know, Cal Kestis became the MVP of Fallen Order, and while some might call him out as a ginger Luke Skywalker, he's become a fan-favourite of the franchise. As well as taking the lead in Fallen Order 2, there are hints that Monaghan could reprise his role in live-action for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Speaking of which, Moses Ingram will play the villainous Reva in Disney+'s series as a black woman.
What Have Fans Said About The Fallen Order Reveal?
Respawn and EA are yet to answer Shramek's claims, but as you can imagine, the comments aren't exactly painting the situation in a positive light. One fan mused: "Guess making the character ginger was as diverse they wanted to go. Always felt like the mc was way too bland and they were playing it safe. Could've been a far more interesting character had they listened."
Another added, "*pretends to be shocked that old white dudes decided something over a popular opinion among the dev team* yeah creative industry," while a third simply said, "So they went with the most white bread choice imaginable." Shramek said that while she's a big fan of Monaghan, she wishes Respawn had done more with the potential of the galaxy far, far away. Let's see if Fallen Order 2 ups the diversity or it's another white party at the Mos Eisley Cantina.