At this year’s E3 conference, EA and Respawn Entertainment announced a new Star Wars action-adventure game, called Jedi: Fallen Order, sparking excitement amongst the video game crowd – including myself. A vague release time of “Holiday 2019” is posted but an actual date has not been announced. EA’s website offers a general synopsis on Jedi: Fallen Order that puts the game “shortly after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” and follows a Padawan who survived Order 66. Other than that, we are left to speculate.
This reveal comes after EA’s announcement that they were shutting down Visceral Games back in October 2017 and changing their Star Wars project. With Visceral’s secret Star Wars game in the coffin, it seemed as though we would never get a new Star Wars action-adventure game. EA’s executive vice president Patrick Söderlund pointed to a major change to the Visceral Star Wars game: “Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life.”
Söderlund went on to say EA is focusing on expanding the gameplay and offering more of a variety to “give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.” With the release of incredible games like Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it would make sense for EA to up their game design and storytelling with a title as big as Star Wars.
Our only solace with recent Star Wars gaming was the online The Old Republic MMORPG and Star Wars: Battlefront. In fact, the latest console story-based Star Wars game to come out was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II – which was released in October of 2010. But a lot has changed since then.
Even before Visceral’s shutdown, LucasArts was working on a new Star Wars game under the Star Wars 1313 project name. Trailers for the game got us hyped about a new adventure to experience in the Star Wars universe. The plot followed Boba Fett in his young adult career in an underground area of Coruscant called 1313. LucasArts announced the game at 2012’s E3 conference but the game was shelved after the deal with Disney.
Since Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, the universe of a galaxy far, far away has been expanding into new territories while continuing the stories of familiar characters. Storytelling has spilled from the movies and into the comic books, novels, and television. We can finally get an aspect of this new Star Wars universe in video game format (No, I am not counting Legends). So what can we expect from Jedi: Fallen Order?
There’s speculation that the Padawan who survived Order 66 is referencing our own Kanan Jarrus, or Caleb Dume. We first meet him in Star Wars: Rebels as a Jedi in hiding who is fighting the Empire along with the Ghost Crew. If you’ve read the Star Wars: Kanan comics, Kanan became a smuggler of sorts after Order 66 to hide from the Clone Troopers who turned on him and his master. We see an ending to this, though, when Kanan flees his Clone captors and detonates their ship while they are on board. How Jedi: Fallen Order could add more to this story remains to be seen.
As far as plot goes, not a whole lot has been revealed. All we know is that this will take place after Revenge of the Sith. Will we be searching for other Jedi survivors? Are we going to run into familiar characters, like Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda, or will this be a complete break from familiarity? Is it possible we can choose our own ending? Perhaps you can finish the game one of two ways: deciding to fight for the Rebellion or just going into hiding forever. Or, will you make a valiant sacrifice at the end and die for the Rebellion Rogue One-style?
Okay, my professional journalism for this article is done. Here’s what I want with Jedi: Fallen Order: I want a female lead! LucasArts teased us with a female Darth Revan but even in the online The Old Republic, Revan’s story is told as a male Sith Lord. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed came close with Juno Eclipse but we still did not get a female lead. It’s time.
Even better: let’s have a minority lead in this game. Sony’s Spiderman game will feature Miles Morales as the lead and it’s already received huge hype. EA and Respawn have the opportunity to bring a voice to Star Wars fans who are not white by placing a non-white character as the lead. I would love to see a black woman lead as a fugitive Jedi fighting against the ever-expanding Empire. I would play the shit out of that game.
Anyway, I’m really excited about Jedi: Fallen Order and the storytelling it could bring to the Star Wars universe. So far, the release date is only listed as holiday 2019 but I doubt it will come out around the same time as Star Wars: Episode IX. If anything, it could get a November release date like Battlefront II did. October is still an option, too. Halloween is technically a holiday and we celebrate that all month long! What are you most excited about with Jedi: Fallen Order? Let us know!