Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was released in November to mostly positive reviews and strong sales numbers, but the game’s success was not always a sure thing. Game director Stig Asmussen said in a new interview that Lucasfilm–which controls the Star Wars franchise–was originally resistant to Asmussen’s pitch for the game.
In early meetings, the Lucasfilm team suggested that Respawn go a different direction and make a game using blasters instead of Lightsabers. The reason being was that Lucasfilm is very protective of Jedi in particular, Asmussen said.
“They weren’t super comfortable with the idea,” Asmussen said of his initial pitch for a melee-focused action game on the AIAS Game Maker’s podcast. “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 me and 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.
“What I came to learn is for them, Jedi is the Holy Grail. To make a game about Jedi, you gotta earn it. There was a little bit of a back and forth but they could see where I was coming from.”
Later in the interview, Asmussen mentioned that Respawn and Lucasfilm had numerous “fights” about creative decisions regarding Jedi Fallen Order. He said he understands Lucasfilm’s position being the rights-owner of the Star Wars series. He also said recalled that Lucasfilm came back to him with a “hard no” on several different ideas. He said his team at Respawn became frustrated at times, but again, Asmussen said he understood that Lucasfilm has final say being the owner and controller of the Star Wars franchise.
Asmussen said Lucasfilm was ultimately agreeable to the idea of Respawn making a game with a character who can use the Force but is not a Jedi, and that’s what the team ended up making. The game’s main character, Cal Kestis, is a Force-user who becomes a Jedi in the course of the game.
The entire interview is incredibly in-depth and fascinating, offering an illuminating and insightful look into the origins of Jedi Fallen Order. It’s available everywhere you can find podcasts, including Spotify.
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