I really like Star Wars. No I don’t think you quite understand, I REALLY like Star Wars. If there’s any fandom that gets me going and hyper than a kid at Christmas, then it’s the continued adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
Lately you might have been waiting on even more Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (IX) news, but to a lesser extent there is also the hype building for a new game we now know will be released in the latter half of the year. Stars Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, a single player adventure set post-Order 66 being developed by the makers of Titanfall and Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment.
As a single player Star Wars title there’s a fairly rich history to live up to with some staggeringly good titles in the past like Knights of the Old Republic and Shadows of the Empire being stand-out titles, but in recent years there hasn’t been anything special in the single player market with the Star Wars brand. The last title was Force Unleashed 2 which, while fun, was definitely nothing special or innovative. Of course anyone with an interest in the franchise probably also remembers 1313, an Uncharted-esque game starring a young Boba Fett and set in the dark and crime ridden undercity of Coruscant… But nothing came of that development besides a great looking gameplay trailer and a few pieces of artwork before the project was cancelled, and we all turned on Disney for a while for crushing our dreams quite expertly.
Back to Fallen Order, there’s a lot I want from this game but also know there’s even more I can’t possibly have. We obviously already know the time frame with the action taking place sometime between Episode 3 and 4; Wars Scholars such as myself will obviously remember that this very same time period was used for the last Jedi-focused single player entries with The Force Unleashed games. The Unleashed series was definitely a time sink for me back when it released back in 2008, I spent hours tossing Stormtroopers around like they were made of paper and crushing AT-STs into origami shapes, but even with all that fun I couldn’t shake the feeling that it just wasn’t a true Star Wars story. It was fun, but was missing that feel of Star Wars, probably because it was so damn ridiculous especially with the iconic moment (Yet boring in practice) of ripping a Star Destroyer out of the sky. I hope that Fallen Order lifts a few of the good ideas from its predecessor though with the Lightsaber combat and Force powers flowing together in a glorious orgy of destruction and power. Though with all that being said, I hope that Respawn choose to ground the game more – Sure, have ridiculous Force powers, but I want to see a young untrained Jedi apprentice stuck in an Imperial Galaxy learning to use their powers but still not being the most powerful thing in the universe like Starkiller…
I’m looking forward to the potential of this story since this is an era we still know very little about. Most games and books set in this time are either very early on or right before the events of the original trilogy… There’s a lot of meat there for story telling that is almost entirely untapped in this new canon imposed by Disney; besides Solo we haven’t really seen much of the galaxy during the height of the Empire’s power – Let’s see some bleak war torn environments! Some run down desperate people under the boots of the tyrannical regime! Hell, I’d even like to see some Empire-loving planets that look like a space Nazi dream world!
Looking at the released art work it seems pretty clear that we’re going for the Star Wars standard of a female protagonist which – while that’s nothing new for the films – is pretty unheard of for the mainline games which if they don’t allow you to choose your gender, lump you with a male character. It’s good to see this staple of the series making its way to the games and I really hope that she isn’t just a place holder for a create a character. Create a character is always fun, sure, but it normally hurts the tone of the story when your monstrous creation appears in a tense cut scene.
Basically I want a dark and depressing overall story with that glimmer of hope and better times to come that the Star Wars heroes all rely on. I hope there isn’t a sliding morality to keep an eye on and Respawn focuses their attention on crafting a beautiful story and game that can’t be beaten how I want but how the story needs to be beaten. I don’t want choice; I want to be drawn in to the character and HER journey across the galaxy! If there’s exciting combat and an Uncharted-like sense of adventure then great, but let’s not make it too bombastic now!
May the Force be with you!