A former Respawn Entertainment developer has claimed that requests from team members to make the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order protagonist female and/or black have been dropped. The answer reportedly centered on the fact that, following Rey from the film, the Star Wars franchise had a female lead and the game already had two prominent black characters.
Nora Shramek, a light artist at Respawn who worked on Fallen Order, tweeted (below) that several collaborators pushed for a black and/or female protagonist during development before the game launched in 2019, but because of the game and the broader franchise have already been rejected represents these communities.
“When I continued to work [Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order]”Many developers wanted and advocated for the main character to be black and/or female,” Shramek said in a tweet spotted by GamesRadar. The reasons apparently given for not going in that direction were because “we already have two black guys in the game” and “Rey is a woman and neither can we.”
When I was working on SW:JFO, MANY developers 4 wanted and favored the main character 2b black and/or female. ‘Reasons’ 4 NO: We already have 2 black players in play. Rey is a woman and we can’t do that to guess what the demographics of the people making those decisions was?
– NoraNevaBoreYa 🏳️🌈 (@NoraShramek) May 10, 2022
Fallen Order was eventually released with a white male lead, Cal Kestis – who has since become a staple of the Star Wars biz and canon.
Continuing her previous tweetsShramek added that these decisions were made at the respawn level and were not the result of “evil EA” or “over-control by Lucasfilm/Disney.”
“It was our team’s game and yes, some of the people with decision-making power made decisions,” she said. The problem isn’t with Cal or his actor, but “with missed opportunities.”
Shramek clarified that these were her personal experiences with “a few people who have had the opportunity to drive change,” adding that “I no longer work at Respawn, and from my understanding of people who do, has there have been changes since my departure. “
Shramek also shared an alleged experience of racist comments in the studio, saying someone once commented, “I think all black people need shinier skin because black people have more oily skin than other people.” The comment was met with “dead shock in everyone.” faces,” Shramek said.
We reached out to Respawn for comment. Shramek declined to comment further to IGN.
In addition to Fallen Order and Apex Legends, Respawn is also known for the Titanfall franchise and is currently working on three new Star Wars games, including a Fallen Order sequel.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally thinks about tweeting @thelastdinsdale. He’ll be talking about The Witcher all day.
https://www.ign.com/articles/star-wars-jedi-fallen-order-dev-request-for-black-female-lead-rejected Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order developer claims requests for a black and/or female lead have been turned down