The Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel — Star Wars Jedi: Survivor — has finally been revealed. And just as was rumored, it also sports the same weird colon placement as the original title. It will follow in the footsteps of the pretty damn good metroidvania / soulslike / Uncharted mashup from Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment. It’s also exclusive to current generation consoles: meaning PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. No version for PS4 or Xbox One consoles.
That last part is probably big news to anybody still struggling to, y’know, buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X. While the consoles do trickle out, it’s still not possible to just walk into a store or pick one up from a website on a whim.
The “survivor” title, on the other hand, likely refers to Cal
Lightsaber Kestis and his cohorts: literal survivors of the Great Jedi Purge. That’s the big mass murder that kicks off with Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith, if you didn’t realize. It’s also been the focus of a whole heap of Star Wars media since Disney bought the franchise in 2012. Those folks just keep popping up like daisies — usually getting their own TV shows in the process.
Jedi: Fallen Order focused on the same thing most of those shows, books, comics, etc. do. It followed the journey of our hero, a former padawan, on his journey to become a proper Jedi Knight (and proceed to not show up during all that Death Star business I guess).
Except it wasn’t ever really supposed to be his journey. A former Respawn developer revealed, just this month in fact, that many of the workers wanted the central character to be a woman and/or a Black character. Those pitches were shot down in favor of Cal because, according to some higher up in the decision-making process, the game and Star Wars movies “already have” Rey and supporting Black characters.
Hey, that fucking sucks!
Anyway, Cal was instead portrayed by actor Cameron Monaghan, best known at the time for playing a young Joker on the Fox TV series Gotham. He seems to be reprising his role in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor as well. Though we saw some other faces in the announcement trailer. Well, more like one-and-a-half faces.
The previous game was also quite good, in a vacuum. Though it was also buggy as hell at launch. Comments from Respawn CEO Vince Zampella heavily implied that the game was likely pushed out the door before it was fully cooked, in order to hit the 2019 holiday window. That was the same period that brought us the launch of television streaming service Disney+. Not to mention the disastrous narrative trash fire that was Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — a film that also lived in the shadow of racism and sexism both behind-the-scenes and onscreen.
Disney hasn’t exactly learned its lesson, either (as much as a multibillion-dollar media conglomerate can learn anything). Star Wars Eclipse was announced late last year and is being developed by Quantic Dream — makers of the extremely questionable robots-as-civil-rights-metaphor game Detroit: Become Human. The French developer is also known for its legal battles related to sexism, racism, and being a generally toxic workplace. While Eclipse showed a strong mood-setting trailer, sentiment immediately turned on the game when it became clear who was making it.
This comes after Fallen Order publisher Electronic Arts lost its right to exclusively make AAA Star Wars games. The company didn’t exactly have the best time with the license, either. Though its tenure did lead to three great games: Fallen Order, Battlefront 2, and Star Wars: Squadrons. Besides the aforementioned rocky launch of Fallen Order, however, Battlefront 2 was nothing short of a debacle at release. One that helped touch off a public conversation about “lootboxes” and other microtransactions across the world — up to and including greater scrutiny from government regulators.
In short, it’s a weird-ass time for Star Wars video games. Hopefully Jedi: Survivor can rise above most of the muck.