- Electronic Arts’ “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” is a single-player game designed to invoke the same spirit of mythic adventure that inspired the first generation of “Star Wars” fans back in 1977.
- While recent “Star Wars” games have been focused on online multiplayer, “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” is a story-driven experience that returns to the roots of the franchise.
- The game stars Jedi-in-training Cal Kestis as he works to repair his connection to the force and restore the Jedi order.
- “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” is out now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
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Just like the movies, “Star Wars” video games have millions of fans dedicated to each new release, but in recent years the excitement has shifted towards a tepid impatience with Electronic Arts’ handling of “Star Wars.”
While “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” was widely criticized for its generic military gameplay and early emphasis on microtransactions, the newly released “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” returns to a story-driven experience that’s both recognizable and intimate for “Star Wars” movie fans, moving away from the large-scale online multiplayer that defined “Battlefront.”
Developed by Respawn Entertainment, “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” is a single-player game designed to invoke the same spirit of mythic adventure that inspired the first generation of “Star Wars” fans back in 1977.
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“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” returns to the mythical themes of “the hero’s journey.”
Star Wars creator George Lucas built the original “Star Wars” films on the idea of the monomyth, a broad thematic structure that follows a hero’s journey through challenging trials, temptation, and encounters with the supernatural. While the premise of “Star Wars” is a clash between futuristic military forces, the core theme is a familiar coming-of-age story about power and responsibility.
“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” follows Cal Kestis, a young man who’s Jedi training was cut short by the nebulous Empire’s rise to power. While “Star Wars” fans won’t take long to figure out how the game lines up with the movies, newcomers can simply focus on Cal’s story. During the journey, players work to restore Cal’s connection to the force, gaining new powers to fight the Empire in the process.
Like the original “Star Wars” movie, “Fallen Order” is a story about growth.
Aaron Contreras, Respawn’s lead narrative designer for “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” said the game’s story is directly inspired by the original “Star Wars” and the concept of the hero’s journey.
“So from the beginning, our team director’s said they wanted to tell this David and Goliath story — the classic battle of good versus evil,” Contreras said. “So on the narrative side, we kind of fine-tuned it to follow that sort of mythic format.”
Contreras said the “Star Wars” movie studio Lucasfilm was originally resistant to having a Jedi as the protagonist of “Fallen Order” but Respawn was eventually able to get the company to approve Cal as the game’s protagonist.
While past “Star Wars” games let players control superpowered Jedi who could pull spaceships out of the sky, Cal is a former apprentice working to complete his training.
“We want Cal and the player to feel like they’re growing with each challenge, from each step of the quest that he goes through,” Contreras said. “Becoming more and more competent with his lightsaber, with the force. So there’s a real progression and a real rising action in how people feel.”
Respawn worked with Lucasfilm to make sure “Fallen Order” felt authentic.
Respawn worked closely with Lucasfilm to ensure that “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” met all of the film studio’s criteria for an authentic “Star Wars” product. The two companies were in constant communication throughout development, with Lucasfilm employees play-testing multiple versions of the game. Respawn also had employees of Lucasfilm’s former game development studio, Lucasarts, working on the project.
The game includes tons of recognizable “Star Wars” motifs, but also brings planets to life with unique alien creatures and varied environments. “Fallen Order” introduces an ancient alien species that trained to master the force, and delves into the origins of the Jedi’s teachings. Cal explores these temples in hopes of restoring his own connection with the force.
“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” is a must-play for “Star Wars” fans, and a refreshing return to story-driven “Star Wars” games.
“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” delivers a focused experience without the distractions of multiplayer, online features, and downloadable content. It’s a surprisingly straight-forward product at a time where video game releases are getting increasingly complex.
You can find the game now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.