What We Want From Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Respawn Entertainment's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is scheduled to launch this holiday. We know next to nothing about the game other than it's a single-player action-adventure that is set after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. We also know you control a Jedi. We anticipate Jedi: Fallen Order will be officially unveiled at this April's Star Wars Celebration or during June's EA Play press conference. Given what we know of this Star Wars era, we have a rough idea of what to expect from this title, but it's all speculation. Here's what we would like to see:
Show Us Why It's Called the Dark Times
In Revenge of the Sith, we witnessed the beginning of the end for the Jedi. Chancellor Palpatine's insidious Order 66 gave a death sentence to every Jedi, and the Grand Army of the Republic wasted no time in executing them. Thousands of Jedi were executed across the galaxy. Those who survived went into hiding.
Jedi: Fallen Order is set shortly after the events shown in the film. At last year's EA Play press conference, Respawn Entertainment's CEO Vince Zampella said that "It takes place during the Dark Times, when the Jedi are being hunted." This implies that we'll see Darth Vader and his 501st Legion hunting down the last of the Jedi. If the game does truly pick up moments after the Revenge of the Sith, it may begin with the film scene of Vader taking down Coruscant's Jedi Temple. That would be a great way of kicking off just how hellbent the Empire is in destroying the Order, and the protagonist could be one of the survivors. It would establish the Dark Times motif within minutes and connect fans to the period.
Avoid the Rebel Alliance
We don't need another prequel story telling us how the Rebellion came to be. Bail Organa and Mon Mothma's efforts have either been shown or strongly hinted at in numerous movies, books, and shows. Instead, we'd like the game to show us how the Jedi splintered off, went into hiding, and were either hunted down or forever lost. Brief story moments that show Jedi making contact with individuals who helped form the Rebellion make sense for the early beats of the story, but again, some of the final shots of Revenge of the Sith outline the need for the Jedi to disappear, especially Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was tasked to keep a watchful eye on Luke Skywalker. Do we need more of this? This is a time where there is no hope for the Jedi. Let us feel their despair.
Rise of the Inquisitors and Nightsisters
Darth Vader and the Emperor are obviously the Jedi's biggest threats at this point, but they don't have to be the antagonists that the player faces. We'd prefer it if Vader and the Emperor were kept in the background or to specific plot points, especially if the story focuses on a young Jedi. The odds are not in the favor of any Jedi facing Vader or the Emperor during this period. The threat could instead come from the Inquisitors, Nightsisters, or both.
The Inquisitors are Force-sensitive beings that the Emperor enlists to help form the Galactic Empire and hunt down the last of the Jedi. They had a strong presence in the Star Wars Rebels animated series, and could be great adversaries/fodder for the Jedi.
The Nightsisters appreciate the color red just as much as Supreme Leader Snoke's Praetorian Guards, and give Star Wars a different taste of dark power. Their abilities come from an ichor found on the planet Dathomir, and gifts the Sisters with the ability to cast spells and use the Force in different ways.
Build Upon Titanfall's Wars
Respawn's Titanfall series shows the developer has a knack for large-scale conflicts. Seeing a Jedi at the heart of a massive battle with laser and explosions blanketing the skies would be amazing. With that in mind, we're guessing the Jedi action will be acrobatic and frenzied, pushing the player to quickly switch between powers to take out pockets of enemies. We suspect Force powers will be offered through a weapon wheel and would not be surprised if the lighstaber offered up dozens of timing-based combos. Titanfall 2's level designs were incredible, embracing both vertical spaces and transforming play spaces. We'd love to see the team bring those elements to Fallen Order.
The Force Isn't Just for Combat
Controlling a Jedi on the battlefield is obviously a lot of fun when handled correctly. Games like Star Wars: Jedi Knight and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed showed us just how powerful a Jedi's abilities can be against stormtroopers, but that's just one side of their powers. We'd like to get the chance to use all aspects of the Force, whether it's the type of persuasion we saw Obi-Wan use on Tatooine, or powers the serve specific moments like healing, breath control, concealment, meld, vision, listening, and telemetry. The Jedi's deep well of abilities opens the door for a variety of gameplay types and character interaction moments. Basically, give the Jedi dimensions. The lore supports it.
If the enemies we face are mostly clone ans stormtroopers, which is likely the case, we'd like to see Respawn venture off of the beaten path for these conflicts. We don't need to see more of Tatooine, Naboo, or any well-known Star Wars location. Take us to planets we haven't seen before, or, if we do return to one of these iconic places, show us new sides of them. The feeling of "been there, done that" will come from conflicts with clones in familiar settings, regardless of how dynamic and new the gameplay is.
Limit the Cameos
Star Wars' universe is massive, but writers can't help themselves from finding ways to unite beloved characters in stories. Everyone eventually knows everyone and the universe ends up feeling ridiculously small from it. If there are going to be cameos in this game, Respawn should avoid the Han Solos, Chewbaccas, Yodas, and droids, in favor of smaller connections like characters that aren't in the shows or movies. People love the extended lore. We'd love to see Respawn dip into the defunct Expanded Universe to resurrect a character in a new way. Resist the temptation to put a big Star Wars character in your game, Respawn! Resist it like the dark side of the Force!
A Star Wars experience doesn't NEED vehicles like starfighters and speeders, but there's no better way to break up the action than with a mission that focuses on a vehicle-based aerial or ground battle. A vehicle sequence should fit in nicely into an action/adventure game. If we do take to the skies, we're guessing it will be in a Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptor (better know as the Jedi starfighter).
Blue or Green?
I know every Star Wars character has a defined history and all of their actions have meaning, but why not leave the lightsaber color up to the player? Perhaps they choose it at the outset of play, or maybe it's a setting they can alter in the options: blue or green. That's it. Just those two choices.