EA and Respawn Entertainment have released a final gameplay trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor ahead of the game’s release on April 28, 2023. The new trailer shows off the game’s gorgeous visuals, and while it also demonstrates Cal Kestis doing some of his usual Jedi stuff, an interview with Star Wars Jedi series director Stig Asmussen has revealed that Lucasfilm was initially against Respawn Entertainment using Jedi in its games, going so far as to request the main character be changed into a bounty hunter or smuggler. “They were really uncomfortable with Jedi, and they said, ‘Let’s reset this. Let’s call this character a Force user,'” revealed Asmussen, who claimed he was going to walk away from the project if he had to make a shooter game instead of one focused on melee combat.
From The Guardian:
For the team at Respawn, the veteran developers also responsible for Titanfall and Apex Legends, having to pitch every element of a game was vastly different to how they’d worked before. “It’s a big process,“ says Asmussen. “[with Jedi: Fallen Order] we wanted to do third-person action adventure, and we wanted to have a Jedi with lightsabers. And then they’re like – wait,” he laughs. “At that point, to Lucasfilm, the Jedi are like the holy grail. I mean, it’s something that they’re probably the most protective of, except for maybe Baby Yoda. So we had to kind of earn that. We had to go through a whole process of, why do you want it to be a Jedi? What do you want to do with the Jedi? They were really uncomfortable with Jedi, and they said, ‘Let’s reset this. Let’s call this character a force user.’”
Little surprise then, that the game director would have walked away when Lucasfilm proposed such a drastic change. “I’m like, well I think you have the wrong person for the job,” Asmussen explains. “That’s not my background. My background came from God of War … I’ve never worked on a shooter, and you need a different team to do that. You might as well be asking me to make a racing game. And eventually over time, we built that trust to the point where we ended up calling [the franchise] Jedi.”