Jedi Fallen Order’s protagonist is male because “Rey was the thing for Star Wars”

Why is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's Cal Kestis male? The game's director blames The Force Awakens' Rey for that decision.

star wars rey

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is this year’s big new hope for those Star Wars videogame fans left unsatisfied by the controversial Battlefront 2 – thanks to that game’s over-reliance on loot boxes on release – and the multiple cancellations by current IP holder EA.

However, Jedi Fallen Order isn’t without its own controversies already, as while the announcement story trailer and gameplay reveals in the last few months have generally been met with acclaim, some fans have questioned why the game’s protagonist Cal Kestis is yet another white male human videogame character – following in the footsteps of other white male human stars of the franchise, such as Luke, Han, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Kyle Katarn, Starkiller, Dash Rendar and more.

In an interview with Game Informer, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s game director Stig Asmussen addressed this issue – and essentially blames developer Respawn’s choice of a male protagonist on Rey, the main Jedi character from The Force Awakens and the rest of the ‘sequel trilogy’, as played by Daisy Ridley.

“We talked about different gender,” Asmussen tells Game Informer on their video podcast. “We arrived where we were because at the time, Rey was the thing for Star Wars, and so it made a lot more sense for us to have a male protagonist.”

He also talks about why they didn’t go with an alien protagonist either, which is even rarer in Star Wars – outside of games with customizable characters, such as Knights of the Old Republic or Jedi Academy. “Ultimately we didn’t go with an alien race because we felt like – no pun intended – that would alienate a lot of people. We wanted to make sure there was a real human connection to that character we have in the game.” Asmussen does admit, however, that he thinks it would be “really cool” to have an alien main character.

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Cal Kestis in Jedi Fallen Order is played by Cameron Monaghan, who also played twin brothers and proto-Joker characters Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska in Batman prequel TV show Gotham. While fans wait for Fallen Order, Star Wars Battlefront 2 continues to be supported despite being a year and a half old – and does actually have a story campaign featuring a female protagonist. Still not an alien, though.