Star Wars Jedi Survivor’s BD-1, from an acting and writing perspective, might seem like a straightforward proposal. BD boops. BD beeps. That’s, essentially, all that BD does. But as the latest EA and Respawn Star Wars game hits Steam, it turns out that Cal Kestis’s robotic pal has more going on that may meet the eye. BD-1 in Star Wars Jedi Survivor is in fact played by the same actor who voiced and provided the face for Battlefield 3’s main hero, Blackburn – and he acted out the entire game alongside Cameron Monaghan, dressed the entire time in a plastic nose whistle.
If you’re hunting for all the Star Wars Jedi Survivor lightsaber colours and parts, BD-1 is a vital companion, storing beast and map information, and offering chirpy, pick-me-up bleeps whenever you might need. According to Jedi Survivor writer Danny Homan, however, there was a lot more to capturing the robot’s essence than just creating some animations and grabbing some sound effects.
First of all, you might remember this face from Battlefield 3.
That’s actor Gideon Emery, who has now teamed up with EA once more to play BD-1. Homan goes into detail:
“Gideon Emery plays BD,” Homan explains. “He’s a delightful, mischievous actor who seemed to make it his mission to entertain the cast and crew. But you might be wondering – why do we have an actor playing BD in the first place? BD’s only lines are beeps and boops, right?
“To the writing team, BD is a main character, and on set you need to have an actor thinking through a character’s motivation in every scene, or else you might miss an opportunity. Gideon brings BD to life in two important ways.
“Using a nose whistle, Gideon provides on set beeps and boops, so our other actors can hear BD’s reactions live. Gideon, holding a replica of BD, would follow Cameron, playing Cal, around the set, whistling and providing reactions, some scripted, some not. This gave BD a presence as one of the crew, and an equal among the cast.”
Homan shares an image of Emergy, wearing the nose whistle alongside the BD-1 stand-in:
Homan also explains how Emery, whose other videogame performances include World of Warcraft, Destiny 2, Diablo Immortal, and Mass Effect, would suggest how BD-1 would react in various scenes, using his “keen eye” as an actor to develop the bond between the ‘bot and Cal Kestis.
“Many of BD’s most charming, meaningful moments were the result of on-set collaboration, and Gideon’s keen eye as an actor,” Homan explains. “When we tried a scene in rehearsal, it went really smoothly until the end, when we sensed that we needed a beat to prompt Cal’s final lines, which highlight the emotional core of the scene.
“Cue Gideon, pitching that BD should hop off Cal’s shoulder and force his friend to stop and reflect. We gave it a try, and it was just what we – and Cal – needed.”
So, next time you’re exploring Coruscant, or hanging out aboard the Mantis, remember the hard work that went into making BD-1 feel believable, and that your robot pal is really a full-grown guy wearing a plastic whistle over his face.
Get the Star Wars Jedi Survivor Devastated Settlement puzzle solution, if you’re feeling a little stuck. You’ll also want to know where to find all the Star Wars Jedi Survivor Cal Kestis cosmetics and outfits, to keep your jedi looking sharp.