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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Was Almost Completely Different

Respawn and EA's "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" tells the suspenseful story of a Jedi in hiding, Cal Kestis, who is suddenly thrust into a battle against the Galactic Empire. When it's discovered he's one of a handful of Jedi to survive the events of "Revenge of the Sith," he has to confront his fears and become the warrior he was always meant to be. The sequel, "Star Wars Jedi: Survivor," picks up five years after this fateful adventure and shows an older, wiser, and more powerful Cal as he takes the fight directly to the Empire on Coruscant. It's a compelling plot that fills in some of the gaps in "Star Wars" canon — and it almost didn't happen at all. In fact, the rights-holders behind the "Star Wars" franchise were extremely wary of the game even featuring Jedi at all.

In an interview with The Guardian, series director Stig Asmussen admitted that he very nearly cut his losses and didn't make the new "Star Wars Jedi" games due to Lucasfilm's original misgivings about the project. According to Asmussen, Lucasfilm's reps pushed against the idea of a third-person action game with lightsabers and Force powers: "At that point, to Lucasfilm, the Jedi are like the holy grail ... 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.'" What happened next nearly led to the project being abandoned.

Star Wars Jedi almost starred... a bounty hunter

At one point in the project, Lucasfilm reportedly suggested dropping the Jedi angle entirely, instead focusing the game on a bounty hunter character and featuring gunplay in place of lightsaber combat. Asmussen responded, "I'm like, well I think you have the wrong person for the job. 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." 

Luckily for "Star Wars" fans, Asmussen and his team stayed on the project and continued to work with Lucasfilm. The character eventually evolved from a bounty hunter to a Force-sensitive hero to a wayward Padawan, then finally a full-fledged Jedi. It all worked out, as "Fallen Order" received positive marks from critics and eventually led to a highly-anticipated sequel.

In the time since then, Lucasfilm and Respawn have built up a greater level of trust in one another, which has reportedly led to the development of "Star Wars Jedi: Survivor" being a much smoother process. As Asmussuen told The Guardian, "there's this feeling each other out period, to where we are now, where it's like we're one team; it's not us versus them."