Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order protagonist could have been black or female but the suggestion was reportedly shot down. Former Respawn Entertainment developer Nora Shramek revealed this in a Twitter thread spotted by GamesRadar, where she said that the idea was floated by “a lot” of developers, but it sounds like someone higher up in the chain of command wasn’t on board.
Why Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order protagonist wasn’t allowed to be black and/or female
According to Shramek, the individual(s) who shot the idea said that the game can’t have a black protagonist because it already has two black characters, and a female protagonist wouldn’t suit because Rey – a female – is the protagonist of the new Star Wars sequel trilogy. “The worst thing I heard was when someone (not gonna give any info here) said ‘I think all the black people [in the game] need to have more glossy skin because black people have more oily skin than other people’,” Shramek added, revealing that the comment shocked developers.
When I worked on SW:JFO a LOT of devs wanted & advocated 4 the main character 2b black &/or a woman. ‘Reasons’ 4 NO: We already have 2 black people in the game. Rey is a woman & we can’t do that to’ guess what the demographic of the people making those decisions looked like?
— NoraNevaBoreYa (@NoraShramek) May 10, 2022
The tweet above implies that the decision-makers were white males and rank well above the development team. “Individuals have power in the process,” Shramek continued. “If those individuals have massive privilege and by the nature of their life experience shelter them from a full view that means they need to be extra intentional about their choices.” She went on to say that the games industry still has a long way to go to combat racism, misogyny, and homophobia.