Stig Asmussen, game director of the Star Wars Jedi series (and of original trilogy God of War fame), reportedly almost walked away from the project entirely after Lucasfilm pushed back on the idea of protagonist Cal Kestis being a Jedi.
In an interview with The Guardian, Asmussen recalled the difficult task of prising anything away from the unflinching sentinels of the Star Wars IP, stating: "We wanted to have a Jedi with lightsabers. 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.’”
The idea of playing as some kind of "force user" and not a Jedi does sound pretty rough. Apparently, Lucasfilm went so far as to suggest the protagonist be some kind of smuggler or bounty hunter instead. While of course that sounds awesome too, it wouldn't have been a great fit, as 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.”
We're glad Asmussen stuck to his guns, or his lightsaber, rather. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is out on 28th April, and is looking like a worthy successor to 2019's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. What do you think of Lucasfilm's guardianship over the very concept of Jedi? Meditate on this, the Force, and the fact we live in a reality in which Amy Hennig actually gets to do a Star Wars game in the comments section below.