Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment’s upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will not allow players to dismember humanoid characters with a lightsaber.
Jedi: Fallen Order designer Justin Perez told IGN that they will use dismemberment in “select cases.” However, he pointed out that this refers to droids and monster creatures like spiders. Humanoid characters are off limits. IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey and Sam Claiborn paraphrased, “Basically, droids and spiders and the like can have their legs and arms (if applicable) lopped off, but not humanoids. Blame the Disney branding folks for that one, it seems.”
However, they would then state they believe this is a Lucas Arts edict. pointing to a discussion with Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 7 Story Artist Tatyana Drewry Carvin about the rules for decapitation.
Carvin stated, “One of the rules we were given was to always hide the cut in case of decapitation. And never show blood.” Carvin added, “The burn of the lightsaber is supposed to cauterize it instantly.”
She also provided an example in order to hide a decapitation. “And about hiding the cut of the decapitation – a good/smart way to do it is to have a camera move and have something in the Foreground hide the spot where the head gets cut.” She added, “Using the motion of the camera and a foreground element – like another character – is more cinematic than using a camera cut.”
While that rule might have been implemented in Season 7, it was obviously not in effect in Season 4. In Episode 14 of Season 4 “A Friend in Need,” Ahsoka clearly beheads four Mandalorians and you can clearly see the cuts of their heads.
In fact, Star Wars is known for body dismemberment throughout the movies. There’s a YouTube video created by The Peytonator that shows a montage of all the body dismemberment. It includes Darth Maul, Zam Wesell, Jango Fett, Anakin Skywalker, Count Dooku, General Grievous, Mace Windu, Clone troopers, the Wampa, Ponda Baba, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader.
Interestingly enough, there was a blog post on the official Star Wars website from 2015 titled “Every Limb Lost in the Star Wars Films.” That article appears to have been deleted as it now redirects to the Star Wars website’s homepage. Fortunately, the internet doesn’t forget an archive link of the article still exists.
The death scenes in Star Wars Rebels that involve lightsaber duels are normally shown off camera. There are actually multiple deaths shown off camera and you just hear the whirring of the lightsaber. It’s quite possible IGN’s initial assumption that this is a Disney edict could be correct.
I’m not sure why anyone would want to play a Star Wars game that doesn’t allow the player who is controlling a Jedi Padawan to actually use their lightsaber as it is seen in almost every single movie.
I think YouTuber Robot Head might have hit the nail on the head in his critique of Disney’s understanding of the lightsaber, “The coolest weapon of all time, a Jedi weapon, has now just lost all its wonder.”
What do you make of Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment not including body dismemberment in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order?