In a galaxy not so far, far away, the force of excitement surged through fans as the highly anticipated Star Wars: Outlaws game was revealed during the Xbox Showcase on Sunday June 11th! Developed by Ubisoft’s development team Massive Entertainment (the studio behind the Division games), the renowned video game company showed a cinematic trailer on Sunday and then followed it up the next day with ten minutes of actual gameplay!
Outlaws is a third-person single-player action game that focuses on shooting, stealth, and has some space combat mixed in as well. Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the game follows Kay Vess (voice and likeness by Humberly Gonzalez a scoundrel eking out an existence in the criminal underbelly of the Empire who hopes to pull off the biggest heist the galaxy has ever seen. This was the long awaited untitled Ubisoft game that was announced back in 2021 as the first major non-EA Star Wars game in years!
The gameplay video, which you can watch above, looks gorgeous and the transition from planet to space is impressive. We have never had a truly open-world Star Wars game unless you technically count the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The open-ended approach to combat where you can use stealth, your little axolotl-looking companion to distract enemies, or just have a good ‘ol fashion shootout is exactly what we should expect from the team who brought us The Division. Despite all these great reasons to be excited about the game, there is a faction within the Star Wars fanbase that is upset about one key part of this game: the main character herself, Kay Vess.
An argument raised against playing as Kay Vess is her gender. Some gamers contend that they cannot connect with a female protagonist. This perspective is not only misguided but also reinforces outdated gender stereotypes. Gaming has evolved significantly, and it is essential to embrace the inclusion of diverse characters that appeal to a wide range of players. Choosing a character should be based on their abilities and story, rather than their gender. I don’t remember Star Wars gamers throwing a fit when Iden Verso was the main character in Battlefront 2’s(2017) campaign so it is weird that it is happening now. Then again the argument could be made that people were buying that game for the multiplayer and not so much for the short 5 hour campaign.
The reasons put forward by gamers who do not want to play as Kay Vess in Star Wars: Outlaws appear to be based on misguided notions and unfounded prejudices. Embracing diverse characters enriches the gaming experience, allowing players to explore different perspectives and immerse themselves in unique storylines.
It is crucial to approach gaming with an open mind, celebrating the creativity and inclusivity that characterizes the Star Wars franchise. I mean Star Wars is made up of so many unique species and genders! There is a sizeable fraction of the gaming community that are women!
Matt Piscatella, a video game industry analyst at Circana (essentially a market research firm), revealed that:
According to Circana's PlayerPulse, so far in the US during 2023:
47% of console video game players are female (+1% vs YA)
50% of PC video game players are female (+1% vs YA)
54% of mobile video game players are female (+1% vs YA)
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) June 9, 2023
So the argument about not being represented or not identifying with a female character is a silly notion. Women make up half the planet and nearly half of all gamers. It’s fine to have a game protagonist who is a woman.
Get over it. I might see the point about wanting a custom character editor, but no one cared about that when it came to Cal Kestis in Jedi Fallen Order or in Jedi Survivor. Fortunately most of the Venn diagram that overlaps, made up of gamers and Star Wars fans, isn’t mostly toxic but the vocal minority makes it appear that way.
I think the better argument that could be made is that with so many species and aliens in Star Wars why do we only ever see humans as the main characters? That’s a better point that could be brought up. What do you folks think? Is there an actual valid reason for being upset about Kay Vess?
Find the whole notion silly to begin with? Comment down below, we always read the comments. Interested in actual strong female Star Wars characters? Then check out our coverage of young Leia’s panel from Dallas Fan Expo here. Into video game coverage? Then check out some of my articles revolving around video games here. As always, stay geeky out there!