‘Star Wars’ New Female Hero Will Break Lazy 9-Year Tradition

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Rey screaming Chewie in 'The Rise of Skywalker'

Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars is finally set to break away from a habit that’s been holding it down for several years. Next year will see the arrival of a brand-new installment that will be a game-changer for the entire franchise and will hopefully put the best of Star Wars back on the map for many fans.

While a lot of Disney’s Star Wars content has failed to impress in recent years, from the Sequel Trilogy to The Book of Boba Fett (2021), The Mandalorian Season 3 to Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022), and more recently with Ahsoka (2022), there’s still some hope.

Sabine Wren searching for Ezra on Peridea in 'Ahsoka' episode 6
Credit: Lucasfilm

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We aren’t talking about one of the many upcoming television shows and follow-up seasons, such as Skeleton Crew (2023), The Mandalorian Season 4, or Andor Season 2, or even the three theatrical films, which include Dave Filoni’s Mando-Verse crossover movie.

The upcoming installment in question is set during the Original Trilogy, an era that Disney seems to be otherwise avoiding. It takes place between Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983).

Han Solo saying "I know" and about to be carbonized in 'The Empire Strikes Back'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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This will hopefully mean a return to form for the franchise. Efforts have even been made to give the new installment the same look and feel as the Original Trilogy, with its main character, one of many examples, sporting a ’70s hairstyle.

That character is Kay Vess, who’s played by actress Humberly González. She’ll be headlining the franchise’s first open-world video game, Star Wars: Outlaws (2024), which is set to hit all major gaming consoles sometime next year (a recent delay now suggests late 2024).

Kay Vess and Nix running in 'Star Wars Outlaws'
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm Games

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Outlaws is a third-person action adventure that will allow players to explore the faraway galaxy. As it’s set during the Original Trilogy, it will feature well-known characters such as Jabba the Hutt, who you’ll work for throughout the game. Whether or not we’ll see many other familiar faces, though, remains to be seen.

At Kay Vess’ side is a “Merqaal” creature named Nix. In many ways, Nix is set to temporarily replace Grogu, not only as the franchise’s “current” mascot but as a companion to yet another bounty hunter in the game’s lead character (the titular smuggler, scoundrel, and outlaw).

Kay Vess smiling in 'Star Wars Outlaws'
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm Games

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What’s particularly refreshing about Outlaws, though, is that Kay Vess is no Jedi or Force user. While the game can always surprise us (in the same way that Ahsoka recently did by revealing that Sabine Wren is Force-sensitive), it’s doubtful the new character will have any dealings with the Force whatsoever, as she’ll spend most of her time operating in the criminal underworld and taking on dangerous heists.

She’s already been compared to the iconic smuggler Han Solo, whom the game’s creators cite as a source of inspiration; no surprise considering they’re both in the same line of work.

By the time it’s released, Outlaws, with its new female protagonist, will end a lazy nine-year trend for the franchise, which has seen most of its primary content revolve around the Jedi, perhaps to the extent of exhaustion.

Here are some of the biggest examples of the franchise being unable to pull itself away from the Jedi and the Force since the Sequel Trilogy got the ball rolling in 2015.

Sequel Trilogy

Rey (Daisy Ridley) getting into combat position to face Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) on Pasaana in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
Credit: Lucasfilm

There’s nothing wrong with the fact that the Sequel Trilogy revolves around a Jedi, but it started a trend that is yet to end. Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015) introduced Rey (Daisy Ridley), the main protagonist of all three films in the trilogy. But she’s hardly unique because she’s been followed by so many others since then.

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The Mandalorian

Grogu on the N1 Starfighter in 'The Mandalorian' Season 3 trailer
Credit: Lucasfilm

While The Mandalorian (2019) revolves around the titular bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), it has still featured its fair share of Jedi, from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). The show’s secondary character, Grogu, is also a Force user, while Din Djarin has even wielded the Darksaber, the Mandalorian’s version of a lightsaber.

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' official poster
Credit: Electronic Arts (EA) / Respawn Entertainment

The Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video games may meet their match when Outlaws arrives next year. However, if you’re in the mood for Jedi action, Fallen Order is, of course, your best bet, as the game revolves around Order 66 survivor Cal Kestis (Cameron Monaghan). Either way, it will be a welcome break to have a game not revolve around the Jedi.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ May Recast Luke Skywalker Next Year, Amid Character’s Uncertain Future

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi watching Luke Skywalker in the 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' trailer
Credit: Lucasfilm

While many fans believe Disney and Lucasfilm did a bait-and-switch on fans of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which seems to focus more on the Sith Inquisitor named Reva (Moses Ingram), it’s still about Force users however you look at it, whether it’s Reva, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen).

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Finally Answers Fans’ Prayers, Makes “Corrections” to the Sequels

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi

Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) in 'Tales of the Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

The animated miniseries Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (2022) is only six episodes long, but it focuses in its entirety on Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), Count Dooku (Corey Burton), Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), and Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard).

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Star Wars: Visions

Lop from "Lop and Ocho", 'Star Wars Visions'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars: Visions (2021) is a brilliant anime anthology series, but it’s yet another example of how the franchise is afraid to peel itself away from the Jedi. Even the Volume 1 episode “T0-B1” is about a droid of all things becoming strong with the Force.

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Ahsoka

Ahsoka fighting Baylon Skoll in episode four of 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ahsoka has no shortage of Jedi. There’s the titular Togruta Jedi, played by Rosario Dawson, the Mandalorian Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), who’s suddenly Force-sensitive, and the long lost Jedi Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi), as well as the mysterious Force-users Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno).

Will Kay Vess replace Ahsoka Tano in terms of popularity? It would be a nice break from the norm, so here’s to hoping.

As per Ubisoft, here’s the synopsis for Outlaws:

Experience the first-ever open-world Star Wars game, set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Explore distinct planets across the galaxy, both iconic and new. Risk it all as Kay Vess, a scoundrel seeking freedom and the means to start a new life, along with her companion Nix. Fight, steal, and outwit your way through the galaxy’s crime syndicates as you join the galaxy’s most wanted.

If you’re willing to take the risk, the galaxy is full of opportunity.

Check out the trailer for Outlaws below:

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Finally Returns to the Original Trilogy in Brand-New Trailer

Check out the behind-the-scenes featurette unveiled at this year’s San Diego Comic Con and the official gameplay walkthrough below:

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Releases Footage for Epic “In-Between-Quel” Coming in 2024

Outlaws will be released on PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2024.

Are you interested in learning more about Kay Vess? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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