Rick the Door Technician might not be the most powerful or dangerous enemy in Respawn’s fantastic sequel, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. But he is a fan favorite who, in a game filled with great boss fights, provided one of the game’s most memorable and shortest.
Fairly late into Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s main campaign, while exploring a large Imperial base, your protagonist, Jedi warrior Cal Kestis, runs into a single stormtrooper. Right before this, Kestis had to fight off a large garrison of Imperial baddies in one of the game’s biggest, toughest fights. After surviving all that, and likely injured with no checkpoint, you encounter a new boss: Rick the Door Technician. While another boss encounter seems like an unfair challenge after such a big fight, this lone trooper is really just a joke character who Kestis can defeat with one hit. So why is he here? Well, according to Respawn, he was created to make you laugh and feel better after a tough fight. Isn’t that nice of Rick?
In an interview with IGN, Jonathan Wright, the lead encounter designer at Respawn, explained the origin behind this odd “boss fight.” After that very large fight, players were stressed out, as Respawn purposely designed that section to be even tenser by not including a checkpoint. This makes players nervous about what’s coming next, as they desperately search for a checkpoint. While this all worked to create a tense moment, Repsawn wanted to eventually provide something that would “be a release of all that built-up tension.” Its solution: making players laugh.
“Players have just come from an extremely hard fight. Players are more than likely very low on health at this point, and are probably very stressed with finding the next meditation point so they can rest,” said Wright. “The moment with Rick allowed us to build up another moment of tension as players think they are in for another hard fight, but then release all that built-up stress when they fully realize the moment with Rick. It’s a good emotional reset to prepare players for what is to come.”
This is all part of Respawn’s effort to balance the mostly serious narrative and events in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor with moments of humor. According to Wright, this balance is what makes the jokes “land.”
“The seriousness of the rest of the game is what makes the more humorous moments land,” said Wright. “The contrast between funny and serious elevates both kinds of moments. We knew that the moment with Rick was important because of this.”
Respawn didn’t expect people to fall in love with Rick
However, nobody at Respawn could have predicted how fans would react to Rick, quickly embracing the character and creating fan art, mods, and other content based on the lonely stormtrooper who tried to stop Cal Kestis. The character has become one of the most talked about moments in the game, and has players asking for more of Rick the Door Technician. (It would probably have to be in a prequel, considering what happens to him…)
Wright told IGN that seeing all the fan love and community support for Rick has been “indescribable” and that he “never imagined [Rick] would explode in popularity to this extent.”
“To me, there is no greater achievement than something you had a hand in creating [then inspiring] other people to be creative,” said Wright. “All the comments on videos from people describing their experience with Rick’s heroic last stand, all the jokes and the memes, the videos and stories, it’s all a spark of creativity that started with Rick and I think that is amazing.”
As for if Rick will return, as so many Star Wars Jedi: Survivor fans have asked about, Wright told IGN that it isn’t his call, but he added that he doesn’t think more Rick content is “needed.”
“Rick’s story already has a valiant ending,” said Wright. “The explosion in popularity and fan creativity shows that we already did a good enough job with Rick. Let players have fun with it and let people be creative with Rick’s backstory in their own minds.”