God of War director Cory Barlog’s version of Kratos was inspired by cancelled Star Wars TV scripts.
God of War was inspired by cancelled Star Wars TV series
The new God of War game is certainly going in unexpected directions, considering Kratos has a humanizing son while learning to master his rage. But for director Cory Barlog, it’s an example of how video game storytelling is expanding to explore richer perspectives. Yet the idea for the new Kratos comes from an unlikely source – a cancelled Star Wars TV series.
“Probably the really small beginnings of this idea, the germination of this — when I was working at [Lucasfilm], I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the [canceled live-action Star Wars] TV show,” Balrog told VentureBeat. “It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical.”
Taking the idea that even a villain could by sympathetic, Balrog started trying to see how Kratos might represent more than mindless violence – all while still making it an element of his character.
“That first idea, though, was pitching Kratos getting another chance at being a dad,” Balrog explains. “That was the essence of the pitch. People were kind of looking at me sideways. ‘What are you talking about?’ But you start thinking about it a little bit. How would he deal with that? Just saying, ‘Oh, Kratos wants redemption’ is selfish. It’s old Kratos. It’s self-centered. It has no purpose. But this idea — something beyond him is motivating him to change. He’s known for a long time that he needs to change. But the change is coming from not wanting to repeat the mistakes of his past.”
God of War is currently in development for the PlayStation 4.