The new God of War game strikes a very different tone from the franchise’s past outings. Kratos, formerly a vengeance-obsessed rageaholic, is now a father struggling to strike a balance between supporting his son and toughening him up to kill off a few Norse gods. And it turns out that change in the former God of War was inspired by, of all people, George Lucas.
Some background is in order. Before Lucas sold his empire to Disney, he had been working for years on a live-action Star Wars TV series with writers from 24 and The Shield that was ultimately shelved. Rumor had it that several seasons were written out, but few have ever seen these scripts. Among them, surprisingly, is God of War‘s Corey Balrog, who revealed Kratos’ softer side is thanks to, of all things, the Emperor:
I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts… 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 f***ing 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.
Balrog also notes that many of the game’s senior team are now dads, which may have affected their approach to Kratos. Walking death-metal lyrics are less compelling when you’ve got kids, and Kratos may be dialing it back, at least in terms of causing the apocalypse and killing gods. Of course, this implies that if Kratos is the Emperor, his son might just be a Vader waiting to happen, which is an intriguing prospect all on its own.