There were two breakout stars of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. One was Oggdo Bogdo: the writhing, slimy monster that kept licking everyone to death but everyone ended up loving anyway. The other was Trilla Suduri, the villainous inquisitor for the Imperial Army dedicated to hunting down and slaying any surviving Jedi. Be warned, there are significant spoilers for the story of Jedi: Fallen Order throughout!
Over the course of Fallen Order, players came to love Trilla, but not in the Stockholm Syndrome way with Oggdo Bogdo. The former Jedi was betrayed by her master and submitted to torture at the hands of Darth Vader himself, having her mind broken down and restructured for nefarious purposes. Trilla began Fallen Order as a sadistic hunter, she ended the game as a human ruined by the decisions and crushing influences of those above her.
Jedi: Fallen Order earned strong reviews, with actress Elizabeth Grullon's performance as Trilla being one of the more lauded aspects of the well-received story. With a few months having passed since its initial release, Grullon reflected on the role in an interview with USgamer.
Just like Janina Gavankar—who played Iden Versio in Star Wars Battlefront 2—Grullon had no idea what the role she was auditioning for was. "I may as well have been blindfolded, I was going in clueless," the actor told me over the phone.
Trilla has a noticeably British accent in Fallen Order. It's jarring by nature because of the American cast surrounding her. It brings to mind memories of older James Bond villains stroking a white cat while explaining their nefarious plans. Turns out this was completely improvised by Grullon, who "had a strong intuition that it should be done in a British dialect" when she received the very first script for the game. Respawn gave the improvised idea the green light on the spot, and Trilla's imposing attitude took form.
Trilla's story is a sad one, with an equally sad ending. As the final proper boss fight in Jedi: Fallen Order, protagonist Cal Kestis has a tough time besting Trilla Suduri to recover a mystical item that leads to force-sensitive children throughout the galaxy. After being rendered defenceless, Darth Vader himself steps out of the shadows and cuts Trilla down. It's a brutal ending for one of the breakout stars of Respawn's new Star Wars journey.
For Grullon it was bittersweet. "On one hand I was sad to see her go in that way. I love Trilla, and I don't look at her as a villain, even though she really is one," the actor says. "I didn't wanna see her go, I wish she had some triumph or victory. On the other hand, what a way to go. In the first table read, when we got to that scene I was crying at the table." In the scene where Trilla's master reaches out to her for the first time in years, she's mercilessly cut down by Vader, just when it seems like she might be turning a corner.
But did Grullon want a redemption for her villain? She's actually not too keen on the idea. "Not necessarily you know. As an actor my job is to serve the writer, it's not to imagine that things were different," she says. "Having the character do a complete U turn and having a redemption might be a little too on the nose."
There was definitely a split second where Trilla appeared vulnerable to Cere, before Vader end her life. Perhaps straying any further to the light side for Trilla would have been a bit too far.
Trilla remains one of the most popular characters to come out of Respawn's Fallen Order. Take a look around the subreddit for the game and Grullon's character is everywhere—in screenshots and fanart alike. The actor tells me her mother keeps track of the messages she receives from fans of her character, and to date she's received messages of support from people in over 30 countries.
"Everyone I've interacted with so far has been pleasant, I love seeing people's art," Grullon says. "There's a sense of pride that people resonated with my character. It's truly remarkable to witness the reach a video game has."