The original Destiny introduces a number of narrative elements that go completely unanswered in the game’s subsequent expansions. To name a few, the Exo Stranger quite literally disappears from existence at the end of the main game’s story, the Queen of the Reef’s fate remains a mystery after the intro to The Taken King, and the true meaning of The Darkness is never explained.
According to Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith, some of those story threads may never be tied up, and they certainly won’t be touched on in Destiny 2. Smith told PC Gamer:
“I think some of those questions we’ve taken off the shelf to look at, and some of those questions we’re leaving on the shelf and may never answer. […] I don’t know that we’ll answer all of those statements from the first game, and aren’t going to attempt to in Destiny 2 either.”
Smith has already explained that The Darkness won’t be in Destiny 2, and that the focus will be on the Light and on the main villain of Dominus Ghaul.
In addition, Smith was willing to confirm to Kotaku that when Bungie was working on Destiny 1, the developers honestly had no idea what The Darkness even was:
“At a point, just candidly, we had no idea what [The Darkness] was. Straight up, we had no clue. We didn’t know what it was. For a period, we chose we were going to lump all the races, and you see this in the tool tips in the game: ‘Minions of the Darkness.’ And we had taken all the races and said, ‘Ah, they will just all be the Darkness.’ But that’s not what this IP deserves. It’s literally not. And so, what we’re doing with Destiny 2 is, we are deliberately telling a story about the Light and what it means to be chosen. And as such, we are in the process of removing the term ‘The Darkness’ from the game, because when we are going to talk about Darkness next, we need to know what it is and have a plan for it. And we do.”
So it’s safe to say that The Darkness will not be appearing in Destiny 2, but it will likely find its way back into the franchise in future installments. But what about characters like the Exo Stranger? Will fans see the conclusion of her story? Smith says out of all the unanswered questions fans talk about, he considers the Exo Stranger’s story to be pretty well wrapped up:
“The Exo Stranger is one that always makes me chuckle a little bit. Because I feel that’s one character where we actually wrapped up the arc. She gave you a sweet gun and then dissolved, presumably off to do something else. So I feel like, of all of our characters we’ve introduced and exited, we actually exited her effectively.”
When asked about the fate of the Queen of the Reef (previously, Bungie said she survived her space battle against Oryx and will be seen again), Smith said that the Awoken and the Reef aren’t appearing in Destiny 2 either. Although, that’s not to say they couldn’t show up in subsequent expansions or sequels.
Fans and lorehounds are sure to be split on these comments, as it feels more and more that Destiny 2 is rebooting a lot of the story—or at least the story’s direction—from Destiny 1. But considering that it sounds like the narrative of Destiny 1 was an arduous journey, it’s not surprising that Bungie would want a sort of re-do to kick the franchise off into a new direction.
Bungie says Destiny 2 will double down on the story, so there should be plenty of narrative for players to chew on. Fans will have to wait and see—and judge it for themselves—if it delivers on their expectations.
Destiny 2 launches September 6 on PS4 and Xbox One, and October 24 on PC.