Zavala’s New Voice: How Destiny 2 Honors Lance Reddick’s Legacy

Zavala’s New Voice: How Destiny 2 Honors Lance Reddick’s Legacy

Destiny 2 fans were shocked and saddened by the news of Lance Reddick’s death in March 2023. The veteran actor, known for his roles in The Wire, John Wick, and Horizon Zero Dawn, had been the voice of Commander Zavala since the first Destiny game in 2014. His deep and authoritative voice gave life and personality to the leader of the Titan Vanguard, one of the most iconic characters in the Destiny universe.

How Bungie Chose Keith David as the New Voice of Zavala

After Reddick’s passing, many fans wondered what would happen to Zavala’s character in the upcoming expansion, The Final Shape, and beyond. Would Bungie recast the role, retire the character, or use Reddick’s existing lines?

Bungie announced their decision in a blog post1 on August 10, 2023. They revealed that they had chosen Keith David, a prolific actor on stage and screen, to assume the English language voice of Zavala in The Final Shape and beyond. They also confirmed that Reddick’s original lines would remain untouched for the upcoming release.

Bungie explained that they had a long-standing relationship with David, who had voiced the Arbiter in their previous Halo games. They praised his talent and versatility, and expressed their confidence that he would bring a new dimension to Zavala’s character while respecting Reddick’s legacy.

David also shared his thoughts on taking over the role. He said that he was honored to continue Reddick’s great work as Zavala, and that he intended to capture the character’s sense of integrity and leadership.

How Fans Reacted to Keith David as Zavala

The announcement of David as Zavala’s new voice was met with mixed reactions from the Destiny community. Some fans were supportive and excited about the change, while others were skeptical and disappointed.

Some of the positive comments included:

  • “Keith David is an amazing choice. He has such a powerful and distinctive voice, and he has experience in sci-fi and gaming. I can’t wait to hear him as Zavala.”
  • “I’m so glad Bungie didn’t just replace Lance with some random voice actor. Keith David is a legend, and he deserves respect. I think he will do a great job as Zavala.”
  • “I think this is a beautiful tribute to Lance Reddick. Keith David is one of his friends and colleagues, and he has worked with Bungie before. He will honor Lance’s memory and legacy as Zavala.”

Some of the negative comments included:

  • “I’m sorry, but no one can replace Lance Reddick as Zavala. His voice was so unique and iconic, and it defined Zavala’s character. Keith David is a good actor, but he is not Zavala.”
  • “I don’t like this change at all. Keith David sounds nothing like Lance Reddick, and he will ruin Zavala’s character. I wish Bungie would just retire Zavala or use Lance’s old lines.”
  • “I think this is a disrespectful move by Bungie. They are trying to cash in on Lance Reddick’s death by hiring a famous actor to replace him. They should have left Zavala alone or found someone who sounds more like him.”

What to Expect from Zavala in The Final Shape

The Final Shape is the last major expansion for Destiny 2, scheduled to release in February 2024. It will conclude the story arc that began with Beyond Light, and will feature a final confrontation with the Darkness, the mysterious enemy that has been threatening the solar system for centuries.

Zavala will play a crucial role in The Final Shape, as he will lead the Guardians in their final stand against the Darkness. He will also face some personal challenges, such as his relationship with Ikora Rey, his mentorship of Saint-14, and his doubts about his own destiny.

Fans can expect to hear Keith David’s voice as Zavala in The Final Shape, as well as in future seasons and updates for Destiny 2. Bungie has assured fans that they will not change Zavala’s character or personality, but rather enhance them with David’s performance.

Bungie has also promised to honor Lance Reddick’s memory and legacy as Zavala, by keeping his original lines in the game, creating a memorial for him in the Tower, and donating to his favorite charity2.

Zavala is one of the most beloved characters in Destiny 2, and his voice is one of his most distinctive features. While fans may have different opinions on Keith David as his new voice actor, they can all agree that Lance Reddick will always be remembered as the original and irreplaceable voice of Zavala.

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