Lance Reddick, the actor who’s been lending his voice to games ranging from the Horizon series to Quantum Break, passed away Friday. He was 60 years old. While he’s been in films and TV shows such as John Wick and The Wire, Destiny players know him best as the commander of The Last City, the Awoken Guardian Zavala. Now, folks who’ve heard the news of Reddick’s death are flocking to his in-game character to honor him as their forever commander in a wholesome display of gamer solidarity.
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Zavala is a mainstay in the Destiny universe. One of the first characters you meet after waking up in the original game and blasting your way through an alien-infested planet, Zavala could be found in the Tower’s war room alongside Cayde-6 and Ikora Rey. A kind of stoic blank slate in the beginning, he would primarily sling a variety of Titan armor in silence. However, he’s been given a lot of emotional backstory in the years since, with the character evolving in significant ways—he’s more talkative when you see him in the Tower now, standing alone and looking out at the Traveler, pontificating on the state of the world and his role in it in Reddick’s dulcet tones.
In last year’s Witch Queen expansion, he grappled with his faith as cosmic forces challenged it, which gave Reddick even more room to flex into Zavala’s character and personality. Subsequent seasons revealed a familiar tragedy from his past that still haunted him. Infamous lines memed into oblivion like, “We’ve stepped into a war with the Cabal on Mars,” also gave way to intimate personal tales of grief and struggle.
So, with the news that Reddick has suddenly passed away due to what police are saying is natural causes, many Guardians are now paying their respects to the beloved Titan Commander, heading to the Tower to pay tribute to him as best they can. Games journalist Saniya Ahmed shared a picture of gatherers at the Tower, writing that some players were giving each other emote hugs.
Kotaku senior editor Alyssa Mercante jumped into the game and confirmed there were folks gathered around Zavala. Several players deployed the Peaceful Rest emote, which surrounds them in neon-colored tower candles. Another held a shield and sword made of light. A few just sat.
Folks are heartbroken over this loss, including many Bungie employees, who shared their immediate reactions to the shocking news on Twitter. Artwork of Zavala has already been drawn up and sent out. Content creator Uhmaayyze shared an older image of Reddick holding a Destiny gun, beaming. Zavala quotes are circulating online, their meaning holding even more weight in light of this loss. Some players are even planning a “community-wide silent sit-down event” in front of Zavala to pay tribute to Reddick’s stellar performance, while others are trying to organize a shared color scheme to honor him. Reddick’s impact on the Destiny community cannot be understated, especially since the last tweet he liked was about the game.
Kotaku reached out to Bungie for comment.
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It’s never a good feeling when a beloved figure passes, especially someone as influential and prolific as Lance Reddick. But thanks to the community’s adoration and his immortalization across mediums, Reddick will live on forever. So, eyes up, Guardians, Commander Zavala is forever watching over you.