Alright, let's think about this from Bioware's perspective. There is a trade-off between the length of the story and the degree of its possible variations; the more time that is spent creating alternate versions of events, the less time can be spent creating additional events. Bioware have to strike a compromise that delivers a sense of control of events, and yet does not detract from the epic nature of the story. So what characters will return and in what capacity? Who will have cameo roles, and who will be squadmates?|
If I were Bioware, then surviving ME2 squadmates who were not possible romantic interests for Shepard would return only in cameo roles. Perhaps they would join Shepard's squad temporarily during a particular mission, but they would otherwise be unimportant to the story. This would allow Bioware to acknowledge their survival in a satisfying way, without their absence radically altering the course of events.
Either Kaiden or Ashley would return as full squadmates. By practically removing them from ME2, Bioware spared themselves difficult continuity issues until ME3. The return to earth could also be used for their respective character arcs. For Ashley, the defence of Earth would parallel her grandfather's (?) failed defence of Shanxi during the first contact war. For Kaiden, he would need to confront the prejudice that many on earth feel toward biotics. In any case, bring back either Kaiden or Ashley would be a much simpler than bringing back any of the ME2 squadmates, since it presents far fewer possible scenarios for the story so far.
Liara is a no-brainer, regardless of whether she is a romantic interest. She is one of the few squadmates who is certain to have reached ME3 still breathing. However, she is likely to preoccupied with Shadow Broker business at the beginning of ME3, and will probably not join Shepard's squad from the beginning.
There is a good chance that Urdnot Wrex will return for the same reason as Kaiden or Ashley. If he did not survive ME1, then his place could be filled by his brother, Urdnot Wreav with little trouble, just like in ME2.
#6808962, By intpleeus Mass Effect 3
intpleeus 28 posts
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