The Red Dead Redemption games have huge ensemble casts, including some of gaming's most memorable characters. Red Dead 1 already hinted at some of the people John Marston had known throughout his life, but Red Dead 2 blew the doors wide open, introducing almost all of the Van der Linde gang and showing how many kinds of story there are to be told in a world like Red Dead's.
There are a few characters from the series that have huge gaps in their stories that would be great to see Red Dead Redemption 3 or a future spin-off game fill in. Here are some Red Dead Redemption characters who most deserve their own game.
Javier Escuella was first introduced in Red Dead 1, where John Marston hunts him to Nuevo Paraiso, Mexico, and either shoots his former friend or turns him over to the authorities. The Javier that John encounters in the first game is brash, conniving, and a far cry from the quiet, respectful man players met as part of the Van der Linde gang in Red Dead Redemption 2.
The difference between Javier of 1899 and Javier of 1911 struck many fans as odd, but the time between these games creates a great opportunity to tell Javier's story and explain how he became a more cynical man. Diving deeper into Red Dead's version of Mexico could also create the opportunity to explore some interesting new locations, while Red Dead fans' foreknowledge of Javier's death would play into the series' themes of decline and struggling against nihilism. Javier's story would be an opportunity to explore another part of the Red Dead world, and to explore the secret life of a character revealed in Red Dead 2 to have more dimensions than many first thought.
Jack Marston's story could be one of the most interesting for Rockstar to tell next, though it also comes with some risks. At the end of Red Dead 1 Jack avenges his father by killing Edgar Ross, the government agent who had John gunned down. By the time Jack takes revenge, it's 1914, and the looming shadow of World War One couldn't make the end of the era any clearer. The first game was set intentionally late for a western, and even Red Dead 2 explored how the gang felt anachronistic even at its height.
Continuing Jack's story would allow Rockstar to take one of Red Dead's main themes – its characters struggling against their changing world – to an extreme. However, if not handled properly, there's also the risk that Jack Marston's story would undermine the other games. In Red Dead 1 and 2 it's clear that characters like Dutch van der Linde are wrong to think they can fight change. Dutch admits as much, lamenting the "paradox" that he can't fight nature, but that he also can't fight his natural desire to fight nature. Having Jack's story continue as a western could imply that resisting change is in fact possible. Jack Marston is deserving of a standalone game because his story has the potential to take Red Dead's themes to their breaking point, but with that potential comes considerable risk.
Sadie Adler is one of the best candidates for Red Dead 3's protagonist. Red Dead 2 players already know part of her story, the loss of her husband and that after 1899 she became a bounty hunter. What she did between 1899 and 1907, however, remains a mystery – as does her fate after the end of Red Dead 2. Either one of those times could be interesting to explore, and Sadie feels like protagonist material. As a bounty hunter she's charged with preventing towns from slipping back into what one sheriff calls the "bad old days."
Having a protagonist who is a willing agent of the forces of change could be interesting to explore. Players have seen characters attempt to resist or survive their changing worlds, but the games haven't had the chance to explore the downsides of embracing change either. Even as a bounty hunter Sadie Adler risks becoming a relic of the past, chewed up by the same law and order she helped prop up. As one of Red Dead 2's break-out characters, her story could explore the series' major themes from a new angle while retaining all its gunslinging glory.
If Red Dead 3 wants to go even further back in time, Langdon Ricketts could be a great candidate for a player character. Langdon first appeared in Red Dead 1 as an aging outlaw John Marston meets in Mexico, but the old man hints that he's had plenty of adventures of his own. Langdon is old enough that John grew up hearing stories of his adventures, and in later life Langdon is said to have been involved in the Blackwater massacre that kicks off the events of Red Dead 2.
Langdon is the closing thing John has to an idea of what a true golden age gunslinger might look like. Exploring the ways in which the reality of Langdon's life fail to live up to the legends could be an interesting way to further Red Dead's themes. The games so far have always taken place in the dying days of the Wild West, but following Langdon's adventures in the 1870s or 80s could show just how far from ideal the good old days were.
Hosea Matthews is Dutch's right-hand man at the start of Red Dead 2, and he could be a great perspective character for exploring the earlier years of the Van der Linde gang. As with Langdon, he could show just how much the nostalgia holds up to scrutiny. As a con man, his character could feel like a nice change of pace given both John and Arthur act as enforcers. Red Dead's references to his earlier adventures – like having a noose shot from his neck when a sheriff tried to hang him for stealing a chicken – could form a foundation for the plot, or at least accounts for players to compare with the game's actual story. Either way, taking Red Dead further into the past could help explore how, even then, its characters were struggling against their changing world.
Red Dead Redemption is available now for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now on PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.