Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was released last fall, and it’s an amazing game – the one we’ve been waiting for.
This single-player game features very good gameplay, thoughtful combat, and plenty of exploring and lore to add to a fantastic and compelling story. You can read my non-spoiler review of the game here, but in this article we’ll be diving into some things we learned, canon-wise.
Ilum’s transformation into Starkiller Base
One of the fun surprises of the game is that you get to visit Ilum, the planet where Jedi went to get their lightsaber crystals. Cal reflects on doing this, but when he visits this time, the planet is under Imperial control. The Empire quickly began strip-mining the planet for its kyber crystals, and this caused damage to the planet itself. Seen from space, it developed a trench-like look running across the middle of the planet… very similar to Starkiller Base.
Many Star Wars fans have long thought that Starkiller Base is Ilum, and The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary officially confirmed it in December. It was really cool to be able to visually see it in this game, as you can notice the similarities.
Tarfful is a Freedom Fighter on Kashyyyk
In Revenge of the Sith, we met a Wookiee chieftain Tarfful, who (along with Chewbacca) aided Grand Master Yoda in the Battle of Kashyyyk, commanding the Wookiee forces in their fight to defend their home. We obviously know what happened to Chewbacca in the years following the Clone Wars, but what about Tarfful?
We learn the answer in Jedi: Fallen Order. The Empire took control of Kashyyyk and oppressed the Wookiees, but some fought back. When Cal and his team arrive on the planet, they discover that Saw Gerrera and his fighters are already on site and fighting back against the Empire. Cal helps them do so, freeing a number of Wookiees, We learn that Tarfful has become THE freedom fighter amongst the Wookiees, as he has struck many blows against the Empire from hiding and still hasn’t been caught. Tarfful is a sort of symbol of hope for the Wookiees, as he represents the hope that the Empire won’t win, striking back against them as he fights for their freedom. He hides out in the shadow regions, and one of Cal’s missions is to find him. He does, and Tarfful directs Cal on where to go for the next step of his journey.
But we did learn that Tarfful, in the years following the Battle of Kashyyyk, hasn’t given up fighting. He’s the model of freedom fighting on the planet and an inspiration to the people. I wonder if he’s still around by the time Chewbacca and Han Solo return to help liberate the planet after the fall of the Empire?
What’s left of the Nightsisters
Late in the Clone Wars, General Grievous led his Seperatist forces to Dathomir to wipe out the Nightsisters per Count Dooku’s orders, a retaliation for Asajj Ventress’s failed assassination attempt of the Sith Lord. Mother Talzin led the Nightsisters in fighting back against the Seperatists, and they put up quite a fight, but Talzin was forced to flee by Grievous and the droid army routed the remaining Nightsisters. They wiped all of them out except Talzin, Ventress, and a young girl named Merrin, who managed to survive.
In a later encounter, Talzin was killed by Grievous, and Ventress was killed before the War ended as well – leaving only Merrin as the presumed last remaining Nightsister. Merrin lived on Dathomir for five years following the end of the War, commanding the remaining Nightbrothers and becoming proficient in magick – even to the extent that she could summon the dead Nightsisters, just like Old Daka. She plotted her revenge for five years, but after meeting Cal she decided to leave Dathomir, see the galaxy, and chart a new course.
So, as far as we know, the Nightsisters on Dathomir are no more. The Nightbrothers are still there, and obviously the Nightsister zombies are too, but the last known survivor of the Nightsister Purge decided to leave the planet to explore the galaxy, not staying behind in hatred and revenge.
The Jedi dealt with the effects of the Purge differently
Speaking of the Nightsister Purge, Fallen Order deals heavily with the Jedi Purge; in fact, this is one of the game’s main themes. Cal is forced to deal with the ever-lingering effects of being a Jedi survivor, and the game shows us that the surviving Jedi handled it differently.
Cal Kestis was haunted by the death of his master, feeling that it was his fault that Jaro Tapal died in Order 66. Cere Junda survived Order 66 but was later captured by the Empire and tortured into revealing the location of her padawan; she used the Dark Side to escape but was fearful of what she had done and gave up using the Force. Trillia Suduri was captured by the Empire after Junda gave her up, and she broke and became an Inquisitor. And Malicos crash-landed on Dathomir following Order 66 and embraced the Dark Side of the Force, tricking Merrin and the Nightbrothers that it was the Jedi who were in the wrong.
So just in this one story, we see differing ways of dealing with the fall of the Jedi: one of them is haunted by shame and regret; one of them gave in to the Dark Side but cut herself off from the Force to keep her from going further; one of them gave in to the Dark Side and became an Inquisitor; and one of them gave in to the Dark Side and led Dathomir astray. The Jedi Purge was a huge, tragic moment for the Jedi, and those who survived processed it differently.
The Inquisitors play a huge role in Fallen Order, as the Second Sister and Ninth Sister are two of the main antagonists that Cal faces in his journeys. But the game also takes Cal to Nur, the home of the Fortress Inquisitorious, which we hadn’t seen previously in canon material. This Fortress is located on Nur, which seems to be in the Mustafar system, and the design of the Fortress itself is very evocative of the design of Vader’s Castle on Mustafar.
We know that the Empire kept the Inquisitors hidden away, not revealing them to the rest of the galaxy at large, and that the Fortress is a place where Jedi are brought, imprisoned, and tortured. Similar to Mustafar, it’s a place where Jedi go to die. It’s where Cere and Trilla were brought and tortured, and who knows how many other Jedi along with them.
We learn that Cal is gifted with the use of psychometry, which puts him in pretty rare territory amongst the Jedi we know of. This skill allows a Force user to know information about something just through touch. Cal uses this at numerous points throughout the game, as he touches and senses something and is then able to hear what happened there, gleaning information from it. From the standpoint of playing the game, it’s a skill that makes a lot of sense for the protagonist to have, as it allows the player to piece things together and learn more information about what happened at a place without actually having to see it.
But from an in-universe perspective, it puts him in the company of Quinlon Vos, who used this during the Clone Wars to track people. Additionally, the recent novel Force Collector, by Kevin Shinick, explores psychometry more through the character of Karr Nuq Sin, who gets visions when he touches an object.
So this is a pretty rare skill amongst Jedi, and Cal Kestis is one of the few people we know of so far who can practice it.
The Empire had several projects of interest, but one of them was Project Auger, a new project that we learn about in this game. The Empire apparently had an interest in the planet Zeffo, and this interest stemmed from the very top, as Emperor Palpatine himself had an interest in the artifacts that were on the planet. So the Empire began mining on the planet in search of these artifacts, and the Zeffo people were relocated. The winds on the planet made things difficult for the Empire, but their interest in the planet was proven worthwhile when Cal found his way into the ancient tombs on the planet.
This is just the latest example of the Empire having a significant interest in ancient artifacts, and of them doing whatever it takes to unearth them for their Emperor. We’ve heard of other such excavations and projects, but this one was new.
Speaking of new things revealed, we are introduced to the Haxion Brood in the game. This criminal syndicate operated in the Outer Rim and is made up of a number of bounty hunters. This syndicate was led by Sorc Tormo, who operated things from the home base of Order Eris, which was built into an asteroid. Here, Tormo oversaw a series of games in which captured individuals were thrust into combat against varying forces. This happened to Cal, as he was taken captive by the syndicate and pitted against a number of different foes before ultimately being rescued by the Mantis.
There’s no huge revelation here, but it’s yet another criminal syndicate that was operating during the time of the Empire.
The Battle of Bracca
Though technically our first introduction to the planet of Bracca came in the recent novel Resistance Reborn (by Rebecca Roanhorse), this game was the first time we got to see the planet, and we learned a lot more about it. This planet was the site of fighting during the Clone Wars, and it was here that Jedi Master Jaro Tapal and his padawan Cal Kestis were stationed at the end of the war. Tapal commanded the Republic forces at the Battle of Bracca, which was the sight of a major battle during the Clone Wars. The Scrapper Guild (of which Cal is a part at the beginning of the game) helped the Separatists in the war, which was part of the reason why they faced retaliation from the Empire. It seems the battle was won by the Republic, however, as Tapal and his forces were preparing to head to Mygeeto before Order 66 happened.
After the war, Bracca became a place where the Scrapper Guild continued to operate, breaking down the wreckage of the war, including both Republic and Separatist ships, and selling the parts to the Empire. Since Cal’s clone troopers turned on him above Bracca, killing Tapal, he and his mortally wounded master fled to the planet, where Cal remained for the next five years working as a member of the Scrapper Guild.