The past year has been rough for Star Wars gaming. After an impressive one-two punch of Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars Squadrons, Lucasfilm made a significant announcement in early 2021: they were resurrecting the Lucasfilm Games brand and opening up their partnerships. While Lucasfilm Games will continue working with Electronic Arts (EA), Ubisoft announced its collaboration with Lucasfilm Games in creating an open-world Star Wars game.
Speaking of open-world type games, there was another Star Wars game that was supposed to follow Jedi: Fallen Order and Squadrons, making a trio of vastly different but entertaining games. The Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was supposed to release in Spring 2021 but has recently been delayed to Spring 2022. So now, Star Wars gamers are in the middle of a drought. When Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga does emerge from the TT Games lab, players will be able to play through all nine films. But the only thing better than experiencing some of our favorite Star Wars stories in Lego-form is experiencing a new story within the Star Wars universe.
It has been almost two years since Jedi: Fallen Order was released, and gamers played through the eyes of Cal Kestis, a Padawan survivor of the infamous Order 66. Outlets like The Verge, Gamespot, and Time sang its’ praises, with the latter calling it “the first great Star Wars video game in a decade.” And although outlets like Screen Rant’s review were more humbling on the quality of gameplay, even they admitted that the story was “exceptional.”
So, while we wait for the next exceptional Star Wars game, you can watch the C&C pick for September: the story mode cutscenes of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. From the game trailer, you learn that it takes place after Order 66 and revolves around a Padawan survivor, but the overall story is about generational trauma leftover from the Clone Wars. The Padawan Cal Kestis has Order 66 survivor guilt and is working for the Scrapper’s Guild on Bracca when he is discovered by Inquisitors (the Second and Ninth Sisters). He is rescued by Cere Junda, a former Jedi Knight that has closed herself off from the force due to her own past trauma. Along with BD-1 (Cere’s former Master Eno Cordova’s droid), and Latero pilot Greez Dritus, the team goes on a quest to rebuild the Jedi Order while avoiding the Inquisitors, crime syndicates, and other monsters lurking in the galaxy.
Aside from being an engaging game with skill progression that matches Jedi teachings and lessons, there was care taken to bring a meaningful story into Star Wars canon. Developer Respawn had a writing team led by Aaron Contreras with Manny Hagopian, Matt Michnovetz, and Megan Fausti. Most of the writers’ experience is with other game storytelling, but Michnovetz also wrote for The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Batch, which all fit perfectly in the time frame of Jedi: Fallen Order.
With Jedi: Fallen Order 2 in development, we will see Cal, Cere, and the rest of the characters introduced in the first game again. It is also possible that we will see them in other mediums. A prequel comic five-issue run, Dark Temple, was released before the game’s release. The series involves Jedi Master Eno Cordova and Padawan Cere Junda on a mission that ties into the game and revolves around the excavation of a temple. The game and comic have Indiana Jones vibes. Star Wars has leaned into this tone within the past five years with characters like Doctor Aphra (an archeologist) and Eno Cordova whose interest lies in ancient civilizations.
And while Jedi: Fallen Order introduces many new characters and some new planets to Star Wars, there is plenty of familiarities. In a StarWars.com interview, Conteras states that “roughly half our locations already exist in the Star Wars universe.” Kashyyyk, Wookiees, and Saw Gerrera all make an appearance.
An English cut scene edit is on YouTube and comes in just under two hours, but many versions range from 2 – 4 hours in length (depending on how much gameplay is woven in) but watching it will still feel cinematic. And, as mentioned, the possibility of characters and elements introduced in the game appearing in other mediums is high. Bracca, a junkyard planet, is introduced in the game but has already appeared in The Bad Batch.
Not every Star Wars fan is a gamer, but a good story is worth the investment. Jedi: Fallen Order is not a good story. It is a great story. It has already been almost two years since the game was released so, if you have gone this long without watching the story, do not wait any longer and catch up this September.