Jedi Fallen Order

Cloudy the Future is.


Jedi Fallen Order Poster released by Electronic Arts

Chuck Sipps, Arts and Life Editor

Set for release on November 15, 2019, Electronic Arts ‘Jedi Fallen Order’ is set to unveil some of the mysteries of the dark times of the Star Wars Universe, i.e. the period between ‘Revenge of The Sith’ and ‘A New Hope’, where the Empire ravaged the galaxy largely unopposed. 

The plot is as follows. Set a few years after Revenge of the Sith, former Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis has escaped Order 66, the Emperor’s secret plan to purge the Jedi from the galaxy, and is now hiding from The Empire. After a salvage mission goes wrong, Cal openly uses the Force to save one of his friends from death. An imperial droid captures footage of the incident and Cal’s true identity has been revealed. The Empire dispatches the Second Sister, an inquisitor trained by Darth Vader, to hunt down the Padawan and eliminate any Jedi who survived Order 66.

The game has been well-received,  based off its trailer, and appears to be heading in the right direction. There is however a point of concern that ‘Fallen Order’ should avoid if it wants to stand a cut above the rest of the video game fair. To fully understand this certain point of view,  one must look back at what has come before, in terms of games, books, tv, and film. 

The true crippling weakness that has plagued ‘Star Wars’ is the franchise’s reliance on nostalgia. The Galaxy is said to be insurmountably immense yet only focuses on a handful of characters, creatures, locations, vehicles and planets. How often in ‘Star Wars’ games do players visit Tatooine, Endor, and Hoth? How many times have they fought Rancors or Wampas?  How many TIE Fighters, AT-STs, or AT-ATs have been destroyed? The answer to all is too many and that is why there is a craving for something new in a Star Wars experience. 

In “Fallen Order” a couple of familiar faces are returning to the fold. The first is Saw Gerrera who has appeared in ‘The Clone Wars’, ‘Rebels’ and ‘Rogue One’, where he was portrayed by Forest Whitaker. There is also the Second Sister, one of the Inquisitors who help Darth Vader hunt Jedi, whose true identity is rumored to be Barriss Offee a fallen Jedi Padawan who has appeared in ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘The Clone Wars’. There are also numerous familiar vehicles and imperial troopers as well as a Sarlacc, an alien species that was prominently featured in ‘Return of the Jedi’. 

This is Star Wars, so of course, there are going to be familiar touchstones to attract audiences, but at some point these familiar touchstones were unfamiliar. It was due to the strength of the storytelling that these aspects of Star Wars became as beloved as they are today. Lucasfilm needs a spark of originality less the jewel that is Star Wars begins to fade away.

Many fans have enjoyed their time exploring the seedy underbelly of Tatooine, the frozen tundras of Hoth and the dense forests of Endor. But those places have already been explored. Fan’s have treasured witnessing character development for some of the most iconic characters in history, both heroic and villainous. However, these are characters that are all too familiar now. Players have survived exhilarating battles against the vicious rancor, the deadly AT-AT and the monolithic Death Star. But these are battles that have already been faced. It is time to truly explore the galaxy and turn away from the familiarity of the past. 

As Kylo Ren once said, “Let the past die. Kill it if you have too. It’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.” It would be all to easy to stay the course and continue to profit on the waning nostalgia of yesteryear. If Star Wars truly wishes to remain relevant it must find new stories to tell unshackled by the chains of its past. Let ‘Fallen Order’ be the new hope that ‘Star Wars’ will take the next step in that direction. Either way, fans will find something to love or hate in ‘Fallen Order’, but if  Star Wars doesn’t grow beyond its prolific past, then a bad feeling about the future I have.