Gamers and franchise fans remember the old Star Wars role-playing games fondly. The early 2000s introduced memorable Jedi and Sith heroes like Jaden Korr and Darth Revan from the Jedi Knight and Knights of the Old Republic game series. Now that they have been removed from canon, the Star Wars universe -- at least where video games are concerned -- has felt somewhat small. That's about to change thanks to Respawn Entertainment and their upcoming single-player action-adventure game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
But what do we know about this new video game? Very little right now. The game was only officially announced in May 2019 after several years of speculation left fans guessing thanks to a letter, written by an excited Stig Asmussen, announced his involvement in a Star Wars project when he joined Respawn Entertainment. We've finally been given a decent first look at what that project is and it certainly looks exciting, to say the least. Everything you need to know about it will be collected right here for your convenience and it'll be updated as more information comes out.
WHAT IS THE GAME ABOUT?
The game, written by Aaron Contreras, takes place not too long after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, in which Emperor Palpatine invoked Order 66, virtually wiping out the Jedi Order. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order puts players in the shoes of ex-Padawan Cal Kestis, who survived the extermination and tries to lie low. Upon being discovered as a Force user, Kestis is pushed into using his knowledge of the Force to fight the Empire and restore the Jedi with the help of a few allies. To do that, the former Padawan has to investigate the mysteries of an ancient and extinct civilization.
The nature of the game's setting means we're likely to see more of the transitional period between the galaxy depicted in the prequel film trilogy and the original films. It's a world we've caught glimpses of in the anthology films, Rogue One and Solo: A Star Wars Story, which each depicted an authoritarian regime expanding across almost every major planet in the galaxy. The first trailer for Fallen Order showed us as much, with Kestis initially working odd jobs and avoiding Stormtroopers as best he can until, as with all heroes in the Star Wars universe, he decides to rise up.
WHO AND WHAT WILL WE SEE?
At the moment, very few major characters have been revealed. Kestis voice and likeness is provided by Cameron Monaghan, known for playing Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska on Gotham.
The lone Jedi will be joined by a droid companion by the number BD-1, voiced by Ben Burtt. Throughout the game, the droid will be seen clinging to Kestis' shoulder and helping him. As of right now, we don't know how substantial a role the droid will have in the narrative, only that BD-1 plays a huge role in gameplay.
As the gameplay trailer at E3 revealed, there will be Rebellion soldiers, possibly from both factions. Saw Gerrera makes a return to the franchise, once again played by Forest Whitaker. Gerrera was introduced in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, which, much like the game, takes place during the 20 years between the rise of the Emperor and Luke Skywalker's involvement in the rebellion. Unlike the other rebels, Gerrera is an extremist and leads a branch of the Rebellion that most others look down on.
The last heroic character is Cere Junda, played by Debra Wilson. There aren't a lot of details available surrounding her character, but we do know that she is a former Jedi Knight and will fight alongside Kestis, acting as his mentor. Much like Cal, she is an entirely original character created for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Second Sister is one of Darth Vader's Inquisitors, sent to hunt the remaining Jedi outlaws. She was introduced in the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic book series back in 2018 and makes a grand return to the franchise in Fallen Order. She features quite prominently, though the details of her role in the game's story can almost only be assumed. All we know is that she is hunting Kestis and Junda.
These characters will travel across numerous worlds, some of which have been revealed in the released trailers. These worlds include the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk, the Outer-Rim planet of Mygeeto and several others, including a few created for the game.
HOW DOES IT PLAY?
There's no doubt that seeing the gameplay trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will remind fans of the old Star Wars: Jedi Knight series. So far, it doesn't look too dissimilar. For the most part, players will traverse numerous landscapes, each one ripe with plenty of opportunities to use Force powers and swing that lightsaber at an array of opponents ranging from your average Stormtrooper to massive AT-STs.
One thing that should be made clear is that Fallen Order has a story it wants to tell, which means this is not an open-world game and players are likely to have few choices. In fact, unlike the previous Star Wars single-player RPGs, Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella stated that players will not be able to choose between the Dark side and the Light.
From the 14-minute trailer, it's apparent that this lack of narrative freedom does not mean players will be all that limited when it comes to gameplay. According to those who got their hands on the game at E3, in combat, players won't be able to just sit back and button mash their way to victory.
Players will have to consider each squadron of enemies, as well as which combination of Force powers and lightsaber attacks will work best for each enemy type. Kestis will block basic attacks automatically if you hold a button down, but there are several attacks that have to be dodged at just the right moment. It's also possible to avoid combat entirely in certain areas of the game.
It's also interesting to note that the game does not feature excessive violence. What that means is that, where past video games in the franchise showed lightsabers lopping off entire limbs, the violence in Fallen Order is fairly mild. The worst wounds we see in the gameplay trailer, for example, are scorch marks across fallen enemies. This does not apply to all enemies.
BD-1 plays a significant role in gameplay. The little droid has a spotlight but no weapons, so it cannot fight. What it can do is provide Kestis and the player with a map of the terrain and healing items during combat, since Kestis has a tiny health bar and apparently never learned Force heal.
By now you might be wondering which Force powers Cal Kestis has at his disposal. He was just a Padawan learner when the Jedi Order fell, which means we probably won't be seeing him use Force lightning any time soon. The gameplay trailer shows that Kestis is still a capable Force user, able to use Force push, pull and slow in combat. He's even able to slow blaster fire -- a feat only Kylo Ren has been seen performing thus far.
WHEN WILL IT BE RELEASED?
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order be released on Nov. 15 on PS4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. The game is available for preorder. Bonuses for preorders are mainly cosmetic and will apply to Kestis' lightsaber as well as to BD-1. Details on those have yet to be released.