Respawn Entertainment gave eager fans a closer look at what lies in store in the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order with nearly fifteen minutes of gameplay footage set approximately three hours into the game. Fans of the Star Wars films and shows might recognize a number of Easter eggs, abilities, and characters that tie into the films, as the game is set shortly after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
Kashyyyk, the Wookiee Homeworld
The gameplay footage begins with our protagonist Cal Kestis sneaking around the planet Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld now under the apparent control of the Empire and its forces. Cal is tasked with rescuing a young Wookiee and stopping the harvesting of resources, presumably to fuel the military machine of the Empire.
Fans may recall that Kashyyyk was the setting of a long campaign that took place in the Outer Rim Sieges towards the conclusion to the Clone Wars. Although it is not described in detail in Revenge of the Sith, the Confederacy of Independent Systems hoped to claim both the Kashyyyk hyperspace junction and secret information on hyperspace routes that were rumored to exist in the Wookiee archives that would change the tide of the war if used properly.
From what we know, Cal is likely on Kashyyyk only a short while after Order 66 took place, and so it should be no surprise to see an Imperial presence there already from the end if Revenge of the Sith.
Tarfful, A Different Wookiee?
During the gameplay we are informed that Cal is on his way to rescue Tarfful, a Wookiee with a more youthful appearance from the others we have seen in film. Based on the name and the timing of his location in the game, we could assume this is the same Tarfful who helped Yoda escape the planet alongside Chewbacca following Order 66, as seen in this clip from Revenge of the Sith.
Yoda addresses Tarfful by name, but these two Wookiees do not look as though they are the same age. Is it insensitive to assume they are the same Wookiee because of their name? We do not want to be politically incorrect here on an intergalactic scale, so we can say that perhaps this is the same Wookiee. Maybe.
Saw Gerrera – Back Again
Actor Forest Whitaker played the role of a resistance fighter named Saw Gerrera in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and we also saw the character's origins in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Over time, we saw Gerrera evolve as a resistance fighter to the point that in Rogue One, he is referred to as an extremist, too off the rails for the main resistance when Jyn Erso goes to meet him.
Here again he appears in Fallen Order, speaking with Cal, presumably about their shared objective on Kashyyyk. Tarfful is there too, so we can only speculate that he and his group are there to stop the Imperial occupation. More importantly, we may see in Fallen Order the events that drove Gerrera to be considered an “extremist” by the rest of the resistance.
We know that Gerrera eventually leads the resistance group known as the Partisans, and that they gained their extremist reputation by engaging in terrorism to achieve their goals, but it would be fascinating to know what drove Gerrera to that place, and if we will see it in Fallen Order.
Force Stopping Blasters – Kylo Ren, Is That You?
When we observe Cal use the Force in the gameplay footage, we recognize a few moves right away. Twice we see that he can slow time, and stop the laser shot from a blaster in midair. Later we also see him pull a Stormtrooper headfirst into the stopped laser, killing him instantly. This reminds us of Kylo Ren from Episode VII.
The fantasy of playing a Jedi character in a video game requires a few components to be considered authentic. There needs to be the proper use of a lightsaber, and we have to explore the use of the Force, preferably with choice in how we develop those powers. We know that there will be skill points in the game, but how will we spend those points?
Games like Knights of the Old Republic went deep in this idea of choice, allowing a player to develop either the light or dark side of their skill set. Cal was still a padawan learner at the time of Order 66, and at this point we do not know the extent of his training.
Given his youthful look and the rigorous rules in place to only accept young children into the Jedi Order for teaching, Cal likely has a base set of skills based on the light side of the Force. Some may wonder if Cal can learn Dark side moves, however the narrative structure of the game would need to work hard for us to reasonably believe that Cal would have any inclination towards the use for Dark Side skills, as well as access to its teachings.
BD-1 Explorer Droid, At-ST, “We Have The High Ground”
The final three movie tie ins from the gameplay footage were all briefly shown, so we cannot elaborate too much on the context in which they are based.
Cal is always accompanied by his helper DB-1, an Explorer Droid that has health packs, and much like R2-D2, is adept at hacking into terminals to unlock doors. Here we see him jump to it, much like R2 did throughout the series.
An All-Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST) combat walker makes an appearance at the end of the footage, with Cal needing to dodge the massive legs and shots fired. We saw Ewoks make short work of these in Episode VI, so Cal should have no problem dispatching them as well. We hope.
A bit of a terrifying surprise appears at the end of the footage when Cal seems ready to rescue Tarfful. A KX-series security droid emerges from the wall and stalks towards Cal. Considering the raw strength of K-2SO from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we could have seen the untimely end of Cal.
Finally, no game is complete these days without some sort of meta commentary or self-reference. In this case, at least when we hear the words “We have the high ground”, it is said within some appropriate context by some troopers who are genuinely fearing for their lives.
For now, that seems to be all the major film connects that we know about from the gameplay presented at E3, and since this was but a tiny slice of the full game, there are likely to be many more once the game finally launches.