Star Wars has had a rich history of video games throughout the past four decades. While the franchise has had numerous classics across over a dozen gaming platforms, the series hasn't had too many modern classics. That might have changed with last year's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Respawn's first crack at a single-player Star Wars story has been embraced by many series fans, taking them back to a largely unexplored era in the franchise's history. Players got to meet Cal Kestis and his ragtag crew, exploring an uncertain post-Order 66 landscape. The story ended with the crew coming together as a family eager to tackle whatever's next.
But what is next? For this year's May the 4th, Shacknews would like to revisit Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and think about where Cal Kestis and company go next. A sequel seems inevitable, so we'd like to celebrate Star Wars Day by laying out what we'd like to see in Cal's next adventure.
1. A New Padawan
Some might look at this and think, "Wait, Respawn went to all of this trouble to introduce Cal Kestis and now Shacknews wants a new character?" For the sake of Cal's story, that answer is mostly yes. That's not to say Cal shouldn't have a role in the new story. But when looking at Cal's past, his place during Order 66, and the latter half of his story that sees him confronting a manifestation of his old master, it feels like the next stage in Cal's life is to attempt to become a Jedi Master, like Jaro Tapal before him.
There are hints for this coming to pass. As Cal wandered the ice planet Ilum, he saw visions of himself training a full academy of Padawans. Now granted, that's not possible anymore, not since Cal destroyed the Jedi Holocron at the end of Fallen Order. However, that doesn't mean that there still can't be a Force-sensitive young person who wants Jedi training in the next chapter.
Remember that there were supposed to be no Jedi left after Order 66, but things have rapidly changed in the 15 years since Episode III first released. Cal himself was in hiding at the start of Fallen Order, seeking to leave his past behind. What's to say there isn't somebody else out there in a similar situation, one who is about to become a target of Darth Vader's Inquisitors? A new Padawan would put Cal in the unique position of attempting to live up to Jaro Tapal's legacy and avoid all of the failings that continue to haunt Cere. If the Padawan isn't the central playable character, then make him to Cal what Atreus is to Kratos in God of War.
Maybe the next game could even take place in the aftermath of all of this. Maybe Cal already found somebody willing to learn under him, but the Padawan has also been taken by Inquisitors, just as Trilla was. That would put Cal square in Cere's position, as he must now attempt to shove down all of his anger and stay true to everything that Jaro Tapal and Cere have taught him.
There are a number of story possibilities, but some of the best ones lie behind the idea of a new character joining the fold.
2. Playable BD-1
The best new character to come out of The Rise of Skywalker is debatable. But ask anyone who consumes Star Wars video games who the best new Star Wars character of 2019 is, they might tell you it's BD-1. Cal's droid companion was not only a great sidekick in Fallen Order, he might be one of the best sidekicks in all of video games. He digs through boxes, he keeps Cal standing with Stim Canisters, he pokes around every little nook and cranny providing information, and he can even hack into droids to help them fight on your side. BD-1 is awesome and it'd be great to see him get a bigger role in the Fallen Order sequel.
So what if players get a chance to be BD-1, even if it's for just a little while? Maybe Cal needs to grab something in an unreachable area. He won't fit through a vent or a pipe, but BD-1 can. Turn it into a stealth sequence of sorts where BD-1 needs to retrieve something without being seen by nearby Stormtroopers. Or maybe send BD-1 into a hostile-filled area ahead of time and have him clandestinely hack some droids so that they'll help Cal as soon as he busts in.
There are some good possibilties for BD-1 from a gameplay standpoint and we'd love to see what Respawn can come up with.
3. A more active role for Nightsister Merrin
Speaking of supporting characters, Nightsister Merrin doesn't come along until near the end of the game. After liberating Dathomir from the mad Jedi Taron Malicos, Merrin just decides to tag along. And even after the final battle, she's still tagging along with the crew, in search of a new purpose in life.
Thinking about Merrin teleporting in and around Dathomir telepathicallyh conversing with Cal as he makes his exit from the planet makes me think about how her role can potentially be expanded in a Fallen Order sequel. Her magic obviously wouldn't as powerful away from Dathomir, but she's far from a liability. Maybe she can lend Cal some assists on the battlefiend in a limited capacity. Or maybe she can even help Cal bolster his own offensive arsenal with some of her magic.
I would expect Merrin to play a big role in any sequel story, since the next step in her journey is to find her place in the bigger universe. That would mean bonding more with the crew and with Cal, in particular. She doesn't necessarily need to be playable, but giving her a more active role in Cal's adventure would help push her story forward and help her ultimately discover her true sense of purpose.
4. More Darth Vader as the unkillable monster
Let's be real. The end of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was awesome, especially from a Star Wars nerd's perspective. The end sees Darth Vader showing up, Cal taking him for about 30 seconds, realizing he's Darth Vader and cannot be beaten, and the scene shifting from an epic boss battle to a harrowing escape sequence.
If there's a sequel to Fallen Order, there needs to be more of this. There's no reason that Vader shouldn't be to Fallen Order what Mr. X and Nemesis are to Resident Evil. Make him the unkillable horror villain again and have him show up three or four times during the sequel. Any time Vader shows up, Cal would realize the mission is lost and it's time to leave, leading to more escape sequences similar to the end of the first game.
Vader is not somebody to fight, he is somebody to be feared. Respawn appears to understand this, based on the ending to Fallen Order. And now that Cal is on Vader's radar, the Sith Lord has a much greater incentive to show up more in the future.
5. Stay single-player only
Many games try to be too many things, especially ones lucky enough to get a sequel. Larger franchises often feel pressure from big publishers to expand in too many ways. Some of them feel tempted to add some sort of multiplayer. Respawn will probably feel this same temptation, especially given that Star Wars Battlefront II's development cycle is at an end. And hey, since Respawn is pretty good at this multiplayer thing, maybe a sequel to Fallen Order should feature some sort of multiplayer, right?
Part of the reason that Fallen Order is on its way to becoming a modern Star Wars classic is because Respawn entered the game's development with a singular goal, focused on that goal, and accomplished it with great excellence. They wanted to make a great single-player Star Wars story. They did that. There was no multiplayer to dilute what was a great solo experience.
Fallen Order's eventual sequel should be able to do the same thing. Respawn has an outstanding team at the ready, one with clear reverence for the Star Wars franchise. They don't need to tack on a multiplayer mode. Star Wars multiplayer is already in a good place with DICE, even if it didn't necessarily start that way. Just focus on telling Cal's story and on expanding everybody's role. Let's deal with Cere dealing with the death of her Padawan at Vader's hands, let's focus on Merrin finding her purpose, let's potentially deal with more of the fallout from Greez's past as a shady gambler, and let's focus on Cal trying to live up to the fallen Jedi Order.
Game studios are at their best when they stay in the lane and focus on one thing. Respawn would be well-served in doing the same.
That's what we'd like to see in an eventual Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel. What would you like to see? Join the conversation and let us know. And until that sequel comes, may the Force be with you all.