The Star Wars universe had a huge 2019 with The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian TV show and the video game, Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Fallen Order was released on November 15, 2019. It is an action-adventure game with an emphasis on story where the main character is a Jedi. I enjoyed playing it this past winter break, and with my thoughts souring on The Rise of Skywalker, I can look back at December of 2019 and call it a great month for Star Wars.
Fallen Order takes place five years after the events of Revenge of the Sith and the execution of Order 66, an executive order from Darth Sidious that forces the Clone Troopers to kill any Jedi on sight. Former Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis is one of its few survivors. Hiding out on Bracca, he works as a scavenger, salvaging fallen ships from the Clone Wars as he hides his force abilities. After he is forced to use those abilities to save his friend Prauf, two Inquisitors, the Second and Ninth sister, investigate and confront Cal.
Cal engages in a duel but is then rescued by former Jedi Cere Junda and pilot Greez Dritus on the “Stinger Mantis.” They take him to Bogano, a place with a vault containing a Jedi Holocron that contains a list of force-sensitive children in the galaxy. To open the vault and obtain the Holocron, Cal, with droid companion BD-1, must follow the path of the Jedi who placed it there, Eno Cordova. Along the way, Cal travels to different places across the galaxy while growing stronger in the force. He must continue to hold off the Galactic Empire and the Inquisitors constantly pursuing him.
The additions to Star Wars lore, the boss battles and the world designs are what make this game fantastic. All my life, I have been a huge Star Wars fan as I have seen all 11 live-action movies and watched the three main TV shows, The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels (I played this game before I watched Clone Wars and Rebels). Because of this, I was looking forward to seeing what this game added to the Star Wars universe and it did not disappoint. The Clone Wars introduced the planets Illum and Dathomir, which have strong force influences. This game built on those foundations, showing what the planets were like after the events of the show. They looked amazing due to the modern graphics. The events in this game made the events in The Clone Wars more impactful.
Also, the expansion of the force lore was tremendous. We were introduced to brand new force users, gaining new perspectives on Order 66. We saw more of the Empire’s hunt for surviving Jedi, making the events in Revenge of the Sith more brutal. Seeing more Inquisitors and force temples were fantastic additions as well.
One of my favorite aspects of Star Wars are the intense lightsaber battles and Fallen Order allows you to fight them yourself. The fights against other force users are amazing and the skills Cal acquires throughout the game make them more fun. The fights are epic and action-packed, increasing the affect of the events that surround. The music and characters complement them well.
My favorite aspect of the game is the world design. The game looks beautiful, bringing the worlds of the game to life. As previously mentioned, one place this game focuses on is Dathomir, a planet with a red sky. The planet appears desolate with an eerie atmosphere. You must constantly battle its native and zombie-like creatures, making the world even more dangerous. The levels and the boss battles make it my favorite section in the game.
We also get to see new planets such as Bogano and Zeffo. These unqiue planets add to the huge mythos of the force. Lastly, there are sections taking place on Kashyyyk, the Woookie home world. The Empire took it over during Order 66 and players get a first-hand look at the Empire’s industrialization of its controlled systems. On top of that, Cal explores the spiritual locations of the planet, adding to the lore of the world seen in previous Star Wars media.
My one problem with the game is the progression system. While Cal grows stronger and gains new abilities throughout the game, the gameplay often downplays this. No matter how strong you get, the weakest single enemy can wreck you easily. While it makes for challenging gameplay, it limits the satisfaction to grow stronger and makes some sections more annoying then they should be.
Overall, Fallen Order is a terrific addition to the Star Wars universe. The new lore along with the world design and boss battles make for a satisfying game to play overall. Even if you are not a fan of Star Wars, I highly recommend playing this game as it is a fun experience. Trust in the force!