Where Things Stand Before ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’

Adam Mathew
Games Star Wars
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After many moons (or were they space stations?) Electronic Arts has decided to actually make use of its expensive Star Wars license once more. The proposed title is called Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a third-person romp with more action than you can poke a gaffi stick at, and more adventure than any young moisture farmer could ever hope for.

For those of you who like to keep things as vague as possible, the events of this game are happening a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. If you’re after more specificity: Fallen Order kicks off five years after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. (Watch Now on Disney+) That’s roughly in the year of 14 BBY. (Note to newcomers: that stands for Before the Battle of Yavin — as in, the first time a Death Star copped it up the thermal exhaust port.)

So let’s zero in on the events of 14 BBY. It’s our aim to bring you up to speed faster than an Ewok on a stolen speeder bike…

WHAT’S OUR CURRENT PREDICAMENT?

A ton of things have been happening in our galaxy, and almost none of them have been good. We’re in a state of turmoil thanks to Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine dissolving the democratic Galactic Republic in favour of an autocracy. More to the point, he’s taken the title of Emperor for himself, he’s…uh, completely remodeled the senate floor, and has also undergone an “extreme makeover.” (Official Imperial statement on this last point: Sheev has had no “work done” per se – Jedi separatist assassins just tried to fry his face off).

In response to the aforementioned attack, Palpatine decided to green-light Order 66, a secret directive that has caused Republic troopers to eliminate any Jedi peacekeepers embedded in their ranks.

This extermination event was designed to be systematic — millennia-old masters, Jedi knights, padawans, even younglings with adorably chipper accents — nobody was to be spared from the cull. However, and probably to be expected, it seems that a few of the stormtrooper platoons missed their marks. Completely. A handful of lucky or especially talented Jedi managed to avoid their grisly fates and have now scattered away faster than a tribe of startled sand people.

Most of these surviving Jedi have now concealed their identities and abilities from an Empire that’s branded them traitors. Decentralised and operating as masterless “terrorist” cells, at least according to our Imperial overlords, these pariahs seem to be adhering to the last known Jedi directive as broadcast to them by Master Obi-Wan Kenobi…

“Trust in the Force. Do not return to the Temple. That time has passed, and our future is uncertain. We will each be challenged – our trust, our faith, our friendships – but we must persevere, and in time, a new hope will emerge. May the Force be with you. Always.”

Now that we’ve caught you up to recent events (because apparently you’ve been living somewhere with your fingers in your ears, in an asteroid cave, or possibly a giant space slug) let’s take a look at the power levels of all the major players in the galaxy.

The Second Sister hunting down Jedi scum
The Second Sister orders her squad of Purge Troopers

THE GALACTIC EMPIRE

We’re going to start with the faction that’s holding the best Sabbac hand in this game of galaxies. The newly formed Empire has effectively inherited the vast resources of the organization formerly known as the Galactic Republic. It is incredibly powerful, faces no military equal, and its fist is slowly tightening around the rest of the galaxy. Furthermore, the eyes of this fascist regime are seemingly everywhere as the Emperor hunts down the only potential hydrospanner in his plan – guerrilla attacks by force-sensitive insurgents.

Obviously, Emperor Palpatine is busy with the day to day running of several million worlds, and so he’s delegated all the Jedi hunting to his right-hand man, Darth Vader. In turn, this dark lord has realised that he also cannot be in all places at once (the mana costs of such a Force projection would be astronomical). Knowing this, he’s created and trained a crack team of Jedi hunters called the Inquisitors. Think: Force-sensitive bounty hunters who sniff out and snuff Jedi.

Shrouded in Sith secrecy, not much is known about this elite special forces group. With regards to the search for the Jedi (and Fallen Order protagonist) known as Cal Kestis, we do know that he’s been assigned to the two Inquisitorious members with the call-signs Second Sister and Ninth Sister. The former is an ex-Jedi Order member who is known for her skills with a spinning double-bladed lightsaber and a preternatural ability to predict the behaviour of her marks. The latter is a towering Dowutin who relies on her brute strength and extraordinary empathic abilities to read the mind of her prey.

It’s also worth noting that the Inquisitorius have commissioned some other battlefield elements to aid them in their Jedi slaughter. For starters, a new class of soldiers called Purge Troopers are on hand to assist, and they’re said to be exceptional melee fighters who are not to be underestimated. The Empire has also noted that many Jedi are not flame retardant – and so a platoon of Purge Troopers will often be sprinkled with few Flame Troopers (read: Imperial specialists armed with incinerator units).

Saw Gerrera as seen in the Rebels series
A young Saw Gerrera plans an attack with his motley crew of raiders

REBELS RISING?

There is word–hushed whispers, really–of a resistance movement that’s gathering strength. The Republic had a great many enemies during The Clone Wars; now that Palpatine has rebranded the galactic seat of power and destroyed the Senate (literally, he threw it at Yoda), the old animosities remain largely unchanged. Furthermore, there are an unknown number of two-faced star systems out there who are bending the knee (or whatever appendage that approximates) but are secretly working to restore democracy to the galaxy through clandestine means.

It’s impossible to give an exact figure here. However, our Bothan spies tell us that ex-senators Bail Prestor Organa and Mon Mothma are separately operating their own rebel cells. We also have scattered reports of anti-Imperial activities of Onderanian resistance fighter Saw Gerrera. Important note here: he’s something a wildcard to any noble uprising effort, owing to his extreme, borderline terroristic strategies.

Well versed in the insurgent tactics he used in a civil war against the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Gerrera has been further schooled in the art of warfare by some of the best Jedi and Clone Trooper strategists of the Clone Wars (see: Generals Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Commander Ahsoka Tano, and Clone Captain CT-7567). But due to great personal loss (and perhaps some related self-loathing) Gerrera’s ruthlessness and unbalanced nature have led many rebels to disavow him.

At this stage in the timeline, we’re yet to see if this motley crew of freedom fighters can coalesce into some sort of anti-Empire alliance. Bottom line: we’re looking at a pretty disorganized resistance front here. Ragtag. Nerfherder levels of scruffy.

Padawan Cere Junda whips out her lightsaber
A young (and impulsive) Cere Junda in action

EXILED JEDI AND OTHER FORCE-SENSITIVES

When you factor in all of the above, now is not a great time to be a dissident. For starters, the most powerful pieces on the “light” side of this holochess table aren’t even in play. Master Yoda and Master Obi-Wan Kenobi have vanished or have met with unfortunate ends in their respective exiles. Worse, they’ve told all other remaining Jedi to go to ground and not resist.

Be that as it may, there are scattered reports of the odd firebrand Jedi. One such black sheep is Cere Junda, a former Jedi of undisclosed rank (our holocrons list her as a Knight, but the records are spotty at best). We do know that she began her tutelage under Master Eno Cordova who tragically died on the planet Ontotho during a Fylar Freedom Fighter ambush.

It’s also known that even at padawan rank, Junda displayed impressive martial prowess by soundly defeating a larger opposing force of Trandoshan warlords. All that being said, the fight was largely avoidable. We’ve obtained some minutes from a Jedi Council meeting that show Junda was reprimanded by Masters Yoda and Windu for showing an aggressive streak. If she’s not outgrown this character trait, it might well be her undoing.

Cal Kestis in full flight with his blue lightsaber
Forced from hiding, Cal Kestis decides to stick the Empire with the glowy end

It’s probably not a good thing, then, that she seems to be moving into closer proximity to a young force user who has caught our eye, Cal Kestis. This padawan survivor of the Clone Wars managed to outwit his Imperial pursuers by taking a low-paying (but also low-profile) rigger job on the junkyard planet of Bracca. Our spies can tell us very little about his origins and abilities at this point.

Be that as it may, Kestis and Junda may well become key players to watch in the coming months and years. Jedi – even exiled and under-equipped ones – still have the potential to play a major role in galactic events. Either by turning the tide back to the light side of the Force or (and this is a worse case scenario) they could bolster the reigning dark side further.

AT-ATs try to stomp through a swamp on Kashyyyk
The wild and varied topography of Kashyyyk could become a thorn in the Empire's side...

WHAT ABOUT THE ATTACK ON THE WOOKIEES?

This is actually an interesting flashpoint worth focussing in on. Order 66 occurred during the closing moments of Battle of Kashyyyk, and when the clone troopers turned their weapons on their Jedi commanding officers, the loyal Wookiees helped many of their allies escape. As a warning to other systems, the Empire totally subjugated the planet of Kashyyyk over the course of several weeks and ever since the Wookiees have had to endure a prolonged period of occupation.

If there are indeed any rebellious elements out there in the galaxy, it’s safe to assume that the high-profile plight of Kashyyyk would lure insurgents in like a tractor beam. The betrayal of the Wookiees is seen by many as a grave injustice. Also, from a tactical standpoint, in a coup attempt one could also ask for no finer allies than a pissed off horde of arm-ripping hirsute humanoids. Mark our words – Kashyyyk is going to be a planet to watch in the future. We’re putting galactic credits on it…


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Adam Mathew
I've seen and played it all – from Pong on a black-and-white CRT to the 4K visuals and VR gloriousness of today. My only regret after a decade of writing and 30+ years of gaming: hitchhiking's no longer an option. My thumbs are nubs now.