Star Wars Jedi: Survivor doubles down on biggest mistake in Fallen Order

Alec Mullins
Cal Kestis relies a little too heavily on his lightsaber in the Star Wars Jedi franchise.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor puts players back in the shoes of Cal Kestis, a young Jedi who has spent much of his life on the run from the Empire following the Great Jedi Purge. Despite his reconnection with the jedi way, Survivor only ramps up the needless violence against people and animals alike.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order introduced the world to Cal Kestis, an upstanding young Jedi who was forced into hiding following Order 66 and the murder of his trainer Jedi Master Jaro Tapal.

Much of the first game is centered around Kestis reconciling with his master’s death and holding up his promise to uphold the battle against evil, which he attempts to do by teaming up with Cere Junda and Greez Dritus to potentially save a number of other padawans that also survived the purge.

That’s the hook for the entire story: coming to terms with trauma and reconnecting with the Force while attempting to restore the Jedi Order. Why then, does Cal show such a blatant disregard for the lives of the people and creatures he meets along the way?

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor gameplay highlights classic Fallen Order mistake

In IGN’s nine-minute gameplay demo, it is made very clear that community complaints over excessive murder didn’t budge Respawn Entertainment at all.

Huge swaths of the video are dedicated to showing off all the fresh ways to take down the various vicious creatures that occupy Koboh, a planet that’s plagued by remnants of the Clone Wars era.

Whether it’s the Battle Droids that have stepped in to replace Stormtroopers on this particular planet or the large rock-throwing beast that Cal faces off with later on, many of the gameplay improvements are clearly focused on combat.

There’s one set-piece moment that’s meant to showcase the new dual-saber fighting stance, but at its core, is nothing more than Kestis going on a rampage against creatures he clearly could have escaped.

Instead, he unleashes everything he has on the creatures, literally cutting them in half as he works his way through the horde.

When weighed up against the ideals that Cal surely would have learned during his time as a Padawan, it makes for quite a conundrum.

In training, the younglings are taught the following mantra:

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force

Strictly speaking, the Jedi Code only forbids violence against unarmed opponents, but their position on violence is not a mysterious one. In Attack of the Clones, Mace Windu explains it perfectly. “We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers…”

At the end of the day, Survivor still has to be fun. A degree of violence can be excused in the name of making a game where much of the joy is in controlling a super-powered laser sword wielder, but its reliance on killing pretty much every non-Bogling animal certainly comes into contrast with the greater Jedi way.