Jedi Fallen Order Part 3: A Scrappy Duo

By Shamus Posted Thursday Aug 20, 2020

Filed under: Retrospectives 123 comments

Like I said in the last entry, this game doesn’t start with the standard opening crawl. Instead it has a huge ship flying overhead at a low angle. Is this a repeat of the opening shot of A New Hope? Nope! It’s a fake-out. This ship is a hollowed-out junker, being hauled off to be disassembled. The camera pulls back to reveal a vast scrapyard. 

Perhaps worried that people will freak out over the lack of opening crawl, the designer decided to make this vista as “Star Wars”-y as physically possible. Tie fighters scream by and we pan down to see the outlines of various recognizable capital ships from the movies. Then a probe droid drifts by and we follow it to meet our characters. The only way to make this shot more reassuringly Star Wars would be to have the droid humming the cantina music and carrying a wookiee sidekick with a lightsaber.

Don’t freak out kids! You didn’t get an opening crawl, but this is still Star Wars!

What's wrong with your FACE?
What's wrong with your FACE?

We meet Prauf, a burly alien dude and his buddy Cal. They seem to be low-level scrap workers of some kind. We can tell right away that Cal is our protagonist because…

  1. He’s a fit, vaguely photogenic young adult named “Cal”. 
  2. He’s the only human around in this vast landscape of droids and aliens, and everyone knows that only humans are special enough to be the protagonist.
  3. His face is on the goddamn box. Are you blind?

The foreman (or whatever) orders our duo to go to some dangerous place and fix some random thing so we can get our movement tutorials out of the way.

Genre Blend

Climb up to where and do what? Do I look like Lara Croft to you?
Climb up to where and do what? Do I look like Lara Croft to you?

This game is an interesting blend. We’ve got platforming and traversal systems borrowed from Uncharted / Tomb Raider. We’ve got vaguely Soulsian combat focused around recognizing enemy movement animations and making efficient use of dodge-roll I-framesIf this isn’t your genre: This just means that you’re usually invulnerable to damage for a moment after you hit the dodge button and your character does a little sideways somersault. and parrying enemy attacks at just the right moment. We’ve got some mild leveling mechanics and collect-a-thon stuff borrowed from Every Game Made in the Last 10 Years. We’ve got an open-ish design where you can visit locations in the order of your choosing like in KOTORActually, that freedom is mostly an illusion. I didn’t realize how linear the game was until my second trip through the game.. There are some fairly involved environmental puzzles that again borrow from the Tomb Raider / Uncharted DNA. You can’t claim that any of these ingredients are new or novel, but I guess this particular mix is unique? It’s kind of interesting that we’ve never had a Jedi game with this sort of platforming. It seems like an obvious match.

Once we know how to run, jump, slide, climb, swing, and twerk, we reunite with PraufJust kidding about the twerking thing. It’s actually moonwalking.. Prauf manages to fall off of the platform. It’s then revealed that Cal is a force user when he uses his powers to save Prauf from certain death.

Afterward, they have a little conversation where they deal with this new revelation and how dangerous this is. This story takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. At this point in Star Wars, the Jedi are all but wiped out. According to the moviesAnd the first movie in particular., Darth Vader is personally hunting down and exterminating the Jedi. But this game takes place in the expanded universe of nu Star Wars, which means the writer is free to invent a rogues gallery of previously unmentioned Sith Lords so our protagonist has someone they can reasonably fight. 

A Mild Perturbation in the Force

So THAT'S the secret to using the Force. You gotta hit the right bumper. (I know this angle is confusing. We're looking straight down at Prauf as he falls. Cal is hanging upside-down.)
So THAT'S the secret to using the Force. You gotta hit the right bumper. (I know this angle is confusing. We're looking straight down at Prauf as he falls. Cal is hanging upside-down.)

I honestly thought it sounded a little strange when Cal and Prauf spoke in hushed tones about what a dangerous thing it was for Cal to use his powers. Cal is clearly hiding out on this world because it’s remote. Ben Kenobi certainly never thought it was dangerous to use the force on TatooineWhen he scared away the Sand People and mind-tricked the stormtroopers. in A New Hope. I never got the impression that casual use of the Force would advertise your position to all Force users within several light years. Back in A New Hope, Vader couldn’t sense Kenobi until they were in the same hangar, and those dudes were really close back in the day. 

But as it turns out, the Sith were able to sense Cal’s mild perturbation in the force and show up within an hour or so. You could argue that maybe the Sith were nearby, but then we have to wonder why these high-ranking Inquisitors would be hanging around the galactic dump like this or why Cal would choose to hide right under their noses. I’m not an astrophysicist or anything, but I’ve heard that galaxies are kinda big

Yes, I realize I’m being an insufferable nitpicker here. This is nu Star Wars, and we must allow for a certain degree of leeway in the lore or none of these spinoff stories can happen. But fair or not, this is the kind of thing that runs through my mind in these scenes.

How did you guys get here so FAST? Do you live on the other side of this scrapyard, or what?
How did you guys get here so FAST? Do you live on the other side of this scrapyard, or what?

Remember that for me, Star Wars “ended” in 1983, and the canon remained hermetically sealed for the next 16 yearsI never read the books / comics.. I was a kid for a lot of those years, which makes the perceived gulf between Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace seem absolutely enormous. Even after all of this time, the prequel movies still feel like “new stuff”Despite the fact that Phantom Menace is closer to Return of the Jedi than we are to Phantom Menace. Time is weird.. Yes, to enjoy these expansion works I need to open up a little. But to enjoy this retrospective, you’ll need to cut me a little slack. I basically can’t help myself.

Anyway, the Inquisition shows up unexpectedly and arrests a bunch of scrappers. They know there’s a Jedi around here somewhere, and they threaten to kill everyone if the Jedi doesn’t come forward. During the standoff, we see Cal surreptitiously take out a lightsaber behind his back!

This was the first moment where the game genuinely surprised me. I honestly didn’t think that Cal would start the game with a lightsaber. It makes total sense that he would own one, since he used to be a Jedi. And we all knew from the previewsNot to mention the box art! that a lightsaber would be a major part of the combat in this game. But I didn’t expect it so soon because I’m really used to games pulling…

The Lightsaber Tease

Great hiding place, Cal. No inquisitor would think to look for a lightsaber on someone's belt.
Great hiding place, Cal. No inquisitor would think to look for a lightsaber on someone's belt.

In Dark Forces II, protagonist Kyle Katarn has to go through several levels before the game grants you the lightsaber. In the sequel Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi OutcastYes, the naming / numbering scheme of this franchise was pretty weird., the story starts with Kyle having given up on using the force and the player again has to go through the first chapter or so before they get to use the lightsaber again. In KOTOR – an RPG about being a Jedi – it takes several hours to get your lightsaberClear the tutorial ship, reach the planet Taris, do several quests in the main area of the city, then in the underworld, then clear a massive gang complex, win the swoop bike race, rescue Bastila, find a way to the undercity, get through the sewers, recruit Mission and rescue Zalbar, get through the sprawling crime fortress of Davik Kang, escape the planet, and make it through several extended cutscenes where you become a Jedi. I love KOTOR, but that game could be EXHAUSTING sometimes.. A significant number of modern AAA games are shorter than the pre-lightsaber parts of KOTOR.

KOTOR II doesn’t make you wait quite as long to get a lightsaber, but it’s still a decent chunk of the game. Likewise The Old Republic strings you along for many hours before it finally allows you to begin playing as the character class you chose at the start. 

Not all Star Wars games do thisThe Force Unleashed goes to the other extreme and has you chopping up dudes by the roomful pretty much the moment the opening crawl ends., but the trope is so common that I’ve just come to expect it by now. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun idea that can make the lightsaber feel earned and special when done properly. It’s just that I’ve done this dance so many times before. I was honestly relieved to see we weren’t doing it again here. 

Let’s let this trope rest for a bit.

Imperial March

What a noob. She doesn't realize that racking up Dark Side points like this will prevent her from getting the good ending.
What a noob. She doesn't realize that racking up Dark Side points like this will prevent her from getting the good ending.

The main villain here is a woman known as the Second Sister. She’s dressed in black and has a red lightsaber, a face-obscuring helmet, and a posh accent. I have to wonder: Is the posh accent the result of some sort of Imperial finishing school, or does the Empire only consider people with posh accents for high-ranking positions?

Second Sister kills Prauf to show that she means business, which goads Cal into drawing his weapon. They fight in a cutscene where Cal is completely outclassed. Also, an immense bruiser named Ninth Sister jumps in, making the fight even more hopelessly one-sided. During the fracas Cal winds up falling over a cliff and onto a transport train, and for some reason his foes don’t follow him.

Who are you talking to? There's literally no reason to hang him over the cliff like this. Just stab his ass and get back to your job at the puppy-kicking factory.
Who are you talking to? There's literally no reason to hang him over the cliff like this. Just stab his ass and get back to your job at the puppy-kicking factory.

I knew Prauf was our sacrificial tutorial buddy. I could tell he was destined to die like Trask and Jenkins before him. Some guys, you can tell just by looking at them. They have a lot of speaking lines, they’re really friendly, and they’re clearly irrelevant to the oncoming plot. There’s just no saving guys like that.

To show how effective the writer is: Even though I knew Prauf was doomed, I still really hated it when Second Sister ran him through. The earlier scenes managed to make him a likeable guy and hint that he’s got a history that precedes the opening credits and aspirations beyond following the protagonist around. He wasn’t complicated, but he felt genuine. Again, the writer isn’t doing anything spectacular, but they’re hitting all their marks and not making any mistakes. After sitting through countless video games that struggle with basic scenes and bungle their characters, it’s really a nice change of pace to simply enjoy a properly-constructed story.

 

Footnotes:

[1] If this isn’t your genre: This just means that you’re usually invulnerable to damage for a moment after you hit the dodge button and your character does a little sideways somersault.

[2] Actually, that freedom is mostly an illusion. I didn’t realize how linear the game was until my second trip through the game.

[3] Just kidding about the twerking thing. It’s actually moonwalking.

[4] And the first movie in particular.

[5] When he scared away the Sand People and mind-tricked the stormtroopers.

[6] I never read the books / comics.

[7] Despite the fact that Phantom Menace is closer to Return of the Jedi than we are to Phantom Menace. Time is weird.

[8] Not to mention the box art!

[9] Yes, the naming / numbering scheme of this franchise was pretty weird.

[10] Clear the tutorial ship, reach the planet Taris, do several quests in the main area of the city, then in the underworld, then clear a massive gang complex, win the swoop bike race, rescue Bastila, find a way to the undercity, get through the sewers, recruit Mission and rescue Zalbar, get through the sprawling crime fortress of Davik Kang, escape the planet, and make it through several extended cutscenes where you become a Jedi. I love KOTOR, but that game could be EXHAUSTING sometimes.

[11] The Force Unleashed goes to the other extreme and has you chopping up dudes by the roomful pretty much the moment the opening crawl ends.



From The Archives:
 

123 thoughts on “Jedi Fallen Order Part 3: A Scrappy Duo

  1. Joe says:

    I remember Jedi Academy. Not only did you start with a lightsabre, you could also play an alien! The whole game wasn’t great, but those aspects were.

    If you watch the prequels and TCW, you’ll notice that Kenobi was actually quite impulsive, leaping to the rescue at a moment’s notice. Remember his window dive onto the droid in AOTC? He got it from Qui-Gon, see the TPM bridge jump, and later infected Anakin and Ahsoka. His cantina arm-lopping is retroactively entirely in character. It was probably a relief to cut loose. Accidental pun, but I like it enough to keep it.

    “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” Douglas Adams.

    I think it was Pete from SWM who had a theory about accents. The posh English is the Coruscant accent, and all the upper class types like Leia and Amidala imitate that to fit in. Doesn’t explain Bail Organa, but it’s better than nothing.

    1. Mr. Wolf says:

      just once I’d like to talk about the immensity of space without somebody quoting Douglas Adams.

      Just once.

      1. Supah Ewok says:

        Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias… was Oh no, not again.

      2. Joe says:

        I can see that. Too bad, I love that quote so very much.

      3. Paul Spooner says:

        Can we quote Portal 2 instead? Or is this a no-quote-zone kind of situation?

  2. Daimbert says:

    I honestly thought it sounded a little strange when Cal and Prauf spoke in hushed tones about what a dangerous thing it was for Cal to use his powers. Cal is clearly hiding out on this world because it’s remote. Ben Kenobi certainly never thought it was dangerous to use the force on Tatooine[5] in A New Hope. I never got the impression that casual use of the Force would advertise your position to all Force users within several light years. Back in A New Hope, Vader couldn’t sense Kenobi until they were in the same hangar, and those dudes were really close back in the day.

    Vader senses Luke’s Force use in ANH while chasing him in a TIE fighter, and senses his presence on the shuttle from the command ship. The Emperor seems to find it strange that Vader could sense Luke’s presence in the area while the Emperor couldn’t. It’s implied that Vader uses the sensing of Ben’s presence to track him down later, and Ben barely used the Force while on the Death Star. As for Ben’s use on Tatooine, he used a relatively minor power in a critical situation, and at the end used it when pretty sure that no Force sensitives were around and he was leaving anyway. Leia can sense Luke’s survival from the moon even though he’s in orbit. The OT isn’t necessarily clear about it, but there is a consistent strain of being able to sense Force presences and Force use at some distance.

    But as it turns out, the Sith were able to sense Cal’s mild perturbation in the force and show up within an hour or so. You could argue that maybe the Sith were nearby, but then we have to wonder why these high-ranking Inquisitors would be hanging around the galactic dump like this or why Cal would choose to hide right under their noses. I’m not an astrophysicist or anything, but I’ve heard that galaxies are kinda big.

    It probably should have been lampshaded, but that’s probably not the only time that Cal used the Force, especially if he’s still carrying his lightsaber. They likely, then, were following up on leads from informants and hints that there might have been a Jedi there, especially since a galactic dump is the perfect place for a Jedi to hide.

    KOTOR II doesn’t make you wait quite as long to get a lightsaber, but it’s still a decent chunk of the game. Likewise The Old Republic strings you along for many hours before it finally allows you to begin playing as the character class you chose at the start.

    My memories of Sith Lords is that it’s actually LONGER, since you have to get through Peragus and I think the first area as well, and then have to gather the parts and build your lightsaber yourself. I suppose there might be ways to buy or loot one earlier, but I don’t recall actually being able to do that in my games.

    1. MerryWeathers says:

      It’s shown in the game that Cal using the Force to save Prauf was caught on video by that floating camera droid the Empire uses which probably alerted the authorities and the Inquisitors.

      1. Daimbert says:

        It’s also a hint that they had some interest in the place beforehand, because you don’t necessarily need cameras unless you think there’s something worth watching.

        1. Karma The Alligator says:

          Probably due to the jedi single ship that gets found in the opening.

      2. ccesarano says:

        I thought that was the case, though it still begs the question then of why they’d need to ask for which one is the Jedi if they got it all on camera.

        I also think the Sisters are an invention of one of the animated shows. Clone Wars? Rebels? If I recall this game’s narrative has a lot of connective tissue to Rebels. Evidently there’s folks at LucasArts making sure the new internal expanded universe is consistent.

        1. Armagrodden says:

          The Sith Inquisitors come from the show Star Wars: Rebels, and they all have names like “Nth Sister/Brother.” The idea being that Palpatine rounded up Force-sensitive children and had them brought up as Sith child soldiers. I think this also is why they were able to detect Cal. In the Thrawn trilogy (which for me and perhaps others is second only to the original movies in Star Wars canon), they introduced a specialized group of Force users called the Hands of the Emperor. They were Force-sensitive kids that Palpatine acquired and had a personal hand in training, with a special focus on communicating through the Force. In the end, they sacrificed depth of power for the ability to communicate with the Emperor anywhere in the Galaxy so that they could act as his personal agents. I didn’t really watch Rebels, but I seem to remember my nephew saying that the Inquisitors (or maybe only some Inquisitors?) were the “Emperor’s Eyes,” who had undergone similar training to become really sensitive to Force use at the cost of raw power elsewhere.

      3. Rob says:

        I haven’t played the game, but the moment where the probe droid catches him using the Force is in the reveal trailer, which incidentally ranks among the best trailers I’ve ever seen for a video game.

      4. Duoae says:

        This is actually a really terribly- handled thing: the player is concentrating on not falling and then reading a button prompt to save their friend. The droid itself is really inconspicuous as it flies in from the top of the screen as the camera pans downward. I didn’t notice it until reviewing the footage from my second playthrough when i was considering writing a review and i thought of this moment.

        Ideally, after flying away on the skiff/ walking off the crags skiff, the camera would have panned up to re-reveal the droid flying away in the background for players who missed it the first time.

    2. Geebs says:

      My memories of Sith Lords is that it’s actually LONGER, since you have to get through Peragus and I think the first area as well, and then have to gather the parts and build your lightsaber yourself. I suppose there might be ways to buy or loot one earlier, but I don’t recall actually being able to do that in my games.

      What with all those mining droids, and Kreia monologuing, subjectively it’s about one to one point five million years.

    3. John says:

      My recollection of The Sith Lords is that you have to clear Peragus, then the space station orbiting Telos, then the restoration zone on Telos, then the underground military base, and then Whatsherface’s secret base with all the Echani girls. At that point you finally get the freedom to choose where you want to go next and it’s around that time that you get your first lightsaber.

      1. Daimbert says:

        I know for sure that you have to find the parts of it and assemble it as well, so depending on your choice of planet to go to it may take a while to get the parts and build it.

        1. Gautsu says:

          You can get one as a random drop if you’re lucky, at least in the restored content mod. I managed to get the shell and then go like 6 hours with no crystals my last play through

        2. John says:

          Maybe? It’s been a while since I played KotOR II, but as I recall I always had at least one lightsaber by the time I encountered my first hidden Jedi master.

        3. Supah Ewok says:

          The mechanics behind it are that certain quests and chests have a “Lightsaber Part” as a reward. I think there’s 4 total parts you need. It’s random which part you get but the game doesn’t duplicate them, so it’s basically just picking out these quests and chests that give a lightsaber part 4 times then boom, lightsaber. Once you have a lightsaber, any remaining quests or chest that had a lightsaber part as a reward will give you an intact lightsaber.

          Some planets had more or easier access to these lightsaber part rewards than others. Dantoine and Nar Shardaa in particular are easy to get a lightsaber assembled if you know what you’re doing (I think Nar Shardaa is the easier or at least more exploitable of the two).

    4. Joe says:

      In the base game, yeah. Long time until you get the sabre. For all that Obsidian are big on stories, sometimes the power fantasy lags behind. With the TSL mod, you’re given three sabres the first time you level up. Room 2 or 3. Makes the early section somewhat more tolerable.

      1. John says:

        Huh. Is TSL the cut content mod? I played the cut content mod once and I don’t remember that. In my experience, the most reliable way to get lightsabers in KotOR II is to exploit the crafting system and dupe them at a workbench. (You’re not supposed to be able to do that, but KotOR II is a very buggy game.) That obviously doesn’t help with the early game though, because you can’t dupe what you don’t have.

        1. Joe says:

          Yep. It’s included in the Steam release and I think GOG. But the GOG version of KOTOR2 was for me even less stable than the original.

          1. Philadelphus says:

            Is that a hidden config option or something? I’m replaying through KotOR II with the restored content mod right now and definitely didn’t have that happen.

            1. Joe says:

              That’s strange. I’ll admit to using god mode, but otherwise just starting up and playing the game as normal.

      2. Supah Ewok says:

        No, I think you must have used some additional mod, such as this. TSLRCM adds content, but does not rebalance anything as far as I can recall.

    5. ElementalAlchemist says:

      Yes, TSL typically takes longer because of the parts mechanic, especially for new players that could manage to miss a part on their first real planet post-Telos (e.g. I think on Nar Shaddaa you have to loot the Hutt’s vault to get the part).

      Also Shamus, your K1 Taris order of events is wrong. You have to go through the Undercity to get to the Vulkar base and get the accelerator (or agree to work for them instead), thus you recruit Mission and Zaalbar before you do the swoop race (progression is literally gated off until you have both). It’s only then that you rescue Bastila.

  3. Dev Null says:

    I think the posh accent thing is just an Americanism. Every good American knows that the posh British are badguys, because they chopped down George’s cherry tree and stole Paul Revere’s horse or whatever. Cockney British are comic relief, Germans are evil mooks, and posh British are always, always secretly evil masterminds. There’s a reason Sean Connery was James Bond; with a Scottish accent he could reasonably claim to being a dwarf in disguise. I honestly kept expecting Hugh Grant in Love Actually to end up twirling a mustache in a volcano lair.

    1. Nimrandir says:

      I guess Dr. Erskine from First Avenger is the exception that proves the rule? For that matter, I’m pretty sure Falsworth doesn’t pull a face/heel turn.

      Now that I think back on that movie, it’s funny how much First Avenger is framed as a classic ‘rah-rah’ American war flick, when it’s actually a very modern, global-audience-minded piece.

    2. BlueHorus says:

      I honestly kept expecting Hugh Grant in Love Actually to end up twirling a mustache in a volcano lair.

      I mean, posh British accent AND a position of power…he should be rights have blown up at least one orphanage, romantic comedy or not.

      1. Nimrandir says:

        They were saving that reveal for the sequel.

    3. Higher_Peanut says:

      I now have a sudden craving for Love Actually, but it’s styled like a Saturday morning cartoon special while still being a romcom. Complete with volcano lairs, evil plots and a band of plucky heroes.

  4. Broc27 says:

    One thing that annoyed me, right from the start, is that this game makes it obvious that the environements are designed with the gameplay (and not realism) in mind.

    When you explore the immense ships in the junkyard, you risk your neck going from small platform to small platform, seemingly accomplishing a super human fate just getting from point A to B in this very dangerous place. However you constantly see other guys everywhere on the small and dangerous portions of even floor you can find, implying these workers did the same thing you did and are also accomplished acrobats. Unless they used a much easier way to get there? If so, why isn’t the hero also using it? It certainly isn’t available to the player, because gameplay.

    I know I shouldn’t care about that, but for some reason in this game it really annoyed me. There are some moments later in the game where it gets even more ridiculous; you start fighting stormtroopers who have been waiting on small platforms with nothing of interest and no way to get there without using the force (or being dropped by a ship sometimes when those are outside, but who drops troops on lone platforms with nothing of interest to just wait and die at the hands of the hero??).

    I know that it’s a video game, but the level design really broke my immersion, as almost all the locations felt like theme parks tailor made to use your powers and not like real places where normal beings could get anything done. So in that sense the locations felt more like Sonic the hedgehog levels to me than believable places… :-(

    1. Karma The Alligator says:

      Didn’t they show that there were some flying barges going around, being loaded and unloaded? I imagine that’s how the others get around. As for why the player can’t use them… tutorial needed, I guess.

    2. Thomas says:

      This is ultimately why this game isn’t for me. Levels which are designed like ‘videogame levels’ instead of places annoy me too much.

      I don’t need levels to be realistic, but to enjoy them I need them to be -pretending- to be real places at least. You nailed it with the Sonic level vibe. When the whole world is a series of very weird twisty corridors I can’t enjoy it as a world, and that’s a really important part of the Star Wars experience.

      It’s a subtle tweak – Uncharted is very linear, but they frequently open up into wide spaces cleverly designed to look real. Whereas almost the whole of this game (as far as I played it), was the same 1.5m wide corridor but with different wallpaper and a nice sky box. It’s the difference between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII.

      1. Broc27 says:

        Exactly! So glad to find out I wasn’t alone to see it like this. I got to the end of the game quickly (because I had bought it and wanted to at least finish it) but I returned it immediately after. Can’t wait to find out why and how Shamus thought it was worth four playthroughs.

    3. Dalisclock says:

      I haven’t played Fallen Order yet but this reminds me of a notable bit in Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast. At one point you’ve gotten onto an Imperial Warship and need to access the ships communication array to send a message to the rebellion. The issue is that the array is set up as a series of small rooms hanging over an abyss that requires you to use force jump and such to reach each segment, which makes no sense from a practical standpoint on any level and there’s nothing to even imply this isn’t the only way to access the comm array. It comes across as very “Video Gamey” and breaks the immersion a bit.

  5. John says:

    One thing that I’ve never liked about spinoffs set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is that you know that any really capable character in one of these spinoffs is probably doomed in some way. They have to be. If they weren’t, some smart-ass–me, for example–would start loudly asking “Well, if they’re so great and important why don’t they show up in the original trilogy?” This is particularly true of spinoff Jedi. The Rebels cartoon, for example, is set between the trilogies and, though I’ve never watched it and don’t intend to, my understanding is that its original Force-sensitive characters are all killed or otherwise disposed of by the series’ conclusion. If there must be inter-trilogy spinoffs, I prefer that they be like Rogue One. (Only I’d like them to be good, please.) The original characters in Rogue One are a bunch of scrappy misfits of minimal importance in the greater scheme of things. Sure, they all die at the end, but even if they had survived it would not have seemed weird that none of them appeared in the original trilogy.

    1. Thomas says:

      This is why Disney needed to flesh out their world-building for the new trilogy ASAP, so we can set some games in it which are free to not just ape the films.

    2. Syal says:

      I don’t watch any spinoffs, but this seems solvable. Yoda never joined the Rebellion, after all, Kenobi only joined after a personal request from the Princess. If you have a sufficiently personal enemy that our spinoff hero takes down*, they could retire afterward and go hide on Nanooite for the whole OT.

      *(Jedi chef Ham Barger takes down Darth Chowder, leader of the Sith Soup Syndicate)

      EDIT: …or I guess you could just Space Is Big it and put them on the other side of the Empire leading that rebellion.

      1. Nimrandir says:

        They could also try what the first KotOR did, where the Jedi protagonist Hawt Dogge heads off into the far end of the Kessel Run or whatever for self-preservation or ally-seeking. That doesn’t feel quite like ‘this fool is doomed ‘ to me.

        1. John says:

          Knights of the Old Republic doesn’t suffer from the same problem as inter-trilogy spinoffs. Obsidian awkwardly shuffled Revan off the stage because they wanted to, not because existing canon forced them to do it. They could have kept him around if they’d felt like it.

          1. Nimrandir says:

            That’s quite true. However, I think this method of shuffling a protagonist off-stage can still work in the interregnum. Heck, in a world of perpetual sequels, having a character in your back pocket to return, Erkenbrand-style, at a pivotal moment seems like a good call.

            On the downside, I somehow overlooked that this is essentially identical to Syal’s suggestion. My bad.

      2. BlueHorus says:

        Or do a KOTOR, and say it happened at a vastly different time. As long as the game is fun and there are some basic staples, like lightsabers and Jedi etc, it’s still Star Wars…who gives a shit about film characters or events?

        One of the worst things about modern Star Wars is the way it’s shackled to the already existing films and themes.

        1. John says:

          I was specifically talking about inter-trilogy spin-offs. Other sorts of spin-offs obviously don’t have the same kind of problem.

      3. John says:

        Yoda never joined the Rebellion, after all, Kenobi only joined after a personal request from the Princess.

        That’s missing the point. It doesn’t matter that Obi-Wan and Yoda aren’t formally part of the Rebel Alliance. What matters is that they are important and relevant characters in the original trilogy. What I’m saying is that you can’t (technically, shouldn’t) make an inter-trilogy spinoff with a character who, for whatever reason–their backstory, their actions, their abilities–ought to be a relevant and important character in the original trilogy. It’s bad story telling and an assault on the audience’s suspension of disbelief.

        Thus, if you do have, say, a heroic Force-sensitive character–we’ll call him Knows-More Thanluke–then you also have to come up with a reason for him not to appear in the original trilogy. Knows-More isn’t in the movies. Obviously, he can’t be. He hadn’t been invented yet. But more importantly, he shouldn’t be because his presence and possibly just his existence would completely undercut everything about Luke’s story. So, one way or another, Knows-More has to go. It’s predictable. It’s inevitable. Worst of all, it’s contrived.

    3. stratigo says:

      I mean, Ashoka keeps showing up relentlessly in all of filoni affiliated works cause he loves the character, despite coming close to killing her a few times. She’s even slated to be in the Mandalorian, showing that she full on lives through the empire entirely.

      1. John says:

        I’ve never watched Clone Wars so I’m only vaguely aware of Ashoka. I don’t know very much about her except that she’s Anakin Skywalker’s spunky apprentice from some point between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. I wouldn’t have thought Anakin was old enough or responsible enough to be trusted with a child, but neither am I the producer of a children’s cartoon.

        So how did they justify keeping her out of Revenge of the Sith, then? Coma? Prison? Carbonite? Magical space whales? (Wait, no, I think that’s Rebels.) Teenage rebellion?

        1. Joe says:

          Through a very clunky setup, she was accused of murder, IIRC. When she was cleared, she no longer believed in the Jedi Order and quit. TCW had some great bits, but that story wasn’t one.

          1. MerryWeathers says:

            You think so? Ahsoka’s trial is usually considered to be one of the best arcs in the Clone Wars and I agree with that sentiment though it’s not my favorite arc.

            1. Joe says:

              I was spoiled, and the summary didn’t do anything for me. On the whole, I hate ‘framed’ plots. So I gave it a miss. My three favourite stories are the Force weirdness of Mortis, Yoda’s closing arc, and the war movie/zombie horror of Geonosis.

              1. MerryWeathers says:

                For me it’s the episodes focusing on the clones, specifically Umbara and the Order 66 conspiracy arcs. The show was great for managing to use the prequels to tell really good stories.

        2. Dalisclock says:

          In addition to the fact she left the Jedi between movies, it’s also shown in the last few episodes of final season she was busy with the Siege of Mandalore(as part of a special assignment as a “non-jedi”) while the events of Revenge of the Sith were occuring. It even writes in a nice reference where Anakin and Ahsoka get to share a few final minutes together, then an alarm comes in that Coresent is under attack by the Separatists, so Anakin and Obi-wan have to go so they can be there for the beginning of the film.

          It also depicts how Ahsoka manages to survive Order 66.

    4. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Or they can go the path of Force Unleashed and do a complete AU, for better or worse.

    5. CJK says:

      > The original characters in Rogue One are a bunch of scrappy misfits of minimal importance in the greater scheme of things

      In a lot of ways this is Rebels approach, too – Kanan is a Jedi, but largely self-taught after the death of his master in the Clone Wars. His abilities are not exceptional, and the series is pretty careful to show that it takes 2-3 mediocre light-side Force users to hold out against any of the established Sith threats. It also shows that Obi-Wan is far more powerful than 2-3 mediocre Force users just by himself, so it really wouldn’t break the OT to have Kanan still out there (but they do remove him from the plot all the same)

      On the other hand Rebels is perfectly happy to introduce a character, build them up to be the best pilot in the Rebellion, place them at the Battle of Endor, and then just claim they were offscreen throughout the OT. So there’s some precedent for allowing capable new characters to live.

      1. Daimbert says:

        On the other hand Rebels is perfectly happy to introduce a character, build them up to be the best pilot in the Rebellion, place them at the Battle of Endor, and then just claim they were offscreen throughout the OT. So there’s some precedent for allowing capable new characters to live.

        Maybe that’s what you were getting at, but this is the absolute WORST way to do that, because of the damage it does to the other characters. If this character is the best pilot in the Rebellion, then he’s better than Wedge, the guy we’ve watched survive critical space battles for three movies. So, he’s better than Wedge is but doesn’t get mentioned or shown at all? What’s he been doing, then?

        Now, it could work if he’s not as good as Red/Rogue Squadron pilots, but is the best of the rest, kinda. You can even lampshade it with one of his superiors commenting that “He’s no Luke Skywalker or Wedge Antilles, but he has promise”. Then we’re willing to believe that he’s competent but that he’d just be doing other important things so that the main characters can do the really important and visible things (like, say, protecting the medical frigate in the Battle of Endor).

        But this does show the issues with inter-work works that don’t use the original characters from the work and instead introduce new characters: making them important enough that we want to follow them in the work, but not so important that they’d overshadow the original characters. And that’s very tough to do. As noted elsewhere, Rogue One’s story works that way, even if they did manage to survive (at the time, most of the original characters aren’t in the Rebellion and most of the events in the OT would not be ones that such a group would focus on anyway). But that’s pretty hard to do. And I speak as someone who tends to LIKE those sorts of stories (“I, Jedi” for Star Wars, and LOTR: The Third Age).

        1. CJK says:

          Yeah, I kinda ran out of time to finish my argument – you’re absolutely on point. My argument was that Disney have thus far tried the two worst extremes – “everybody dies” and “no, they were totally there!”

          There’s also the weird example of Commander Rex, who is gradually being retconned over the top of an unnamed-except-in-Legends Rebel commando seen in Return Of The Jedi. I actually think this is one of the better approaches – yes, they were there, they were capable and important and the OT just wasn’t their story. But this isn’t a very generalisable approach – finding a bearded older man in armour at a pivotal event in the OT is possible, whereas there are no female Twi’lek Rebel pilots on screen in the OT to retcon a backstory for.

          (It’s beside the point of the discussion, but the pilot in question is a she, and yes, she’s shown to be as good or better than Wedge)

          1. Daimbert says:

            Michael Stackpole did it with Tycho Celchu in the X-Wing books, but he actually notes in the acknowledgements thanks for pointing out which pilot in RotJ that would have been.

            Yeah, Rex as a pilot is a problem, as she’d be a Commander as competent as Wedge, but isn’t leading any of the squadrons (we seem them all check in in RotJ) and isn’t part of the Death Star Run? You can get away with it for commandos — since they play more minor roles and would definitely be secondary to the leads — or for pilots that are good but wouldn’t have the rank to be squadron commanders. But if you make the character too good/important then their lack of presence in the movies is odd, and also they end up having to do things that make what the other characters do — and sometimes even the plans — meaningless.

        2. Sartharina says:

          Red Squadron wasn’t particularly noteworthy except for it happening to be in the right place at the right time. Neither Luke nor Wedge were significant for their piloting abilities. Luke was important because he was The Jedi. Wedge was significant because he was The Jedi’s Best Friend From Highschool.

          1. Nimrandir says:

            Wasn’t Biggs the one Luke knew from Tatooine, or am I remembering incorrectly? Wedge Antilles sounds like a name from a planet with more civilization and less sand.

            1. Sartharina says:

              I thought both were.

              1. Nimrandir says:

                According to Wookieepedia, Wedge is from Corellia in the Core Worlds. There’s no mention of his ever visiting Tatooine.

                I must admit that I spent most of my life thinking of Wedge as ‘that guy who somehow kept surviving climactic battles.’ Lucas didn’t really put much work into characterizing him, as I recall.

  6. Andrew says:

    You could argue that maybe the Sith were nearby, but then we have to wonder why these high-ranking Inquisitors would be hanging around the galactic dump like this or why Cal would choose to hide right under their noses. I’m not an astrophysicist or anything, but I’ve heard that galaxies are kinda big.

    This place isn’t nearly as remote as Tattooine. You even mentioned the TIE Fighters in the opening – there’s a significant Imperial security presence here!

    The question of why Cal is hiding here gets answered way later in the final flashback scene, I believe.

    1. It does, but that doesn’t help you at the beginning. In a novel you can leave things hanging and answer them later and it can be more interesting, but a game may never recover from unresolved initial confusion.

      I am strongly opposed to in medias res openings for games. Well, there are exceptions where the mystery IS the plot (like Planescape: Torment), but when it’s not important that something be mysterious it’s usually poor design. A player starting a new game has A LOT to absorb in addition to picking up character and plot information. They’ve got a whole list of interface and game conventions to learn to pick up on. They often aren’t tracking the plain infodump stuff very well because they’re sitting there thinking “Did I just hit the wrong button?”

      Also, as I’ve argued elsewhere, games are not well-suited to out-of-order storytelling, at least from the protagonist’s perspective, you can tell other people’s stories out of order all that you like. Also, the attempt makes it more complicated for the devs and there are several places in Jedi: Fallen Order where characters act inappropriately surprised to be getting information that they ALREADY HAD. Keeping track of this kind of thing in your standard game is hard. Add flashbacks and out-of-order bits and the player is going to be noticing serious continuity failures that the devs simply couldn’t track.

  7. I didn’t like the opening much once things started to happen, and the more I played the game the LESS I liked the opening. It became a hideous contrast because I played Horizon: Zero Dawn immediately afterward and that game actually does a proper opening that establishes your relationships with people and sets up the main plot threads and everything.

    In this game it was just a bunch of chaos (particularly if you’re trying to figure out how to use the damn controls) and random people hurtling at you with no goals other than “slavishly obey the prompts until such time as the game consents to tell you what the hell is going on here”.

  8. Hector says:

    There’s something about Cal’s plastic face and bland voice that truly, deeply irritated the Dark Side out of me. He’s a cardboard cutout with the personality of warm Sithspit. However, he also has too much personality to just be an insert character where you can project your own reactions into him.

    1. Thomas says:

      They should have gone with a “create your own character” here. They managed to hit the worst level of bland with Cal, which is a shame because a lot of the side characters were good. The game would have worked with a player created character. You can even keep the backstory, KOTOR style.

      1. Hector says:

        I agree that would have worked very well, especially because Cal’s backstory is very minimal anyway. He doens’t have a whole cast of characters with deep relationships established.

        1. His relationship with his master is pretty significant, although they introduce it so late in the game it feels a lot less important.

          I think he worked pretty well as a character once his personal stuff actually got underway, but it was REALLY late in the game. But he definitely has a personal arc and real personality.

          1. The Rocketeer says:

            I wouldn’t quite say they introduce it late. Rather, it’s fairly obvious exactly what has happened between Cal and his master, and when Cal himself is finally forced to confront it emotionally, we finally see it in explicit terms for ourselves… to confirm that it’s basically what you can guess during the prologue had happened.

            1. The specifics are set up to be very important in Cal’s personal journey, though.

              Basically, the poor early setup transmuted what would have been some very personally significant things into banal platitudes.

  9. zackoid says:

    But this game takes place in the expanded universe of nu Star Wars, which means the writer is free to invent a rogues gallery of previously unmentioned Sith Lords so our protagonist has someone they can reasonably fight.

    Possibly worth mentioning that the “Number Family” inquisitors are from the tv-show Rebels, which takes place around the same period in the timeline.

    1. MerryWeathers says:

      The Inquisitors aren’t Sith lords or even Sith really, just a task force made up of former Jedi turned to the dark side trained by Vader to hunt down Jedi and sometimes assist in special missions.

      1. Pax says:

        And it may be pedantic (and if you can’t be pedantic here, then where?), but the Inquistors actually existed in the old Legends EU too. They were there almost from the beginning, in fact, as they were created for the West End Games Star Wars tabletop RPG, which created the foundation for the original EU. They took a very different form, but they were still mostly fallen former Jedi who helped hunt down their former comrades.

  10. Hector says:

    On the subject of getting the lightsaber early, I wonder if that might have been a mistake. I’m not saying they should have waited too long for it – maybe by the end of the second play area. But you could see a good story beat where Cal, previously a trainee who had only held a training weapon, use an impromptu blade, then upgrade to a real weapon, and then finally get an actual sabre.

    Maybe Cere could give him a broken sabre and, implicitly give him some backstory without monologueing to the player. And something like “We needed a Jedi to help us, but….” This creates an immediate, obvious goal to restore the weapon, as well as implying that they only found dead Jedi in their search, which further puts weight on Cal. Then, later on, the story recontextualizes this conversation for greater meaning.

    1. Syal says:

      Not having it would negate the beatdown at the beginning, though, since you could blame the loss on the lack of quality weapons instead of the lack of quality hero.

      1. Hector says:

        Not the only time Cal gets humiliated in the game anyway.

    2. Biggus Rickus says:

      That would also address, to some extent anyway, the loot problem the game has. It’s all worthless. The ponchos are hideous, and while some of the lightsaber designs are neat, you almost never notice them. Having some actually useful gear to acquire would have been welcome. It also would have created a sense of progression beyond skills, which are pretty underwhelming once you get a few essentials.

      1. Mephane says:

        Speak for yourself. I enjoyed the lack of gear upgrading/crafting and how it all happened by Cal’s own skills improving. I generally prefer RPG systems where the focus is entirely on the abilities, training and experience of the characters (and the player) and equipment is secondary, or even only cosmetic.

        1. Biggus Rickus says:

          To each his own. I just think it makes exploration unrewarding. The only worthwhile finds are the health/force boosts and the stim increases.

          1. Hector says:

            I would suggest they could have done a lot more in the area of lightsaber customization. Even apart from the purely cosmetic stuff, they could change blade length, add special effects, damage vs certain kinds of enemies, a dash of elemental theming, status effects…

            A fair number of these games let you customize the look of the lightsaber itself but that’s almost completely poinmtless since you can’t see the thing anyway.

            1. Thomas says:

              I would have settled for better looking gear than ponchos.

              1. Geebs says:

                Or, at least, have Cal audibly disappointed when he climbs a sheer wall and performs several death-defying leaps only to find a slightly browner poncho. As it is, he is entirely too excited by every last bit of trash.

                1. Hector says:

                  That would be hilarious to hang a lampshade on:

                  “Who… who climbed up all this way and put a poncho in this box? And why is it in my size?!”

  11. Bubble181 says:

    Hi Shamus,

    you may or may not be aware, but Patreon now allows annual payments, too. This was one of the things keeping me from donating because, well, I like you and your work, but not paying 1/3 of what I give you to the bank. Annual payments would seriously lower the ovoerhead, so it might be interesting.
    Any chance you’ll allow yearly pyments?

    1. Shamus says:

      Thanks for the heads up! I’ll look into it.

      (I didn’t know about this, but I’m sure they sent out a notification. Patreon’s emails are usually so vapid that I don’t bother reading them, which comes back to bite me once a year when they DO have something important to say.)

      1. Bubble181 says:

        Good luck! I only noticed it because another content creator I was considering backing made a post about it. Apparently it’s creator-dependant and you have you activate the option in your profile somehow.

      2. pseudonym says:

        This is the exact same reason that kept me from donating via patreon. So I lumpsummed via paypal.

        As a European, I have to pay conversion rates to the bank/paypal. The formula seems to be fixed-rate plus rate-dependent-on-amount. In other words, transferring small amounts of money isn’t worth it. So I do my donation yearly.

        I’d prefer to pay on Patreon, because they explicitly charge taxes. Which in turm should mean that you pay less taxes than when you get a paypal donation. Is that correct? It also means my donation becomes part of your income, rather than just an incidental, cannot be planned for money drop.

  12. Nimrandir says:

    In KOTOR – an RPG about being a Jedi – it takes several hours to get your lightsaber. A significant number of modern AAA games are shorter than the pre-lightsaber parts of KOTOR.

    I’m going to be honest. I totally missed the foreshadowing that the protagonist was going to get Jedi training. I somehow thought that the Force power and lightsaber bits were for Bastila, or maybe another character you created whenever the ‘training’ piece came up. As a result, I ended up wasting at least two feats on ranged combat stuff I wasn’t going to be using by the midgame.

    I suppose this was a result of my lack of experience with third-edition d20 rules, where swapping classes is a much more common experience. I also didn’t have any experience with Star Wars games where you had a lightsaber. I only played the first Dark Forces and TIE Fighter before KotOR, as I recall.

    While I’m doing the full disclosure thing, I also mistakenly presumed that my KotOR II character was supposed to be the same person from the first game. I think I played for almost two hours before deciding to restart with a non-clone.

    1. John says:

      Given that you start on the Ebon Hawk with T3-M4, I suppose that’s at least a little understandable. But I’m curious. Why did you think Revan had been de-levelled back to Level 1? Why weren’t you curious about his lack of reaction to the HK-51 droids?

      1. Nimrandir says:

        Doggone it. I forgot to mention that I completely fell for the Big Twist (TM). When that shoe finally dropped, I was gobsmacked. Like, I put down my controller for a bit to process what that meant. Maybe I’m just a rube.

        On the other hand, I saw through the Jade Empire twist that floored Shamus. Perhaps KotOR made me a bit more genre-savvy?

    2. stratigo says:

      I mean, blaster jedi was actually a perfectly viable build in KOTOR :D

      1. Nimrandir says:

        Fair point, but like I said, I had never gotten to wield a lightsaber in a game before. Even in an awkward translation of tabletop RPG mechanics, I was not gonna pass that up.

        1. John says:

          You made the right call. Blaster Jedi is viable, but it isn’t very good and it’s definitely less fun than lightsabers.

          1. Supah Ewok says:

            I like Jedi tank. Screw the fancy Force Powers, bundle up in the heaviest armor you can and thwack thwack thwack (especially nice with that endgame armor from Yavin that upgrades to give +6 Str and Con iirc).

            1. John says:

              I’ve done that, too. One neat thing about KotOR is that while many Force powers don’t work for a character in armor–presumably for balance reasons–anything Darth Vader can do does. You can put on the heaviest armor you like and still Force Choke and Force Push to your heart’s content. No Force Speed though, which means that you miss out on the extra attack it gives at Master level.

          2. Philadelphus says:

            I think it’s one of those things that’s fun to try once. I’m doing it in my current KotOR II playthrough, and am finding it amusing picking off enemies at maximum range with a flurry of blaster shots before they can close range to reach me. It also definitely upsets the meta of what feats and powers to take, which is refreshing on my 9th or 10th playthrough. (Though I think there might be differences between the first game [which I’ve only played once many years ago] and the second that make Blaster Jedi more viable there.)

            1. John says:

              Melee combat is strictly better than ranged combat in KotOR. KotOR 2 added a bunch of feats that improve ranged combat. I never did Blaster Jedi in KotOR 2 though and I couldn’t say how it compares to the first game.

              1. Philadelphus says:

                Yeah, that’s probably what I’m thinking of, I think I vaguely remember something of the sort now that you’ve jogged my memory. I also can’t say how it compares to the first game, but it’s certainly a viable option of comparable damage-dealing to melee in the second. (Opinions on whether it’s fun or not will vary, I’m sure.)

    3. Daimbert says:

      That was indeed one of the annoying things about KOTOR, because it wasn’t clear from the start that there was going to be a significant class change and that wasn’t common, at least, in RPGs at the time, and so many people would gain a lot of levels in their initial class before the class change when the ideal strategy was to limit the levels taken in their first class. Also, that that was the ideal strategy made it so that the first part was harder on replays.

      Of course, Sith Lords did that for you (base Jedi class to advanced Jedi class) AND your companions that you can convert to Jedi …

      1. John says:

        I agree that for most builds, especially Consular builds where you’re going to be relying more on Force powers than lightsabers, it’s better to take as few non-Jedi levels as possible. But the best build in the game, or at least the one that got me through the Star Forge the fastest, was Scoundrel 7, Guardian 13. Force Jump plus two weapons plus sneak damage is very, very good. You can kill mooks on the Star Forge faster than they spawn, though you do run the risk of outrunning the rest of the party.

        1. Supah Ewok says:

          Screw the rest of the party, I’ve had my main character solo the Star Forge (admittedly, it takes a while to get through all the waves of enemies on your own). Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds!

  13. Dennis says:

    I was expecting Prauf to start an “I am the Jedi” wave a la “I am Spartacus” (https://youtu.be/FKCmyiljKo0) when he stepped up, but he just starts ranting and then dies. Also totally saw the death coming, but half thought they’d subvert it and let you save him.

  14. Joshua says:

    Don’t you get to use the light saber first thing in the Super Empire Strikes Back for the SNES?

    Not that it helps you much, as those games were notoriously difficult with spammed enemies.

  15. Daimbert says:

    I just realized that this game is another work set in the PT/OT timeframe (like the new TV shows and a lot of the more popular new Marvel comics, though I haven’t checked that recently). Is that an indication of the popularity of the new stuff? You’d think that someone would want to put a new big game in at least the time between RotJ and TFA …

    1. Syal says:

      If you want to give it the benefit of the doubt, they might just not want to step on Disney’s toes with regard to the Sequels origins. Make a game about the fall of Skywalktopia and the rise of the First Order, and then Disney suddenly realizes they should actually explain that and they override the game’s plot.

  16. Timothy Coish says:

    Honestly I’ve gotten to the point where most “good” protagonists in the Star Wars universe are so annoying that I reflexively side with the Empire. On top of this, when I was a kid it was okay for the Sith to be all about “the DAWK Side,” and being openly evil, as I’ve aged I’ve come to believe that perhaps we’ve been given a single side of the story. If not, then the universe is just so boring and child-like.

  17. Jabrwock says:

    “Back in A New Hope, Vader couldn’t sense Kenobi until they were in the same hangar, and those dudes were really close back in the day. But as it turns out, the Sith were able to sense Cal’s mild perturbation in the force and show up within an hour or so.”

    It’s implied in the original movies that Obi-wan was keeping a low profile, and he didn’t use much “power” to pretend he was a dragon, or mind-trick a guard (although you’d think a cursory search would at least have raised some eyebrows about a “Kenobi” living quite near where Darth Vader grew up…). In Yoda’s case, it’s heavily implied that he lived right next to the Dark Side Cave ™ to help hide from the Emperor. So unlike Obi-wan he’s able to more openly wield his powers.

    They are stretching things a bit that something equivalent to Luke’s Hoth levitation causes detection, but maybe Inquisitors are more common because they are still hunting down the Jedi. Older EU books mention the Empire backed Vader up with a whole bureaucracy devoted to hunting down the Jedi, including some devices to detect force ability, but I think they were trying to hand-wave how an entire order could be wiped out by one Sith Lord (prior to learning about Order 66, which would wipe out 99.9% of them, leaving only the stragglers for Vader to deal with).

    1. Thomas says:

      I always figured that Vader had to be sensing force users from a distance some amount. Otherwise it’d be easy for any Jedi to disappear by burying their lightsaber in the sand.

      After the prequels, Yoda and Obi were positioned as the two most skilled Jedi left, so it made sense to me that they could hide their presence better.

      1. Jabrwock says:

        Luke also had an “oh shit” moment” when he realized how close Vader was in ROTJ as they approached Endor. “I can sense him, OH CRAP!” Granted there’s that father/son link, but still. Although they were flying quite close to his ship.

  18. The Rocketeer says:

    In Fallen Order, the game goes out of its way in the beginning to show what a shitty, dangerous life shipbreaking is on this planet. The Imperials own you, you get coerced into doing life-threatening work on the daily for meager pay, all to rip apart ships that are basically junk so a giant faceless system can make profits from melting down the results of your hard labor. Cal’s a Jedi, meaning that he has the advantage of supernaturally-gifted reflexes and intuition even without having to rely on the Force for movement, and he still constantly seems to be one loose bolt or one slippery rail away from a long fall to his doom.

    So naturally, all of my initial reactions to the game were, “This is AWESOME! This job looks so cool! Will the whole game take place here? Can the game just be about taking apart old Star Wars space hulks for a daily wage?”

    Unfortunately the writers had a different direction in mind, but it wasn’t long before I happened upon an Early Access title on Steam called Hardspace: Shipbreaker*, a game about being an expendable wage slave doing dangerous work as a shipbreaker in (hard?)space to pay off a gigantic debt to the company that employs (read: owns) you. Once again they go out of their way to emphasize the bleak, dystopian nature of the world and the preposterous danger of the work, but again, all I can think is, “This is AWESOME! I get to rip the plating off starships and throw it into a furnace! I just flung a melting-down reactor onto a space barge! I can pay off a presumably mind-bendingly staggering debt after only a few weeks of labor! Thanks, LYNX Corp!”

    I realize that my legacy in the world will be providing the DNA template for legion upon legion of expendable flash-grown hypercorp drone workers, but hey, we’ve all got our price. Mine is getting to cut a giant ship in half with a handheld laser saw at least once in my life.

    *The title should really just be “Shipbreaker,” but they probably had to tack on “Hardspace” for copyright reasons, implying some sort of hastily-presumed larger setting. Oh, no, not that other IP about shipbreaking, the one set in the deep and brilliant Hardspace mythos that we all know and reference daily around the watercooler! Nearly always I mentally reference this game as “Hardbreak: Shipspacer,” “Spacebreak: Shipharder,” “Hardship: Spacebreaker,” or the like.

    1. Kasrkin84 says:

      It’s probably something to do with an earlier title, called “Hardware: Shipbreakers”, which (after signing to a certain publisher and getting a particular licence) became “Homeworld: Shipbreakers”, and then “Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak”.

    2. Philadelphus says:

      Well, if it was easyspace anybody could do it, now, couldn’t they?

    3. Jabrwock says:

      Looks cool!

  19. ATMachine says:

    This may have been pointed out in comments for the last entry, but I think JFO doesn’t have a crawl because the Disney “standalone” SW films like Rogue One and Solo didn’t have one either.

    1. ATMachine says:

      Likewise, the Inquisitors had already shown up in nuEU Disney TV series and comics. I gather that “it’s all one big unified canon!” is a big part of how the new SW stuff is meant to appeal to fans.

      1. MerryWeathers says:

        I think it’s ironic how NuStar Wars does the whole shared universe thing better than the MCU, I mean it really only applies to the movies, Feige has no love for the Netflix shows or Agents of Shield.

        Meanwhile you have storylines from the Clone Wars affecting Solo and The Mandalorian, Rogue One had references to Rebels, Battlefront 2 and Squadron’s stories tie into the Aftermath books, and even the Ninth Sister didn’t originate from this game but was created by Charles Soule for his Darth Vader comic.

  20. Alex says:

    Ben Kenobi certainly never thought it was dangerous to use the force on Tatooine[5] in A New Hope.

    My view has always been that a power like the Jedi mind trick is all about finesse. It’s a subtle power that doesn’t leave a great big splash in the force. Raw telekinetic force – like Darth Vader grabbing somebody by something important and squeezing until they cry uncle – is easier for other force users to perceive, unless they’re splashing about with their own big, dumb powers, and holding an entire person would be even louder than just holding somebody’s throat.

  21. Anyway, the Inquisition shows up unexpectedly

    This is bait.

    1. Nimrandir says:

      I know, right? We’re running out of credits.

  22. Redrock says:

    It’s Sunday, which means belated comment time! After reading this post and going through the comment section I think I realized the main problem I have with Fallen Order. And it’s the fact that the game isn’t about Kanan Jarrus from Rebels even though it so easily could have been. Cal basically is Kanan in most of the ways that count. Padawan who survived the Purge? Check. Traumatic memories of a dead master? Check. Unfinished training, a strained relationship with the Force, general lack of understanding of his place in the universe? Check, check and check.

    The difference being, of course, is that Kanan is a much better character all around, with more interesting baggage and, not least, way better voice acting, with all due respect to Cameron Monaghan. I’m pretty sure they could’ve easily fit the story of the game into the years between the Purge and Kanan joining the Rebels. It just seems like it’s such a waste of effort to introduce milquetoast new characters when there’re so many cool existing characters whose potential is nowhere near played out.

  23. blerkface says:

    It’s telling that “they did not mess anything up in a major way while telling a standard story we’ve seen before a hundred times” is worthy of praise.

  24. Poster Boy says:

    Did I just spy a reference to the legendary Mr. Plinkett Youtube review of The Phantom Menace?

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