released Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC last November, and Google revealed in April that the game will come to cloud-streaming service Stadia sometime in 2020. Developer Respawn also dropped a surprise update on May the 4th (aka Star Wars Day) that adds a bunch of content, and EA's boss hinted at sequel plans in the company's earnings call.
It tells the story of Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan who went into hiding after nearly all his comrades were killed at the end of the Clone Wars, between The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
What were the reviews like?
Jedi: Fallen Order was positively received last November and holds a Metacritc average of 79/100. Here are some snippets of the reviews (including mine!):
CNET -- "Despite some graphical oddities and questionable traversal choices, Respawn's game offers gripping narrative, intense lightsaber combat and wonderful worlds to explore."
GameSpot (CNET's sister site) -- "Even with some rough edges, Fallen Order represents one of the most compelling game additions to the Star Wars franchise in years."
Destructoid -- "You're going to occasionally roll your eyes at a cheesy moment or groan at a technical issue, but Respawn did right by Star Wars."
IGN -- "Fallen Order makes up for a lot of lost time with a fantastic single-player action-adventure that marks the return of the playable Jedi."
Kotaku -- That Fallen Order is a very straightforward and unremarkable ... sci-fi adventure makes it feel slight. But the fact that it adopts … the third-person, exploration-based action of games like Dark Souls feels radical.
Eurogamer -- "Fallen Order has an incredible gameplay experience at its core, with fantastic environments and well-directed action sequences. Yet it's unable to sustain this thanks to some fundamental design problems."
Polygon -- "Fallen Order is a flawed, sometimes messy game, but it's a Star Wars experience I didn't know I wanted. And after finishing it, I definitely want more.
What was added in the May the 4th update?
The free update added a New Game Plus mode, which lets you to replay the campaign with "unlocked cosmetics." It also introduced "unique combat challenges" that let you battle enemies in an arena, as well as the ability to create your own challenges by placing enemies on a grid-based arena.
Along with those features, you get more cosmetics for Jedi hero Cal, including a dark side Inquisitor outfit and a matching red lightsaber option. You also have more color choices for his droid pal BD-1 and a few extra lightsaber hilts to choose from -- those are modeled on the kinds you can construct in Galaxy's Edge at Disney Parks.
Any chance of a sequel?
Nothing's been announced, but it's a near certainty. The game's ending leaves the door open for a sequel, and sales were high enough to warrant it -- EA CEO Andrew Wilson noted that "more than 10 million unique players have joined the game since launch" during the company's Q4 2020 earnings call. He also referred to the game as the "first title in an entirely new franchise," hinting at further plans.
We might learn more during the company's EA Play Live 2020 livestream event on June 11.
"He's good-hearted, but he has a bit of emotional wall up," Monaghan told the official Star Wars Show on Nov. 6. "And he also has a very volatile relationship to being a Jedi and to the Force itself."
The game sees Cal living the quiet life on the planet Bracca in the galaxy's mid rim and working for the Scrapper Guild. He's helping to pull apart old capital ships from the Clone Wars.
"Don't stand out, accept the past, trust no one," Cal says in the trailer. "Trust only in the Force."
Unlike many Jedi-focused Star Wars games, you can't choose between the light and dark sides of the Force. Cal's path is set.
Does Cal have any friends?
The Jedi might be pariahs under the Imperial regime, but Cal's not a total loner. BD-1, a droid ally remains by Cal's side (and on his back) for the whole game. Legendary sound designer Ben Burtt, the man who created the lightsaber's iconic hum, Darth Vader's breathing and R2-D2's beeps, voices BD-1.
Cal has former Jedi Knight Cere Junda, played by Debra Wilson of Madtv and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as his mentor. Her early days are revealed in the comic series Jedi: Fallen Order -- Dark Temple. Their pilot is Greez Dritus, the Latero captain of the Stinger Mantis -- the ship Cal uses to get around.
Our Padawan runs into Saw Gerrera, the leader of the Partisan extremist rebel group from Rogue One (which takes place in the years after this game). This guy is voiced by Forest Whitaker, who played him in the movie and in the Rebels CGI animated series.
Who are the bad guys?
The Second Sister, a member of the Jedi-hunting Imperial Inquisitorius, is on Cal's tail during the game. In the trailer, we see her hanging off a ship's viewport and impressively using the Force to control its flight stick and pull it off course.
This character previously appeared in the 19th issue of Charles Soule's amazing Darth Vader comic series, but that was just a cameo. She's the second-highest-ranking Inquisitor, a group introduced in the Rebels CGI animated series, so expect her to be pretty deadly.
Cal will also battle the hulking Ninth Sister, another Inquisitor seen in the Vader comics, in a boss battle.
The dark side users will be backed up by purge troopers, who investigate Jedi sightings and are trained to fight them using electrostaffs. If they can't get the job done, they summon the Inquisitors.
These guys also showed up in Vader comics, first appearing in No. 13, where it was revealed that they were from the last generation of clone troopers produced from Jango Fett's DNA (as seen in Attack of the Clones).
Will there be any sweet, sweet merch based on this game?
Oh yes, Star Wars and merch are like the prequels and gloriously awkward lines. You can't have one without the other. Cal with BD-1, the Second Sister (who has a shiny Carbonized variant) and the purge trooper are available in Hasbro's six-inch Black Series figure line.
"With detailed concept art of all-new characters, exciting weapons and equipment, and locales both familiar and new, this tome offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production of a hit game -- all accompanied by intimate artists' commentary that reveals how this incredible universe is brought together," reads the publisher's blurb.
Are there any other Jedi games?
So many, but only a few are single player adventures. If you're looking for a few bites of Force-wielding action to tide you over until November, these are good options. Keep in mind that none of them are part of the Star Wars canon anymore. They were swept aside when Lucasfilm Order 66'd everything but the movies and The Clone Wars CGI animated series in 2014.
Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast came out in 2002 and put you in the role of Kyle Katarn, a conflicted Jedi who's basically the Chuck Norris of the Star Wars universe, in the years after Return of the Jedi. This amazing game is pretty dated at this point, but the lightsaber combat is a delight. It came out for PC, GameCube and the original Xbox, and was rereleased on Nintendo Switch and PS4 last year.
Its 2003 sequel, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, is excellent too. You don't play as Kyle, which is sad, but you do get a customizable lightsaber with double-bladed or dual wielding options, which is awesome. You can play it on PC and Xbox, and came to Switch and PS4 in March 2020.
The Force Unleashed, which came out in 2008, is a very similar game to Jedi: Fallen Order. This one sees you playing as Galen Marek, the supersecret apprentice of Darth Vader in the time period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Needless to say, he didn't stay a secret for long and ended up more Jedi than Sith.
It's a short but decent action game that had staggering production values for the time and hit pretty much every gaming system on the market. The Xbox 360, PS3 and PC versions are the best, though.
The 2010 sequel, The Force Unleashed 2, isn't quite as well designed and ends on a cliff-hanger that'll be never be resolved since the third one was canned.
Knights of the Old Republic (aka KOTOR) remains the greatest Star Wars game ever made, but this 2003 classic -- set thousands of years before any of the movies -- is more of a role-playing game than an action title. Still, you absolutely must play it and its 2004 follow-up, then demand another sequel from EA.