What Future Star Wars Games Can Learn From Jedi: Fallen Order

The Jedi Council is all about teachings: from meditation, to the Force, and even lightsaber mastery, they believed that wisdom should be passed down to others.

Jedi: Fallen Order may well take place after the events of Order 66, but that doesn’t mean that future Star Wars games can’t learn from it.

Cal Kestis may not be a Jedi Master, and never sat on the Jedi Council (turns out Anakin may not have had it that bad after all), but his story is gripping and powerful. Jedi: Fallen Order released on November 15, and has already proven itself as one of the most popular Star Wars games of all time.

With elements of RPG, action, adventure, and science fiction, Respawn Entertainment has set a high benchmark for future games based on the Galaxy far, far away. But it has also left a blueprint: one that is much easier to grasp than the Death Star’s plans. Forget having to find Luke Skywalker or other people sympathetic to the Rebellion’s cause; Jedi: Fallen Order leaves an obvious path. It shows us the traits that all future Star Wars games should include.

Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things

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The Star Wars franchise has created some incredible landscapes and planets: from the beautiful Naboo, to the overgrown jungles of Kashyyyk, and even the sandy terrains of Tatooine (who doesn’t love sand?). These gorgeous settings have always been as consistent in the games too: the settings and maps have always been just as iconic as the films.

But Jedi: Fallen Order has expanded on this universe even further by allowing players to explore some planets that we have only seen in the Clone Wars series, or even just in the novels. Each map feels huge, with secrets hiding everywhere, and just so much to discover. This type of emphasis on exploration has to be in future Star Wars games too.

Lightsabers: an elegant weapon for a more civilised age

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Considering just how many Star Wars games there have been, it seems surprising that there’s only been a handful of games that let players actually use a lightsaber to their full effect. Too often they just feel flimsy, or even underpowered: not a Jedi’s most valued weapon. But Jedi: Fallen Order portrays just how great it can be to wield a lightsaber.

Most importantly, it feels weighty. Each hit has impact, and the ability to strike with it just feels much more significant. With great sound effects and defensive abilities too, the lightsaber hasn’t been used in a better way in any other game. Future Star Wars games need to follow this suit, as the lightsaber needs to be authentic, and that’s been sadly lacking for too long.

It is obvious this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force

And as Count Dooku knows: it has to be settled by the use of a lightsaber. They may be highly effective against blasters, but the lightsaber never shines as much as when it’s involved in a duel. Many Star Wars games have struggled to make duels as epic as the films and TV shows portray; the duels in Star Wars: Battlefront 1 and 2 feel very underwhelming in comparison.

But from blocking, to striking, and even dodging, every single movement in the duelling sequences in Jedi: Fallen Order feels significant. These are some of the most tense sections of the game, and they’re far from easy. Timing is key, and it all feels just as epic and grand as some of the most dramatic duels in the history of the series. Future Star Wars games have to put a focus on duelling, and give each action the type of reaction it deserves.

Storytelling is a pathway to many possibilities

The battle of light versus dark. Good versus evil. It’s a simple premise, but Star Wars has taken this and turned it into one of the greatest stories ever told. But, for far too long we’ve been bombarded with games that only retell key events, or just simply don’t tell a story at all. Not since the days of The Force Unleashed or Knights of the Old Republic have we had a Star Wars game with such a deep story.

Jedi: Fallen Order brilliantly builds on what is one of the most iconic moments in the whole franchise, and what was the main focus of Revenge of the Sith: Order 66. The purge of the Jedi has never been explored in a way that Jedi: Fallen Order presents, and it allows for a different point of view on a great story. It also allows for a new compelling tale which is full of the types of twists and turns you’d expect from any great Star Wars film. We need to see more stories being told through future Star Wars stories, especially ones that add to the ever-growing canon.

There’s always a bigger fish

The original Star Wars trilogy introduced some truly memorable characters, and each Star Wars text since has either expanded on these characters or added new ones. From Jar Jar Binks to Jyn Erso and Ahsoka Tano, the list of iconic characters keeps growing. Thanks to Jedi: Fallen Order, we can now add Cal Kestis to that list too.

Cal is courageous, charismatic, and strong with the Force. He’s the perfect example of what a Jedi should be, and he’s a great template to follow for future Star Wars games too. No matter what the plot, it’s always the characters who make it memorable, and this needs to be a focus for future Star Wars games. Introduce new characters to us: games allow for the possibility to create a connection between the character and audience that other forms of storytelling only wish they could have.

I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me

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The Force is all around us – everyone knows that (even if you have a low midichlorian count). But no Star Wars game had ever truly delved into the lore of the Force until Jedi: Fallen Order. This is something that has been focused on in different Clone Wars and Rebels episodes, and is often brought up in many different texts too.

It’s strange that something so important would not be featured heavily in many Star Wars games. There’s so much to discover, and so much opportunity for fantastic gameplay based around the lore of the Force. Jedi: Fallen Order has hopefully paved the way for future Star Wars games to delve deep into the history of the Force.

The possibility of navigating this platforming section is approximately 3,720 to 1

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Few texts based on Star Wars show off the full power of a Force-wielder like Star Wars games. We occasionally get to see some crazy stunts and jumps in the movies, but actions like Force jumps or running are rarely shown off. This is something the majority of Star Wars games have already mastered, but it’s never been perfected quite like Jedi: Fallen Order.

We’ve already examined the importance of exploration, and the ability to be agile links to this. Jedi: Fallen Order shows clear paths, but makes them seem inaccessible at first due to how tough it can be to follow that path – especially when they involve multiple wall-runs and jumps. But this is the best way to allow the player to feel just how powerful a Jedi/Sith is, and this has to be a feature in future Star Wars games.

These are the droids we’re looking for

How have Star Wars games gone so long without including a buddy droid like BD-1? From C-3PO to BB-8, droids are such an important part of the franchise, and they’ve become a staple of the series as a whole. But there’s few droids in the whole galaxy that have the same amount of charm as BD-1.

Whether it’s Navi in Ocarina of Time, or Daxter in Jak and Daxter, sidekicks that help with navigation may not be new for gaming, but BD-1 has broken the mould for Star Wars games. We need to see more droids included in future Star Wars games, and they have to be as awesome as BD-1.

Your eyes can deceive you; don’t trust them

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Jedi: Fallen Order allows the player to explore in their own way. There’s so much to see and do, and it’s all available for the player. Certain moments of Jedi: Fallen Order may only focus on one path, but that’s a rarity – the player is given a huge sandbox to explore.

Future Star Wars games need to have the same type of freedom available that Jedi: Fallen Order offers. In fact, Jedi: Fallen Order is a great indicator of what could be created: an open world Star Wars game. We can’t be far away from that, and it should follow the template that Jedi: Fallen Order has created.

Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me: only money

For so long this seemed to be the mantra for Star Wars games. Whether it was loot boxes, or customisable options, or maps hidden behind paywalls Star Wars games sadly became a way to ensure players would sink even more of their money in to the game. In fact, they became almost like a Sarlacc Pit, and Boba Fett knows that’s almost impossible to escape.

But like when Chewbacca clung on to Han to ensure he didn’t fall into the Sarlacc Pit too, Jedi: Fallen Order is hopefully holding the new generation of Star Wars games back from being just money pits. This has to be something that is removed from all future Star Wars games.