Star Wars Jedi: Survivor opens with the sort of cinematic that’s de rigueur for big-budget video game sequels: a recap of its predecessor that barely recaps anything.
Jedi: Survivor’s recap of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s story and characters may jog your memory if you happened to play the 2019 game in the past, like, three weeks. If you haven’t, the in-game recap of Fallen Order will come across as little more than a foggy supercut of snapshots and voiceovers. Seriously, it doesn’t even cover that character’s death. And it barely mentions the weird space Rubik’s Cube!
Here are all the important story beats from Jedi: Fallen Order that you’ll need to know for its sequel. Keep it handy as you play through Jedi: Survivor.
[Ed. note: Spoilers for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order follow.]
When do Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Survivor take place?
Jedi: Fallen Order is set five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The Star Wars timeline is generally filtered into years before the Battle of Yavin (BBY), as seen in Star Wars: A New Hope, and after (ABY). Fallen Order mostly takes place during 14 BBY.
By the time Fallen Order rolls around, Order 66 has resulted in the government-sanctioned extermination of the Jedi. But because galaxies are pretty big, some Jedi survive. You play as one of them: Cal Kestis, a padawan trained by Jedi master Jaro Tapal (who did not survive Order 66, as detailed by flashbacks in Fallen Order).
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is set roughly five years after the events of Fallen Order — so, 9 BBY. This places Jedi: Survivor between the prequel and original trilogy, set during the same year as Obi-Wan Kenobi and roughly around the same time frame as Andor. You might want to watch those before diving into Jedi: Survivor. Who knows what expensive cameos Respawn wrangled for the sequel.
Which characters are in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order?
Beyond Cal, Fallen Order heavily features ex-Jedi knight Cere Junda and pilot Greez Dritus, who captains their spaceship, the Stinger Mantis. Their trio is accompanied by the real star of the show: BD-1, essentially a puppy in droid form.
The primary villains of Fallen Order are two Inquisitors: the Second Sister and the Ninth Sister. (If you saw the Disney Plus show-that-should’ve-been-a-movie Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’ll recognize the Inquisitors. Reva, the primary antagonist of that show, is one — the Third Sister.).
The most complicated character, though, is Merrin, a Nightsister.
Who are Merrin and the Nightsisters?
Executed during the Clone Wars, Nightsisters are Force-sensitive people from Dathomir (fun fact: Darth Maul’s home planet!). Their special flavor of the Force is called “magick.” And yes, it’s affiliated with the dark side — as most corpse-summoning magic in fiction is.
Merrin is likely one of the last Nightsisters. She starts off as an antagonist, but comes to trust Cal and his friends over time.
So what happens in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order?
Fallen Order opens on Bracca, a shipyard planet where Cal works a day gig as a scrapper. One job goes wrong, and Cal uses the Force to save a friend from falling to his death, which ultimately draws the attention of the Second Sister and the Ninth Sister. The Second Sister murders Cal’s friend. Cal is soon thereafter rescued by Cere and Greez.
The crew fly to Bogano, a semi-uncharted planet full of cliffs and bogs (thank you, Star Wars naming conventions), to look for a vault of the Zeffo, a pre-Jedi civilization. En route, Cal meets BD-1. Turns out, BD-1 belonged to Cere’s former Jedi master Eno Cordova, who left one of those fancy droid messages revealing that the vault contains a Holocron — basically a cube-shaped registry of Force-sensitive children across the galaxy. The Holocron would give Cal and Cere a chance to rebuild the Jedi order. But to open the vault, Cal needs to find some ancient artifact.
First, Cal heads to Dathomir, home of the Nightsisters (a clan of Force users versed in the dark side). He’s driven back by Merrin. Rebuffed, he visits Zeffo, the Zeffo homeworld. That reveals a lead on Kashyyyk. While there, he teams up with noted anarchist Saw Gerrera to free an imprisoned contingent of Wookiees from the Empire.
Wait. Saw Gerrera from Rogue One?
Saw Gerrera is in Fallen Order and Survivor?
Saw Gerrera is totally in Fallen Order, and is portrayed by his IRL actor Forest Whitaker, which should give you an idea how much of a budget this series has. Cal’s first trip to Kashyyyk is kind of a bust, so he heads back to Zeffo, and gets another lead on a key that’ll open the Bogano vault. (The Star Wars Jedi games are nothing if not exercises in backtracking.) There, he also runs into the Second Sister, real name Trilla, who reveals that Cere was her former master. You know, classic Star Wars stuff.
Cal narrowly escapes Trilla, but is captured by members of the Haxion Brood before he can leave Zeffo.
What’s a Haxion Brood?
“Who are the Haxion Brood?” is what you should be asking. Introduced in Fallen Order, they’re a criminal organization that operates on the fringes of the galaxy. You can just call them “bounty hunters.” They force Cal to compete in a Thor: Ragnarok-style combat arena, but Cere and Greez rescue Cal and whisk him back to Kashyyyk, where they get another lead on the key to the Bogano vault. Also, Cal fights and defeats the Ninth Sister — although, for the record, you do not see her die.
Following the Kashyyyk lead, Cal heads back to Dathomir, where he’s pretty convinced the key to the Bogano vault is located. Merrin yet again tries to stop Cal, he runs into an ex-Jedi named Taron Malicos. Malicos, who has turned to the dark side, does the whole “join me and we can rule the galaxy” thing. While escaping, Cal breaks his lightsaber and heads to Ilum to source a kyber crystal (the shiny rocks that make a lightsaber a lightsaber). He returns to Dathomir with a fancy two-sided saber, but is stopped by Taron. He’s helped in the fight, though, by… Merrin? Sure! Merrin, who has come around to trust Cal (and who also expresses a yearning to explore the galaxy), joins his merry little band of rebels.
How does Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order end?
Now equipped with the vault key, the crew returns to Bogano and grabs the Holocron from the vault. Trilla shows up, steals the Holocron, and escapes to the Inquisitor fortress — the giant spire in the middle of the sea that appeared in an episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Cal defeats Trilla and reclaims the Holocron. But then!!! Darth! Freakin’! Vader shows up, murders Trilla, and then rips the fortress apart in an effort to capture Cal. Next to the end credits stinger of Rogue One, the sequence is arguably one of the more visceral displays of how strong Vader is. It rules.
Cal escapes, but only barely, and entirely due to a rescue from Merrin. Safe in interstellar space, Cal destroys the Holocron.
It seems like a vacuum-sealed ending, but Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s finale was colored largely by the context in which it came out: between the release of The Last Jedi, which suggested Star Wars could be a story about more than one dynastic family, and The Rise of Skywalker, which basically undid everything posited by its predecessor. To some, the Holocron in Fallen Order suggested the same “anyone can be someone” thesis of Last Jedi — a message and cliffhanger that was similarly challenged by The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars is in a very different place in 2023 than it was in 2019. Over the past four years, Disney has released a number of character-focused TV shows (with more to come), detailed plans to expand into the High Republic era, and even given Baby Yoda an actual name. You’d better bet they force Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to tie into it all somehow.