Spoiler Warning: There will be spoilers ahead for Jedi: Fallen Order and for other iterations of the Star Wars franchise.
Welcome back to my playthrough of Jedi: Fallen Order! If you missed the first part of this series you can find it by clicking or tapping here. Last time, we left Cal on the planet of Bogano. He’d just met the droid BD-1 and was making his way toward a mysterious vault.
I’m sure it’s just me, as I’m less used to modern video games with their broader, more open levels, but at points during Cal’s adventure on Bogano I found it hard to know where to go. The scenery is very pretty – but it’s also all rather samey, with white chalk or limestone cliffs and green vegetation. Although there are some identifying features on Bogano – such as an elevator platform – it wasn’t always clear where Cal had been and where Jedi: Fallen Order wanted me to take him next. The level consists of a number of similar pathways and open spaces at different heights; it was very easy (for me, at least) to overlook a pathway that was lower down that Cal had to jump down to.
One thing is undeniable, though, and that is that Bogano is a beautiful setting. A lot of care and attention has gone into both locations Cal has visited so far, and even on my PC – which is no longer a cutting-edge machine (if it ever was!) – the environments look spectacular. Though I may have said something similar a decade ago, in 2020 we’re getting very close to photorealism in many aspects of games. I recently took a look at a tech demo that exemplified this. There were moments in earlier cut-scenes, particularly when looking at starships, characters in helmets, or aliens, that could have been scenes from a television show or film. And while my PC doesn’t have that fanciest of new, next-gen technologies – ray-tracing – the lighting on Bogano looked fantastic, as I think this next screenshot demonstrates.
Last time, we left Cal before he’d made his way to the mysterious vault. I wasn’t sure if this quest would take a long time, and after loading my save file (a suitably quick process) there were still some things for Cal to do first. After exploring a cavern and killing a few monsters, we arrived at a dead end. With no obvious way out or any way to go back, the only thing at the end of the cavern was a glowing spot to interact with. Tapping on this led Cal to draw on a memory from his past, during his time as a Jedi padawan under Master Jaro Tapal – someone we learned last time died during Order 66.
This flashback sequence shows Master Tapal teaching Cal how to use the Force to run along walls – something Cal remembers how to do and is able to use to escape the dead-end cavern. The wall-running ability opened up new pathways on Bogano, and Cal is able to further explore the cavern, using his ability to sense the past to note that a Jedi had once passed this way. I liked the use of the flashback as a concept, but the Jedi training room that Master Tapal and young Cal were in was incredibly generic; I’d have liked to see more decoration to make it appear even vaguely Jedi-esque. As it is, the grey tones didn’t really seem to fit with anything we’d really seen in the prequel era (when this scene was set). It was a very bland video game tutorial room that could have been from almost any other action-adventure title. It was nice to see Master Tapal again though, and I’m sure we’ll get more flashbacks to this character as the game progresses, not least because his death had a huge impact on Cal. He may have even died saving him – but we’ll have to wait and see if I’m right about that!
Returning to the main section of Bogano, Cal is able to use his remembered wall-running technique to cross to a previously-inaccessible area and approach the mysterious vault that Cere had tasked him with exploring. BD-1 and Cal race each other to the vault, and to reemphasise what I said last time, the little droid is absolutely adorable. The entry to the vault had a couple of optional things for BD-1 to scan, adding entries to read from one of the in-game menus. Other than that, all that was here was the sealed door to the vault, which Cal is able to open with ease thanks to the Force.
The mysterious vault seemed like it would take longer and/or be more difficult to reach; I was expecting Cal not to be able to enter and to have to backtrack or go elsewhere to find a way in. But the door opened at the first opportunity, and Cal was able to squeeze through a narrow passageway into the vault. The vault is a large open room with a wet floor. There isn’t much to say about it, really, other than it looked sufficiently ancient as to be believable! In the middle of the room is a single circular object, and after Cal looks around for a moment, BD-1 rushes over and beeps at it excitedly. Walking over to BD-1 triggers a cut-scene. Jedi: Fallen Order has perhaps the smoothest transitions between gameplay and cut-scenes that I’ve seen, and it makes the whole experience much more cinematic; it feels like playing – and taking part in – a Star Wars film. BD-1 projects a hologram…
BD-1, incidentally, has been given a paint job thanks to having the game’s deluxe edition. I don’t recall why I paid extra for this version, it may have been because it was on sale. Normally I wouldn’t reward a company for cutting content from a game and selling it back, and while Jedi: Fallen Order has hardly gone overboard with its cosmetic extras, they should really be accessible in the base game or unlockable via gameplay as everything else is.
The hologram is stored withing BD-1 – not in the vault itself – and is a recording of another Jedi Master. Master Eno Cordova had explored Bogano years prior, and earlier Cere had explained that the planet isn’t present on any star charts; it’s a hidden world. Master Cordova had what he described as a “vision of doom” – presumably foreshadowing Order 66 and the rise of the Empire – and has chosen to hide something of value within the vault. While I like this setup, the fact that the holo-recordings are stored within BD-1 and not the vault itself raises a question immediately, one which admittedly may be explained further into the game. But if all the information Master Cordova has is stored in BD-1, who displays holo-recordings when Cal takes him to specific locations, would it not be possible to simply hack the droid and get the information out? Rather than darting about from planet to planet to get to the right spot for BD-1 to display all of the recordings, if I were Cal the first thing I’d do is shut down BD-1 and take him to a black market droid hacker!
Master Cordova has acquired a list of force-sensitive children and squirreled it away in the vault. His plan, now taken up by Cere, is to use train these children as Jedi and use them to stand up to the Empire. Jedi: Fallen Order is set fourteen years before A New Hope, five years after Revenge of the Sith and Order 66. If Master Cordova put this phase of his plan into effect not too long before that, or if he updated the list, it stands to reason these children would still be out there and might be anywhere from ages 5-15 by now. While traditional Jedi teachings – according the prequel films – meant that a child of 9 was considered “too old” to train, Luke Skywalker and Rey both began their Jedi training as young adults and thus Cordova’s plan seems to have mertit.
The next part, however, is very “video-gamey”. Cordova insists that in order to gain access to the list of names – which may or may not be stored in BD-1, that wasn’t clear – is to “follow his path”. He tells Cal to go to the homeworld of a race called the Zeffo, who built the vault on Bogano. He’s to learn something there that will allow him to gain access to the vault. Nothing in games can ever be straightforward, eh? After Master Cordova sends Cal on his merry way, Cal chats to BD-1, saying that they have something in common as they’re both alone. It was a sweet moment. The only way forward from here is back out of the vault, and after sliding down the hill he climbed up to get in, Cal faces off against some kind of larger monster. This creature was able to perform unblockable attacks, meaning the fight took a lot of jumping and dodging. I couldn’t tell whether this monster was one of the ones recently seen in The Mandalorian or just vaguely similar.
En route back to the ship – a route which, as mentioned, was easily-overlooked due to the level’s layout – BD-1 stops by a wall painting and another holo-recording from Master Cordova plays. He thinks the Zeffo may have visited the planet of Dathomir – a name that sounded vaguely familiar to me, not sure why – and suggests to Cal that he visit there, despite it being a “dark” place. I’m thrilled that Jedi: Fallen Order – like Knights of the Old Republic before it – gave me a choice of destinations. In a game that’s otherwise fairly linear, some elements of choice are great – as are the customisation options and the game’s skill tree for levelling-up Cal. Incidentally, I invested my first upgrade for Cal into extra health, as it’s something I feel almost always comes in handy in these kind of games!
After stopping to inspect the holo-recording, Cal must backtrack through earlier parts of the level to return to the ship – which I forgot to tell you last time is called the Stinger Mantis, or just the Mantis for short. I’m not sure where I’ve heard the name Dathomir, or whether it’s just because the -mir suffix has a Lord of the Rings sound to it, but it really does feel familiar. I wonder what Cal will find there?
Upon returning to the Mantis, Cal tells Cere and Greez what he discovered in the vault and what BD-1 showed him on their return journey. He correctly susses out that BD-1 was the “someone” Cere wanted him to meet on Bogano (something which I had kind of already guessed!) They briefly discuss the situation – Cere knew Master Cordova, as she had once been his apprentice. She is also vaguely familiar with the planet of Dathomir, and says it was once home to a group referred to as the Night Sisters. The Imperial Jedi-hunter pursuing Cal is called the Second Sister, so I’m wondering if those two things are related. Were there Night Brothers, too? The information Master Cordova has stored in the vault is assumed to be in the form of a Jedi holocron – we just saw a Sith holocron in The Rise of Skywalker a few months ago, and apparently the Jedi use them too. Cere has one aboard the Mantis, and she shows it to Cal – it plays a short recording of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was a nice little tie to the mainline films.
After spending a little time looking around the Mantis – its interior is fairly small – I headed to the map near the bridge. There were two planets available to visit, and as mentioned, it was a free choice as to which one to pick. The Zeffo homeworld was displaying an icon telling me that was Cal’s main objective, whereas Dathomir had no indicators of any kind. I chose to go to Dathomir; whether this was a good call or not isn’t clear yet! There were a couple of reasons why I made this decision, though.
Firstly, I’m still not sure why but the name Dathomir is familiar. I’m curious to see if I find out why when Cal gets there! Secondly, if the game is pointing me to the Zeffo homeworld, that’s the main quest line, and if there are side-missions to explore I’d like to see those too. Jedi: Fallen Order is too much fun to skip missions! Finally, sometimes in games, quests or missions become unavailable after a certain point in the main story, and I would hate to miss out on Dathomir because I went to the Zeffo homeworld first. If the Zeffo homeworld is where Cal needs to go to advance the main story, it seems certain that area will still be available after the mission to Dathomir, but it may not be the case the other way around. I could look it up, but I don’t want to inadvertently spoil anything major for myself, as I’m playing Jedi: Fallen Order for the first time. After choosing to go to Dathomir, the Mantis takes off, and this whole sequence, transitioning from being on the surface of Bogano to being aboard the Mantis to heading into space was seamless!
I’m used to loading screens and cut-scenes breaking up a story, yet while the Mantis was taking off and headed to orbit, Cal was free to walk around the cabin and even head to the bridge to see the planet’s atmosphere give way to space. I think that might be the closest any Star Wars fan can get right now to being a passenger on board a vessel in a galaxy far, far away – except, perhaps, for the new ride at Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge, aka Star Wars land. The visual effect of the jump to hyperspace could have been lifted from any of the Star Wars films, and it was a really fun, slightly nostalgic moment to play through. Before the Mantis landed on Dathomir, Cal was still able to freely move around the ship. I took this opportunity to visit the rear cabin and upgrade his lightsaber again; I had acquired a couple of lightsaber components on Bogano.
The journey to Dathomir was very short, taking only as much time as for a few lines of dialogue, and after taking a seat for landing on the Mantis’ bridge, a short cut-scene plays showing the ship approaching a red, Mars-looking planet. Immediately upon landing the area outside the ship is ready to be explored – there’s no transition between the Mantis and the two planets it’s visited so far, which makes the whole experience a touch more immersive. It was here I decided to leave Cal, and save the exploration of Dathomir for next time.
I’m still having a great time with Jedi: Fallen Order. I’m about two hours in now according to Steam – though a few minutes of that was taken up with patching the game and connecting to Origin when I first installed it. Dathomir sounds dangerous and potentially interesting, and I’m also excited to learn more about Cere, Jedi Masters Jaro Tapal and Eno Cordova, and Cal himself. The Zeffo sound interesting too, and perhaps we’ll find out something about them here on Dathomir. But you’ll have to come back next time for that!
I’m experimenting with adding more screenshots this time, as this is supposed to be a playthrough. Hopefully this format is working; it may evolve further as I spend more time on these write-ups!
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is out now on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the copyright of Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts. The Star Wars franchise is the copyright of Lucasfilm and Disney. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.