Order 66 Survivors Who Are Not in 'Jedi: Fallen Order'
Surprising Restraint in Bringing Back Too Many Familiar Characters
The new video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a fantastic addition to the Star Wars mythology. Set five years after Revenge of the Sith, it does a good job of connecting to the films, TV shows, and print media in an organic way. Since it is set within the dark times era, I cannot help but compare it to the show Star Wars Rebels, the events of which begin nine years after this game. Both stories feature Jedi in hiding trying to restore hope and meeting characters who are familiar to us along the way.
However, I have long felt that while half of the familiar characters in Rebels felt like natural additions, the other half were either forced or overshadowed the Ghost crew. Fallen Order connects to various media organically without making the galaxy feel so small. Compared to Rebels and other Star Wars stories, it is surprising that it did not include as many familiar characters as one might have thought, especially given a few name drops in Charles Soule's highly praised Darth Vader comic series that ended last year. Given the settings, I applaud that the people behind the game resisted the temptation to include certain characters, giving the new ones time to shine. But it also feels like other characters could have easily gotten even brief appearances given the places that Cal visits. Be warned from here on out that I will be discussing SPOILERS for Fallen Order.
Familiar Character Who DO Appear
Of course, there are a few familiar characters. Cere Junda and her master Eno Cordova appeared in the comic miniseries Dark Temple, which was designed as a prelude to Fallen Order. So their appearances (in the flesh for the former and as a hologram for the latter) is not really much of a surprise. Going a step further, though, Obi-Wan Kenobi only appears via the distress signal that he recorded during the events of Revenge of the Sith. This was a tasteful way of including him without having him overshadow the new characters as he did in Rebels. His mission is to watch over Luke Skywalker on Tatooine, so it makes sense that he would not have a part to play in Fallen Order.
Saw Gerrerra appears alongside his partisans on Kashyyyk, fighting for the freedom of the Wookiees a year prior to the opening scene of Rogue One in which he takes Jyn Erso under his wing. Tarfful, the Wookiee chieftain who, along with Chewbacca, aided Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, appears and is said to have been a leader in this Wookiee resistance. I would have liked to have seen him in particular do more. But as in Revenge of the Sith, he is kinda just there. Still, it's nice to know he's still alive and kicking in this era. Chewbacca is absent, which makes sense to me as not all familiar Wookiees need to always be in the same area, and Chewie's trajectory has to lead him to the cell on Mimban where he meets Han Solo four years after this.
The Ninth Sister previously appeared in Charles Soule's Darth Vader comic series, and her presence in this time period makes sense. And of course, Darth Vader appears at the very end of Fallen Order. Lots of people predicted this, but it's nice that he was not in too much of the game. During season 2 of Rebels, some fans felt that his very presence was too distracting from other threads that were going on in the show. In Fallen Order, he was used in a way that I found appropriately chilling, and he was not quite undermined here as I feel he has been in other media. With this taking place the same year as the novels Lords of the Sith and Tarkin, I do wonder when Fallen Order takes place in relation to those.
And now, below, I will list familiar Order 66 survivors and whether or not they could have or should have been included in the game.
We might as well start with the most familiar survivor who did not appear: Yoda. In The Empire Strikes Back, it appears that he has not left his self-imposed exile on Dagobah in the years since Revenge of the Sith. However, that has not kept him from being involved with surviving Jedi during the time between. In Rebels, he communicates to Ahsoka Tano, Kanan Jarrus, and Ezra Bridger through the Force on two occasions. Even in Legends, the developers behind 2010's The Force Unleashed II wrote in a reason for Starkiller to go to Dagobah, where Yoda simply stands and passes on very few words after Starkiller encounters a vision. Yoda's presence feels forced in all of these instances, so I appreciate the restraint in shoehorning him into Fallen Order.
In the game, the Mantis crew does wonder whether he survived, at which point Greez mentions that he's actually wondering whether Yaddle, another Jedi of Yoda's species, survived. Whether this means that Yaddle herself made it to the end of the Clone Wars is unknown, as Greez has only heard stories of her and we have not seen her alive past the time of The Phantom Menace in canon. While we do not know whether she's an Order 66 survivor, I would like to know whether her fate is different from Legends, where she dies during the decade between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
Coleman Kcaj is an Ongree member of the Jedi Council. He appears in Revenge of the Sith and in season 6 of The Clone Wars, but his fate was unknown until last year, when Charles Soule's Darth Vader #19 included his name (in Aurebesh) in a list of Order 66 survivors.
Honestly, I have felt for over a decade that I am the only fan who actually cares to know what ended up happening to him. To be fair, he is just a background character in all of his appearances so far. He is such a deep cut that it is difficult to come across an image of him where he's in-focus and not partially obscured. I cannot really imagine a place he could have had within Fallen Order, so maybe it is good that he was left out. But I do hope to see more of him in a future Star Wars project that could potentially make him more of an interesting character by defining who he actually is.
Another name included in the aforementioned list is that of Thisspiasian Jedi Oppo Rancisis, who appears as a Jedi Council member in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. In Legends, he dies on Saleucami toward the end of the Clone Wars and gets replaced by Kcaj on the Council by the time of Revenge of the Sith. In canon, however, he is last seen alive and on the Council with Kcaj in The Clone Wars season 6. I am very curious as to why the fate of this character was changed, and what could be done with him in the future. But again, this is another character for which I could not have imagined a suitable role in Fallen Order.
Quinlan Vos is somewhat of a popular character. Much of his stories appear in the Legends comic series Republic, where he ends up surviving Order 66 on Kashyyyk. In canon, we last see him in the novel Dark Disciple, where he falls in love with Nightsister Asajj Ventress. In Revenge of the Sith, we hear that he has taken Boz Pity, so it is hard to say whether he still goes to Kashyyyk after that. Accordin to Wookieepedia, Star Wars: Card Trader has stated that he did go to Kashyyyk to aid Tarfful. I would not be surprised if this particular detail ever gets overwritten. But he is listed as a survivor of Order 66 in Soule's Darth Vader #7. Later, in Darth Vader #17, Jedi Master Ferren Barr tells Verla, "Perhaps Quinlan Vos survives." Even after he says that maybe Yoda and Kenobi survived, this line of dialogue felt a bit out of place, as if it was advertising a future project that would include Vos.
With this in mind, I found it very surprising that Quinlan Vos did not appear at all in Fallen Order. On one hand, this is Cal's story, and Vos' presence would likely have been distracting. On the other hand, it would have been nice for there to have been a moment where Cal encounters at least some sort of Force echo on Kashyyyk that would have shown him Vos surviving, and maybe even fleeing offworld. We could have even gotten a mention of Vos from Tarfful. Even if Vos could not be part of this story, it might have been nice for there to have been a little tease of him appearing in a potential sequel. With the recent book Secrets of the Jedi alluding to him surviving Order 66, one can bet that Vos is still in the minds of those working at Lucasfilm, and he may just pop up again somewhere one of these days.
Speaking of Kashyyyk, that is where we see Luminara Unduli in Revenge of the Sith. We do not see what happens to her during Order 66, but Star Wars Rebels reveals her survival and subsequent imprisonment by the Inquisitors. While the show does not specify when she died, this has been narrowed down by the reference book Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition. Based on the info in that, she had to have died within a year after Order 66. Since she's already dead by 14 BBY, there's no way for her to be around at the time of Fallen Order.
The reference book came out only over a month before Fallen Order, so the timelines of these project releases were pretty close. As such, Lucasfilm could have easily allowed Luminara to be used in Fallen Order. I could imagine her helping Cal a bit before being captured or even being seen or heard during a Force echo on Kashyyyk. But alas, it seems that she can no longer appear in this era unless people want to ignore continuity.
Barriss Offee (?)
And then there is also Luminara's apprentice Barriss Offee. Okay, this one is more of an assumption since we actually don't know her fate at the end of the Clone Wars. She's last seen at the end of The Clone Wars season 5, being arrested after rebelling against the Jedi and trying to frame Ahsoka Tano for a bombing. Admittedly, we don't actually know whether she survives Order 66. But Dave Filoni mentioned at The Untold Clone Wars panel at Celebration 2015 that he had plans for her. He has not said what those plans are.
Fans speculated that the Seventh Sister in Rebels would be her. (It wasn't.) More recently, fans speculated that the Second Sister in Fallen Order would be her. (Again, it wasn't.) I'm thinking that the Inquisitorius is not the intended path for Barriss, and perhaps she would not have had a place in Fallen Order. It was better to have the Second Sister end up being someone who matters to Cere. Still, I really want to know Filoni's plans for Barriss.
While we are on the subject of Ahsoka, we might as well address that she's not in the game either. I personally think it's a good thing that she did not appear in Fallen Order. In Rebels, she sometimes overshadowed the Ghost crew. According to the Ahsoka novel that takes place a few years before Fallen Order, she has met up with Bail Organa by this point. Having the Mantis crew isolated and unaware of the stirrings of the future Rebel Alliance works really well for the story of the game. The Mantis' trajectory is different from that of the characters we see in Rebels, and I like that unknown factor. It opens up potentially new places to explore. It was great, though, to have the Empire's presence on Ilum as something that connects Fallen Order to the novel Ahsoka.
Caleb Dume / Kanan Jarrus
Before joining the Ghost crew, Kanan Jarrus, formerly known as Caleb Dume, was pretty much on his own. In the comic book arc Kanan: The Last Padawan, we see how he survives Order 66 and witnesses his master Depa Billaba being killed by clones. During his first year on the run, he stayed with a scoundrel named Janus Kasmir, eventually ending up with a ship called The Escape. According to the novel A New Dawn, it is not until seven years later in 11 BBY that he meets Hera Syndulla, who, along with other future Ghost crew members, would later go on adventures in Star Wars Rebels.
While Fallen Order takes place between Kanan: The Last Padawan and A New Dawn, I remember the novel gave me the impression that Kanan had not encountered other Force-users while on the run. He's been lying low, going from planet to planet. Even though he could have been incorporated into Fallen Order and even related to Cal Kestis throuh their similar experiences, it might not have meshed well with the impression I got. And because Caleb and Cal's experiences are so similar, the inclusion of the former would have felt redundant. They each have their own crews and trajectories, which I really like.
Even though Maul is not a Jedi, he is still worth mentioning, as we will see him around the time of Order 66 in The Clone Wars season 7. Though Dathomir is one of the planets that Cal visits, the game developers did not give in to whatever temptation there may or may not have been to include Maul. We know that he makes it out of the Clone Wars five years prior and that he's in charge of Crimson Dawn in Solo: A Star Wars Story (the opening scene of which is set a year after Fallen Order, before a three-year timeskip). Dathomir is a big planet, so it would stand to reason that the Mantis might not land near where Maul's lair is.
Maul is another one of those characters who, despite having a compelling story in Rebels, was distracting and overshadowed the Ghost crew. I'm satisfied that those behind Fallen Order went out of their way to create a new character in the form of the mysterious Wanderer, revealed to be a fallen Jedi named Taron Malicos. Sure, Maul could've been a surprise boss fight. But it might've felt old hat after his (sort of but not really) appearance in the 2008 video game The Force Unleashed. And even if he had simply appeared in cutscenes trying to tempt Cal, we've already seen that with Ezra in Rebels. Star Wars takes place in a huge galaxy with big planets, and I'm glad that Fallen Order reinforces that.
While I don't think that most of these Order 66 survivors needed to be part of Cal's story, I do think there's room for a few in a potential sequel. In particular, I'd most like to see Vos, and perhaps Rancisis and Kcaj to a lesser extent. It's understandable that they would not appear in this game as it's the beginning of Cal's journey. There's room for a few more familiar characters if there is ever a sequel, and I have faith that they would be used organically as the crew of the Mantis are fleshed out more. A sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order may not be a sure thing just yet, but I would welcome one. These new characters have grown on me, and I would like to see where they end up.