Jedi: Survivor Perfectly Mixes Every Era Of Star Wars Together
In the early years of Disney’s ownership of Star Wars, it felt like the company wasn’t interested in any era of the franchise beyond the original trilogy. The material it mined for its own projects came largely from those films, leaving vast swaths of Star Wars history by the wayside. But more recently, Disney and Lucasfilm have seemingly realized that there’s more to Star Wars than just those classic films. And Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a great example of how to bring together all of the various eras of one of the most popular sci-fi franchises of all time.
Minor spoilers below related to how Survivor connects to other Star Wars properties.
Released late last month, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the fantastic sequel to Respawn and EA’s 2019 hit action-adventure game, Jedi: Fallen Order. In this bigger and better sequel, players once again take on the role of Cal Kestis, a young Jedi who survived the Order 66 purge as a child. Now he and his ragtag group of friends work together to topple the Empire while also outrunning everyone trying to catch them, which not only includes the Empire itself but also bounty hunters and criminal syndicates. And this time around, Cal’s big space adventure connects to basically every major era of Star Wars we’ve seen in movies and TV.
So right away, it’s easy to see the references to the Original Trilogy, aka the old Star Wars movies starring Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher that were released in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Cal is fighting Imperial stormtroopers clad in white armor just like they appear in the old movies. We also see TIE fighters and AT-STs, popular Imperial vehicles from those classic films. But beyond those obvious references, Survivor also has connections to the spin-off film Rogue One and the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. Both of these take place in the same general era as A New Hope, the first film in the Original Trilogy.
How Respawn’s new Star Wars game references spin-offs and The Clone Wars
Throughout the game, you’ll encounter KX security droids which first appeared in Rogue One. The beloved droid character K-2SO was a reprogrammed KX security bot. Meanwhile, you’ll also hear mention of The Hidden Path or The Path, something first introduced in the Disney+ show Obi-Wan Kenobi. Interestingly, the idea of The Path—an Underground Railroad-like network of people trying to help the surviving Jedi and Force-sensitive refugees escape the Empire’s grasp—was initially pitched as a possible storyline for Fallen Order. That didn’t happen, but it seems the idea lived on and ended up in the Obi-Wan show, which is just one more way that the series and Fallen Order are connected.
However, Survivor isn’t just content with referencing the OG films and connected spin-offs, and actually includes a ton of direct connections to the Prequel films and Clone Wars series.
The most obvious are all the various battle droids you encounter in the game, including the well-known B1 and B2 droids first seen in Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones respectively. However, Cal also encounters Magnaguard droids which were often seen guarding General Grievous during the Clone Wars and first appeared in Revenge of the Sith. There are also BX Commando droids which never appeared in the live-action films but instead were created for the CG animated series as a faster, deadlier variant of battle droids that could actually give the Clones and Jedi a run for their money.
Elsewhere in the game you’ll also encounter leftover AAT tanks, Vulture Droid ships, and ruined bases from the Clone Wars. Perhaps the most interesting and easy-to-miss Clone Wars connection is the villain Rayvis. He is a Gen’Dai, a rarely seen species of alien that are pretty damn hard to kill and have very long lifespans because their bodies are made up of thousands of regenerative tentacles, allowing them to regenerate after taking damage. The first Gen’Dai ever seen in Star Wars was the Bounty Hunter Durge. He was created by Lucasfilm for the original Clone Wars 2D animated shorts and comics back in 2003. (Durge has since appeared in canon via newer Star Wars comics.)
How Star Wars Jedi: Survivor connects to the Sequel films and more
But wait, there’s more! Survivor also has references to both the High Republic and the Sequel Trilogy. I won’t say too much about the High Republic connections as they play a big role in the game’s overall narrative, but it’s cool to see this fairly new part of Star Wars—that currently only exists in books and comics—be prominently featured in such a big new project from Lucasfilm.
As for the references to the Sequel films, they are a bit less cool than the Clone Wars connections mentioned already, but still neat to see. One connection is the inclusion of a Trodatome, a slug-like species of aliens first seen in The Rise of Skywalker. Another minor one is that, fairly early into the game, you can unlock a crossguard lightsaber, something that was first seen in The Force Awakens.
To be clear: Just including references doesn’t make Survivor a great game. However, the way Respawn has carefully and thoughtfully weaved all of Star Wars throughout the game is impressive. None of this stuff gets in the way of the main story the game is telling and none of it feels forced or shoved in because “Well, we gotta include this, too!” Instead, it all melts together into a giant and delicious Star Wars meal.
Even better, Respawn doesn’t solely rely on nostalgia or pre-established characters or elements. Jedi: Survivor is filled with new aliens, planets, Force abilities, characters, ships, and more. Respawn is clearly confident in its ability to create new Star Wars content. So these references and past connections aren’t used to prop up the game or make people care about it, but instead are just a little extra seasoning mixed in to make everything a bit more Star Wars-y.
And that’s how it should be done moving forward with future Star Wars projects. Don’t forget what came before, but don’t be afraid to create something new and different.
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