Unlike most Star Wars video game characters, Cal Kestis – the main protagonist of the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game, is a canon character. His upbringing and journey to becoming a Jedi Knight were unique, and he’s one of only a handful to become a Jedi Knight before the age of 20. But how old was he during Order 66, when that journey took a perilous turn?
Cal Kestis was only 13 years old when Order 66 took place, and almost the entire Jedi Order was killed by the clones. Cal was only a Padawan, and his Master died in his arms after saving his life. The events of the Fallen Order video game happened five years later when Kestis was around 18 years old.
The story of Cal Kestis is brutally painful but also fulfilling and incredibly well-written. Throughout his journey, you’d think that all the trauma would lead to Kestis succumbing to the Dark Side, but instead, he was a key cog in reviving the Jedi Order. That being said, the game is more about letting go and moving on than anything else. Let’s dig into this premise a bit more.
Who is Cal Kestis?
Cal Kestis is the main protagonist and the only playable character in the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game. Although almost every Star Wars video game in their characters belongs to Star Wars Legends (i.e., non-canon), Fallen Order and Cal Kestis are both considered canonical, in line with Star Wars movies, TV shows, and most books.
Kestis was a young Jedi Padawan of Jedi Master Jaro Tapal – the only known member of the Lasat species ever to be trained as a Jedi. Tapal was a Jedi General during the Clone Wars that served the Galactic Republic.
However, Jaro perished before his Padawan, Cal, could finish his training. He helped save young Cal and hold off the attacks during Order 66 for long enough to allow Kestis to escape to the planet Bracca.
Tapal escaped, too, but only ever so briefly, as he soon succumbed to his injuries and died in his Padawan’s arms. Ever since that moment, Cal Kestis has carried his old Master’s lightsaber and used it in combat.
Throughout Fallen Order, Cal has difficulty moving on from past trauma despite learning to focus on the positive instead of the negative from his Master. However, as the game progresses, Cal not only helps himself move on but also other characters along the way, such as Cere Junda.
Cere was a Jedi, captured and tortured by the Empire as an Order 66 survivor. She broke and gave away her Padawan, Trilla, who would later become Second Sister – as a result of her torture, Trilla was overwhelmed with the Dark Side of the Force and became a sadistic murderer.
As a result, Cere gave in to her grief, regret, and overwhelming rage, and she tapped into the Dark Side as well, killing almost everyone in the room before escaping. After that, Cere Junda cut herself off from the Force, fearing that she’d fall to the Dark Side. But, after she met Cal Kestis, everything changed once again.
Examples like these are why I always say that the main subject of the Fallen Order isn’t reforming or reviving the Jedi Order. Sure, everything leads to that – but the main subject of the game is grief and moving on from the past so that you can build a future.
How old was Cal Kestis in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order?
Over the course of the game, Cal Kestis is around 18 years old. He is a Jedi Padawan on his way to becoming a Jedi Knight. However, his training was cut short several years earlier when, as we mentioned before, his Master was murdered, and Cal was forced to go into hiding so as not to be killed.
Throughout the game, you can see that Cal uses somewhat of a broken form of Shii-Cho – one of the lightsaber forms. However, he implemented his own tactics and moved into the strategy because his training was cut short. So, Kestis had to improvise, essentially developing his own sub-form of Shii-Cho.
In the end, one could consider Cal Kestis a Jedi Knight, which is rare because only a handful of characters became Jedi before the age of 20.
How old was Cal Kestis during Order 66?
For those who don’t know, Order 66 essentially commanded the clones to slaughter the Jedi. It happened during the Clone Wars, and during Order 66, Cal Kestis’ Master – as well as numerous other Jedi – was killed, and Cal was saved only as a result of his Master’s sacrifice.
Almost at the beginning of the Fallen Order video game, we learn that the Empire was in a position of power for five years. We learn that Cal Kestis was 13 years old at that time – the time when Order 66 took place.
That means that, since the young age of 13, Cal was essential without a Master, trying to survive in hiding as a young Jedi Padawan with incomplete training. And that’s not even the worst part of his trauma.
Jaro Tapal – Cal’s former master – led the 13th Battalion – a group of clone soldiers in Phase II trooper armor with golden-yellow markings. They were essentially Cal’s closest childhood friends – which is why Kestis trusted clones so much.
But then, Order 66 came, and those same clones turned on them, and Cal watched as those who he considered friends now killed his Master – and countless others – right in front of his very eyes. Had it not been for Jaro, those same friends would kill Cal as well.
Imagine the horror it caused to a 13-year-old Cal – no wonder he has such great trust issues throughout Fallen Order.