One of the Jedi Knights that fans have learned to love due to his story in the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game is Cal Kestis, who is one of the canon Jedi that survived the events of Order 66. Of course, we know that the Jedi specialize in different forms of lightsaber combat, and we’ve seen Cal displaying his prowess as a lightsaber duelist during the events of Fallen Order. So, what form does Cal Kestis use?
Cal Kestis is proficient in three different lightsaber combat forms. He initially uses the basic Form I: Shii-Cho style during the early part of the game but eventually uses Form VI: Niman later in the storyline. However, there are scenes wherein he incorporates Form IV: Ataru in his fights.
What needs to be understood about Cal Kestis and his lightsaber combat form is that he was never able to complete his training. He was only 13 years old during the events of Order 66, so he was far from learning everything he needed from his master, Jaro Tapal. So, with that said, let’s look at the different forms that Cal Kestis uses.
Cal Kestis’ Lightsaber Combat Form Explained
We know that Cal Kestis is the main character of the canon video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which takes place five years after the events of Order 66 and follows an eighteen-year-old Jedi Padawan’s journey. That means that Cal knows how to handle a lightsaber due to his training when he was still a Padawan under Jedi Master Jaro Tapal during the time when the Jedi Order still existed.
Of course, because Cal is a Jedi, he uses his lightsaber as his main weapon. He also received training in lightsaber combat, as Jedi younglings tend to learn how to handle their lightsabers at a very early age. We also know that Jedi are known to favor a certain lightsaber combat form.
At the start, it was clear that Cal Kestis used the most basic lightsaber combat form, which is Form I: Shii-Cho. This form was the first one that was ever developed by the Jedi and is the most basic form due to how it uses simple and standard maneuvers that are easy to learn. It is a balanced form that aims at disarming an opponent and is a form that was derived from traditional sword fighting.
In that regard, the movements of Shii-Cho are basic and simple and do not incorporate the usual acrobatic styles that we often see in forms like Form IV. That’s why most of the attacks incorporated in Form I are simple ones that resemble how a trained swordsman fights in the sense that it uses direct attacks and broad parries.
Shii-Cho focuses on allowing the user to attack frequently with simple attacks to take advantage of openings or to create an opening. In that regard, it can be similar to Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad in the sense that it uses flurries but requires the user to have a sound and peaceful mind that aims to disarm or maim an opponent. Of course, Form I allows the user to return to a defensive stance after attacking, which is why it isn’t an aggressive style of lightsaber combat.
Of course, Shii-Cho, while not as aggressive and as powerful as the other combat forms, is a viable option for any Jedi combatant to use and is often the form that a Jedi uses when all else fails. That’s because, while not effective in any specific situation, it can be used in many different situations because it is simple and rudimentary.
Due to how basic Form I is, it is highly favored among younger Jedi. That is why it is often the form that the Padawans use during the early parts of their Jedi training, as the moves incorporated in Shii-Cho are easy and simple enough for them to use. This also explains why Cal Kestis initially uses Form I during the early part of Fallen Order, as this form is simple and easy enough for him to remember.
However, as the storyline progresses, Cal Kestis adapts and uses a more advanced form of lightsaber combat, Form VI: Niman, the most widely used lightsaber combat form that the Jedi Knights use.
Form VI was developed to incorporate all of the basic principles of the first five Jedi combat forms in both its offense and defense. That is why there are semblances of the other lightsaber combat forms in the different maneuvers incorporated in Niman.
Niman is also described as the most balanced Jedi lightsaber combat form because it doesn’t stand out on either offense or defense. Instead, it tends to find the perfect balance between offense and defense to cover up the weaknesses of a Jedi without maximizing their strengths. In that regard, it can be a bit half-cooked due to its lack of significant advantages, but it tends to cover all of the bases in offense and defense due to how careful and less demanding it is.
The fact that Cal shifted to Niman during the latter part of the game suggests that he has learned to become a more proficient Jedi combatant. It also shows his evolution from a Jedi Padawan into a true Jedi Knight. Nevertheless, Cal still incorporated certain aspects of Form I into his combat.
But it was also shown in the flashback scenes involving Cal and his master that he was trained in a style that resembles parkour. The most acrobatic of all of the lightsaber combat forms is Form IV: Ataru, which incorporates the use of the Force in a Jedi’s style so that acrobatic attacks can be used against an opponent. Of course, Cal didn’t use this style a lot in the game, but there are hints of Ataru in some of his acrobatic movements.
Cal’s Jar’Kai Proficiency
During the second half of Fallen Order, Cal Kestis repaired the second side of his master Jaro Tapal’s lightsaber. This allows him to wield a lightsaber that can be shifted from single-bladed to dual-bladed, depending on the situation. In Jedi lightsaber combat, dual lightsaber wielding is called Jar’Kai, which isn’t necessarily one of the seven forms but is a style that can be incorporated with certain forms.
Cal’s fighting style is changed when he uses two lightsabers instead of one as he can shift into the dual-bladed style of Niman, often called the Way of the Rancor, due to how it is reminiscent of the way that a Rancor uses its tusks in a battle. And this is a style that Darth Maul mastered.
The change in Cal’s fighting style symbolizes his evolution as a Jedi, as he can incorporate different lightsaber combat styles in different situations. Jar’Kai is often used to cover different bases and when facing multiple opponents. In that regard, Cal Kestis was able to use Niman in his Jar’Kai style throughout the game when facing different enemies that demanded the use of this style. However, he can also shift to a single-bladed lightsaber for a more focused way of using Shii-Cho or Niman.
Why Doesn’t Cal Kestis Specialize in One Lightsaber Combat Form?
One of the things that we know about Jedi Knights and Masters is that they tend to favor one style over the others. For example, Anakin favored Form V: Shien/Diem So, while Obi-Wan Kenobi used the defensive style of Form III: Soresu. So, why is it that Cal uses multiple lightsaber forms?
Cal Kestis uses multiple lightsaber combat forms because his fighting style is integral in telling his story and how he evolved throughout the game’s events. Fallen Order started out with Cal being forced to use his Jedi training all of a sudden after five years of hiding. He was only 13 during Order 66, so he never got the chance to finish his Jedi training.
That means that, at the start, it was understandable that he favored Form I: Shii-Cho due to how simple and basic it is. After all, all Jedi are training in Shii-Cho before anything else, as this is the most rudimentary of all the lightsaber combat forms. And because Cal did not engage in lightsaber combat in five years, he was basically rusty.
However, as the game progressed, Cal remembered his Jedi training. He also improved as a Jedi due to the different battles and challenges that he had to go through. We also saw how Jedi Knight Cere Junda knighted Cal.
As such, the fact that he shifted from the form that Padawans favor the most to the form that Jedi Knights favor the most is a symbolic way of showcasing his evolution and growth as a character and as a Jedi throughout the events of the game.