The story of Cal Kestis can be traced back to the time when the Jedi Order existed, as he had to be trained in the ways of the Force one way or another. We learned in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order that Cal had the basics of the Force covered and that he was steadily re-learning the things he learned from the Jedi Temple and his master five years before the game’s events. But who was Cal Kestis’ master?
Cal Kestis’ master was a Lasat male named Jaro Tapal, known for being a tough disciplinarian who taught his Padawan about the Force using a firm stance. He served as a Jedi General during the events of the Clone Wars before the clones betrayed him and Cal due to Order 66.
The story of Cal’s master isn’t entirely unique because most of the Jedi lost their lives due to the events of Order 66. However, Jaro Tapal valued his Padawan’s life over his own, which was one of the reasons why Cal Kestis survived the events of Order 66 at the age of 13 and when he was still far from becoming ready enough as a Jedi. Now, let’s talk more about Jaro Tapal.
Jaro Tapal’s Background Explained
When we first met Cal Kestis during the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, he was a young adult hiding from the Empire by working as a scavenger. However, the truth was that he had received Jedi training during the time when the Jedi Order still existed. That means that he was part of the Jedi Order just before the fall of the Jedi when Darth Sidious initiated Order 66.
In fact, as the game went on, it became clear that Cal was skilled in the Force and had all of the basics covered. Of course, he wasn’t strong during the start of the game, but Cal steadily re-learned all of the things that he learned from his training back when the Jedi Order still existed. And that meant he already knew all of the fundamentals about the Force and how to use a lightsaber and its many different forms (although he initially favored Form I).
Cal already knew the basics of the Force and lightsaber combat, so he had already graduated as a Padawan. As such, he was an apprentice to a Jedi Knight or Master before the game’s events and when the Jedi Order still existed. So, who was Cal Kestis’ master?
Cal Kestis’ master when he was still a Padawan learner was Jaro Tapal, a Lasat male Jedi Master. During the Clone Wars, Tapal was one of the many different Jedi that were called to serve the Republic’s grand army as Jedi Generals that led the clone troopers against the droid forces of the Separatists.
At one point in the past, Jaro met and befriended Jedi Knight Cere Junda, who regarded the Lasat Jedi Master as a true Jedi that defended the order and the Republic. Jaro also became the master of the 13-year-old Cal Kestis, who was still new to being a Padawan. And even though he was serving the Republic as a Jedi General, Tapal could still find time to train Kestis and teach him the ways of the Force.
While they were away from the Jedi Temple and were on the field, Jaro tried to teach Cal the ways of the Force in a firm, stern, and disciplined manner. He wasn’t a harsh master but was someone who understood the importance of teaching discipline to his Padawan, as Cal was able to learn just how firm his master could be when he was training as a Padawan inside the ship called the Albedo Brave, which had training facilities that were suitable for the use of a Jedi.
It was during the events of the game that Cal steadily re-learned the things that he learned under Jaro during the time of the Clone Wars. As such, he already knew all of the basics of the Force due to his time in the Jedi Temple and under Jaro Tapal.
What Happened to Jaro Tapal?
While Jaro and Cal were on their way to Mygeeto to assist Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi just after Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated General Grievous and crippled the forces of the Separatists. However, that was also after Darth Sidious survived the attack from Jedi Master Mace Windu and indoctrinated Anakin Skywalker as a Sith Lord. As such, Palpatine initiated Order 66, a secret protocol that forced the clones to kill all Jedi in sight.
That meant the clones with Tapal and Kestis were also ordered to kill them due to the chips implanted in their brains. As such, Jaro needed to find a way to survive the betrayal of the clones. And that was when he came up with the idea of escaping the ship in time.
Jaro Tapal told Cal Kestis to use the maintenance halls to escape the clones and keep himself away from their sight. Meanwhile, Jaro would use the main passageway and confront the clones himself. Considering that he was a trained Jedi Master and that the halls of the ship were not wide enough for the clones to overwhelm him, Jaro could defend himself well enough from the clones’ attacks while Cal was escaping making his way to the escape pods.
During that time, Jaro also decided to destroy the Albedo Brave’s reactor so that the ship’s destruction would cover their escape and allow the clones and the Empire to believe they had died right then and there. The two were able to get to the escape pods without any trouble until the clones could catch up.
Right before they boarded the escape pods, the clones overwhelmed the two and mortally wounded Jaro Tapal. While they could board the escape pod, Jaro was too wounded to survive. He gave his lightsaber to Cal, who lost his own saber while trying to escape the clones. Jaro also told him to wait for a signal from the Jedi Temple, not knowing that the combined forces of Anakin Skywalker and the clones had already destroyed the Jedi Order.
Jaro’s sacrifice greatly impacted Cal, who went on to live for the sake of his fallen master. He regarded Tapal as a true hero, and so did Cere Junda. And it was Jaro Tapal’s memory that allowed Cal Kestis to renew his belief in the ways of the Jedi and re-establish his connection with the Force.