One of the things that the Jedi in Star Wars often struggle with when it comes to their decisions is whether or not to give in to their emotions and use the dark side of the Force. Mastering the motion was something easier for the Jedi to do during the time when the Jedi Order existed because the structure of the Jedi Order and the guidance of veteran Jedi Masters allowed the Jedi to stay away from the dark side. However, there were a few instances where the Jedi fell to the lure of the dark side. In Cal Kestis’ case, however, no Jedi Order could help keep him in check when the Empire ruled the galaxy and killed Jedi survivors. So, did Cal Kestis turn to the dark side?
Cal Kestis turned to the dark side and used the dark side of the Force in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, albeit momentarily and temporarily. He used the powers of the dark side against the Empire in his fight with Bode. However, Cal could control himself well enough to keep himself away from the dark side’s lure.
The most important part of Cal Kestis’ journey has always been his decisions as a Jedi. Of course, his journey allowed him to experience the pain of loss several times, which would be enough to turn any Jedi to the dark side. Nevertheless, the ability to return to the light is one of the best traits a Jedi could have, and Cal showed that in the game’s events. Now, let’s talk about this topic in greater detail.
Cal Kestis Turns to the Dark Side—Momentarily
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor allows us to see Cal Kestis taking on a new mission as a Jedi. Of course, this also means that he crosses paths with new characters that will change his life after five years of spending almost every day running away from Darth Vader, the Inquisitorius, and the entire Empire.
Cal’s journey changed when he met a man named Bode Akuna during a failed mission on Coruscant. This journey with Bode allowed him to learn from a High Republic-era Jedi named Dagan Gera, who was frozen in stasis for hundreds of years, that there existed a planet that could serve as a safe haven for the Jedi and Force-sensitive beings that were being trafficked out of danger secretly by the organization called the Hidden Path, which is the same organization that Obi-Wan Kenobi assisted during the events of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
In that regard, he must work with his allies to obtain a compass to help him reach that planet. However, what Cal never expected was that Bode, one of the allies he trusted during the entire events of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, was actually a rogue Jedi working with the Empire because the Imperial forces took his daughter from him and were using it against him.
Bode’s betrayal led to some of the most important deaths in Cal Kestis’ life. This included Jedi Master Eno Cordova and Jedi Knight Cere Junda, who were both very important to his journey and growth as a Jedi. Cal couldn’t save Cordova from Bode and wasn’t there when Darth Vader killed Cere. As such, Cal was at the angriest point in his life after Bode’s betrayal killed two of the most important people in his life.
After Bode escaped from Cal, the Jedi Knight learned that Imperials were still on their way to stop him from pursuing the rogue Jedi. That is when the player is prompted to tap into the dark side of the Force. Of course, in a scene involving one of the Imperial officers responsible for pursuing Cal and his allies, Kestis used the dark side of the Force to Force choke him. If it weren’t for Merrin, Cal would have easily killed him using the dark side of the Force.
In the final battle against Bode, Cal was also losing to the veteran Jedi before another prompt appeared. That is when Cal is forced to use the dark side of the Force once more to overwhelm Bode and finally defeat him in the duel.
But while Cal was able to use the dark side to defeat Bode, the thing is that he was still himself when he decided to spare his life. Cal kept his cool and composure and managed to control his anger by allowing Bode to live for the sake of his daughter. However, due to Bode’s foolishness, Cal is forced to kill him without tapping into the dark side.
In other words, Cal did turn to the dark side momentarily and temporarily. However, he still had the composure to keep himself from completely turning to the dark side. As such, despite the temptations presented to him, Cal Kestis’ turn to the dark side of the Force was not complete in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.
The decision to control his emotions was one of the best things that Cal has ever done in the game. While he gave in to the dark side momentarily, the more important part was that he pulled himself back from it, similar to how Luke Skywalker was able to pull himself back after using his anger to defeat Darth Vader in their duel in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. And the fact that he could pull himself back is evidence of his significant growth as a character.
Will Cal Be a Sith/Dark Jedi?
At this point, the entire Star Wars Jedi video game series may be a trilogy that will conclude Cal’s journey with a third game. We saw the dark side’s temptations momentarily taking Cal over in certain stretches of Survivor, only for him to pull himself back from it. But is there a possibility that he could become a Sith or even a dark Jedi?
Canonically speaking, there was never anything about Darth Sidious or Darth Vader tempting a young Jedi to become a new Sith apprentice. Of course, we know that Palpatine tried to tempt Luke into replacing Vader’s place as his new apprentice. In the Legends storyline, Vader tried to replace Sidious by training Galen Marek to become a Sith. However, we aren’t sure whether or not Lucasfilm will try to take the same route when it comes to Cal Kestis by allowing either Sidious or Vader to tempt him to go to the dark side and become a Sith.
Of course, while not all dark side users are Sith, we also aren’t sure about the possibility of Cal becoming a dark Jedi. We’ve seen quite a few Jedi using the dark side of the Force in Cal’s journey. This includes Taron Malicos, Dagan Gera, and even Bode Akuna. That means Cal is no stranger to Jedi who fell from grace for their own ideals.
Now that Cal Kestis has lost some of his allies, he is more desperate than ever to protect the people that the Hidden Path has helped. Survival has always been the main theme when it comes to Cal’s journey as a Jedi, and that means that there’s a chance that he will be pushed into a corner where he needs to tap into the dark side once more for the sake of survival and to protect the people that he needs to protect.
As such, if there’s a third game in the Star Wars Jedi series, the possibility of Cal Kestis getting tempted by the dark side is still out there, especially now that there’s no more veteran Jedi Master or Knight to help him keep his emotions in check. And if that happens, his fall to the dark side might be the gateway to his downfall.