Let’s Play Jedi: Fallen Order – Part 9

Spoiler Warning: There will be spoilers ahead for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and for other iterations of the Star Wars franchise. There is also a spoiler for Game of Thrones Season 8.

Welcome back to Jedi: Fallen Order. After avoiding the Second Sister’s forces on Zeffo, and escaping imprisonment by a gang of gambling-obsessed bounty hunters, Cal and the gang got a lead on the location of Wookie chieftain Tarfful. I was all set to head back to Kashyyyk when Cere suggested a return to Bogano in search of hidden caches of supplies. At the end of the last part of this playthrough, we had just landed on Bogano, so that’s where we’ll pick up now.

Cal and the Stinger Mantis at the landing zone. The spire in the background is the vault we’re trying to access.

I haven’t exactly been wild about Jedi: Fallen Order’s style of sending me back-and-forth between the same levels. Returning to a previously-visited level is fine for completionists who have to unlock every last item, but generally speaking I’m here for the story. However, the chance to acquire some new loot was enticing enough to convince me to backtrack, and I’m very glad I did. After landing, Cal spoke with both Greez and Cere – these were basically continuations of the chats he had with them last time. Cere expressed her regret at not telling Cal about Trilla and her past with the Empire sooner. Greez had a line that I found interesting: Cere is the one “paying the bills” for their expedition; he’s literally just a hired pilot, though they have become friends. This raised a question for me that may be wholly irrelevant, but I can’t help wonder where Cere got the funds for all this star-hopping. Though the economy of the Star Wars galaxy has always been suitably ambiguous, Cere must be reasonably wealthy to be able to afford to keep hiring Greez and the Mantis. Yet as an ex-Jedi and fugitive from the Empire, where did she get her money?

Cal and Greez chat near the Mantis.

At the landing site there was a ramp that led down into a small chamber. Inside was a little fox-like creature; Cal rescued it and it will now have a home aboard the Mantis. Also in this area was another sphere-and-socket puzzle, which upon completion opened up an area containing a chest. We’d found one of these chests during our first visit to Zeffo, and inside was an upgrade for BD-1, allowing him to carry one more stim (health pack). This alone made the trip worthwhile, and after thinking I wasn’t going to spend much time here in my rush to get to Kashyyyk, I was suitably buoyed by gaining an extra stim to revisit more of Bogano in the hopes of finding more loot!

BD-1 acquires an extra stim-pack.

Outside of this area were a few more of the fox-creatures, but the hostile enemies that we encountered on Bogano the first time all seemed to have vanished. I used the holomap to try to scout out unexplored areas and places where previously-blocked paths were now accessible. In what had presumably been Master Cordova’s camp – where Cal met BD-1 for the first time – was a surprise, though! A large droid was waiting for Cal, and seemed to speak with a human voice as if being controlled remotely. After defeating it, it turned out to be affiliated with the bounty hunter collective that Cal escaped last time. This felt like a bad sign: was Cal being hunted by two groups now?

The bounty droid.

After collecting a couple of lightsaber components, Cal faced off against another large monster. We fought one of these after exiting the vault on Bogano the first time, and more recently in the bounty hunter’s arena. It was a tough fight, but Cal received a great reward – another new poncho. This one is my favourite: it’s pink! Unless he later finds one covered in sequins or rhinestones I doubt I’ll be changing outfits for the rest of the game. Cal looks like a pretty princess.

Cal’s pretty new outfit.

There were a couple of other things to see on Bogano; at one point Cal and Cere spoke on the radio about her time as Master Cordova’s apprentice. They enjoyed playing holo-chess together, which was a cute little story adding to Cere’s background. There was one final unexplored area left, and to my great surprise when I got there I found another chest with a stim upgrade. This means BD-1 can now carry five stims as opposed to the two he was equipped with at the start of the game. This obviously helps a lot, as a couple of times Cal has run out of stims during particularly difficult sections. After retrieving this second stim I was content that I’d picked up as many of the supplies as I was going to find, so back at the Mantis I set course for Kashyyyk.

Cal and the gang on the bridge of the Stinger Mantis.

I wasn’t sure what to expect on Kashyyyk. Mari – the resistance fighter Cal befriended last time – had said the Empire’s counter-attack led to them taking back control of the facility we attacked last time. It always felt like the resistance was fighting that kind of engagement; expecting them to keep control of an Imperial facility didn’t seem feasible. However, their situation appears grim. With Saw Gerrera having retreated away from Kashyyyk, it wasn’t clear who would still be there, or even where the Mantis would be able to land. As it turned out, the Mantis was able to land at the same Imperial landing pad as last time – though given the Empire is now in full control of this area, I’m not exactly sure how or why that was possible other than “because it’s a game”. As I said before about Zeffo, given that we’re going to be taking a different route this time and exploring a different area away from the Imperial base, I’d have preferred to see the Mantis pick a new landing zone. Splitting Kashyyyk and Zeffo into two wholly separate levels for the two visits Cal had to make to each would have gone some way to making these sections feel less repetitive and less like backtracking.

The fox-creature Cal found on Bogano now lives aboard the Mantis!

There were no enemies to fight at the landing pad, and though both Cere and Greez were stood outside the ship, neither had anything to say. Presumably we’d used up their dialogue on the jaunt to Bogano. There was evidence of a battle on the landing pad, as Cal sensed a Force echo from a discarded resistance fighter’s helmet. Trilla had been here in search of Cal, and had killed the resistance fighter while looking for him. Cal felt very guilty at unleashing the Jedi-hunters on these resistance fighters; while they would have had a hard time holding out against the Empire, they were no match for Trilla and her Purge troopers.

The dead resistance soldier’s helmet.

Also at the landing pad were Mirienna and Choyyssyk – Mirienna was the woman from Zeffo who Cal met; her husband had been killed by the Empire. Choyyssk was a Wookie who Cal freed from the prison; he was the one who set up the meeting with Tarfful, the chieftain we’re here to meet. Tarfful wasn’t here, though, he was at a rendezvous point in Kashyyyk’s Shadowlands. After a brief chat in which Mirienna revealed she too is leaving the planet, Cal wished them well and headed out. I was excited at the prospect of heading into the Shadowlands. I mentioned this area on our last visit to Kashyyyk as I’d played through it in Knights of the Old Republic. Compared to that game, the presentation of Kashyyyk in Jedi: Fallen Order was quite different; less like a massive forest with kilometres-tall trees and more like a dense jungle. However, all that was about to change!

Cal with Mirienna and Choyyssyk at the landing zone.

A cable-car took Cal to the Imperial facility’s rooftop, where last time we’d defeated the AT-ST and listened to Saw Gerrera’s speech. From here, the only way forward was to take an elevator into the facility and find a way out into the forest from there. I had a bad feeling about the elevator – last time Cal rode one the doors opened to reveal Trilla! And this time was almost as bad: Cal arrived in the Imperial facility only be confronted by two bounty hunters. This was one of the hardest fights so far in Jedi: Fallen Order for me. Both bounty hunters had a variety of weapons and stun-gadgets at their disposal, including flashbang grenades which turned the screen white, blinding Cal temporarily. However, after focusing on one opponent at a time (and using a couple of stim-packs) Cal was able to defeat one of them, before a well-timed use of Force push sent the second falling to his death. Thank goodness for enemies who choose to fight on ledges and platforms!

The two bounty hunters.

I can’t tell if the bounty hunters are always in this location, or whether their appearances are somewhat random. However, one thing is clear – having encountered the droid on Bogano and now these two, the bounty hunter guild is hunting Cal. Surprisingly this wasn’t mentioned at all; I wondered whether Cal might’ve told Greez what had happened, but he never did. After this fight there were several Stormtroopers and a Purge trooper to defeat, before BD-1 was able to take down a forcefield allowing Cal to exit the base and head into the forest.

The way out of the Imperial base.

After exiting the base, Kashyyyk finally started to take on a similar feel to how I remembered it from Knights of the Old Republic in the early 2000s. At points, Jedi: Fallen Order’s Kashyyyk Shadowlands felt like a visually-improved version of the level from the older game, and I absolutely adored the nostalgia trip of exploring this dangerous forest floor. Gone were most of the jungle elements that Cal saw on the route to the Imperial base last time, replaced with a dense forest. I have no doubt Kashyyyk’s wroshyr trees are based on California’s giant redwoods, and while I’ve never seen those for myself I’ve seen photos and at least one documentary! A short distance from the base were several Stormtroopers armed with rocket launchers in a treehouse-platform, and credit to the game’s designers here because the platform looked just like the ones seen in Revenge of the Sith. Yoda was in such a treehouse when Order 66 occurred.

The treehouse.

From here a zipline led deeper into the forest, and there were a variety of animal and plant(!) enemies to battle. Tarfful sure picked an out-of-the-way location for a meeting! But that makes sense as he wouldn’t have wanted to get any closer to the Imperial base than necessary. There was a Force echo in this area which showed Saw and Mari arguing – believing Kashyyyk lost, Saw has withdrawn as we already knew. But Mari insisted on staying behind to help the Wookies in their resistance to the Empire. I’m still hopeful Saw will reappear in the game, as Cal’s story with him doesn’t feel complete. This section contained several giant venus fly trap-like plants, which are more than big enough to eat Cal! Luckily there’s a couple of seconds between stepping on one and it snapping shut, which is enough time in most cases to jump off before having a problem.

A jaw plant.

After battling a few more troopers, Cal was able to advance deeper into the forest. Another Force echo saw Cal learn about the resistance’s retreat from the Imperial base; at one point they were overrun and a number of soldiers were killed. After climbing through a cave, Cal dropped down into a body of water called Origin Lake, and was getting closer to Tarfful – whose rendezvous location was marked on the holomap.

Cal learns the fate of many of the resistance soldiers.

There was another Purge trooper to battle in this area as well as the standard troopers and monsters, and Cal had some swimming to do to get out of the lake. Climbing up eventually led to a couple of vines, and after swinging across like a fabulously pink Tarzan, Cal made it to the meeting with Tarfful. For some reason Choyyssyk was there too, having apparently raced there from the landing pad. Having a companion during this section of the game could have been interesting, and it could have been fun for Choyyssyk and Cal to journey through Kashyyyk together. The meeting itself was a complete let-down, as Tarfful basically says that he once told Master Cordova to climb a large tree – the Origin Tree. And that was it. No big reveal or useful information, and the conversation with Tarfful and Mari was over in a couple of minutes. At least there was a reason for Cal to head to his next objective, though; you’ll recall my complaining several times at the game dumping objectives and map markers on Cal with no explanation given!

Tarfful and Mari at the rendezvous.

I was really expecting something more substantial from Tarfful, especially after all the buildup to meeting him. Even if he’d still given Cal the same basic information and quest, the conversation at the meeting could have been so much more than it was. It wasn’t even a cut-scene, as Cal stood there stoically while Mari translated Tarfful’s Wookie growls. Mari gave Cal a breather – the device used by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace – to allow him to breathe underwater, as the way in to the Origin Tree will require a lot of swimming. As an aside, Electronic Arts, who published Jedi: Fallen Order, have an online store/game launcher called Origin. Is it just a coincidence that the Origin Tree and Origin Lake share its name? Probably. An optional extra chat with Mari revealed that before taking up arms against the Empire she was a cartographer, making maps of backwater planets. Little moments like this go a long way to humanising characters and making them feel like real people. While I expect we’ve seen the last of Mari, this moment was sweet and it showed how the rise of the Empire affected people across the galaxy.

Getting the breather from Mari.

After the anticlimactic rendezvous, Cal set off in search of the tree. Equipped with the breather, he can now dive underwater and seemingly spend as long under the surface as he likes. Swimming is something many games struggle to get right, and unfortunately some of the same issues that have plagued other titles are present in Jedi: Fallen Order. I’ve already spoken several times about the game’s relatively clunky controls, and in a three-dimensional underwater environment, Cal controls like a drunk hippopotamus. It was very difficult to get him to navigate even the widest of caves and openings, and the fact that Kashyyyk’s murky water doesn’t allow for great visibility when swimming made these sections of the game frustrating to play at points. However, there were several chests underwater which contained various lightsaber parts, which was nice. And for the second time while playing Jedi: Fallen Order I got a Super Mario 64 flashback – opening the chests while underwater felt so much like it does in that game to me!

An underwater chest. Note the limited visibility.

Surprisingly – and thankfully, given how tricky it was – the swimming sections contained no underwater monsters or aggressive piranha-like fish to fight off or escape from, and after uncovering a couple of chests, Cal made his way to the next area of the level, which was presumably the base of the Origin Tree (though nothing appeared in-game to confirm this). There were Stormtroopers in the area as well as plenty of monsters; the large spiders being perhaps the most difficult to fight as they could immobilise Cal with their webs (think what happened to Frodo in Lord of the Rings!)

Caught in a spider’s web.

The ascent was slow-going in places, and I debated taking a break. But there were no meditation spots in the vicinity, and I wasn’t keen to have to start all over again from the bottom. By the way, how many games in recent years have this kind of old-school “checkpoint” system instead of letting players save their progress on the fly? Though I’ve never played the Dark Souls series, I think this is something those games brought back as a way to increase the difficulty, and it’s something Jedi: Fallen Order mimics. It definitely has the desired effect, and while the ability to freely save would be nice, I can’t criticise the game for sticking to this model. Cal did eventually make it to the point the holomap was sending him to.

Approaching the objective marker.

This turned into an ambush, however, as the Ninth Sister – another Inquisitor who we briefly saw on Bracca – appeared in her ship! I thought she was going to jump down and duel with Cal, but she remained aboard and started blasting at him, triggering a long sliding sequence as he escaped. This was particularly annoying, as the sliding sections have difficult controls and require perfectly-timed button presses and perfect aiming to complete jumps and avoid Cal falling to his death. This was even worse than the ice slide on Zeffo and took many attempts to get right. At one point Cal was propelled through the air by several well-placed bouncy plant-things (I know that’s a horrible description, sorry) in a sequence that reminded me of the barrel-cannons from the Donkey Kong Country games. The Ninth Sister’s ship was eventually taken down by one of Kashyyyk’s huge animals, though it seemed clear that wouldn’t be the end of her.

Sliding to escape the Ninth Sister.

Luckily there was a meditation spot shortly after the sliding section, which I took advantage of. I opted to improve Cal’s Force push ability; it will now affect groups of enemies, provided they’re standing close enough to one another. This has the potential to be very useful, as I’ve found Force push to be one of my most frequently-used powers during combat. As Cal had slid back down to the forest floor, it seemed as though he’d have to climb back up the Origin Tree to find whatever he was looking for up there, but it wasn’t long after he began the climb that he had a flashback to his time training under Master Tapal. This time Cal was able to learn the “Jedi flip” that he needed to get across that bridge on Dathomir, and after the flashback was over, Cal states that he’s finally re-learned the skills Master Tapal had taught him; he’s “back to where he was” before Order 66 and the rise of the Empire brought his Jedi training – and the whole Jedi Order – to an abrupt end. As previously mentioned, the Jedi flip is basically a double jump, allowing Cal to cross wider gaps and stay in the air longer.

Learning to double jump in a flashback.

Re-learning these skills means that Cal unlocks more upgrades when meditating, but of course having just used the only two skill points he had on the Force push upgrade, the next meditation spot was only used to checkpoint my progress climbing up the Origin Tree. A Force echo showed Cal that Master Cordova had been this way – so at least we were on the right track! There was also a Clone Wars/prequel era ship that had crashed partway up the tree, prompting Cal to talk about how the war on Kashyyyk never truly ended, and how the last few years have been rough for the planet and its people.

Cal on his way up the Origin Tree.

The creature that had taken out the Ninth Sister’s ship was back. I hadn’t really seen it clearly earlier, but it turned out to be a large bird with strangely translucent wings – a shyyyo bird. The fight against the ship had injured it, and Cal found it laying down partway up the tree feeling sorry for itself. Like something from an old fable, Cal was able to remove a piece of debris from its wing and heal it with a stim-pack, becoming fast friends with the creature in the process.

Healing the shyyyo bird.

The bird was grateful for Cal’s help, and flew away from the area where it had been resting. There was another chest in this area that unlocked a different colour scheme for the Mantis, but I like its yellow “space banana” hue so I didn’t apply the new one this time. The shyyyo bird was waiting for Cal, and in the most wholesome and adorable cut-scene it let him climb on its back and flew him higher up the Origin Tree. This scene was reminiscent of the final sequence in the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Harry soars through the sky on Buckbeak the hippogriff!

Flying high on the shyyyo bird.

I was in love with the shyyyo bird – and very worried that it was going to be shot out of the sky like Rhaegal the dragon had been near the end of Game of Thrones’ final season! As you may remember I’m easily swayed by cute animals in films and games, and despite its gigantic size, the shyyyo bird definitely qualifies. After the cut-scene Cal dismounted, and the shyyyo bird left. This area was fairly small and contained the remains of Master Cordova’s camp, as well as a workbench. I took this opportunity to customise Cal’s lightsaber once again – you know I like to play with the various customisation options, and we’d unlocked half a dozen or more lightsaber options since the last time I was at a workbench.

The shyyyo bird coming in for landing.

Thanks to the shyyyo bird, Cal was exactly where he needed to be. Just beyond the area with the workbench, BD-1 played the next recording from Master Cordova. When he passed this way he was able to acquire a Zeffo Astrium – the macguffin Cal is chasing that he hopes is the key to accessing the vault on Bogano.

Master Cordova found a Zeffo Astrium here.

Unfortunately the Zeffo Astrium that was here is long gone – Master Cordova will have taken it with him, but who knows where it ended up. However, he gives Cal his next destination – Dathomir contains another Astrium, but this one is trapped in a tomb that Master Cordova described as being “dark”. Surely this means the dark side of the Force, though what exactly Cal will find when he heads back is unclear. Master Cordova had tried to find the Astrium on Dathomir without success; Cal must now accomplish what a seasoned Jedi Master could not. A tough task indeed.

Cal learns where he must go next.

Immediately beyond the area where the recording played was a meditation spot. Then the shyyyo bird returned to fly Cal back down the tree. However, after landing the Ninth Sister’s ship was back and shot the poor bird! It looked like the end for the shyyyo – which was pretty devastating – and then the Ninth Sister herself jumped down for a duel with Cal. And she’s a big lass.

The Ninth Sister. She’s chunky.

Apparently the Second Sister (Trilla) considers Cal to be “important”, though the Ninth Sister can’t figure out why. She’s content to just cut Cal down, and after a brief conversation in which Cal tells her she will no longer be able to terrorise Kashyyyk, the combatants draw their lightsabers – the Ninth Sister’s has a handguard like Trilla’s – and engage in a difficult duel. While the fight against the Ninth Sister was hard, I actually found the battle against the bounty hunters earlier to be trickier. The Ninth Sister has a few tricks up her sleeve, but nothing as bad as paralysing weapons or flashbangs.

Preparing to duel.

The fight went on for a little while, as Cal had to frequently dodge and parry the Ninth Sister’s powerful attacks. At several points the game would jump into a quick-time event, where mashing the X or B button was required to stop one of the Ninth Sister’s strikes. However, after persevering and striking at her whenever possible, Cal gained the upper hand and ground down her health bar.

One of the quick-time events.

Eventually Cal was able to damage the Ninth Sister’s helmet and – in true Star Wars style – eventually cut off the hand she used to hold her weapon. Despite this she tried to continue the fight, but a final strike from Cal sent her over the edge of the platform. Did she fall to her death? Unclear. Cal definitely believes that this was the end of her, but without seeing a dead body I’m not 100% convinced! Star Wars villains have a tendency to pop back up, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Ninth Sister makes a return.

The Ninth Sister loses her hand.

Regardless, the Ninth Sister’s demise ended the duel, and Cal stood for a moment in shocked silence at having beaten a full-fledged Inquisitor. While wounded, the Ninth Sister told him something interesting – she used to be a Jedi! Like Cere, she was captured and tortured by the Empire, and while Cal still hasn’t fully forgiven Cere for not telling him everything about Trilla and the mission, he now has a better understanding of what she must’ve been through. Despite the way it was presented, I must admit I find this a little ominous; if the Ninth Sister and Trilla were both converted, and we know that Cere used the dark side too in that moment, is she really someone Cal can trust? The shyyyo bird – Buckbeak, as I’m calling it – survived the Ninth Sister’s attack and returned to fly Cal back down the tree.

Buckbeak is alive!

After disembarking and bidding farewell to Buckbeak, Cal headed back to the Imperial base, which wasn’t too far from where he’d been dropped off. The troopers had all respawned, but it wasn’t too hard to cut through them and make my way back into the base.

Force push sent this rocket trooper falling to his death.

I was worried that the bounty hunters would have respawned too, but aside from a lone Purge trooper, there were only regular Stormtroopers to worry about as Cal made his way back to the Mantis. En route Cal found the body of a Wookie near an empty tank, and a Force echo over his or her corpse led Cal to realise that the tanks of brown liquid were a toxic byproduct of the Empire’s refinery on Kashyyyk – this would have been great to know on our first visit to Kashyyyk as it would have explained why Cal instantly died if he touched the liquid. But never mind, at least now we know! It wasn’t too difficult to get back to the cable-car, and from there it was a short ride back to the Mantis.

Cal boards the Mantis.

Despite the fact that the Empire is in full control of this area, neither Greez nor Cere seem particularly bothered or on alert. The Mantis is sat on an Imperial landing pad – presumably illegally – and after what happened on Zeffo I have to assume that the Empire knows Cal is using the vessel. Could they be ignoring it on purpose to track it? That’s one possibility. Greez and Cere were sitting down to eat lunch, and Cal joined them to explain what had happened. Neither seemed especially impressed at his defeating the Ninth Sister, but he informed them of their new destination – Dathomir.

Lunchtime aboard the Mantis… despite being in hostile territory!

Cere apologised again for the business with Trilla, but Cal tells her – in a rather standoffish manner – that it’s okay. After his duel with the Ninth Sister he has a better understanding of what it must’ve been like, and was impressed that she didn’t end up joining the Inquisitors even if she sacrificed Trilla. Though there’s still tension between the two of them, they have at least arrived at an understanding, or at least that’s the way it seems for now. When the lunchtime conversation was over, I used the Mantis’ meditation spot to checkpoint my progress before taking a break.

Cal has a well-deserved drink back aboard the Mantis.

So this part of the game was pretty good. The Tarfful scene, which had a lot of buildup, was kind of a miss for me, but I absolutely adored soaring high above Kashyyyk on Buckbeak the shyyyo bird, and returning to a massively-upgraded version of the Shadowlands that I remembered from Knights of the Old Republic was a nostalgic treat. Cal accomplished his mission and seems to have possibly defeated the Ninth Sister to boot, which if true is great news. The Mantis has a new destination – albeit a planet we’ve already visited – so it’s next stop Dathomir! Come back next time when we’ll confront the darkness in search of a Zeffo Astrium.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is out now on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the copyright of Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts. The Star Wars franchise is the copyright of Lucasfilm and Disney. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.