If reports are true, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is mere months away from being announced. There’s no consensus as to exactly when this reveal will be, but the internet is rife with speculation as to the direction its narrative might take. I certainly wouldn’t say no to Jedi protagonist Cal Kestis being swapped out for a more appealing protagonist. It’s telling that several people have, apparently independently, chosen to dub him “Blando Calrissian.” His story was by far the least interesting of any seen among the characters of Fallen Order. But what I really want from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is downloadable content (DLC).
No, I’ve not lost my mind. I’m not about to start advocating microtransactions and, God forbid, NFTs, though you just know someone at EA has brought them up. And I’m still seething at the way that Capcom shunted Dead Rising 4’s Overtime Mode into a piece of DLC, ending the main game on a cliffhanger. Instead, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 needs to take a leaf out of the book of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and use its DLC to dive into the wonderful world of “What if?”
If you’re scratching your head right now, chances are you’ve never experienced the canon-warping magnificence that was The Force Unleashed’s Hoth and Tatooine content and The Force Unleashed II’s Endor mission.
The games were action adventures that cast you as Galen Marek, a would-be-Jedi who Darth Vader secretly raised as his apprentice. Each game featured a good and bad ending, the latter ending up with Marek rejoining the Dark Side, and that’s where the DLC picked up. Admittedly, both games are now non-canon, but the Force Unleashed DLC threw then-continuity right out the window to amazingly glorious effect, which could be replicated for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2.
The Tatooine mission saw you slaughtering your way through everyone’s favorite sand planet and dispatching Obi-Wan Kenobi before he could so much as set foot on the Death Star. The Hoth mission went one better and saw you defeating Luke Skywalker, turning him to the Dark Side.
Yes, it was a bit silly – this was a game where you could use your Force powers to drag a Star Destroyer out of the sky. But pummeling Luke Skywalker’s stupid Jedi face, then frying him with Force Lightning was an experience well worth repeating. And then… there was Endor, wonderful, wonderful Endor.
Endor saw you derailing Return of the Jedi in spectacular fashion. I slaughtered so many Ewoks I could almost smell the burnt hair, lightning arcing between their fuzzy little bodies and the Rebel scum they’d joined forces with. And while it wasn’t the DLC’s concluding battle, I took on Han Solo and, in an eerily prophetic manner, shoved my lightsaber right through his torso. After I made him accidentally shoot Chewbacca, that is. Sure, Harrison Ford wasn’t voicing the character, but literally cutting through Han Solo’s cockiness still makes me grin.
So Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is the perfect opportunity to offer up more “what if” scenarios in the vein of The Force Unleashed. Admittedly, I may be a little biased since I’ll usually plump for the bad guy route. But while I’d get a kick out of playing an evil Cal Kestis, there’s no reason these scenarios would have to take a walk on the Dark Side.
You could just as easily borrow from the Star Wars Infinities comics, which offered up some significantly less-grim scenarios, such as Darth Vader turning to the Light Side before the Emperor fired 100,000 volts up his black-clad bottom. Meanwhile, Marvel’s What If…? series has certainly shown Disney’s willingness to explore different takes on established scenarios and characters, as has one episode of Star Wars Visions.
On top of the joy of exploring these alternative takes, developer Respawn wouldn’t need to hook the DLC into the main game or leave any story threads dangling. Nothing about The Force Unleashed or The Force Unleashed 2 screamed unfinished, to the point where the sequel had to jump through hoops to bring its protagonist back.
So there’d be no need to have characters escape only to have them resurface in downloadable content. (I’m looking at you, Resident Evil 7.) If Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order does recycle its deadly dull protagonist instead of diving into Trilla, Cere, or Merrin’s stories, the DLC could offer an escape from that.
Because, while I had hell of a lot of fun with The Force Unleashed and its follow-up, two things stick in my mind – pulling down that Star Destroyer, and doing a Kylo Ren impression seven years early. And if Disney can countenance Doctor Strange turning evil, it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to see Evil Cal Kestis punting Baby Yoda into a black hole.