Like ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Fallen Order’ Expands The ‘Star Wars’ Canon Even If It Doesn’t Know Why

Like ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Fallen Order’ Expands The ‘Star Wars’ Canon Even If It Doesn’t Know Why

20 Dec 2019 (PT)
THE MANDALORIANFALLEN ORDERSTAR WARS

There's a scene in the first episode of The Mandalorian in which the titular character has a down payment for a bounty — a brick of Imperial Beskar metal — turned into a new piece of shoulder armor. Later on, after finishing what ended up being a particularly tough bounty, the rest of the Beskar reward is turned into an entire new set of armor for the Mandalorian, as the piecemeal one he's wearing had “lost its integrity.”

Baby Yoda has become the focus of that series, but that early scene kept returning to me as the show's first season rolled out en route to the end of a third Star Wars film trilogy. It also came to mind as I played Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which has been a huge hit for EA in the weeks since its November release. It's all part of a Star Wars-filled end of 2019, filling out the canon with a slew of new content in various forms after Disney largely threw off its extended universe when the property was acquired in 2012.

Before Disney, the balance of that extended universe was weighed heavily toward the films, and for good reason. The rest of the books, comics, video games, and other things were an added bonus, and a necessary one in a universe where there were just three and later, six films. That's not the world that Fallen Order entered into, one where it can often feel more like consuming a wide swath of content quickly is needed to smelt the various pauldrons and gauntlets and greaves necessary for Star Wars fandom.

Like ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Fallen Order’ Expands The ‘Star Wars’ Canon Even If It Doesn’t Know WhyEA

The amount of tie-ins and Star Wars content to take in at this point can feel overwhelming. It's not uncommon to see commercials for The Mandalorian and the Disney+ subscription service it streams on, with a commercial for Fallen Order right after that. And then there's the media blitz for Rise of Skywalker to boot. It's hard to ignore, and there's a genuine fear of missing out on things, especially when it's all considered canon and will inevitably tie together. It's unfair to boil an evaluation of it all down to justifying whether it's worth further investing in the ecosystem to pay for all that content but, well, it's a significant factor.

In the case of Fallen Order, it's a game that plays a lot like a Star Wars version of Uncharted, which certainly isn't a bad thing. And it's no surprise that it's a title that wasn't a Star Wars game first. The story Fallen Order tells came later, and it's a good one, though once it's over, you realize that it's far from essential to the canon.

Unlike some other Star Wars games, most notably the beloved Knights of the Old Republic, there's no choice to be made between the light and dark. In Fallen Order you're a good guy, Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan that survived Order 66 and is in hiding from the Empire a few years after Episode 3: Revenge Of The Sith.

Like ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Fallen Order’ Expands The ‘Star Wars’ Canon Even If It Doesn’t Know WhyEA

Cal and his crew travel through the galaxy uncovering Jedi secrets, slowly expanding our view of planets like Bogano, Zeffo and Dathomir. It's fun, the melee combat system is challenging but can be well-tailored to how you actually want to fight. The story is satisfying, while the acting well-done and rendered beautifully. You build a lightsaber on Ilum, explore the wilds of Kashyyyk and encounter Inquisitors trained by Darth Vader as the Empire searches for what they think is The Last Jedi.

THE MANDALORIANFALLEN ORDERSTAR WARS
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Like ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Fallen Order’ Expands The ‘Star Wars’ Canon Even If It Doesn’t Know Why
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