How to Wield a Lightsaber Like Cal Kestis
Unleashed in November 2019, Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was an immediate runaway hit that was embraced by long-time franchise fans as well as a lot of people who just like playing cool action-adventure video games.
Fallen Order was widely acclaimed by critics and went on to sell more than ten million copies by January 2021. Another major milestone was reached in June of that year, when it was announced that the game had attracted 20 million players across all platforms. These are massive numbers any way you want to look at it.
Arguably the most important feature of Fallen Order, at least for devotees of Star Wars canon, was the introduction of Cal Kestis, the former Padawan who was forced into hiding due to the tumultuous events that followed Order 66. As one of the relatively few survivors of the Great Jedi Purge, Cal Kestis holds an important place in canonical history. Apart from that, fans really like him as a character, and his lightsaber use preferences have attracted a lot of commentary.
Naturally, the announcement of a followup to Fallen Order, although no surprise to anyone, was greeted with considerable excitement in the gaming community. Fans have spent much of their idle time since then speculating about the type of lightsaber action they can expect to see in the upcoming game, which will finally be made available for PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox Series X/S on April 28, 2023.
It’s worth taking the time to trace the development of this exciting Star Wars game.
The Road to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
In January 2022, Electronic Arts (EA) officially announced that a sequel to Fallen Order was in production. Little other information was available at the time, and the project came to be informally known in the fan community as “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2.”
A few more tidbits of information were unveiled in June 2022 at the San Diego Comic-Con. During the event, Hasbro put on display its new Cal Kestis action figure, which shows the former Padawan with a single-blade blue lightsaber in his hand and—interestingly—a blaster on his belt, as trusty droid BD-1 sits on his free arm like a falcon. With this reveal, Cal Kestis formally joined Hasbro’s popular Star Wars The Vintage Collection.
But the big news for Kestis fans came in December 2022, at the Game Awards. That’s when EA dropped the launch trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. This two-minute reveal trailer offered plenty of hints about Kestis’ evolution as a character and as a saber-wielding Jedi Knight.
In February 2023, nine minutes of Jedi Survivor gameplay were released, providing a fuller look into Kestis’ latest escapades.
Cal Kestis’ Lightsaber Abilities in Jedi Survivor
In Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Kestis gets to show off a wide range of moves and some impressive battle gear. Some of these elements will be familiar to players of Fallen Order, while others are new to Survivor.
In Jedi Survivor, Cal Kestis is capable of:
- Wielding a single-blade lightsaber (with the customary blue Jedi coloration)
- Wielding two single-blade lightsabers simultaneously
- Wielding a double-bladed lightsaber that can be quickly separated into two single-bladed lightsabers during combat
- Blocking blaster fire with a lightsaber
- Throwing a spinning single- or double-bladed lightsaber in a spinning arc at one or more opponents, then using Force powers to call it back to his hand
- Wielding a crossguard lightsaber
All this is in addition to Kestis’ Force-enabled powers that do not involve a lightsaber. These abilities include riding mounts; double-jumping; wall running; manipulating objects for use in battle; and pushing, pulling, and slowing down opponents.
The creators of Jedi Survivor went out of their way to demonstrate Kestis’ evolution as a lightsaber practitioner. Game director Stig Asmussen told Game Informer that “We have five fully realized stances in the game” that Kestis can assume. One of these stances enables Kestis to use a lightsaber and a blaster at the same time.
Cal Kestis’ Fighting Style in Jedi Survivor
In Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Cal Kestis is five years older than he was in Fallen Order, and more experienced in wielding the saber than he was when fans first met him. Although his Padawan lightsaber training was still in progress when Order 66 and the ensuing Great Jedi Purge broke out, he seems to have learned much under his own power.
After Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s release, many fans claimed that Kestis showed a preference for Niman (Form VI). This is the “all-in-one” lightsaber fighting form that seeks to meld earlier styles into a balanced hybrid as a way of empowering the practitioner to meet virtually any challenge with at least an adequate degree of skill.
Jedi Survivor provides further evidence of Kestis’ dedication to Niman as a fighting form. Like any Niman practitioner, he is capable of brute-force lightsaber attacks (characteristic of Form I, Shii-Cho), one-on-one dueling (characteristic of Form II, Makashi), blocking blaster bolts (characteristic of Form III, Soresu), performing acrobatic movements (characteristic of Form IV, Ataru), and deflecting blaster fire back at an opponent (characteristic of Form V, Shien). Kestis’ use of the Force during combat is another tactic closely associated with the Niman fighting form.
Kestis’ frequent reliance on two lightsabers during combat offers further testimony to his skill in Jar’Kai, first hinted at in Fallen Order. This is not a true lightsaber form but merely a technique for deploying twin sabers simultaneously.
With the release of Survivor, Star Wars fans have gained a substantial amount of knowledge about Cal Kestis and his lightsaber fighting capabilities.
Looking for a combat-ready lightsaber like the ones Cal Kestis uses? Take a look at The Fallen Cal Kestis inspired lightsaber, which comes with attractively designed twin fins flanking the emitter, as well as MHS (Modular Hilt System) compatibility that enables the owner to combine two sabers into a staff. Ultrasabers’ Quick Release Coupler allows easy on-the-fly conversion from double-blade configuration to a dual-wielding option, similar to the way Kestis does it in Survivor.
Other exciting gear now available from Ultrasabers includes the new Xenopixel premade lightsabers. Although not made by Ultrasabers, these products are covered by the Ultrasabers warranty, and come with 36” polycarbonate Pixel blade, 16 or 34 preconfigured soundfonts, on-board color changing settings, tip drag, smooth swing, blaster block and lockup effects, ignition animations, and other cool features.