'Jedi: Fallen Order' spoilers: Psychometry may spell doom for Cal Kestis
Initial trailers for Jedi: Fallen Order make Cal Kestis look like a fearful adult Padawan who only survives the Order 66 Jedi purge from Revenge of the Sith by some kind of miracle. He’s no Jedi Master and doesn’t seem special by any means, but one crucial gameplay mechanic featured in early demos and gameplay reveals establishes that Cal has an exceedingly rare power (even among Jedi) that makes him very dangerous, but also very susceptible to the Dark side of the Force. It’s called Psychometry.
Force-sensitivity is rare enough in the galaxy of Star Wars, and not every Force-sensitive person is capable of even becoming a Jedi. Still rarer are a series of unique Force abilities like battle meditation, Force spirit projection, or psychometry that, in theory, any Jedi could train for but few could master. These often require an innate, intuitive ability beyond normal Jedi skills like mind control and basic telekinesis.
Cal is one such special Jedi who can use the power of psychometry to sense echoes of past events that linger within objects. In a significant way, this makes him special among the increasingly rare Jedi — but also more susceptible to the lure of the Dark side. (It also makes for a fun in-game mechanic related to collectibles as he hunts down various memories.)
This isn’t the first time a canonical Star Wars story has explored this special power. The Clone Wars TV show introduced Jedi Master Quinlan Vos’ use of the power, and the canon novel Dark Disciple details his complicated mission to assassinate Count Dooku with the help of former Sith disciple Asajj Ventress. Along the way, his unique connection to the Force makes him a bit of a rogue Jedi until he succumbs to the Dark side before ultimately being redeemed. It’s a familiar path we’ve seen characters like Anakin and Mace Windu take, but is it one that pscyhometric Jedi are predisposed to?
Because the ability allows the user to see, hear, and feel the emotions associated with the object’s past, if the emotional impact of said object is connected in some way to the Dark side, it presents a unique lure towards evil. Especially when applied to objects involved in violent, evil acts, the power could bridge a connection to the Dark side of the Force that, once created, could be irreversible.
When Vos touched and energy bow belonging to a Nightsister, he experienced a vision of a massacre and all of the fear and anger that came with the experience, but it wasn’t until later that he succumbed to feelings of romantic attraction to Ventress and forsook his oath to the Jedi. This was all in an effort to determine the true identity of Darth Sidious, who hadn’t been outed at that point as Sheev Palpatine yet.
This was all part of a long con, essentially, but it was Vos’ connection to various emotions via this power of psychometry that compromised his connection to the Light.
Upon Ventress’ death in a chaotic fight against Count Dooku, Vos was redeemed to the Light side of the Force. Was his journey wavering between Light and Dark unique? Or was it somewhat caused by the very unique relationship he has with the Force due to his psychometry powers? Might Cal Kestis undergo a similar evolution as the game progresses?
We know for sure that his journey takes him to different planets in the galaxy seeking out memories, relics, and places that might be able to help restore the Jedi Order. While he starts out like a typical Jedi with a blue lightsaber, is it possible that using psychometry and reconnecting with his own past trauma might compromise him? If history repeats itself, then that might very well be the case.
Jedi: Fallen Order will be released November 15, 2019.