The old Star Wars Legends timeline may now be non-canonical, but it’s full of characters who influenced modern Star Wars canon. Some characters, like Admiral Thrawn, have even managed to jump from Legends to canonical shows like Rebels and Ahsoka. But most Legends characters were reduced to inspiration, like Jacen Solo, who was the framework for Kylo Ren, or Dark Empire’s resurrected Palpatine, who played out his scheme differently in The Rise of Skywalker.
But there’s one character who’s arguably one of the most influential in modern Star Wars, despite few Star Wars fans knowing his story. A new video game might change that.
Star Wars Outlaws is an upcoming open-world game coming out in 2024. The action follows a new hero named Kay Vess, but a good chunk of the trailer’s narration comes from a mysterious male character named Jaylen.
Jaylen looks like many Star Wars characters — scruffy, rugged, Harrison-Ford-esque looks with the air of a renegade — but he resembles one character in particular. The Twitter account for Star Wars podcast Talking Bay 94 pointed out that Jaylen looks an awful lot like Kyle Katarn, the protagonist of the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight video games.
Katarn was a former Imperial officer who defected to the Rebellion. He went on to have quite the illustrious career in the gaming universe, from stealing the Death Star plans before the events of the original trilogy to becoming a Jedi himself. Could Jaylen actually be Katarn working under an alias? The timeline checks out, as both were active in the Imperial Era between the prequel and original trilogies.
However, a Star Wars YouTuber who uses Kyle Katarn’s name points out that Katarn’s exploits are basically already in Star Wars canon, just in bits and pieces. Katarn stole the Death Star plan, like Rogue One’s Cassian Andor. His Jedi personality and look are evoked by Kanan Jarrus, one of the heroes of Rebels. He even fought an Imperial Remnant officer who built Dark Troopers, just like Mando. And he trained future Jedi for good measure, like Rey is set to do in the next Star Wars movie.
So what’s really left of Kyle Katarn? His name. Even if a modern take on Katarn doesn’t have all the adventures of the Legends version, he’s a beloved character who resonates with fans who played those classic games. What better place to re-introduce him into canon than in another Star Wars game?
And, because these video game characters are so heavily based on the actors portraying them, Jaylen could join Cal Kestis on the list of game characters who could appear in future live-action Star Wars shows. Maybe Jaylen is just Jaylen, another Star Wars rogue in a long line of them. But maybe, just maybe, we caught the big twist of Star Wars: Outlaws before the game was even released.
Star Wars: Outlaws will release on Xbox Series X/S in 2024.