Jedi: Survivor Wastes a Cameo From a Star Wars Icon
Why is he just sort of there?
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order shocked everyone with a surprise Darth Vader cameo, making the iconic villain feel like a hulking monster. It was easily one of the standout moments of the entire game, and this created a lot of questions on how Respawn might follow up that moment in Jedi: Survivor. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple, as Survivor does one-up the previous cameo in one way, but it crashes and burns in another way. Consider this your spoiler warning.
One of the lengthier sidequests in Survivor starts when Cal meets a bounty hunter named Caij, a snappily-dressed Nautolan that starts helping you track down the Haxion Brood. There are a whopping 16 bounty hunters to fight, so it’s not a quick side quest by any means.
All that effort does pay off with a fantastic hidden boss battle where Caij betrays you, resulting in one of the biggest challenges in the whole game. Where things get weird, though, is after the battle when the legendary Boba Fett appears.
As much as fans love Boba Fett, you can’t deny he did a whole lot of nothing in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. His cameo in Survivor is ironically a good reflection of that, as he swoops into the battle at the last moment to capture Caij. Turns out he’s there for the bounty on her, not Cal. And he’s all business.
The problem here is that Boba Fett’s appearance feels anticlimactic and gratuitous to the point of feeling downright unnecessary. There’s a fun standoff moment between the three, but ultimately the whole scene just feels a bit underbaked. While conceivably Boba Fett doesn’t attack Cal because he’s simply here for the bigger bounty (Caij), it feels like a real missed opportunity for a really imaginative battle.
The hardest thing to accept about the cameo is that it’s simply locked behind an incredibly tedious side quest that requires you to travel back and forth through the game’s locations.
There are plenty of statistics out there on how a huge portion of players never even finish single-player games, and it feels like a majority of players will likely experience this cameo through a YouTube video, which lessens its impact. The boss battle against Caij is reward enough for players that do the side quest, so it would have been nice to see a big cameo like this looped into the story more. It also lessens Caij’s role as a real threat to Cal, making your victory over defeating her a tiny bit less sweet.
Survivor is easily one of the best Star Wars stories of the last decade, and a big part of that is because it feels wonderfully self-contained, not bound by what’s happening in the rest of the universe. That’s exactly why a cameo like this just feels a bit flat, almost like it’s there just for the sake of having a cameo. It doesn’t detract from the overall experience, especially being so hidden, but it’s a small disappointment in a game filled with anything but.