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For other uses, see Cal (disambiguation).
Got A Bad feeling

I have a bad feeling about this…

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"You know I've been alone for…a while now. Without any…purpose. Just hiding. It's no way to live. Not for a Jedi. Or a droid. Maybe Cere was right. Maybe we're done hiding."
―Cal Kestis, to BD-1[3]

Cal Kestis was a Force-sensitive human male who became a Jedi Knight during the reign of the Galactic Empire. As one of the few Jedi who survived the purge that all but destroyed the Jedi Order, Kestis lived in seclusion on the planet Bracca for years until a confrontation with the Inquisitorius compelled him to openly resist the Empire's rule. Hunted across the galaxy by the Empire's Jedi hunters, Kestis embraced his connection to the Force once more, having decided to restore the Jedi Order.

The Padawan of Jedi Master Jaro Tapal, Kestis served alongside his mentor in the Clone Wars until the Grand Army of the Republic betrayed its Jedi officers, after receiving the command to execute Order 66 from Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. As a result, the clone troopers of the 13th Battalion attempted to execute Kestis as a traitor to the Galactic Republic, forcing General Tapal to sacrifice himself in order to save his apprentice. After his master's death, Kestis lived in exile on Bracca, working as a rigger for the Scrapper Guild until he was discovered by the Second Sister and Ninth Sister, Inquisitors of the Empire.

Kestis joined the crew of the starship Stinger Mantis after they rescued him from the Inquisitors. Over the course of their journey, Kestis befriended the droid BD-1, the former Jedi Cere Junda, the Mantis' captain Greez Dritus, and the Nightsister Merrin. They attempted to locate Eno Cordova's Jedi holocron, which contained information that was vital to creating a new generation of Jedi. Though they retrieved the holocron while surviving an encounter with the Sith Lord Darth Vader, Kestis chose to destroy the holocron in order to protect the galaxy's Force-sensitive children from the Sith. By then, Kestis had been recognized as a fully-trained Jedi by his new mentor.

By 9 BBY, Kestis was working with Saw Gerrera on anti-Imperial activities with fellow rebels, including freelance mercenary Bode Akuna, who gave him an LW-896 blaster pistol. The crew took part in a mission on Coruscant to recover classified Imperial intel, later crash landing on Koboh after a narrow escape. Accidentally discovering droid ZN-A4 inside a High Republic era Jedi chamber, Kestis became aware of the existence of the planet Tanalorr, intending to use it as a haven for those hunted by the Empire. Reuniting the original Stinger Mantis crew, Kestis dedicated himself to finding how to navigate the Koboh Abyss and reach the planet on behalf of the Hidden Path network. During this mission, Kestis and Merrin became romantically involved. After Akuna's betrayal on Jedha, leading to the Imperial raid on Junda's archive, Kestis pursued him, eventually reaching Tanalorr and besting him in lightsaber combat.

Biography

Early life

"I remember this room. Master Yoda melted that door to let us into the caves."
"Be-beep boo?"
"Not with the Force. With that crystal. The light passed through it and carried its warmth.
"
―Cal Kestis and BD-1 talking at the Jedi Temple on Ilum about the first time Kestis visited the temple.[3]
Jedi Temple Ilum

As a youngling, Cal Kestis participated in The Gathering, an ancient Jedi rite held on the sacred world of Ilum.

Cal Kestis was a young member of the Jedi Order during the last years of the Galactic Republic. During his training to become a Jedi, Kestis traveled with Grand Master Yoda to a Jedi Temple located on the ice planet Ilum and participated in The Gathering, a rite of passage where Jedi younglings retrieved a kyber crystal to build their lightsabers.[3]

Clone Wars

"First time I fought droideka was with my master during the Clone Wars. I froze. He had to take them out."
―Cal Kestis[6]

Kestis was still a youngling when the Clone Wars began[7] in 22 BBY.[8] He was with Jedi Master Jaro Tapal in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant when Tapal spoke with Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi's Padawan who had been elevated to the rank of Jedi Knight in the aftermath of the First Battle of Geonosis. As Skywalker conversed with Tapal, he noticed the "red-haired youngling" at the Jedi Master's side.[7]

As a youngling, other Jedi noticed that, while he rarely struggled with his training and showed promise with his skills wielding a lightsaber, Kestis was ill-suited to deal with adversity when he experienced failure. As such, he was assigned to Tapal, a disciplined Jedi, specifically to address that concern.[9] Tapal taught Kestis that with persistence and the Force as his ally, he would overcome any obstacle. Later, he would learn to use the power of telekinesis.[3]

CalTraining

During the Clone Wars, Padawan Kestis was trained in the Jedi arts by Jedi Master Jaro Tapal.

As a Padawan, Kestis learned the ways of the Force and simultaneously served as a Jedi Commander in the Republic Military alongside his master, Tapal, who commanded the 13th Battalion as a Jedi General of the Grand Army of the Republic. The Albedo Brave, a Venator-class Star Destroyer of the Galactic Republic Navy, served as their command ship as well as a training facility where Kestis honed his skills under Tapal's guidance.[3] Like his fellow Jedi, Kestis fought against the Separatist Droid Army during the war. In particular, he took note of how talkative B1-series battle droids were and how B2-series super battle droids argued with each other. Due to the great danger and adversity that the droidekas, one of the deadliest droid models used by the Separatists, represented, Kestis was left without action when he first encountered these droids on the battlefield.[6] This was mainly due to the strong deflector shields they possessed, which made these droids a worrisome sight for even the most daring Jedi, such as Anakin Skywalker.[10] Kestis ended up surviving this encounter thanks to his master, as Tapal defeated the droids single-handedly.[6]

Order 66

"They are coming. I will seal the blast doors but if any cross your path, do not hesitate. Go. And may the Force be with you."
―Jaro Tapal, to Cal Kestis[3]

In 19 BBY,[11] following the successful Republic invasion of the planet Bracca, Kestis reported to his Master on the Albedo Brave for a training session. Following the lesson, Kestis and Tapal were preparing to leave the Bracca system—having been ordered to join the Republic campaign on Mygeeto—when the Clone Commander of the 13th Battalion received a message from Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine ordering him to execute the Jedi for treason under Order 66.[3]

Skirmish above Bracca

Tapal's sacrifice saved Kestis from the clone troopers executing Order 66.

The Clone Commander, along with the clone troopers in his battalion, turned against their Jedi leaders[3] as a result of the behavioral modification biochips that compelled the clones to comply with Order 66.[12] However, Tapal sensed a disturbance in the Force to which he reacted by using his lightsaber to kill the commander, saving his life and that of his Padawan in the process. Realizing they had been betrayed, Tapal devised a plan to escape from the Star Destroyer. Though confused by the clones' actions, Kestis followed his master's plan to reach the escape pods, using the maintenance passages to avoid most of the troopers while Tapal sabotaged the ship's reactor to ensure its destruction.[3]

Kestis' lightsaber was lost in a turbolift shaft as the Padawan made his way to the escape pods, which he reached nevertheless. A group of clones attacked the Jedi as Kestis tried to gain access to one of the pods; Tapal shielded his apprentice from their troops, but was overwhelmed by a barrage of blaster fire and fatally wounded in the process. Fearing for his master’s safety, Kestis briefly gave in to his grief and used the force to freeze the clone squad in its tracks long enough for the Jedi to leave in one of the Destroyer's escape pods prior to the destruction of the Albedo Brave. Kestis was unable to save the life of his Master, who died imploring his pupil to stay true to the Jedi way, await the Jedi High Council's signal, and trust only in the Force.[3]

Rebuilding the Jedi Order

Escape from Bracca

"We seek a dangerous fugitive. This is no common anarchist but a devotee of the treasonous Jedi Order. […] Turn yourself in or everyone present shall face summary execution."
―The Second Sister, to Cal Kestis and the scrappers[3]
Prauf Foreman Cal

Kestis hid his Jedi past by working as a rigger for the Scrapper Guild on Bracca.

In the five years following the rise of the Galactic Empire, Kestis went into hiding to escape the Great Jedi Purge that killed most of his fellow Jedi. He found work on Bracca by joining the Scrapper Guild as a rigger, while the Empire consolidated its reign over the galaxy. Cal's connection to the Force would severely dwindle during his years on Bracca, and although Kestis concealed his Jedi past while living on the junkyard planet, he secretly kept the lightsaber that belonged to his late Master, effectively replacing the one that he lost on the Albedo Brave.[3] In 14 BBY,[13] Kestis, along with Prauf, his friend and co-worker, found a damaged Jedi starfighter. The discovery made Kestis remember his past. Although Prauf was unaware of his friend's true nature, he believed that Cal deserved better, as he wanted him to explore the galaxy and find his destiny, moving away from Bracca and the life of a scrapper. Shortly after, when an accident endangered Prauf's life, Kestis was forced to use the Force to save him.[3]

However, Kestis' act did not go unnoticed and attracted the attention of the Inquisitorius, a group of Jedi hunters trained in the ways of the dark side of the Force, whose mission was to hunt down and eliminate the surviving Jedi. Two Inquisitors were sent to find Kestis; accompanied by a legion of Purge Troopers, the Second Sister and the Ninth Sister interrogated several members of the Scrapper Guild. Kestis witnessed the Second Sister's swift execution of Prauf, who publicly voiced his frustration about the Empire, leading Kestis to reveal himself as a Jedi by attacking the Second Sister with his lightsaber in anger. The Second Sister defended herself from the attack with her own lightsaber and Force pushed Kestis to the Ninth Sister, who suspended him in midair over a cliff. Kestis managed to escape and landed on a passing train, but, having been discovered, he had to flee for his life once again.[3]

Mantis bridge

Kestis joined the crew of the Stinger Mantis, which consisted of Greez Dritus and the former Jedi Knight Cere Junda.

As Kestis fled from the Inquisitors and their troops, he was aided by Greez Dritus and Cere Junda, who allowed the Jedi apprentice to board their ship, the Stinger Mantis in order to escape from Bracca. Although Kestis was initially skeptical about their intentions, despite their assistance, he ultimately agreed to support Junda's plan to restore the Jedi Order. With his newfound allies, Kestis traveled to the planet Bogano. Along the way, Kestis dreamed of what Prauf had told him about moving on with his life and finding his destiny. Kestis was then awakened by Dritus, who found it strange that he had spoken in his sleep. Kestis found a musical instrument and played a song. Junda appeared and recognized the song, as she had composed it years ago, and realized that Kestis had the rare Psychometry ability to tap into the history of an object when he made contact with it, what Kestis called a Force Echo coming from the object. Junda revealed that she was once a Jedi, and that she met Kestis' master, Jaro Tapal. Kestis then revealed that his ability to use the Force was affected, which Junda understood, and told him that he was no longer alone.[3]

The Vault

"I guess you were the someone I was supposed to meet."
―Cal Kestis to BD-1[3]

After arriving in Bogano, Junda showed Kestis a large building that she believed contained what was needed to rebuild the Jedi Order. The building was actually the Bogano Vault, and Junda said that it took someone strong with the Force to access it, which made Kestis realize that this was why she needed him, as she was no longer a Jedi. Junda spoke of the fragile trust that currently exists between the two and sent Kestis to the vault before wishing the Force was with him. Junda also said that there was someone Kestis must know. This someone turned out to be the friendly droid BD-1, who helped Kestis complete his quest.[3]

CalKestis BD1 EnoCordova BoganoVault JFO

On Bogano, Kestis met BD-1 and found out about the holocron that was hidden by Jedi Master Eno Cordova.

After being trapped in a cave, Kestis was able to improve his connection to the Force, and by necessity, relearned the ability to wall-run in the process. Now able to escape the cave, he made his way towards the vault. Upon reaching it, BD-1 projected a message from Jedi Master Eno Cordova, which revealed that in the vault there was a holocron that contained a list of young Force-sensitives across the galaxy and revealed that to access it, Kestis would have to find the tombs of three Zeffo Sages. With BD-1's aid, Kestis continued his journey to rebuild the Jedi Order. On the way back, Kestis found a mural that made BD-1 project another message from Cordova, which said that the Zeffo had an interest in the planet Dathomir.[3]

Upon returning, Kestis told about the holocron and discovered that Cordova had been Junda's master. As Dritus did not know what a holocron was, Junda showed one that she owned and told Kestis to use the Force to open it. Kestis opened it, and the message that Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi sent years prior to alert the surviving Jedi to stay away from the Jedi Temple and Coruscant appeared. Kestis quickly finished the message and asked Junda why she was no longer a Jedi. Junda replied that she had an experience that changed her perspective, but she believed that the return of the Jedi Order was the best option to defeat the Empire and asked what Kestis believed.[3]

Kestis believed he could not hide from the Empire forever, so he thought he had no choice but to participate in the cause, but Junda said that as long as he is alive, he always has a choice. Dritus said it would be Kestis who would choose where to go next, Dathomir or Zeffo. Having decided to rise up against the Empire, Kestis set the course for Zeffo.[3]

The Tombs of Zeffo

"You better get moving. There's a lot to learn here."
―Cere Junda, to Cal Kestis after landing on Zeffo[3]
Zeffo

Kestis' mission to restore the Jedi Order took him to the ancient world of the Zeffo species.

On Zeffo, Kestis learned that the Empire inhabited the planet to mine for ancient artifacts. The directive, code-named "Project Auger," was terminated after Zeffo's electromagnetic winds and hostile fauna proved too difficult for the Empire to handle. Kestis, guided by the Force, was able to pass through and enter the Tomb of Eilram to search for a message left by Cordova. Inside the tomb, Kestis found another holo-recording left by Cordova telling them to travel to Kashyyyk to find the Wookiee Chieftain Tarfful. Kestis destroyed an AT-ST when the Mantis was attacked just before they left the world.[3]

First visit to Dathomir

"Who are you?"
"You don't… no, no one to fear. No. Just a traveler. Studying the nature of… extinct cultures and dead philosophies."
―Cal Kestis and Taron Malicos[3]

After landing on Dathomir, Kestis and BD-1 faced off against a Nightsister who demanded they leave the planet immediately. When they refused, she commanded the Nightbrothers to attack them.[3]

Shortly after escaping that threat, Kestis came upon a Wanderer, who claimed to be studying Zeffo ruins. The Wanderer saw that Kestis had met Merrin and was surprised he had survived the encounter with her. He then realized that the lightsaber Kestis carried saved his life. The Wanderer then stated that he liked to travel, studying extinct cultures and dead philosophies.[3]

Assisting the Kashyyyk Resistance

"What do you want with Tarfful?"
"Jedi business."
―Saw Gerrera and Cal Kestis[3]
KestisAndGerrera-JFO

An alliance was formed between Kestis and Saw Gerrera as a result of their conflict with the Galactic Empire.

After landing on Kashyyyk, the crew of the Mantis found themselves embroiled in a conflict between the Empire and an early group of rebels. Kestis hijacked an Imperial AT-AT and destroyed a large number of Imperial forces. The rebel insurgent Saw Gerrera took note of Kestis' actions and asked for his assistance in liberating the planet. Saw and his Partisans were in the middle of a campaign to reclaim a nearby wroshyr sap refinery. With the possibility that Tarfful could be one of the Wookiees detained there, Kestis and BD-1 agreed to help him.[3]

After freeing the imprisoned Wookiees and taking the refinery from the Empire, Kestis heard Saw's rebellion speech and received an invitation to join the Partisans, but refused because he could not abandon his mission, but Saw said the invitation continued. Kestis still had no information on Tarfful's whereabouts. Luckily, Choyyssyk, one of the Wookiees Kestis helped free, had fought alongside Tarfful in the past. He and Mari Kosan, a member of Saw's guerrilla fighters, agreed to find Tarfful for Kestis. However, just as he received this news, Junda discovered an Imperial transmission revealing the Empire was close to unearthing another tomb on Zeffo.[3]

Return to Zeffo

"Cal Kestis. How predictable. Oh yes, I know your name… Your past… And most importantly… about Cordova."
―The Second Sister, to Cal Kestis[3]
SecondSisterRevealed

The Second Sister revealed to Kestis her former identity as Trilla Suduri, the Padawan of Cere Junda.

After Kestis rushed back to Zeffo to stop the Empire from progressing further into the Miktrull's tomb, he fell into a trap sprung by the Second Sister. She revealed herself to be Trilla Suduri, Junda's former Padawan. After a perilous battle, Suduri was able to get the upper hand on Kestis, but before she could strike him down, BD-1 intervened, activating an unbreakable laser field between the two of them and narrowingly evading her. As Kestis escaped into Miktrull's Tomb, he tried to call Junda but was interrupted by the Second Sister slicing his comm.[3]

After exploring the tomb further, Kestis climbed onto a hanging sarcophagus. However, the Second Sister's forces had caught up with him, and the Inquisitor ordered her forces to topple the sarcophagus. Finding himself falling into certain death, Kestis again was able to enhance his connection to the Force, and pulled himself towards his saber in the nick of time, landing safely on a ledge below. On their way out of the tomb, Kestis and BD-1 found another encrypted log from Cordova, explaining how the key to the Bogano Vault was a device called the Astrium, which he would have to find. Before he was able to return to the Mantis, Kestis was subdued by a Haxion Brood bounty hunter.[3]

Waking up, Kestis found himself imprisoned and BD-1 missing. After escaping and finding BD-1, Kestis discovered he had been captured by the infamous Sorc Tormo and forced to fight in a brutal coliseum. Kestis fought several different creatures, one more dangerous than the other and defeated all, in addition to the bounty hunter that had captured him and stolen BD-1 beforehand. At the climax of the show, the Mantis collided into the Haxion Brood's lair to rescue them. However, upon boarding, his crewmates were not met with immediate gratitude. Kestis learned the Brood found him because Dritus lied about paying off his debts. Kestis also struggled with the revelation that Junda had given up Suduri under torture. Their argument was cut short as they received word from Mari Kosan—Tarfful had been found in the Shadowlands and had agreed to meet him.[3]

Journey to the Origin Tree

"Not bad for trash."
"What about for a Jedi?"
―The Ninth Sister and Cal Kestis[3]

On the way to Kashyyyk, Dritus approached Kestis telling him to go easy on Junda. Landing on the forested planet, they found the remains of the resistance, which had been nearly wiped out by the Second Sister. Finding Mari, she told Kestis that Saw had since left the planet and split their forces. After fighting their way through the recaptured refinery, Kestis and BD-1 regrouped with Mari and Choyyssyk to meet Tarfful. Tarfful told Kestis to climb the Origin Tree and Mari gave Kestis a breather to help him get there, and the two groups parted ways.[3]

JFO Ninth Sister attacks

During a mission on Kashyyyk, Kestis defeated the Ninth Sister atop the Origin Tree.

On the way up to the Origin Tree, Kestis and BD-1 encountered a wounded shyyyo bird. After treating its wound, they were granted safe passage to the top of the Origin Tree, where they discovered that Cordova had found a Zeffo Astrium there years beforehand and that the tomb on Dathomir may possess another. Just as they were leaving, the Ninth Sister attacked. After a fierce battle, Kestis emerged victorious by slicing off the Ninth Sister's hand and pushing her off the tree. The Shyyyo bird then carried Kestis and BD-1 down the tree, and Kestis returned to the Mantis to make a return to Dathomir.[3]

Trials on Dathomir

"Yes. My blood is on your hands, apprentice. You are a failure. A weakling. A traitor. You are no Jedi."
"No!"
―Jaro Tapal's specter and Cal Kestis[3]
MissiontoDathomirFO

Kestis encountered the fallen Jedi Taron Malicos and the Nightsister Merrin on Dathomir.

Arriving once more to Dathomir, Kestis and BD-1 nearly made it to the next tomb when they were ambushed by more Nightbrothers. While they did eventually overcome that, they were forced to wander through the dangerous Dathomirian swamps. They were once again found by the Nightsister Merrin who began raising undead Nightsisters to attack them as they proceeded on their way. Inside a dark cave, BD-1 found climbing claws on a Nightbrother corpse. Before Kestis could grab them they were attacked by the monstrous Gorgara. After warding the beast off one time, Gorgara soon returned to continue the fight. An intense aerial battle culminated in a fatal crash that killed Gorgara, and Kestis was able to get back on track.[3]

After fighting through Merrin's brethren, Kestis and BD-1 finally made it into the tomb, where Kestis experienced a flashback in which he remembered Tapal's sacrifice to protect Kestis from the clone troopers during the Purge. Kestis was then attacked by a vision that took the form of Tapal in representation of his guilt and loss. Cal's inability to overcome this resulted in his lightsaber being destroyed. Defeated and disheartened, Kestis attempted to flee back to the Mantis, but he ran into the Wanderer from before, who revealed himself to be Taron Malicos, a former Jedi now studying under the dark side of the Force. Malicos asked Kestis to join his quest for power but was cut off by Merrin. She raised the horde of undead to destroy him and Kestis, who narrowly escaped. After this experience, Junda advised Kestis to build his own lightsaber.[3]

The Jedi Temple on Ilum

"No, failure is not the end. It is a necessary part of the path."
―Eno Cordova's last recording to BD-1[3]
CalKestisSecondLightsaber-FallenOrder

In the crystal caves of the sacred Jedi world of Ilum, Kestis built a new lightsaber.

Junda gifted Kestis her lightsaber hilt, though her kyber crystal had been sold long ago to pay for Dritus' debts. On Ilum, Kestis remembered when he was on the planet with Yoda when he was younger to find the kyber crystal to build his first lightsaber. Being in a place that had once been so important to the Jedi made Kestis feel like there were ghosts of the past surrounding him. Kestis entered the caves and followed the call of his crystal through a crack in an ice wall. The ice beneath Kestis and BD-1 shattered, sending Kestis plummeting into the icy depths. BD-1 saved Kestis just in time, and after finding his crystal, it split into two. Kestis, crushed by failure, indicated that he was ready to give up, which triggered BD-1 to play a log from Cordova, revealing BD-1 had sacrificed his memories to store logs vital to Kestis' quest. With this newfound perspective, Kestis combined Junda's and Jaro's hilts, creating a new, split saber.[3]

On their way out of the caves, Kestis discovered a massive Imperial mining operation on Ilum, created to extract the planet's kyber crystals. As Kestis and BD-1 fought their way back to the Mantis, Junda blocked the Empire's comms to prevent them from calling further reinforcements. The Empire eventually reversed the slice, but the momentary hindrance gave Kestis and BD-1 enough time to get back to the Mantis, and the crew escaped back to Dathomir.[3]

Retrieving the Astrium and the holocron

"Master."
"You were wrong to return here unarmed."
"Not unarmed."
"You think that lightsaber proves you a Jedi?"
"No. Facing you… Memories that have haunted me since Bracca… I won't run from them anymore."
―Cal Kestis and the Jaro Tapal's specter[3]
Cal shows Merrin the Astrium

Upon returning to Dathomir, Kestis obtained not only the Astrium, but also a new member for his team, the Nightsister Merrin.

On Dathomir, Kestis returned to face the shade of his master. He realized the only way to defeat Tapal was to embrace his past and move forward from his trauma. He knelt before Tapal's specter, causing the apparition to vanish. As Kestis and BD-1 moved into the Tomb of Kujet, they came upon Merrin. This time, however, she was willing to talk. Attempting to reason with her again, Kestis insisted that Malicos had lied to her about the Jedi. Naturally, the Nightsister was skeptical, so Kestis disavowed Malicos as a fallen Jedi and passed her his lightsaber as a show of trust, stating that possessing such a weapon doesn't make one a Jedi, explaining the Order's role as peacekeepers before they were betrayed and hunted down to extinction. In turn, Kestis learned that she might be the only survivor of the Nightsister massacre carried out by General Grievous during the Clone Wars. He then sympathized with her loss and stated that Malicos was wrong to use that pain against her.[3]

Returning his lightsaber, Merrin allowed Kestis to pass, warning that Malicos was ahead. Malicos tried one last time to turn Kestis, but attacked when he refused. After Malicos began to gain the upper hand, Merrin intervened, blasting Malicos with magick. They worked together to defeat Malicos, and Merrin buried him alive. Kestis then revealed that he came to Dathomir for an Astrium, and Merrin agreed to help him. Desiring more knowledge of the galaxy and a future for her people, Merrin joined Kestis' quest. After Kestis and Merrin found the all-important device, the crew stood ready to return to Bogano and retrieve the holocron.[3]

At around the same time, the Second Sister found a datapad in a Zeffo Temple on Ontotho. Upon realizing that the datapad had belonged to Eno Cordova, the Second Sister saw that its final entry was incomplete. The Second Sister then ordered her troops to depart for Bogano, loudly declaring that Junda and Kestis would not be able to hide from her forever.[14]

CereKnightsCal

Reconciled with the past, Kestis resolved to face the future as a Jedi Knight, a title bestowed unto him by Junda.

Kestis and BD-1 brought the Astrium to the Vault and opened the holocron. Kestis was swept into a vision of a potential outcome if he kept and used the holocron. It showed younglings training under him, only to be ambushed by the Empire. Death and torture followed, and Kestis saw himself surrender before the Second Sister to spare his Padawans' lives, leading to his transformation into an Inquisitor. When he awoke, Kestis finally came upon the holocron that he sought. At that moment, the Second Sister emerged from the shadows, taunting Kestis for his failures. After a drawn-out duel, Kestis managed to gain the upper hand, pulling her lightsaber into his possession, thrusting him into a Force Echo showing Junda and Suduri tortured, Suduri becoming an Inquisitor and Junda giving in to to the dark side. When he returned, the Second Sister and the holocron had vanished. Kestis ran back to the ship and told Junda. She reached out to the Force, took up the Second Sister's lightsaber and knighted Kestis.[3]

Encounter with Darth Vader

"You would be wise to surrender."
"Yeah. Probably."
―Darth Vader and Cal Kestis[3]
Cal vs Trilla last

A final duel between Kestis and the Second Sister ensued within the Fortress Inquisitorius on Nur.

Chasing after the Second Sister, Kestis and Junda ventured into the Fortress Inquisitorius on Nur to reclaim the holocron. Kestis triumphed over all the imperial forces on his way and saw Junda fighting three Purge Troopers simultaneously when he found her, which impressed him. Junda accessed a console to locate the holocron. Kestis asked if there was any sign of Suduri, and Junda said no before saying that the holocron was in the interrogation chamber. Kestis went towards the camera while Junda pushed back the Imperial reinforcements. Kestis arrived at the chamber, but suffered an attack from the Second Sister. While his blades were locked, Kestis told Suduri that he saw the suffering she went through and that it was not too late to let go, but Suduri said that she was stronger because of her pain and that she knew that Kestis would return by the holocron before saying that he wouldn't leave the chamber alive.[3]

Kestis defeated the Second Sister by wounding her right shoulder with the lightsaber, leaving her on her knees on the floor. Defeating her in combat and recovering the holocron, Junda arrived and managed to convince her to let go of her hate. Upon doing so, the Second Sister sensed and heard Darth Vader lurking behind her. Realizing he had witnessed her failure, the Second Sister could sense her final moments were upon her and quickly yelled "Avenge us!" to Kestis and Junda before Vader struck her down. Kestis and Junda instinctively activated their lightsabers in retaliation to the danger Vader posed.[3]

Junda leaped for Vader head-on with the Second Sister's lightsaber. This proved ineffective, as the Sith Lord was able to casually swat her away with a simple telekinetic gesture, sending her down towards the Fortress chasm. With Kestis completely outmatched and alone, Vader told the young man that he would be wise to surrender to him. However, Kestis could sense the danger Vader posed and, though he agreed with the Sith Lord's remark, he did not back down. Vader was able to overcome Kestis effortlessly, pulling him towards him with the Force. Before Vader could kill him, Kestis attempted to escape the Sith Lord by pulling a piece of machinery down on top of him, however, Vader effortlessly managed to stop the attack before throwing Kestis out of the room and down the walkway. As Kestis stumbled to his feet, Vader forced open the closing door and hurled parts of the floor at him. Seeing that he probably wouldn't survive a confrontation with Vader, let alone be able to defeat him, Kestis realized it was time to go and just barely managed to make it to the turbolift on the other side of the room and reach the lower levels to escape from the Sith Lord.[3]

MissionToNur

After the Second Sister's failure, Darth Vader personally confronted Kestis and Junda, forcing the pair to flee from the Sith Lord.

When Kestis opened the door to his escape, Vader was already there waiting for him. Vader pushed him to the ground and staggered him into a vulnerable position, resulting in a blade lock. As Vader was slowly overpowering Kestis, BD-1 shocked the Dark Lord, allowing Kestis to stab him. Vader was able to stop the lightsaber from going completely in his stomach and used the Force to push Kestis away. Kestis tried to Force-pull his saber back to him, but Vader caught it in midair, activated it, and used it to stab Kestis in his rib. As Vader came in for the final blow, he sensed Junda leaping in to attack, who had somehow managed to escape the chasm. This distracted Vader long enough to save Kestis, who then engaged in a fight with Junda against Vader. Vader quickly overpowered them both, but Junda tapped into the dark side to slow him down. Vader, sensing the anger in her, tried to convince her to give in to the dark side.[3]

As Vader continued towards them, Kestis reminded Junda that she still had a choice, was able to prevent Junda from fully turning to the dark side. As Vader struck with his lightsaber, Junda was able to form a protective bubble to block his attack. Seeing how this would only delay the inevitable, Kestis used the Force to shatter the already damaged glass holding the water out, which forced Vader to divert his attention to that instead of slaughtering Kestis and Junda, who barely escaped in the chaos. Kestis put on a mask for Junda to breathe and started swimming, trying to reach the surface while holding Junda, who had been knocked unconscious during the escape. Kestis started to lose consciousness due to shortness of breath and almost drowned, but both were saved by Merrin.[3]

CalHolocronList

Although the list was in his possession, Kestis destroyed the holocron to keep the galaxy's Force-sensitive children hidden from the Empire.

Kestis woke up on board the Mantis with Dritus at his side and went to see the other members of his team. Kestis was greeted with a hug by Merrin, which caused him pain due to the injury inflicted by Vader. With the holocron safe, Kestis used the Force to open it, but after the bleak vision he had in Bogano, Kestis decided to destroy the holocron to keep the children on the list safe from the Empire and entrusted his fate to the Force, before asking where they would go now.[3]

Race for the Shroud

Infiltration of a Haxion Brood base

"As long as we fight...hope survives."
―Cal Kestis[15]
CalKestisBD1-Survivor

Kestis and BD-1 continued to travel together several years after their aborted mission to rebuild the Jedi Order.

Following the events of his mission against the Galactic Empire, Kestis continued traveling with the crew of the Stinger Mantis. Between 14 BBY and 11 BBY,[16] they went on a mission together to infiltrate a Haxion Brood base located in the ruins of a destroyed world. As the base was protected by an energy shield that regularly scanned for incoming ships, Kestis was tasked by his companions Merrin, Dritus, and Junda with infiltrating the base and disabling the base's security system, enabling them to fly the Mantis in undetected. As any ship would be too large to pass through the asteroid field without being detected, Kestis instead had to traverse the field on foot by leaping from one asteroid to the next with the assistance of his droid companion BD-1. As the pair landed on each asteroid BD-1 would activate Cal's gription boots, a pair of which they had previously salvaged from a bounty hunter that he and Merrin had faced off against prior to this mission, magnetically holding him to the rock. Due to the inherent risk of any comlink signals being intercepted, BD-1 and Kestis utilized a system in which BD-1 would tap him on the shoulder to signal, with one tap meaning no, and two meaning yes. BD-1 preferred communicating with him in this fashion while on a mission, as the rest of the crew could not understand him.[17]

Encountering only brief physical resistance while passing through the shield which he likened to the feeling when one pushed on Dritus' infamous Gelatin Surprise, Cal quickly got to work jamming the shield. While BD-1 installed a sensor jammer on the base's shield generator, he awaited the arrival of his crewmates at a predetermined location. Upon their arrival, the group set to work destroying the base. As the rest of the crew set about accomplishing their own objectives, he raced across a bridge that separated the outer ring from the central base itself and leaped down a cliff in search of an access point to the base. Following a precarious search around the rocky spire which held the base up, he discovered a service entrance buried far below the base located at the lower exterior of the facility, which could be accessed with minimal disruption and risk.[17]

Dispatching a Brood commando as he infiltrated the base, he soon discovered why he and his companions had found the outer ring of the base deserted. At least ten bounty hunters inhabited the cantina at the heart of the base, and at least twenty stormtroopers. Initially, Junda ordered him to just set his charges and leave rather than further investigate why the troopers were in a Brood base. Before he could do this though, a bounty hunter searching for Bantha Blasters pulled open the hatch he was hiding behind and yelled out to their compatriots that a Jedi was hiding there. This led to all other hunters, combat droids, and stormtroopers drawing their weapons and engaging him.[17]

Kestis quickly dispatched the hunter that discovered him and dove into combat with the rest. Utilizing all his skills he began eliminating his enemies, while Merrin also emerged from her hiding place to join the fight. When he began to tire from combat, BD-1 ejected a stim canister, which he grabbed and injected into his arm. The stim rapidly healed any bruises and rejuvenated his tired muscles, allowing him to jump right back into the fray. As the fight progressed Cal focused on the bounty hunters, while Merrin took on the stormtroopers.[17]

Before the hunters swarmed him all at once he activated his lightsaber's second blade and switched to his double-bladed forms. He lamented the fact that rather than sequentially fighting him one after another, the bounty hunters swarmed him all in a group instead of letting him recover between combatants. His opponents attempted to distract him with banter and taunts, though over the years he had learned it was better to ignore them. Once the bulk of the hunters were killed and only two remained, he realized the two that remained were Killena and her droid, T1L-D4. The group took a few moments to banter with one another as they prepared for combat, though before they could engage the charges Cal and his group had been placing began to detonate. The pair of hunters quickly retreated and Kestis was informed by Junda that the rock bridge, his pathway back to the Mantis, had collapsed and he would have to find another way back.[17]

He soon found another path back, jumping across several falling rocks with BD-1 hanging onto his shoulder in his regular position. Wishing he had brought the climbing claws he recovered from a Nightbrother on Dathomir years earlier, he scrambled across the falling debris from one piece to the next until he reached the wall at the edge of the outer ring of the base. He hoped to take a brief moment to recover his strength but immediately heard the sound of stormtrooper boots hitting the ground and took off again. Rushing past Merrin who herself was engaged in conversation with Chellwinark Frethylrin, a female Keshiri Imperial who hoped to defect and join the crew, he urged Merrin to flee ahead of him to the ship, so he could cover their retreat.[17]

As Merrin fled, Cal followed behind her and reached the ship moments after she had boarded, launching himself up the boarding ramp while shouting for the rest of the crew to strap in. While the group awaited Junda's arrival and prepared for takeoff, both he and Merrin used their abilities to push away any Imperials attempting to board the Stinger Mantis. Their compatriot arrived moments later, with Cal hanging off the edge of the ramp to catch her and pull her aboard. As Junda jumped, Fret approached from behind her, grabbing Junda's ankles and pushing her up to Cal. Fret then followed behind her, rolling into the ship and gesturing her surrender with one hand, while pulling her helmet off with the other.[17]

Cal's crusade

Crusader

By 9 BBY,[18] the original crew of the Stinger Mantis had split up because of disagreements on the proper way to stand against the Empire. Kestis and BD-1 became part of Saw Gerrera's Partisans[6] and carried out a crusade against the Empire,[19] with Kestis dedicating himself to the fight and becoming a highly wanted criminal. He befriended military veteran Bravo, slicer Gabs, and Klatooinian twins Koob and Liz, with whom he formed the new Stinger Mantis crew.[6]

Mission to Coruscant

"Someday, when your children see this, they'll know the Jedi never stopped fighting for them."
―Cal Kestis showing his lightsaber to Daho Sejan[6]
Acquiring intel
Cal mission to Coruscant

Cal discussed the mission on Coruscant with his crew.

The Stinger Mantis crew, with the addition of newly recruited member Bode Akuna, were tasked to retrieve sensitive information from Imperial senator Daho Sejan's luxury yacht. The crew disguised themselves as Coruscant Police members, pretending to have captured Kestis and to be willing to deliver him to Sejan. This tactic was effective, as BD-1 was able to place an device while Dejan was distracted, freeing Kestis and detonating the device, incapacitating the yacht and trapping Sejan. Alongside Bode Akuna, Kestis travelled to the incapacitated yacht, facing and defeating KX series droid K-4O5 along the way, before regrouping with the rest of the crew. Infiltrating the yacht, the team took Sejan hostage before Kestis mind-tricked him to gain access to the data stored in the terminal. To their disappointment, the projected holomap showed the gargantuan expansion of the Empire's grasp on the galaxy, with very few planets left free of its influence.[6]

Imperial ambush

Exiting the yacht's interior, the crew was ambushed by LAAT/le patrol gunships, led by the Ninth Sister, who stabbed Sejan through the chest with her lightsaber before ordering her forces to open fire. While the Klatoonian Twins rushed the Ninth Sister, Gabs pushed Kestis out of the way of gunship fire, taking a fatal wound to the chest in the process. Angered by his friend's death, he prepared to face the Ninth Sister before Akuna and Bravo shot down the gunship, causing it to come crashing down on the yacht and sending Kestis down to the Undercity Meats. He was confronted by several Imperial soldiers during his attempt to get on the Mantis, including one Purge Trooper. On the way out, Akuna and Bravo crashed Sejan's yacht into a squad of Imperial forces, while Kestis attacked a patrol gunship, crashing it on the rooftops.[6]

Facing the Ninth Sister
"You were a Jedi Knight before you betrayed our order. Your name was Masana Tide. It's time to set you free."
―Cal Kestis to the Ninth Sister[6]

Despite the heavy damage suffered by the gunship in the crash, the Ninth Sister emerged unscathed and ready to confront the Jedi. During their duel, she taunted him about the guilt he felt about the deaths of Gabs and the Klatoonian Twins, attempting to manipulate his emotions against him. After managing to slash her across the chest, Kestis called out to her with her former name, Masana Tide, remarking that she was once a Jedi like he was, and stating that it was time to set her free. This caused her to recklessly rush the Jedi Knight, who parried her strike and swiftly decapitated her, ending her life for good.[6]

Escape and aftermath

Kestis met up with Akuna and Bravo on his way back to the Mantis, taking on a squad of Imperial forces with them. Bravo revealed two Z-95 Headhunter fighters that he had prepared for Akuna and himself, having had "a hunch it might be a hot exit", while Kestis would be taking the Mantis. Before leaving, he gave Akuna a locator beacon, telling him to come find him to get paid when things would have cooled off. During their escape, the rebel trio was confronted by several TIE fighters, forcing Akuna to break the formation to draw some of them away. Right before they could make the hyperspace jump, Bravo's fighter was shot down by another group of TIEs that came from the surface.[6]

In hyperspace, Kestis transmitted the data to Gerrera, reflecting on a photograph of the now decimated new Mantis crew while BD-1 ran ship diagnostics. The droid, noticing Cal's grim mood, then projected on the ship's holotable footage he had shot back when the old crew was still together, including Junda and Kestis rejoicing over having found a copy of a book from the Jedi Archives, Merrin reflecting on Dathomir, and the crew having dinner together. The diagnostics then revealed the ship's gyro, an essential component, was failing: Kestis decided to bring the ship to Koboh where Dritus had settled down, hoping that he could fix the damage sustained by the ship.[6]

Hunt for Tanalorr

As the Stinger Mantis arrived in the Koboh system, Cal observed a vast stellar anomaly in the system. Approaching the planet, the ship's gyro gave out, and it made a crash landing in Dredger Gorge.[6]

The Bedlam Raiders

The Gorge had been claimed by a paramilitary group known as the Bedlam Raiders. Well-organized, dedicated, and supported by an army of battle droids recovered from the wreck of a Clone Wars-era Lucrehulk battleship, the Raiders were the dominant power on the planet, strong enough to keep even the Empire at bay. Journeying through the Gorge, Cal first encountered the Raiders when one of their number ordered his B-1 battle droids to seize the wreck of the Mantis and kill any survivors. While traversing the Gorge, Cal fended off several attacks from the raiders and their droids and witnessed how the raiders terrorized and exploited the local population of priorite prospectors.[6]

Exiting the Gorge, Cal was approached by a local hunter and animal tamer, Mosey Cimmaron. Cal said he was searching for Dritus, and Mosey confirmed that she knew him, stating he owned Pyloon's Saloon in the nearby town of Rambler's Reach. Arriving at the saloon, Cal witnessed a local civilian, Turgle, being violently assaulted by the Bedlam Raider Zeik. Cal demanded that Zeik leave Turgle alone, but the leader of the Bedlam Raiders, Rayvis, approached and stated the Raiders could not do this. Rayvis declared that Turgle had sold the Raiders an ancient relic, a "key" that the Raiders had long been searching for, only for the artifact to be fake. Turgle begged for mercy, claiming to be unaware of the forgery; Rayvis said he believed Turgle, but could not tolerate such mistakes, ordering Zeik to kill Turgle. Cal intervened with a Force push, saving Turgle but revealing his nature as a Jedi to the Raiders. Rayvis ordered Zeik to kill Cal, but Cal instead slew Zeik. Rayvis expressed joy at seeing a Jedi in action after so many years, and offered to withdraw peacefully if Cal backed down from further fighting. Cal accepted, and Rayvis left the town as agreed. A grateful Turgle then introduced Cal to Doma Dendra, an influential local business owner who acted as a de facto mayor for Rambler's Reach. Doma thanked Cal for intervening, and promised to keep his Jedi nature a secret.[6]

Cal was greeted inside the Saloon by an overjoyed Dritus, who asked Cal to rest in a specially-made room at the Saloon. When Cal rose from his sleep, he and Dritus discussed the team's previous break-up. Dritus called the fight against the Empire a "rigged game", and invited Cal to settle down on Koboh. A frustrated Cal refused and insisted on finding a gyro to fix the Mantis. Dritus reluctantly told Cal he might find one in the old smuggler's tunnels beneath the saloon, which Dritus was reusing as storage space. Exploring the tunnels, Cal found the gyro, but fell down a drop when a piece of rock gave away.[6]

The Key to Tanalorr

Landing deep within the cave network, Cal found a crumbling structure. Recognizing the architecture and technology as being of High Republic vintage, Cal decided to explore the ruin. Inside, he found a stuck, deactivated droid clutching a device identical to the fake "key" Turgle had given the Raiders. Touching the device, Cal witnessed a memory of the droid holding it. Two centuries earlier, the droid, ZN-A4 or "Zee", was with High Republic Jedi Santari Khri as Koboh's moon exploded above. Khri wiped the droid's memory of the route to a "Tanalorr" under orders from the Jedi Council. She then asked Zee to use the device, called a tuner, to travel underground and retrieve the "key to Tanalorr" from the nearby Forest Array.[6]

Zee awakened from sleep mode, and Cal freed her from the piece of machinery she was stuck under. Returning to the Pyloon's Saloon, Cal found Dritus and the newly arrived Bode Akuna, who had followed the locator beacon given to him on Coruscant. Zee told the three of her mission to find the key to Tanalorr, a planet she called "a bastion of the Order's light on the Galactic frontier". Dritus recognized the name of the world from an old legend about a hidden planet filled with treasure. Acknowledging that her age made her unable to complete her mission, Zee asked Cal to retrieve the "key" from the Forest Array, to which Cal agreed.[6]

Traveling to the Array, Cal found it occupied by a small Imperial force and flooded with a toxic substance, Koboh matter. Fighting the Imperials and navigating the noxious hazard, Cal discovered a bacta chamber containing a man in stasis. Touching the chamber, Cal experienced memories of the trapped individual, a Jedi named Dagan Gera. Gera had explored the planet of Tanalorr with Santari Khri, with whom he shared a close bond. Tanalorr was a beautiful world, strong in the Force, and Gera wished to establish a Jedi temple there. Khri and Gera petitioned the Jedi Council to visit the planet and examine its potential. Because the planet was located in the Koboh Abyss, an almost unnavigable nebula that blocked communications, the Council would need to visit in person. During the Council's examination, Gera became frustrated with their slow pace of deliberation, but the planet was soon attacked by a Nihil fleet. Gera held off the invaders as Khri warned the Council.[6]

Cal freed Gera from stasis and informed him that the Jedi Order and the Republic had both fallen. Cal asked for his help in battling the Empire, but Gera was only interested in returning to Tanalorr. Asking for elaboration, Cal was told by Dagan that the battle with the Nihil was horrific, but the Jedi had not been beaten- not until the Jedi Council ordered a retreat and then refused to authorize a counterattack. Overcome with anger at what he perceived as the Order's betrayal, Gera bled his lightsaber. He then attacked Cal Kestis. As the two fought, Rayvis, who had been tracking Cal via drone, arrived, and Gera escaped with him. Cal Kestis realized Gera was the "key" to Tanalorr due to his knowledge of how to reach the planet.[6]

Arriving back in Rambler's Reach, Cal saw that Dritus and Bode had completed their repairs to the Mantis. He informed the two of their findings, and together they agreed that isolated Tanalorr could be a safe haven from the Empire. They agreed to work together to rediscover the planet, with Bode and Dritus rejoining the Mantis crew.[6]

Meeting the Hidden Path

Kestis, Dritus, and Akuna decided to seek out Junda, believing she might know more about the history surrounding Tanalorr. The trio traveled to Jedha, where Junda had been hiding among the local sect of Narkis Anchorites. Approaching the planet, Cal was asked by the Anchorites to meet an intermediary at a prearranged location as a security measure. Cal was surprised to see that the intermediary was none other than his old companion Merrin, and the two fought off local Imperial forces together. Riding to the Anchorite safehouse on the back of a spamel, Merrin and Cal caught one another up on their actions during their years apart. Both admitted to having greatly missed one another. The two were caught in an approaching sandstorm but managed to shelter inside a cave. Cal explained to Merrin that he had found a potential safe place from the Empire, but was reluctant to leave the fight. Merrin cautioned Cal against being consumed by his obsession with battling the Empire. The two shared a tender moment as they huddled together by their campfire.[6]

The next morning, the two arrived at Junda's safehouse. Cal and BD-1 were surprised to be greeted by Eno Cordova, who had returned from his travels investigating the Zeffo and reunited with his former padawan. Reuniting with Junda, Cal saw that she was working to rebuild the Jedi archives and assist the Hidden Path, a covert organization dedicated to shielding Force sensitives from Imperial persecution. Junda expressed that there were multiple ways of fighting the Empire, regretting that the Jedi had raised Cal only as a warrior. Cal took her words into consideration, and the two reconciled. Searching the rebuilt archives, Cordova found references to Dagan Gera, mentioning a retreat he had on Koboh and his frequent visits to a laboratory on the planet's moon. He suggested searching these two locations for more information on Tanalorr.[6]

The compasses

Kestis, Akuna, and Dritus returned to the Koboh system to land on Koboh's moon, known as the Shattered Moon. Bode and Cal were shocked at the size of the crater from the Emergence that had struck centuries ago. Cal made his way from the landing pad and into the abandoned Republic Research Station on the moon. While exploring through its hallways, he was ambushed by several bedlam raiders and even a reactivated MagnaGuard. Pushing his way through, Cal eventually managed to discover an interesting High Republic-era device and decided to bring it back to Master Cordova.[6]

Cal also journeyed to Koboh and explored a desolated settlement in a massive lava cavern. After blasting through a Raider encampment at Fort Kahlim, the Jedi was tackled mid-air while riding a relter that he had calmed using force tame. The foe was Korej Lim, a bounty hunter sent from the Haxion Brood to kill Cal. After defeating the jetpack-wearing foe, Cal was approached by Caij Vanda, who applauded his performance. She admitted to watching his moves on Koboh and claimed that she would reward him for every bounty hunter defeated, as she also had wanted some peace and quiet on that planet. Cal then moved through the chasm by riding relters and parkour. When he arrived at the top of the devastated settlement, he found another one of those devices. Using Force Echo, he learned that Dagan had murdered several of his fellow Jedi when they had abandoned Tanalorr, forcing them to destroy the compasses that had allowed them to travel through the Koboh Abyss.[6]

Continuing the quest

MerrinAndCalvsDrillShip-Survivor

Cal and Merrin attacked the assault ship.

The Mantis crew traveled back to Jedha and gave Master Cordova the remnants of the devices. The aging Jedi said he would attempt to repair it if possible, but then a Narkis Acolyte warned Junda that an Imperial Extraction force was approaching Pilgrim's Sanctuary, an important safe house for the Hidden Path. Merrin decided to lead Cal on a rescue mission for Brother Armias, an important member who knew the communication codes used for the entire hidden path. Merrin and Cal split up and smashed through the Imperial forces in the ruins and successfully made it near the sanctuary.  While in an extremely windy whistling ruin, Cal had a flashback of the earlier days of the Mantis crew, where Junda was warning him to not push himself too hard against the Empire. Using this memory, Cal learned the Force Dash ability to hurl himself through the wind. Arriving inside the sanctuary and reuniting with Merrin, they found the inside infested with stormtroopers. They fought their way through and found Brother Armias, who gave them the codes. A Trident class warship had been tunneling through the mountain, and this caused a chunk of debris to slam into Brother Armias, killing him instantly. Merrin used her Nightsister magick to raise the debris blocking the entrance and handed Cal an enchanted device that allowed him to pass through energy barriers. The two headed up to the top of the sanctuary before being cornered to a dead end. Merrin then used a magick potion to create portals that bent space, allowing her and Kestis to safely traverse through the air. Before jumping through, Merrin drew Kestis in for a deep kiss. The two Force wielders then used their combined power to destroy the assault ship.[6]

With the threat neutralized, Merrin and Kestis headed back to the Anchorite base to give the contact codes to Junda. Merrin ensured that they were not tracked by the Empire on their return. Cordova then informed Kestis about the history of Republic research on the Koboh Abyss and Tanalorr but broke the news that the two Abyss compasses he brought could not be repaired. Fortunately, there was one final compass made, and Kestis decided he would search for it. Both Jedi Masters confirmed their commitment to stay on Jedha. Kestis invited Merrin to join him, to which she explained how their connection as survivors, which once seemed so unique, was a common theme among many across the galaxy. Nevertheless, Merrin agreed to join her friend on his journey back to Koboh.[6]

Upon their return, the crew learned from Turgle and Mosey that a group of raiders led by Dagan Gera had kidnapped ZN-A4. As Kestis, BD-1, and Akuna went to rescue the droid, Merrin stayed behind with Dritus to protect the latter's cantina, Pyloon's Saloon, which she referred to as a dirty oasis, from any Bedlam Raider attacks. The trio made their way through Koboh's swamp and into the downed Lucrehulk from its loading gantry. Cal destroyed the Raider forces guarding the entrance and successfully made it into the Lucrehulk's core. While inside, Bode questioned Cal's future relationship with Merrin, saying that he ought to settle down with her when they made it to Tanalorr. Unfortunately, they were divided by a security laser gate and attacked by two battle droids, which Bode easily ambushed. They promised to meet up further inside.[6]

While crawling through a confined space in the core, Cal was ambushed by Rayvis and grabbed by the neck. He ignored a stab through the chest with the Jedi's weapon, as his Gendai regenerative properties quickly healed him. Rayvis then took the Republic tuner device that Cal held and prepared to smash his skull in before Cal sliced his hand off. Calmly, reattaching his armor piece and healing his hand, the Gendai dropped down and prepared to kill the injured Jedi, but BD-1 activated a large block of metal that slammed into the Bandit leader and dropped Cal downwards.[6]

CalProtectsZeeFromDagan-Survivor

Kestis dueled Gera inside the Lucrehulk.

When he slid down the wall, Cal experienced a flashback of when Junda used force lift to deal with a whole room of stormtroopers, telling Cal that all it took sometimes was to view the situation from another angle. Using this memory, Cal learned the Force lift/smash ability and was able to pull down several obstacles in his way. Crawling his way through vents, Cal eavesdropped a conversation between Rayvis and Dagan discussing Santa Khri's betrayal and Cal's escape. Dagan Gera then ordered one of his lieutenants to activate the Forest Array and Rayvis to head to the Shattered Moon to find the last compass. Dagan then walked to go reprogram Zee to serve him as it once served his former ally. Cal ran to rescue Zee and managed to get one of her chains off before Dagan arrived and began to berate the young Jedi. Cal stated back that one cannot claim the past to which Dagan agreed and decided to sever it, slicing toward Cal with his lightsaber and then pushing him back through the window with the force. Thus began the second duel between the two Jedi. This time Dagan had acquired a second lightsaber that he wielded with the force instead of his missing arm. While they were dueling, Zee remained trapped in hanging wires. Towards the end of the duel, Bode arrived and started firing at Dagan. Seeing his situation as hopeless, Gera slammed a block of metal into the platform all of them were standing on before escaping. Cal began to slip as the platform gave way before Bode caught him with his jetpack. Escorting Zee back, the group took the escape pods to launch themselves into the swamp.[6]

The crew took to the Mantis to return to the Shattered Moon. While flying there, Cal wondered why Dagan had sent Rayvis there instead of getting the compass himself. As the ship approached the planet, a squadron of Vulture droids began to fly towards them. The crew began to panic about taking off again once they landed, with Bode jokingly saying he could open up a franchise cantina. Merrin stepped up and used a Nightsister device to cloak the ship, baffling Bode, who had never seen Nightsister magick before. Cal journeyed back through the moon's facility, which had recently reactivated its mining cannon. The raiders sent hordes of bandits and droids against Cal to protect Rayvis while he mocked Kestis, but the Jedi destroyed them all. Arriving at the central tower of the facility, Cal found a high republic tool that allowed him to modify his grapple to latch onto the floating platforms. He also discovered a Force Echo that told the story of how Dagan had his arm cut off by Santari and sent into his bacta tank. With his new tool, Kestis successfully advanced to Rayvis' location.[6]

CalVsRayvis-Survivor

Cal battled Rayvis on the Shattered Moon.

Rayvis monologued on how he had taken the lives of many Jedi before, proving unstoppable before Dagan bested him in combat. Rayvis told how he swore an oath of loyalty to Gera, killing many Jedi as he raged against the betrayal of his master. Unfortunately for Rayvis, he was captured and imprisoned for centuries, denied a warrior's death. The destruction of the Jedi Order had allowed him to escape. Cal said he should tell him where the compass was, and Rayvis responded by telling him he had to earn that knowledge in combat. The duel began with Kestis scoring dozens of strikes against the near-unkillable Gendai and eventually slicing off some of his armor on his arm. Rayvis screamed and yelled that he had waited two hundred years to kill more Jedi. Further into the fight, he eventually yielded, giving Cal the info that the compass was in Santari Khri's observatory. Cal pleaded with him to join their fight against Dagan, but he refused and asked for a warrior's death, which Cal was forced to give by decapitating him.[6]

Cal reunited with his team and told them of the Gendai's death before setting off for Koboh once again. While the Mantis was flying back, Kestis poked Dritus about his fear of the moon, largely due to superstition. Cal opened up the holo map to clear his distressed mind, and Merring approached him. Cal opened up about the Force Echo he saw, wondering if his crusade against the Empire had brought him to a similar state. Merrin comforted him, saying if he ever strayed too far, they would guide him back.[6]

Once they had arrived back at Rambler Reach Outpost, Kestis took the path up to Prospector's Folly. The Imperial presence in this region was significantly more pronounced than other areas of Koboh, with Cal eventually finding a crashed shuttle guarded by a large detachment of troops. After defeating them, he boarded the shuttle to investigate, finding a shock dart modification for BD-1 before the ship collapsed under him. He then made his way to Imperial Post 8L-055 and up to dizzying heights that overlooked massive stretches of the planet. The Imperial forces had begun a battle with the Bedlam Raiders, with TIE fighters engaging the Vulture droids and imperial troopers engaging in firefights with the raider's infantry. Bode also arrived in his Z-95, giving some air support to Cal before regrouping with him. The Empire began to lose ground in this battle, as the had underestimated the Bedlam Raiders. Dagan had thrown everything he had into this battle, sending his new second-in-command Urgost to intercept the Jedi, but he was struck down by Cal. Bode and Cal eventually made it to the observatory's top, where Dagan was watching a clip of Santari giving the story of their evacuation. Bode shouted that he was a few years too late and demanded he give over the compass. Gera mocked Cal, claiming that he was not a survivor but rather a failure. The three then engaged in a duel. After knocking out Bode, the two Jedi began to fall into a force hallucination. Gera struck Cal across the chest, but a vision of Khri mocking Dagan turned out to be a recovered Cal, who sent his blade directly through Gera's chest, ending his life. After discussing the effects of the vision with Cal, Akuna picked up the compass, and it fell apart in his hands. Bode and Cal began to argue over the use of the Tanalorr for the future. Cal wanted it as a base of operations against the Empire, and Bode wanted it as a refuge for his daughter. They both agreed to discuss it later and to head back to Jedha, as Master Cordova could likely repair it.[6]

Jedi and Nightsister

Kestis and Merrin shared a kiss on Jedha.

Arriving back at the Archive, Kestis went and met with Junda and Cordova. Cordova claimed that it was easily repairable, only needing time. Merring suggested a viewpoint that she had discovered for the night. The crew spent their time in merriment, as Dritus prepared tea. Kestis asked Junda if she was going to join them on Tanalorr, and she answered yes. After this, she proposed a toast to Tanalorr for the crew. Later during the night, Cal confessed his love and desire to live with Merrin when the two were alone, sharing a kiss.[6]

Betrayal

The next day, Cal checked on the progress that Cordova had made, becoming extremely joyful when he found that the old Master had fully repaired the compass. However, alarms began to blare as Imperial forces began to approach from all sides. It was at this moment that Bode revealed his betrayal, holding Cordova hostage. He grabbed the compass out of the man's hands and shot him twice, killing him and fleeing. Junda immediately ordered Kestis to pursue while she and Merrin prepared the defenses. Cal flew after Bode without BD-1, both of them hopping onto speeder bikes and zooming through the desert. Zipping through Imperial forces, Cal engaged a scout trooper on a bike that he flung into the air at an incoming TIE fighter. Cal eventually disabled Bode's speeder and tackled him down onto a flat ridge. Bode then pushed Cal Away using the Force, revealing that he was also a surviving Jedi and igniting the red lightsaber of Dagan. The two dueled with Bode coming out on top, throwing Cal off a cliff, and shooting him in the chest, severely injuring him.[6]

Meanwhile, thousands of stormtroopers and dozens of walkers began to assault the base while Junda, Merrin, and the Anchorites attempted to fend them off while evacuations began. Junda and Merrin defended the main gate for some time, before falling back to the hangar to stop the storm of soldiers moving in. Junda decided to go to the library to extract the information but was confronted by Darth Vader himself. The resulting duel saw Vader significantly damaged and Junda impaled on his saber. Eventually, Cal discovered her and wept, bringing her and Cordova's bodies to bring onboard the Mantis.[6]

The team was in mourning and was extremely upset over the loss of a new home, Junda, Cordova, and the Archive's knowledge. Merrin brought out three books, the only surviving parts of the Archive. An idea struck Cal, and he checked the locator beacon that he had given Bode after their mission to Coruscant. Although originally frustrated at the holo map, Cal saw that there was a faint signal from the Nova Garon system. Recognizing it was likely a trap, the team decided to travel there regardless.[6]

Dritus docked the base at the station, while Cal moved inside between the maintenance shafts and snuck into the hangar. The station was currently in a tense situation, as the Inquisitorius and Vader attempted to impose more control on the ISB. While sneaking past the Control Center, security troops spotted him, putting the base on lockdown and eventually identifying him. Cal managed to fight past the ISB's troops and got into the central office through an air vent. Commander Denvik tried to pull a blaster out on the young Jedi, but Cal effortlessly threw it to the side, pulling his weapon out and demanding Denvik get on the comms. Denvik made an announcement that stated the Jedi had been neutralized and that all forces should stand down. The two started a conversation about Bode, and Cal realized that this commander was the one who had sent him to infiltrate the team. An enraged Kestis stated that Junda was dead because of him, throwing him back into his chair. The desperate officer stated that the planned Jedha raid was still months away and that Akuna had baited the Jedi here to kill him. A frustrated Cal force-pulled him forward violently into his desk, knocking him out.[6]

Cal listened to BD-1's plan of disguising himself using Denvik's clothes and walked calmly through the Imperial base towards Bode's quarters. After doing a Jedi Mind Trick on a sentry, Cal walked inside and started looking through Bode's room, finding the holodisk of Santari Khri that Dagan Gera had been watching. Kestis meandered over to the holo table to play it, but Bode's young daughter, Kata, approached him from behind. Cal introduced himself and BD-1 to her, and she quickly deduced that he did not work there. She moved on to pack her bag, as her dad said they were going on a “trip”, but the girl could not find her doll. Cal helped her find it under the holo table as Bode walked in. His daughter ran to his side and Akuna introduced Cal as his best friend with whom he recently had a fight, saying they were gonna work it out. Cal inquired into how he survived the purge, and Bode told him how he was stationed within Republic Intelligence during the Clone Wars by the Council. Using the skills he learned there, he went into hiding and eventually found a wife. One day, he returned to his house to find his wife killed by Inquisitors looking for him. Bode fled and contacted his old friend Delvin, who offered sanctuary to him and his daughter if he proved useful to the ISB.[6]

Bode claimed that he originally intended Tanalorr to be a refuge for both of their families, but since Cal wanted the Hidden Path, complete strangers to Akuna, to use it, he was forced to betray them. Cal responded by saying that he was a monster, to which Bode replied that he was a father and that Kestis could not understand. Shortly after, he force-pushed the table at him and ran out with his daughter, calling for security. As Cal pursued, he was stopped by dozens of scout troopers and ISB personnel.[6]

Tapping into the dark side, he ruthlessly slaughtered them all and smashed through the door to get Bode. Entire teams of Imperials were cut down as Cal embraced his rage. Unfortunately for the Mantis crew, he was not fast enough to catch up, and Bode escaped in his Z-95. It was at this time that the Inquisitorious attempted to seize control of the base, branding Delvin a traitor to Lord Vader. None of this mattered to Cal, who killed anyone in his path. In the hangar bay, Delvin tried to fire at Cal and was held up by his throat by the Jedi. Only the intervention of Merton saved the ISB Officer. Merrin pleaded with Cal to never embrace the darkness like that again and to warn her if he did. He agreed once he calmed down.[6]

Claiming Tanalorr

While on board the Mantis, he played back the recording and discovered that there was another way into the Koboh Abyss that Santari Khri had pioneered. If all of the arrays were activated and harmonized, it could burn a hole through the nebula. After the news was shared, Dritus contacted Zee to meet Cal at the Central Control Tower underground. Once back on Koboh, Kestis made it to the control center, only to be ambushed by several purge troopers and a variety of Imperials. He suspected that Bode had tipped off the Imperials to this location. After fighting them off, he ordered Zee to wait there until their signal to harmonize the beams.[6]

Kestis, Dritus, and Merrin all boarded the Mantis again and set course towards the Abyss. The combined beam from the Forest Array, Mountain Observatory, and Shattered Moon Facility burned a hole through the clouds of Koboh Matter. Dritus expertly dodged through the debris of the substance but took several hits, making him comment on how it was similar to an obstacle course. Soon, the arrays overheated, and the crew realized they needed much more speed to make it through in time. Cal had to pull the hyperdrive, trusting in the Force for the correct timing. Dritus thought this was suicide and screamed as the emerged into Tanalorr's orbit. Upon realizing they had made it, Merrin and Cal kissed, and the crew rejoiced. Dritus grimly remarked on how he wished it was worth it.[6]

Duel on Tanalorr

Kestis dueled Akuna on Tanalorr.

Merrin and Cal journeyed through the mysterious planet, which was unlike anything they had ever expected. After meeting once again with Kata, who expressed that she did not like the lonely planet, Kestis, BD-1, and Merrin were led by the young girl to the main hall of the temple to confront Akuna. Bode was shocked to see Kestis and Merrin on his planet. Believing it the only way to keep his daughter safe from the Empire, he drew a blaster on the Force wielders, and asked Kata to leave, despite her pleas to stand down. Akuna used the Force to crumble the bridge that separated Kata from the others and ignited Gera's lightsaber to fight Kestis and Merrin. During the duel, he once again used the Force to crumble the structure of the temple, which forced Merrin to exit the battle to protect Kata from debris. Now one-on-one with Kestis, Akuna leveraged his sheer strength to overpower him. Nearly defeated, Kestis embraced the dark side of the Force to overpower Akuna and pin down the older man, holding his lightsaber to his throat. Kestis and Merrin gave Akuna one last chance to relent, begging him to stand down for the good of his daughter. Feigning giving up, Akuna relented but asked Kestis whether he would be able to protect Kata when the Empire inevitably arrived. With Kestis distracted, Akuna sprung into action to put the younger Jedi into a choke hold and threw his lightsaber aside. Kata ran to her father, hoping he would avoid violence, but Akuna pushed her back using the Force and placed Merrin into a powerful Force choke. Kestis managed to throw Akuna off balance, allowing Merrin to throw a dagger into Akuna's right shoulder. Both men scrambled to draw their blasters, but Akuna found his blaster fried and non-functional. Kestis then shot Akuna in the right side of his chest, the resulting pneumothorax causing severe dyspnea. Kestis fired a second shot into Akuna's chest, killing him. Cal nearly collapsed after realizing he had just killed his former friend right in front of his daughter.[6]

Merrin comforted Kata later, telling her how she had also lost her family at a young age, and that moving on was the only way to survive. Kestis carried the bodies of Cordova, Junda, and Bode to their coffins. Merrin used her magick to cremate the bodies as Dritus, Kata, BD-1, and Kestis all gave their respects. Cal stood there for quite some time, reminiscing on the lessons that both his mentors had taught him. He thanked Junda for saving him on Bracca and completing his training, promising that he would control the darkness and build something that would outlast the Empire.[6]

Legacy

During the New Republic Era, Kestis's encounter with the Oggdo Bogdo was documented and included in an entry in "Species From A to Z," a survival compendium sent out by Carson Teva.[20]

Personality and traits

"Our mistakes… are in the past. And it's all of our responsibility and it's about what we do next that's important."
―Cal Kestis[3]
YoungCal-SFO

The death of Jaro Tapal and the fall of the Jedi Order traumatized young Cal Kestis.

Cal Kestis was a Force-sensitive human male with red hair, green eyes, and light skin.[3] He stood 1.82 meters tall.[5] Kestis had several facial scars, including one caused by a clone's blaster bolt during Order 66.[3]By 9 BBY,[18] Kestis had grown a beard.[6]

Before Order 66 was issued, Kestis was part of the Jedi Order as a Padawan. During his time fighting with the 13th Battalion in the Clone Wars, Kestis and the battalion's clones formed a very friendly relationship. The betrayal of the clones due to Order 66, as well as the death of his Jedi Master, Jaro Tapal, left Kestis emotionally shaken. After the fall of the Jedi, Kestis served the Scrapper Guild as a rigger, a dangerous and physically demanding job. Kestis was quiet, hard-working, and well-liked by his colleagues, but generally kept to himself. His only real friend was Prauf.[21]

Cal Profile

Eventually, Kestis came to terms with his loss, and returned to the path of the Jedi.

Kestis would usually refuse to speak of his past, as he was quite haunted by it. He felt that he could have saved Jaro Tapal if only he followed his Master's teachings. He usually reacted with anger or dismissed his past when it was brought up. Eventually, Kestis began to open up more about his past, and when confronted by the dark side of the Force on Dathomir for the second time in the form of his master, Kestis fully accepted his past and grew from the experience, acting much more level-headed and wise, showing an almost mentor-like attitude towards others. Kestis had great respect and compassion for nature. When he visited Kashyyyk the second time, Kestis found an injured shyyyo bird and treated its wound.[3]

When the Shyyyo bird helped Kestis to fly to his destination, Kestis was happy to see that there were many natural beauties in Kashyyyk that the Empire had not yet destroyed. At Dathomir, Kestis showed an impressive respect for life forms. He was attacked by a chirodactyl that persistently tried to kill him, but after perishing during the fight, Kestis mourned its death, saying that he wanted to be able to say that the creature was fine, despite the beast trying to kill him.[3] Despite her great regard for life forms, Kestis was capable of feeling uncomfortable with some beings. The skriton, a predator from the moon Jedha, was an example. Kestis considered him an unpleasant creature.[6] Kestis was extremely selfless, often putting the needs of others above his own.[3]

During his time hiding in Bracca, trying to avoid being found by the Empire, Kestis used the Force to save his friend Prauf when he almost fell to death, even though Kestis knew that put him at risk of being discovered by the Empire. Kestis formed a teacher-student bond with Junda,[3] whom he could trust to always give him a new perspective on matters.[6] When Kestis recovered Eno Cordova's holocron from the Second Sister on Nur, he decided to destroy it to keep Force-sensitive children on the list safe from the Empire, showing concern for those he never met.[3]

Kestis was compassionate and had a strong sense of justice, which drove him to risk his life for others with little personal benefit. Cal's personality enabled to make many friends on his travels across the galaxy. He cared deeply for these friends and comrades and was highly protective of them, sometimes to their own frustration. These qualities had a more negative side, however. Kestis's sense of justice fueled a growing hatred for the Empire, which his friends sometimes worried would consume him. His affection for his friends was matched with rage when they were harmed or killed, which nearly led him to fall to the dark side of the Force after Bode Akuna's betrayal led to the deaths of Junda and Cordova.[6]

Relationship with the Nightsister Merrin

Jedi and Nightsister

Cal Kestis abandoned the rule of the Jedi Code that prohibited attachment and entered into a relationship with Nightsister Merrin.

Kestis first met the Nightsister Merrin when he traveled to Dathomir searching for the Zeffo tomb located there. Merrin warned Kestis that he was trespassing and demanded he leave at once. Cal regretted that he could not do so, and Merrin ordered the nightbrothers to attack him. Merrin's hatred towards the Jedi was driven by her childhood experience of seeing most of her people slaughtered by the forces of a lightsaber-wielding armored warrior, who she believed was a Jedi. Continuing to explore the planet, Cal encountered an eccentric wanderer, who claimed to be an explorer studying extinct cultures, and expressed surprise Cal had survived an encounter with the Nightsister. The wanderer eventually revealed himself to be the fallen Jedi Taron Malicos, who was attempting to study to dark side of the Force. Malicos had manipulated Merrin and the Nightbrothers by playing into the belief that the Jedi had been responsible for the genocide against their people, tricking Merrin into teaching him the secrets of her coven. An enraged Merrin revealed herself to have overheard the conversation, and raised fallen Nightsisters to attack both Kestis and Malicos, both of whom retreated.[3]

Returning to Dathomir sometime later, Kestis again encountered Merrin. Merrin expressed an admiration for his doggedness, but remained hostile to him. Cal attempted to make peace with Merrin by giving her his lightsaber, stating that it wasn't a weapon that made a Jedi who they are. He related that like the Nightsisters, the Jedi had also been hunted into near-extinction. He further explained his mission to protect other Force sensitive children from Imperial persecution. Merrin empathized with Kestis, returning his lightsaber and letting him go to confront Malicos. During his duel with Malicos, Kestis was nearly overwhelmed but was saved when Merrin intervened. The two then worked together to defeat Malicos.[3]

Upon discovering the Astrium, Kestis excitedly proclaimed that it could be the key to rebuilding the Jedi; Merrin expressed that nothing, however, could bring back the Nightsisters. Kestis told her he had been alone for a long time, but life eventually forced him on a path forward. Acknowledging his words, Merrin asked to join him on his travels, rather than continue waiting alone for a chance to avenge her sisters. Kestis accepted. Later, Merrin used her magick to shield the Mantis on its approach to the Fortress Inquisitorius, and rescued Kestis and Junda from drowning during their subsequent escape from the base. She and Kestis shared a hug after he recovered consciousness.[3]

During their years together on the Mantis, Kestis and Merrin gradually grew closer. They battled together and often exchanged playful barbs, though they occasionally quarreled more seriously, such as when Merrin felt he was overprotective. They typically reconciled before long, however. Other members of the Mantis crew, such as Frethylrin, expressed that they seemed to have something special together, though Merrin at the time insisted that Cal simply cared about everybody.[17]

Eventually, the crew of the Mantis parted ways over their disagreements, which included Cal and Merrin. During this separation, the two came to miss each other deeply. In 9 BBY, Kestis reunited with Merrin on Jedha, during his hunt for the hidden world of Tanalorr. The two were glad to see one another again and caught each other up on their respective adventures. Merrin told him he had never been far from her thoughts, no matter how far she traveled. Cal expressed admiration for her altruistic actions during her wanderings, and for her coming to a better understanding of her self-identity. While sheltering in a cave from a sandstorm, Merrin warned Cal against being consumed by his obsession with battling the Empire, and the two shared a tender moment as they huddled together by their campfire. Later, the two embarked on a mission together to Pilgrim's Sanctuary, a Hidden Path safe house threatened by the Empire. When cornered by an Imperial Trident drill, Merrin prepared a dangerous ritual, asking Cal to trust her. When he responded he did, she kissed him. The two then worked together to defeat the war machine.[6]

Merrin rejoined the Mantis crew to assist him in finding Tanalorr on behalf of the Hidden Path, but also because she wished to be close to Cal. Cal was at first reluctant to enter a relationship with her, citing the Jedi prohibition on attachments, but Bode Akuna encouraged him to embrace a future with her. After defeating Rayvis, Cal confided in Merrin that his devotion to battling the Empire and finding Tanalorr would drive him to the dark side. Merrin promised that she and the rest of the crew would support him if he started to falter. After defeating Dagan Gera and recovering the Abyss compass, Cal abandoned the old Jedi Order's insistence on avoiding attachments and began a relationship with Merrin, with the two sharing a passionate kiss on the cliffs of Jedha.[6]

After Bode Akuna's betrayal led to the deaths of Junda and Cordova, Cal and Merrin comforted each other. When Cal's anger towards Akuna nearly drove him to execute the defenseless Lank Denvik, Merrin talked him back from the brink, saying she could not bare to lose him. Cal relented and promised she would not. Kestis and Merrin later confronted Bode Akuna and defeated him together, after giving him multiple chances to surrender. During the funeral of Cordova, Junda, and Akuna, Merrin was the last crewmate to leave Kestis's side. The two remained close in the following days.[6]

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Powers and abilities

Lightsaber abilities

"You're learning."
―The Second Sister, to Cal Kestis[3]
Gorgara

Although his training was incomplete, Kestis' skill with a lightsaber allowed him to face dangerous opponents like the Inquisitors and huge beasts.

As a Padawan, Kestis originally had a single-bladed blue lightsaber until he lost it down a turbolift shaft while trying to deflect blaster shots from clones. In an escape pod, Tapal gave Kestis his damaged lightsaber, and he kept it with him until the crystal broke on Dathomir five years later. Using its remains, Junda's lightsaber and a newly split Ilum crystal on the planet, Kestis built a double-bladed lightsaber that could separate into two lightsabers. Like all Jedi, Kestis' training made him highly athletic beyond the limits of normal beings, which he used to traverse difficult terrain and overpower various enemies with ease.[3]

As he progressed through his journey, Kestis became significantly more competent in the use of his lightsaber and displayed impressive skill in the use of a single-blade, a double-blade, and Jar'Kai dual-blade combat. His skill eventually reached a point where he was able to switch between these three forms while engaged in combat, utilizing strings of attacks in which he would constantly vary his weapon configuration in order to keep his opponents off-balance.[3]

CalVsTrilla

Kestis' skill as a duelist was recognized by the Second Sister after he began to relearn the Jedi arts.

Kestis proved to be a fast learner, as he quickly improved his skills after years of being rusty and having not completed his training. He proved capable of fighting through dozens of well-trained and strong enemies, such as magick-enhanced Nightbrothers, the elite Purge Troopers, and squads of Stormtroopers, as well as contending with imperial Inquisitors: His first two encounters with the Second Sister ended in defeat, though he was able to escape her on both occasion, even receiving praise from the Second Sister for his improvement after contending with her better than he did on their previous duel, stating that Kestis's performance was not bad. After partially healing his damaged connection to the Force, he proved able to defeat the Ninth Sister on Kashyyyk. He also proved capable of fighting relatively evenly with the former Jedi Master Taron Malicos in lightsaber combat, but was overpowered by Malicos' superior strength in the Force and ultimately required Merrin's assistance to win.[3]

When he faced the Second Sister on two more occasions, one in Bogano and one in Nur, Kestis not only stalemated the Second Sister in their first fight before tricking her by suddenly deactivating his lightsaber to overpower her, but in their final duel, he finally defeated her, incapacitating her by injuring her right shoulder, showing how his skill with a lightsaber progressed. However, he was no match for Darth Vader when they faced each other in lightsaber combat, though he managed to fend off his strikes, albeit barely, and hold a bladelock with Vader long enough for BD-1 to shock Vader, giving Kestis the opening he needed to stab Vader in the stomach, though even then he failed to strike Vader down and was swiftly disarmed.[3]

5 years later, Kestis's skills with a lightsaber had grown considerably. During his rematch with the Ninth Sister, despite her own improved abilities, Kestis proved capable of defeating her with much greater ease than he did before on Coruscant. Kestis also was one of the only two along with Dagan Gera to defeat Rayvis in combat, a feat that took multiple Jedi Masters working together to achieve, although Rayvis's skill as a warrior was reduced during the centuries he spent imprisoned after his capture by the Jedi during the days of the High Republic Era, a fact that was noticed by both Gera and Rayvis himself. Kestis proved able to fight on par with Dagan Gera when he was lacking his right arm on their two encounters, but was barely able to hold his ground against the superiorly skilled Jedi Master for a length of time after he had regained the usage of his right arm, requiring the use of his Psychometry to turn Dagan's illusions to deliver the fatal blow. Although bested by Bode Akuna in their first fight, Kestis only lost in this particular instance due to his emotions affecting his fighting prowess and being caught off-guard by Bode revealing his Jedi skills after previously having the upper hand over him. In their second fight, Kestis pushed Bode to his limits when he was expertly combining both his lightsaber and blaster alongside Merrin, and after destroying Bode's blasters, Kestis proved capable of soundly dispatching his former friend in a one-on-one lightsaber duel.[6]

Force powers

"Something happened to me during the Purge. I survived, but my connection to the Force is damaged."
―Cal Kestis, to Cere Junda[3]
Cal Kestis force push JFO

Although his connection to the Force was affected, Kestis knew several ways to use it, which came back as his connection was restored.

After Kestis' connection to the Force was damaged by the trauma he suffered during Order 66, he retained some basic use of the Force, such as the enhanced physicality of a typical Jedi. However, he was only capable of using the Force Stasis ability, having lost the ability to use even the most basic of telekinetic techniques. He also retained his ability to use the rare, naturally acquired gift of psychometry, a Force technique that allowed him to sense the history of objects and people through the Force if he touched them. When Kestis fully healed his connection to the Force, he was able to use telekinetic techniques such as Force push, Force pull, and Force Repulse to great effect, even against groups of enemies or large beasts. He could Force Dash to great effects, especially in offensive ways. He could use the Force to run on walls on short distances and could also use it to swim faster.[3]

Kestis' ability to use his Force Stasis power grew significantly as well, as he was able to hold multiple opponents in stasis at once and even slow down multiple blaster bolts simultaneously. He was also capable of throwing his lightsaber with the Force and utilizing limited telekinetic lightsaber combat, in which he would fling his weapon in a circle around his body with the Force. During his duel with Malicos, he proved unable to free himself from the former Jedi Master's Force Grip. Despite being easily subdued by the Second Sister with the Force in their early duels, Cal progressed to where he was able to overpower her in both lightsaber skills and force abilities during their third and fourth altercations, Force-pushing and disarming her of her lightsaber in their third altercation. However, he was easily outmatched by Darth Vader's Force abilities, as he was neither able to affect Vader nor resist the Sith Lord's telekinetic attacks, though he was resilient enough to pull down a piece of machinery down on Vader while Force-choked by him, only for his attack to be easily repelled and Kestis himself flung aside.[3]

5 years later, Kestis's mastery of the Force had grown noticeably. He had gained skill in mental powers, capable of performing the Jedi Mind trick on various people to sway them to his way of thinking and turn his enemies against one another. Cal learned to create a mental connection with animals, a skill that allowed him to be assisted by different creatures, both in combat and in overcoming adversity in the environment. By the end of his journey to find Tanalorr his Force Slow amplified to where time itself seemed to be frozen, able to affect greater groups of enemies, gaining the ability to Force Crush droids, and utterly overpower Bode with the Force using the Dark Side whereas before he struggled, lifting him off the ground while keeping him paralyzed before crushing his blaster.

Other abilities

A speaker of Galactic Basic Standard, Kestis also understood the droid binary language. Kestis was also a skilled mechanic and was able to repair and modify BD-1 as well as make repairs to his master's damaged lightsaber.[3]

Equipment

"I'm more of a poncho guy."
―Cal Kestis, to ZN-A4[6]
CalKestisFirstLightsaber-FO

Kestis' original lightsaber was lost during Order 66.

During his apprenticeship under Jaro Tapal, Cal Kestis owned and wielded a single-bladed blue lightsaber with a metallic cylindrical hilt and leathery grip. The kyber crystal that powered the weapon was retrieved by Cal from the crystal caves on Ilum when he participated in The Gathering as a youngling. Kestis used the weapon as part of his Jedi training under Tapal and later during the commencement of Order 66. During his escape from Order 66, Kestis lost this weapon when it fell down an elevator shaft after a pair of Clone troopers shot the lightsaber out of Cal's hand.[3]

During the early Imperial Era, Kestis kept the saber of his fallen master while on the run from the Empire. Although the blue lightsaber was originally double-bladed, the weapon had been damaged during Order 66, and subsequently could only emit a blade from one side of the weapon. Kestis used the weapon on several missions during his journey to rebuild the Jedi Order. During a mission to Kashyyyk, Kestis repaired his master's lightsaber, restoring the weapon's second blade. Unfortunately, the weapon was destroyed shortly after by Kestis, who accidentally crushed it during a visit to Dathomir.[3]

CalKestis2ndLightsaber2-TLC

The lightsabers of Jaro Tapal and Cere Junda were combined to create a new weapon for Kestis.

After the destruction of his master's weapon, Kestis constructed a new lightsaber on Ilum. This lightsaber was constructed using parts from Tapal's damaged saber and Junda's. The weapon was double-bladed like Jaro Tapal's, and could also be split into two separate sabers for duel-wielding. The two crystals housed within Kestis' new weapon both came from the crystal caves of Ilum. Kestis subsequently used his new weapon during his second mission to Bogano and the mission to Nur that followed it. Kestis also possessed a comlink, which he used to communicate with the crew of the Stinger Mantis. On Kashyyyk, Cal acquired a rebreather while helping the Partisans, allowing him to freely explore underwater. After defeating Gorgara on Dathomir, Cal found some climbing claws on a dead Nightbrother, letting him reach higher ground much faster and scale the planet's native fire lichen.[3]

CalKestisSecondLightsaber-Survivor

Cal's lightsaber circa 9 BBY

Five years after his encounter with Vader and recovering Eno Cordova's holocron, Kestis would modify his lightsaber from a double-bladed lightsaber to a split saber, which he would often detach and use as a single bladed lightsaber.[6]

LW896-Survivor

Cal Kestis' blaster

As a Jedi Padawan during the Clone Wars, Cal Kestis wore standard earth-colored Jedi robes. These robes included a cream undertunic, a light brown overtunic, a deep brown tabard, a pair of tall deep brown boots, loose-fitting light brown trousers, and a broad sash tied around the waist. Sometime after the near-extinction of the Jedi Order, Kestis stopped wearing his Jedi robes.[3] Kestis owned at least 2 ponchos, with one being blue and orange[3] and another being pink and white.[3][17] Akuna gave Kestis a LW-896 blaster pistol.[6]

Behind the scenes

"Oh, it's no big deal. It's only every kid's freaking dream ever to be a Jedi. I mean it's incredible."
―Cameron Monaghan on playing Cal Kestis at Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019[22]
Inquisitor Cal concept art

Concept art of Cal Kestis' vision of himself as an Imperial Inquisitor

Cal Kestis is the protagonist of the Star Wars video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,[23] which was released on November 15, 2019.[22] He is portrayed by Cameron Monaghan.[22] Before settling on Kestis, the game developers thought about having either an alien or female protagonist, but Kestis was ultimately used because they didn't want to "alienate" the player nor have a female protagonist competing with Rey, the sequel trilogy's protagonist.[24]

The original name formulated for Kestis was 'Boone'. The original name and character designs were meant to evoke a "Clint Eastwood western-like and untrusting" type of character who was quiet and laconic.[25] In May of 2020, Fallen Order received an update allowing the player to play using Kestis' Inquisitor outfit for the duration of the game, though Kestis donning the outfit is non-canon.[26]

Cal Kestis was introduced as a playable character of the same name in the 2015 mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes in 2023, which features characters and ships from both the canon and Legends continuities.[27] When 2023 Topps Star Wars listed Bracca as Kestis's homeworld,[1] Star Wars lore advisor Pablo Hidalgo clarified it was his adoptive homeworld, not his birth homeworld, if it was to be described as the card did.[2] Personally speaking, Hidalgo said he would consider Kestis's homeworld to be Coruscant, being it was the planet where the Jedi of his generation were raised.[28]

Appearances

Non-canon appearances

Sources

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Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Topps logo 2023 Topps Star Wars (Card: Cal Kestis) (backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 19, 2023): "There's a case to be made that he called that home long enough to be a better fit, so it at least works with that definition." (backup link)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 3.47 3.48 3.49 3.50 3.51 3.52 3.53 3.54 3.55 3.56 3.57 3.58 3.59 3.60 3.61 3.62 3.63 3.64 3.65 3.66 3.67 3.68 3.69 3.70 3.71 3.72 3.73 3.74 3.75 3.76 3.77 3.78 3.79 3.80 3.81 3.82 3.83 3.84 3.85 3.86 3.87 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 StarWars-DatabankII Cal Kestis in the Databank (backup link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 AltayaCite "Ahsoka Tano and Other Users of the Force" — Star Wars Encyclopedia
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 6.34 6.35 6.36 6.37 6.38 6.39 6.40 6.41 6.42 6.43 6.44 6.45 6.46 6.47 6.48 6.49 6.50 6.51 6.52 6.53 6.54 6.55 6.56 6.57 Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  7. 7.0 7.1 Brotherhood
  8. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  9. The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  10. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Grievous Intrigue"
  11. The Star Wars Book places the Bracca Invasion to nineteen years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that A New Hope begins in 0 BBY, the invasion must have occurred in 19 BBY.
  12. StarWars-DatabankII Inhibitor chip in the Databank (backup link)
  13. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to 14 BBY.
  14. Jedi Fallen Order - Dark Temple 5
  15. EA-StarWars-Logo Star Wars Jedi: Survivor – Official Reveal Trailer on the official Electronic Arts Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  16. Jedi: Battle Scars dates itself to a few years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order which take place in 14 BBY per Star Wars: Timelines. Therefore, the events of Jedi: Battle Scars must take place in 12 BBY at the earliest. Additionally, the novel dates itself within the years before Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the events of which take place in 9 BBY per the reasoning here. Within Jedi: Survivor, it is also noted the Stinger Mantis crew has been broken up for "years." As the crew are together in Jedi: Battle Scars, the latest it can take place is 11 BBY. Therefore, the events of Jedi: Battle Scars occur between 12 and 11 BBY.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 Jedi: Battle Scars
  18. 18.0 18.1 StarWars Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on StarWars.com (backup link) dates Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to five years after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which in turn take place in 14 BBY per Star Wars: Timelines. As such, Jedi: Survivor must occur in 9 BBY.
  19. EAFavicon-Logo STAR WARS: Jedi Survivor on Electronic Arts' official website (backup link)
  20. TOMlogo "Species From A to Z" — Star Wars - The Official Magazine 114
  21. StarWars-DatabankII Cal Kestis in the Databank (backup link)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 SWYTlogo The Galaxy-Wide Premiere of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Live Panel at SWCC 2019 on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  23. EAFavicon-Logo The Future of EA Star Wars Games on Electronic Arts' official website (backup link)
  24. Answering Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's Lingering Questions by Vader, Leo on Game Informer (July 3, 2019) (archived from the original on November 30, 2019)
  25. Matt Michnovetz Jedi: Fallen Order Interview by Cicchiti, Conor on SWE.com (July 6, 2021) (archived from the original)
  26. EAFavicon-Logo Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order™ Free Content Update on Electronic Arts' official website (backup link)
  27. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
  28. TwitterLogo Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter (August 19, 2023): "(Though I'd probably put it as Coruscant, as that's where a the Jedi of that era grew up)" (backup link)

External links

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