- "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
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 and Ninth Sisters, 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.
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 the ice planet Ilum and participated in The Gathering, a rite of passage where Jedi younglings retrieved a kyber crystal to build their lightsabers.
Kestis was still a youngling when the Clone Wars began in 22 BBY. 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.
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. 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.
- "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
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.
In 19 BBY, 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.
The Clone Commander, along with the clone troopers in his battalion, turned against their Jedi leaders as a result of the behavioral modification biochips that compelled the clones to comply with Order 66. 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.
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. The Jedi still managed 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.
Age of the Empire
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
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. Although Kestis concealed his Jedi past while living on Bracca, he secretly kept the lightsaber that belonged to his late Master, effectively replacing the one that he lost on the Albedo Brave. In 14 BBY, Kestis and his friend Prauf were at work, and when an accident put Prauf's life at risk, Kestis was forced to use the Force to save him.
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 contingent of Purge Troopers, the Second Sister and the Ninth Sister interrogated several members of the Scrapper Guild. Kestis witnessed the Second Sister's execution of Prauf, who voiced his frustration about the Empire, leading Kestis to reveal himself as a Jedi by attacking the Second Sister with his lightsaber. 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.
As Kestis fled from the Inquistors and their troops, he was helped 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 has the rare ability to see the history of an object when he touches 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.
- "I guess you were the someone I was supposed to meet."
- ―Cal Kestis to BD-1
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 he, 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.
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.
Upon returning, Kestis told about the holocron and discovered that Cordova had been Junda's master. As Greez 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 earlier 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 said 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.
Kestis believed he could not hide from the Empire forever, so he thought he had no choice but to participate in the mission, but Junda said that as long as he is alive, he always has a choice. Greez 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.
The Tombs of Zeffo
- "You better get moving. There's a lot to learn here."
- ―Cere Junda, to Cal Kestis after landing on Zeffo
On Zeffo, Kestis learned that the Empire occupied 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 deal with. 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.
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
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. Shortly after escaping that threat, Kestis came upon a Wanderer, who claimed to be studying Zeffo ruins.
Assisting the Kashyyyk Resistance
- "What do you want with Tarfful?"
- ―Saw Gerrera and Cal Kestis
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 liberate 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.
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 liberate, 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.
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
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 seemed 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. As Kestis escaped into Miktrull's Tomb, he tried to call Junda but was interrupted by the Second Sister slicing his comm.
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 shoot the sarcophagus down. Finding himself falling into certain death, Kestis again was able to improve 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 of course have to find. Before he was able to return to the Mantis, Kestis was captured by a Haxion Brood bounty hunter.
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 burst 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.
Journey to the Origin Tree
- "Not bad for trash."
"What about for a Jedi?"
- ―The Ninth Sister and Cal Kestis
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.
On the way up to the Origin Tree, Kestis and BD-1 encountered a wounded shyyyo bird. After healing it, 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 hold another. Just as they were leaving, the Ninth Sister attacked. After a fierce battle, Kestis emerged victorious by cutting 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 run back to Dathomir.
Trials on Dathomir
- "Yes. My blood is on your hands, apprentice. You are a failure. A weakling. A traitor. You are no Jedi."
- ―The Jaro Tapal's specter and Cal Kestis
Returning 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 devastating crash that killed Gorgara, and Kestis was able to get back on track.
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 Tapal's spirit, resulting 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 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.
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
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 all around he. 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 water. 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. Kestis combined Junda's and Jaro's hilts, creating a new, double-bladed lightsaber.
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 reinforcements. The Empire eventually reversed the slice, but it gave Kestis and BD-1 enough time to get back to the Mantis, and the crew escaped back to Dathomir.
Retrieving the Astrium and the holocron
"You were wrong to return here 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
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. 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 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 against her.
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.
Kestis and BD-1 brought the Astrium to the Vault and opened the holocron. Kestis was swept into a vision of a potential future if he kept and used the holocron. It showed younglings training and calling him master, 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, the Second Sister stood before him. After a drawn-out duel, Kestis pulled her lightsaber towards himself, 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 were gone. 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.
Encounter with Darth Vader
- "You would be wise to surrender."
- ―Darth Vader and Cal Kestis
Chasing after the Second Sister, Kestis and Junda ventured into the Fortress Inquisitorius on Nur to retrieve back the holocron. Kestis defeated all the imperial forces on his way and saw Junda fighting three Purge Troopers 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 away 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 forget, but Suduri said that she was stronger because of the pain and that she knew that Kestis would return by the holocron before saying that he wouldn't leave there alive.
Kestis defeated the Second Sister by hurting 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 near and quickly yelled "Avenge us!" to Kestis and Junda before Vader struck her down. Kestis and Junda activated their lightsabers in response to the danger Vader posed.
Junda leaped for Vader head-on with the Second Sister's lightsaber. This proved ineffective, as the Sith Lord was able to 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.
When Kestis opened the door to his escape, Vader was already there waiting for him. Vader was able to push him to the ground and stagger him, 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 finishing blow, he sensed Junda coming 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, 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.
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 put up a bubble to block his attack. Seeing how easily this could fail, Kestis used the Force to destroy the already damaged glass holding the water out, which forced Vader to avoid that instead of defeating 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.
Kestis woke up on board Mantis with Greez 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 to where they would go now.
By 9 BBY, whilst the majority of the Mantis crew had vanished, Kestis and BD-1 continued to travel together. In 9 BBY, Kestis fought an individual with a red lightsaber in a lightsaber duel. During the duel he lost his lightsaber which was then delivered to an Imperial Pau'an Senator, who had made a dangerous deal with the lightsaber wielder to track him down. He also discovered an individual in a bacta tank.
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
Cal Kestis was a Force-sensitive human male with red hair, green eyes, and light skin. He stood 1.82 meters (5 foot, 9 inches) tall. Kestis had several facial scars, including one caused by a clone's blaster bolt during Order 66.
Before Order 66 was issued, Kestis served in 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.
Kestis would usually refuse to speak of his past, as he was quite haunted by it. He felt that he could have saved his Master 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 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 his wound.
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 who persistently tried to kill him, but after it died during his fight, Kestis mourned his death, saying that he wanted to be able to say that the creature was fine, despite trying to kill him. Kestis was extremely selfless, often putting the needs of others above his own.
During his time hiding in Bracca, trying to avoid being found by the Empire, Kestis used the Force to save his friend Prauf when Prauf almost fell to death, even though he knew he risked the Empire discovering his Jedi identity. When Kestis recovered Eno Cordova's holocron from the Second Sister at 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.
Powers and abilities
- "You're learning."
- ―The Second Sister, to Cal Kestis
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.
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. His skills allowed him to hold his own against Imperial Inquisitors and defeat their Purge Troopers.
His first two encounters with the Second Sister ended in defeat, though he was able to escape her on both occasions: The Second Sister even praised him for the rate of his improvement in their second fight, 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 stood up to the former Jedi Master Taron Malicos, but his skills ultimately proved insufficient to defeat him alone, with Malicos remaining easily equal with Kestis blade-to-blade in addition to overpowering him with the Force, requiring Merrin's assistance to win.
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.
- "Something happened to me during the Purge. I survived, but my connection to the Force is damaged."
- ―Cal Kestis, to Cere Junda
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the lightsaber of Cere Junda. 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.
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 single-blade.
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.
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
Cal Kestis is the protagonist of the Star Wars video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which was released on November 15, 2019. He is portrayed by Cameron Monaghan. 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. 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.
- Brotherhood audiobook
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (First appearance)
- Jedi Fallen Order - Dark Temple 5 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Notes and references
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- "Ahsoka Tano and Other Force Users" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Jedi Pocket Expert
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- 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.
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes place five years after the Great Jedi Purge, which is dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Therefore, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is set in 14 BBY.
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is set five years after events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order which took place five years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Therefore, the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order must have taken place around 14 BBY and therefore Star Wars Jedi: Survivor' must take place five years later in 9 BBY.