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Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Ending Explained - What's Next For Cal Kestis?

When Respawn set out to create a sequel to "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order," it had a specific goal in mind: growth. It laid the groundwork with the first entry and sought to reach the next stage of the series' evolution. "For the second game, it was like, 'okay, we learned a million things, we've heard so much feedback, we have internal feedback and player feedback," Lead Producer Paul Hatfield explained to VGC. "Let's put that all together and put a bow on it for the second go around."

The studio followed through on its objective, delivering a larger and more refined second installment in the form of "Star Wars Jedi: Survivor." The title kicks off five years after the events of its predecessor, introducing players to an older and more experienced Cal Kestis. By the start of the narrative, the original crew members of the Stinger Mantis have all gone their separate ways. Meanwhile, focused on weakening the Empire, Cal continued his work as a resistance fighter.

"Survivor" unveils several new characters while bringing key figures from "Fallen Order" back into focus. By the close of the game, it's easy to see why Cal actor Cameron Monaghan described the setting as "an extremely dark point" in the franchise's timeline, resulting in a "situation for a Jedi [that] has never been worse ... " The narrative tests the protagonist in ways he has never had to contend with before, with the ending raising questions about the path Cal will take. Where does the central cast end up by the close of "Survivor"? And what does this mean for the future?

A glimmer of hope in a bleak world

Despite the efforts of the resistance, the Empire has only expanded its influence. Every day, Cal and others like him struggle to hold onto hope as the world around them grows ever more perilous. The emphasis on survival in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds makes itself known early in the game. Cal loses every member of his new crew in the first mission and the death count only grows higher as the story progresses.

This leads to the core conflict of "Star Wars Jedi: Survivor": control of Tanalorr, a planet that has escaped the Empire's notice due to its placement on the other side of the ship-destroying Koboh Abyss. Multiple parties, including Cal and his friends, want to claim the location as their own. The heroes want to turn it into a safe haven for themselves and the Hidden Order. In contrast, the fallen High Republic Jedi Dagan Gera wants to use it as a base to create a new Jedi Order that will allow him to seize control of the galaxy.

Dagan, assisted by Koboh crime boss Rayvis, looks like the main antagonist for much of the story. However, the developers clearly wanted to push Cal to a potential breaking point – a moment when all hope may indeed be lost – which they accomplish through a twist in the third act.

Bode's quest to protect his daughter

Players meet mercenary Bode Akuna during the opening mission of "Star Wars Jedi: Survivor." Bode serves as one of Cal's AI companions, with the pair having forged a close connection while taking on jobs for the Resistance. Together, the duo defeats Dagan and Rayvis, securing the compass they need to safely reach Tanalorr. In the wake of this victory, Bode reveals his true colors.

Bode views Tanalorr as the perfect bolthole for himself and his daughter, far away from the grasp of the Empire. It comes to light that Bode was a Jedi knight prior to the execution of Order 66. Much like Cal, he has spent years attempting to stay off the Inquisitorius' radar, though the group eventually caught and killed his wife. Alone and on the run with their daughter, Kata, Bode called on a connection within the Imperial Security Bureau. He agreed to work as the agency's spy in exchange for protection from the Inquisitorius for himself and Kata.

After years of hiding, loss, and trauma, Bode will sacrifice anything to preserve his daughter. In addition to stealing the only remaining Tanalorr compass, Bode alerts the Empire to the location of the Hidden Order base and murders Jedi Master Eno Cordova. This decision unleashes a chain reaction of deadly consequences as Bode tries to ensure that no one remains who knows about Tanalorr.

Cere resists until the very end

Much of the "Star Wars Jedi" series centers on how to fight back against the Empire. The core characters have varying viewpoints on this complex subject, which ultimately pushes the OG Mantis crew in diverging directions before "Survivor." Cal chooses to join Saw Gerrera as a resistance fighter, while his mentor, Cere Junda, teams up with her old master and Merrin to restore the Jedi Archive. Their work also supports the Hidden Path, an underground network that helps Force-sensitive individuals evade the Empire and establish cover identities.

Cere found the road to resistance through great pain. After reconciling with her former padawan, Trilla Suduri, in "Fallen Order," she could only watch as Darth Vader murdered Trilla moments later. With Trilla's final words, "Avenge us," echoing in their thoughts, Cere and Cal managed to escape the Sith Lord. Though Cere repaired her connection with the Force and dedicated herself to the Hidden Path, she could never forget the part she played in Trilla's transformation into the Second Sister and her inability to prevent her former padawan's anguish and death.

Ultimately, Cere resists to the very end, sacrificing her life to prevent more Force sensitives from falling into the Empire's clutches. As Bode betrays the group, the Empire's forces arrive at Cere's base. For a brief sequence, Cere becomes the player character as she retrieves the Hidden Path's contact codes from the Archive. Upon achieving her objective, Darth Vader appears, and an intense lightsaber duel unfolds. While she does not manage to avenge Trilla, Cere puts up a good fight and wounds Vader. After the Sith Lord runs her through with his lightsaber and limps off, Cere utters Cal and Trilla's names before dying in the former's arms.

Bode and Cal walk the same perilous path

In many respects, Bode and Cal's experiences mirror one another. The Great Jedi Purge forced them to hide their true natures and maintain a lonely existence. During this endless scramble for survival, they each managed to connect with people they cared about – a wife and daughter in Bode's case and a found family in the form of the Stinger Mantis crew for Cal. As the stakes grow ever higher, they must figure out how to best safeguard those most precious to them. Both fail in this endeavor: Bode loses his spouse to the Inquisitorius and Cal loses Cere to Darth Vader.

These losses send Bode and Cal down a perilous road. Bode lies and kills in the name of protecting Kata. In the wake of his big betrayal, he manipulates Cal into following him to Nova Garon and decimating the ISB. Cal calls on the Dark Side to cut a bloody path to Bode, who manages to spirit Kata away to Tanalorr. With Merrin's help, Cal avoids losing himself to the darkness. They rendezvous with Greez and Zee, and the latter provides them with an alternate route for pursuing Bode and reaching Tanalorr.

Cal and Merrin confront Bode on the planet, attempting to get him to surrender. Much like the moment when Merrin pleads with Cal not to give in to the Dark Side, Kata begs her father to stop fighting. Bode won't back down and proves too much for Cal and Merrin to overcome. To gain an edge, Cal once again turns to the Dark Side. After defeating Bode, Cal gives him another chance to surrender, but he refuses and attacks once more. Seeing no other choice, Cal kills his former friend with a blaster – the same blaster Bode himself gifted to Cal earlier on.

Merrin and Cal find a light in the darkness

"Fallen Order" saw Merrin and Cal bonding over their shared experiences as survivors of the Order 66 massacres. Like the other Mantis crew members, Merrin eventually chose to go her own way as their approaches to fighting the Empire diverged. She returns at some point prior to "Survivor" to aid the Hidden Path, which allows her to reunite with Cal on Jedha during the events of the game.

Cal and Merrin quickly fall back into sync, with the Nightsister joining Cal as an AI companion for certain combat encounters. Sparks fly as the pair makes their way to Cere's base and Merrin shares tales of her galaxy-spanning travels. They get cozy around a fire after a storm forces them to seek shelter in a cave. Merrin reveals that her adventures helped her uncover her true identity – one not limited by her past on Dathormir. In a later scene, the two share a kiss, kicking off their romance.

Thanks to their growing connection and tragic pasts, Merrin helps Cal see another way forward. Rather than letting his cause devour him, as Dagan did, Cal chooses to move in a different direction. He decides to leave the constraints of the Jedi Order and its rules against forming attachments behind, fully embracing his feelings for Merrin. From that point forward, she serves as something of a North Star for Cal, reminding him of what matters when the Dark Side threatens to take over.

Kata does not have an easy road ahead

After the final "Star Wars Jedi: Survivor" conflict comes to a close, Kata and the remaining Mantis crew honor the deaths of Cere, Eno, and Bode by giving them a proper funeral. Cal and Merrin agree to take responsibility for Kata, who, like them, now has no family – an outcome they played a part in. With Tanalorr secured, they decide to use it as a secret base for the Hidden Path, allowing them to continue to resist the Empire's stranglehold on the galaxy.

Cere shows up to impart one last bit of wisdom, though not in the traditional guise of a Force ghost. She tells Cal to "Guide her through the darkness" before disappearing once more. Though not stated explicitly, Cere's admonishment likely refers to Kata, who shows signs of Force-sensitivity earlier in the game. Given this and his commitment to keeping her safe, Cal will probably take Kata on as his padawan, which could feature in the plot of a sequel. Whether this occurs or not, Kata will either have to learn to live with her grief or succumb to it — no easy task for someone her age and in her situation.

Where does the Star Wars Jedi series go from here?

Not long before the release of "Survivor," director Stig Asmussen told IGN that he "always wanted to see this as a trilogy." Given that EA had already approved plans for a follow-up before the original "Star Wars Jedi" entry had even come out, Asmussen's hopes for a trilogy seem well-founded.

The team at Respawn has already considered what a third installment might look like. The ending of "Survivor" left multiple plot threads for the developers to pursue. If Cal does decide to train Kata in the Force, Cere's words could indicate that the orphan will face her own struggles with the Dark Side. So much violence and loss may have left a mark on the child, causing her to harbor resentment toward Cal for killing her father. The series could even pull a "The Last of Us 2" and make Kata the player character of the next game.

Cal may succumb to the Dark Side

Rather than focusing on Kata, Respawn may choose to keep Cal at the center of the narrative and further explore his brushes with the Dark Side as he aids the Hidden Path. Throughout "Survivor," he expresses concerns about succumbing to this influence, eventually admitting that he "almost lost himself" and that he's not sure he's prepared to face what lies ahead. Like Cere once was, Cal is afraid, and he has more to lose now.

Since Merrin helped stop him from giving in to the Dark Side throughout the narrative of "Survivor," her death or even a less permanent separation could see Cal finally slip over the edge in the sequel. The series has explored this idea in multiple forms, while also establishing that it's possible, though difficult, to shake off the Dark Side's hold even after many years. The person in question just might not live to tell the tale.