Cameron Monaghan's Cal Kestis is expected to return for another gaming adventure in Star Wars Jedi 3. Here's what we know so far about its release, plot, characters, and more.
After some turbulent years of Star Wars video games under Electronic Arts (EA) exclusivity, the publisher struck gold in Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment's third-person action-adventure game Jedi: Fallen Order.
The hit Star Wars title put gamers in the shoes of Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan who survived Order 66 due to his master's sacrifice. 2019's Fallen Order spawned a sequel in 2023's Survivor, which was once again praised by players.
The Jedi gaming franchise has even transcended the interactive experience with the new book Battle Scars diving into Cal's story between games.
Star Wars Jedi 3 Release Date: When Will It Come Out?
Fallen Order and Survivor director Stig Asmussen told IGN at the launch of the latest installment how he "always wanted to see this as a trilogy," indicating Jedi 3 is likely to happen, especially given the success of the first two games.
Respawn Entertainment posted various job listings for a new project, indicating Star Wars Jedi 3 had begun development. A job listing for a Senior VFX Artist - via ComicBook - listed experience with Unreal Engine 5 as "a big plus," suggesting the third game may upgrade from Unreal Engine 4.
In the same interview with IGN, Asmussen explained how the upgrade to Unreal Engine 5 - which he called a "pretty safe assumption" - will not "be easy" as the studio developed "proprietary things" for the previous games that will now take time to "get it to work on any new engine:"
"I'm not going to say it's going to be easy. I mean, we have a lot of proprietary things that we've warped the engine into doing what it does for Jedi right now, and we would have to retool some of that to get it to work on any new engine."
Lead actor Cameron Monaghan confirmed at Ocala Comic Con in Florida in September 2023 that Jedi 3 is in development. But his comments seem to indicate the game is very much still in the early stages:
"We're working on the third [game] and we're in the process of doing it right now... So, that's a big undertaking and there's been some conversations so far. But hopefully, when all things are said and done, we'll be able to go in and make something really cool for you guys again."
Fallen Order began development in 2014 and took five years to develop before it was released in 2019, with Survivor following four years later in 2023. As such, Jedi 3 likely won't be released until 2027 or 2028, especially if it does take Respawn extra time to adapt to Unreal Engine 5.
That said, the threequel is also facing an unfortunate setback after Asmussen, who has led development on the last two games in the Jedi franchise, left the studio in September 2023 - via IGN.
A statement from an EA spokesperson confirmed that "veteran Respawn leaders will be stepping up to guide the team" going forward. As of now, Asmussen's replacement as director for Jedi 3 has yet to be announced:
"After careful thought and consideration, Stig Asmussen has decided to leave Respawn to pursue other adventures, and we wish him the best of luck. Veteran Respawn leaders will be stepping up to guide the team as they continue their work on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor."
What Will the Star Wars Jedi 3 Be About?
Towards the end of Jedi: Survivor, protagonist Cal Kestis openly embraced the dark side and used its power to defeat Bode. Going into Jedi 3, the young Jedi will likely continue to be tempted and rely on his companions to bring him back to the light. But perhaps before then, players will get the chance to use some more dark side force powers.
Following the deaths of Cere Junda and Eno Cordova, Cal could begin to take on a bigger role in the Hidden Path, helping shield force users across the galaxy. With the group having now made their way to Tanalorr, the Hidden Path may be using the secret Outer Rim planet as a base by the time Jedi 3 begins.
Fallen Order and Survivor took a five-year time jump between games, and there's always the possibility Jedi 3 may do the same. Setting a gap between adventures would allow time for Cal to grow more powerful, further his relationships, and build up
Cal and Merrin's friendship turned romantic in Survivor, and that will likely only continue to grow in Jedi 3 as she attempts to him on the light side of the force.
Which Characters Will Appear in Star Wars Jedi 3?
Obviously, Cameron Monaghan's Cal Kestis will be back as the lead for Jedi 3, and he will undoubtedly be joined by his Mantis companions of Greez, Merrin, and the ship's latest addition, Bode's daughter Kata.
Even though Jedi Knight Cere Junda was killed by Darth Vader in Survivor, she may be back to continue advising Cal in the next game as a force ghost.
As Cal continues to become a more experienced Jedi, perhaps it may be time to cross paths with others of his kind who would be around in this era such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Yoda, and Kanan Jarrus. He could easily run into any number of Jedi through his newfound connection to the Hidden Path.
Speaking of the Hidden Path, as Cal has closely involved himself with the group, perhaps he could run into some of its members from Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi. For one, O'Shea Jackson's Kawlan Roken could be seamlessly inserted in Jedi 3 as the founder of the Hidden Path is bound to run into Cal at some point.
Darth Vader has appeared in a short role and boss fights in the first two Jedi games, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the Sith lord appear for another cameo in the next installment of the franchise. Perhaps he could even be the one to kill Cal Kestis if this does end up being the final chapter in his journey.
What Consoles Will Star Wars Jedi 3 Release On?
Jedi: Survivor skipped out on the last-gen PS4 and Xbox One altogether at launch, however, the studio has since begun "early development" on a port to the old consoles, despite original plans to avoid them for a “true new-gen experience.”
During the FTC trial for Xbox's acquisition of Activision Blizzard - via IGN - court documents revealed Microsoft's expectation for the next generation of consoles to begin in 2028 with the PlayStation 6 (PS6) and whatever Xbox may call its next machine.
If Jedi 3 does fall on the latter end of release estimates to debut in 2028, there's a chance it may be released on both the current and next-gen consoles.
Or, at the very least, it will likely see a port to PS6 and the next Xbox, just as Fallen Order came to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, two years after its original release.
Will Cal Kestis Ever Appear in Live-Action Star Wars?
The character design of Cal Kestis serves as a near-perfect recreation of voice actor Cameron Monaghan, so Lucasfilm certainly wouldn't have a tough time bringing the young Jedi to live-action or finding the actor to play him.
Insider Kristian Harloff shared a rumor in June 2022 from "someone [he's] trusted in the past" claiming that Cal Kestis is set to lead a live-action Disney+ show, with Monaghan supposedly signed on.
When Monaghan himself was asked about taking Kestis to live-action, the actor was reluctant to comment but teased how "there's interest:"
"Well, of course there's interest. That's about all I can say."
The actor later stated in December 2022 that the focus is on ensuring Kestis has "a satisfying arc within the games," seemingly casting doubt on a live-action crossover, at least for now:
"It’s been really amazing doing it within the video game space because I think games are vastly under-explored and underutilized, and are only really getting their due in this moment — people are looking at games and seeing they’re incredible and moving and significant. So my priority right now is to make sure we have a satisfying arc within the games."
As franchise director Stig Asmussen confirmed he "always wanted to see this as a trilogy," Star Wars Jedi 3 may well wrap up Cal's gaming adventures. And with that character arc complete, the chances of Monaghan bringing his Jedi to live-action will only rise, without any risk of spoiling or limiting the games.
In terms of what era Cal Kestis could show up in, one would assume he would have his strongest chances of appearing in the Reign of the Empire era that spans the times between Episodes 3 and 4. For now, the only projects announced for this era are Lando and Andor Season 2, neither of which is likely to involve Cal.
The MandoVerse may offer one avenue for Cal Kestis to come to live-action, but by that time the Jedi ought to be in his late 30s. Then again, any chance of the young Jedi appearing in any post-Jedi 3 adventures will hinge on him surviving what may be his final gaming outing.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Survivor are available now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, with the former also available for PS4 and Xbox One.