Continuing in our series of the Lightsaber forms used by different characters in the Star Wars universe, the next Jedi on our list is none other than Cal Kestis.
Cal Kestis was and is perhaps one of the most unique characters to ever exist in the Star Wars universe. Introduced to us in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Cal was the first canon Jedi to be introduced entirely through a video game.
Before we go any further, we feel it is our duty to warn you that this article may contain spoilers for the plot of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. So, proceed with caution as we dive into the story of Cal Kestis and the Lightsaber forms he utilizes throughout his journey.
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Who is Cal Kestis?
Hailing from the time of the Galactic Republic and before the time of the Empire, Cal Kestis was an apprentice to Jedi Master Jaro Tapal. He was a Padawan at the time of Order 66 and was witness to how the Clones betrayed his Master and the rest of the Jedi Order.
After escaping Order 66, Cal went into hiding on a scrap planet called Bracca and stayed there until he was called into action by the death of his friend, Prauf. Cal then journeyed throughout the Galaxy with Greez and former Jedi Master, Cere Junda.
Cal was separated from his Master when his training as a Padawan was incomplete and could not master anything more than the basics of Lightsaber combat. This meant that since he went into hiding and never used his Jedi abilities, Cal could not complete his training.
When Cal eventually did come out of hiding, he was extremely rusty with a Lightsaber and was barely able to survive fighting the Second Sister. Despite this, throughout the course of the videogame, we see Cal learn new skills and improve significantly in combat.
Because of this, we will analyze Cal’s Lightsaber fighting styles in two parts, the form he used at the beginning of the game, and the form he used at the end of it. So, without further ado, let us dive into our analysis.
What Lightsaber Form did Cal Kestis use in the beginning and learn?
At the start of the video game, when the player meets Cal on Bracca, we see him wielding a singular Lightsaber. His only other weapon was his use of the Force Push ability, which is arguably the easiest Force ability to master.
Over the course of the game, with the development of Cal’s character and his combat skills, we see him using his Lightsaber more effectively when he uses certain Force abilities along with it. This means that his combat style revolves around a mix of both.
This style of combat, which favors both the Lightsaber and certain Force attacks, is based directly on Form I, Shii-Cho. Shii-Cho involves a very basic knowledge of Lightsaber movements and uses Force attacks such as the Force Push and Force Pull to maneuver enemies into range.
Other than this, during the beginning of the game, when Cal fights the Second Sister for the first time, she comments about recognizing the stance that Cal Assumes before their fight begins. This stance is taken directly from Form VI, Niman’s opening poses.
So, it is safe to assume that most of Cal’s fights, in the beginning, were based on Niman and are given away by his wider attacks that focus less on defense and leave him open to parries and counters.
Despite this, Cal embodies more than just the fighting style that Niman offers. He lives by the Code that Niman is based on, which is to use the Force for peace and try to resolve situations diplomatically before resorting to combat.
Another note to consider here is that in the flashbacks to the training sessions with Jaro Tapal just before Order 66, Cal was training in a parkour-esque course, which shows in his movements later during the game.
This fact, coupled with a few attacks that Cal uses and the way he dodges means that some of his movements are inspired by Form II and Form IV collectively. Makashi and Ataru are based almost entirely on acrobatic movements, which is how Cal utilizes them.
What Lightsaber form does Cal use later in the game?
In the second half of the game, Cal makes two very significant improvements to his Lightsaber and the way he fights with it. Both changes also come with their set of emotional flashbacks and feelings which change the way Cal deals with certain situations.
The first of the two major changes occur after Cal visits Dathomir for the first time in the game. It is here, in a side area that the main story leads you to, that Cal repairs the other half of his Lightsaber.
This results in Cal now being able to wield the Lightsaber with either one or two blades.
Other than the fact that this is extremely reminiscent of Darth Maul’s double-bladed Lightsaber, players find out that this Lightsaber is in fact the same Lightsaber that we see Jedi Master Jaro Tapal use in Cal’s flashbacks.
This upgrade to Cal’s Lightsaber and fighting style shows us further that he is extremely proficient in his use of Niman. Niman is also known as “The Way of The Rancor” and is based on how the Rancor uses both tusks to fight and how they are native to Dathomir.
But this mastery of The Way of The Rancor is not the only thing that Cal achieves. After his upgrade at Dathomir, Cal faces the Force Ghost of his former Master and damages his own Lightsaber in a flurry of emotions.
After this, Cal travels to Ilum in the hope of repairing his own Lightsaber with a new crystal. It is here that Cere gives him his old Lightsaber and Cal eventually merges his old Lightsaber with it to form a one-of-a-kind Lightsaber.
This Lightsaber was capable of being used in three modes. All three of these variations provided their unique edge in combat.
The first was as a single-bladed Lightsaber and the second was the double-bladed variation mentioned above. The newest change allowed Cal to split the Lightsaber apart into two separate blades that he could use individually.
When Cal starts using the dual blades in combat, we see that Cal, like most other Jedi from the Clone Wars era, can use the dual-wielding Lightsaber Form Jar’Kai during combat.
After analyzing all the different ways Cal uses a Lightsaber, and all the different variations of a Lightsaber that he uses, we can confidently identify all the different forms that we see.
Cal Kestis is extremely skilled at using Form I, Shii-Cho, and Form VI, Niman. We also see that he can use both the single-bladed and the double-bladed version of Niman. Lastly, he is also skilled in using Jar’Kai to a certain degree.