The Mandalorian: Is Cal Kestis the Jedi Who Will Find Grogu?

The Mandalorian is teasing the return of another Jedi character before the end of season 2. Could that Jedi be Cal Kestis?

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order Cal Kestis
Photo: Electronic Arts

This Star Wars article contains spoilers.

Ever since Ahsoka Tano sent Mando and Grogu to Tython to find a Jedi who could train the little baby Yoda, fans have been speculating whether this means that yet another classic character from the saga is set to appear on The Mandalorian. At a time when there are so few Jedi left in the galaxy, the list of potential cameos is short, and at the very top is Luke Skywalker, who is arguably the most powerful Jedi still active five years after Return of the Jedi. Other possibilities include fan-favorite Rebels protagonist Ezra Bridger or even another Jedi from the old Legends continuity, such as Kyle Katarn or Mara Jade.

But some fans seem to be convinced that the Jedi who will swoop in at the last second to save Mando, Grogu, and friends from Moff Gideon, the Dark Troopers, and the Empire is none other than Cal Kestis, the Jedi first introduced in the 2019 video game Jedi: Fallen Order. While Kestis isn’t quite as high-profile as some of the other potential cameos The Mandalorian could deploy, his story in the game could point to him playing a much larger role in the rebirth of the Jedi Order.

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Once a Jedi padawan who fought in the Clone Wars, Cal was forced to hide his true identity after Order 66 wiped out the Jedi Order. At the start of Jedi: Fallen Order, we find Cal working in a ship-breaking yard on the planet Bracca. But when he’s forced to use his powers to save a falling friend, he catches the attention of the Empire and the Inquisitors, who launch a campaign to hunt him down. The rest of the game is a race across the galaxy to stop the Empire from exterminating other Force-sensitive people like him.

As far as noble Jedi go, Kestis is a pretty good example. While he has to cut down animals and people alike over the course of the adventure, Cal also tries to avoid being the aggressor and has a love for life in all of its forms. He believes strongly in the philosophy of the light side and his ultimate goal is to restore the Jedi Order and build a new temple.

Since he was raised in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant before its destruction, Cal knows all about the Order’s most sacred traditions and philosophies. Unlike Luke Skywalker or Ezra Bridger, for example, he both knows exactly what the old Jedi were like and fully agrees with their way of doing things (unlike Ahsoka Tano). Were he to meet Grogu (or Luke), Cal would be someone who could pass on quite a bit of first-hand knowledge about the Jedi life that you won’t find in any sacred texts.

Cal and his master Cere Junda, another secret Jedi Knight, survive their fight with the Empire in the game and even an encounter with Darth Vader, giving Jedi: Fallen Order a somewhat happy ending, although Cal is forced to destroy a Jedi holocron that could lead him to a whole new generation of Force-sensitive children. Despite what the holocron could mean for rebuilding the Order he loves, Cal can’t risk the list of names falling into Imperial hands. But it’s still possible Cal has spent the last few few decades looking for others like himself, which would make him finding Grogu all the more captivating.

The math should work, too. Jedi: Fallen Order takes place in 14 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), five years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. While we don’t know how old he was during his adventure in the game, you could make a reasonable guess that he’s in his early 20s. The Mandalorian takes place 23 years after Jedi: Fallen Order, which means Cal would be in his 40s were he to return for Grogu. Could 27-year-old Cal actor Cameron Monaghan pull off 40? Maybe with a bit of makeup!

But are we even sure he’s alive? We have no idea what happened to him after the end of the game, although the success of Jedi: Fallen Order probably means we’ll find out in a sequel eventually. It’s also possible that Cal is dead by the time of The Mandalorian. After all by the end of the game, he still has years of Imperial persecution ahead of him…

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The Mandalorian season 2 has so far been very willing to bring in wild cameos (Ahsoka’s transition from animation to live action being the highlight) and Star Wars lore deep cuts. It’s a story very much focused on the non-Force sensitive Din Djarin, but Ahsoka’s appearance showed that the creators think Jedi mysticism has a place in the space Western as well.

Keep up with all of The Mandalorian season 2 news here.

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