Star Wars Jedi: Survivor had one of the flashier trailers from 2022’s The Game Awards. It had story and gameplay, but didn’t dig too deep into the details. However, Cal Kestis’ actor Cameron Monaghan did reveal more about it after the show, speaking to how Cal has gotten more complex and what core themes he wanted to explore regarding Star Wars‘ morality.
Speaking to Digital Trends, Monaghan said that he was approached during Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order‘s launch party by Game Director Stig Asmussen and was asked what he wanted to see in the sequel. Monaghan said he gave a broad answer, but stated he wanted to see an older Cal with a “more complex, darker, more challenged” outlook. He compared that to the more naïve Cal in the last game and said how the five years between the titles would probably change a person.
“I think that, situationally, if you’re in such a desperate place for so many years and fighting and being a soldier and a tool for resistance, at some point, it’s going to start to change the way you see the world around you,” said Monaghan. “I wanted to explore what that looked like for Cal.”
Monaghan elaborated on that with an interview with IGN. With the imminent threat from the Empire, most people would probably grow more desperate and lonely, even for Cal who is full of “wisdom and a self-awareness.”
“Cal’s worldview is starting to shift, as well,” he said. “Desperate times are calling for desperate measures and it becomes very difficult for him to even understand what it is that he is fighting to protect, or where he should go. You have the Empire rapidly expanding, and very aggressively doing so, and expanding to even the smallest and furthest reaches of this galaxy. And I think that, from his perspective, going from planet to planet and seeing just an increasingly desperate situation must be very, very lonely. I can imagine that that would definitely weigh on someone.”
He then brought it to the larger picture surrounding Star Wars‘ morality as a whole and want to ask what it meant to truly be on the light side. The writing team apparently also had similar feelings.
“The big question I really wanted to ask was: What does it mean to be on the light side of the force?” he continued. “Especially what happens when you have situations that you can’t necessarily win and you’re faced with a challenge where there’s not necessarily a right answer. What does that mean to be a good person?”
Monaghan also teased that players will be surprised at some of Survivor‘s twists and turns. He even told the official Star Wars website that the game is an “emotional rollercoaster” that players would “have to be made of stone” to not be moved.
“Something specifically this story brings is an emotionally complicated center where we’re exploring some challenging questions — questions this character has to face and what that’s going to show to him,” he said. “He’s going to make decisions that I can’t wait for people to talk about. I genuinely want to see what people’s perspective is going to be.”