Star Wars video games give us the means to explore the amazing planets that the franchise has to offer in ways that the movies, and now TV series, never can. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a wonderful example of this and simply reconnoitering the environments of the game may have been what I enjoyed the most. Whereas films give you limited shots and quick glimpses of the alien worlds, the games allow you to explore every inch and angle and feel truly immersed in the environments. Fallen Order succeeded at this with its great mix of worlds, both new and known alike. The brand-new planet of Zeffo was my favourite setting in the game but it was fantastic to also explore planets such as Dathomir, known to fans of The Clone Wars, and the surprise appearance of Ilum. I hope that the sequel, which is almost guaranteed to be happening, continues to introduce new planets to the ever-expanding galactic atlas but I can’t help but wonder about which existing planets from the saga could be perfect locations for this style of video game exploration.
At the top of the list is Coruscant, for several reasons. Other than the briefest of glimpses in the Return of the Jedi special edition and a blurry background in Rogue One, we’ve yet to see the Empire’s capital under imperial occupation onscreen. Fallen Order takes place during the height of the Empire and so a trip to Coruscant could show us the planet, the entire surface of which is made up of one ginormous city, as we’ve never seen it before. Stormtroopers patrolling the streets, TIE fighters monitoring the endless streams of traffic and the Jedi Temple, which Cal could wish to enter to seek out Jedi knowledge or an artifact, is now the Imperial Palace and home to the Emperor himself. After infiltrating the Fortress Inquisitorius on Mustafar’s moon Nur in the first game, I would love to see Cal have to penetrate the heart of the Empire itself in the sequel. The city environment would be unlike anything seen the first game and the diverse range of districts, from the high-end senate district on the surface to the crime-ridden lower levels of the city located deep underground, could offer multiple storytelling opportunities. The map could be labyrinthine in nature, allowing for some fantastic parkour sequences, and maybe the player could explore the level 1313, giving us a taste of what the cancelled Star Wars: 1313 game would have been like and, years later, the cancellation of which still stings.
While Exogol is a fascinating addition to the franchise and Pasaana added yet another desert planet to the roster, it was the planet Kijimi that really stood out to me in The Rise of Skywalker. I just love the look and feel of Kijimi city, the ancient architecture built atop frigid mountains, and despite all the galaxy-shattering events of the film, I found the shot of Poe sneaking through the streets while hiding from the First Order to be one of the most memorable. I’d love to explore it in a game and the city offers several storytelling opportunities too. It used to be home to a Bendu monastery – the Bendu being a name George Lucas floated for the Jedi before he decided on the latter, and since then the word has cropped up throughout Star Wars, most notably as the name of the mysterious creature seen in Star Wars: Rebels. The monastery could be of interest to Cal and Cere, especially given the first game’s interest in the Zeffo species and how they used the force in ancient times. While, according to the visual dictionary, the criminal element at this point in the timeline isn’t as large on Kijimi as it is in The Rise of Skywalker, I don’t see why the Haxion Brood can’t have a small base there or Cal can’t bump into some Spice Runners on the planet. We know that the lovable Babu Frik is 85 years old in the film and so maybe Cal could encounter him in his workshop and the alien could make some needed alterations to BD-1 some 40 years before C-3PO visits in The Rise of Skywalker.
Jedha, a moon rather than a planet, made its debut in Rogue One and the film only scratched the surface of the rich history and potential stories the location has to offer. It’s a world of worship for those who believe in the Force, home to a huge amount of Kyber crystals and an early world visited by the Jedi not long after the founding of the order. It’s the perfect place for Cal, who seeks to discover more about the Jedi Order he finds himself representing in these dark times, to begin his next journey. Jedha offers tomb raiding and I’d love to get up close and explore those huge downed Jedi statues we see during the U-Wing’s approach in Rogue One. Jedha City is also a bustling hub of endless cultures and aliens, and walking the streets Jyn and Cassian will come to navigate a decade in the future would be great fun. Cal also has another reason to visit the holy world of Jedha: Saw Gerrera. I loved seeing Saw in Fallen Order and it gave us insight into the fascinating progression of the character as he slowly gets weirder and crazier in a way only Forest Whitaker can, from The Clone Wars to Fallen Order to Rebels and to his eventual extreme paranoia and craziness in Rogue One. It’d be great to add another instalment to ‘The Increasingly Demented Adventures of Saw Gerrera’ in the sequel and it makes perfect sense for Cal to once again seek out the rebel extremist.
Planet-killing weapons are now a huge part of Star Wars – too much so in my opinion – and before the aforementioned Kijimi and the Hosnian system, the first planetary victim to such an attack seen in the saga was Alderaan in A New Hope. Blowing up a planet really does lessen your chances of actually exploring it but thankfully Star Wars in never shy of a prequel and so I’d love to explore the doomed paradise in the Fallen Order sequel. We saw the quickest of glimpses of Alderaan in Revenge of the Sith, as well as in a few episodes of The Clone Wars and Rebels, but other than the wonderful novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan we haven’t grown attached to the world. And we really should. While Leia watching her homeworld and family be annihilated in front of her is a powerful moment, I think that if we were to explore the planet and fall in love with it in a video game that the Death Star’s fateful strike would hit a stronger emotional chord with the audience. It’s a beautiful planet too, one I’d love to gambol across, whether it be the exquisite cities or the stunning natural landscapes of snow-capped mountains and meadows of grass. Cal could travel to the world to seek out the newfound Rebel Alliance and meet legacy characters like Bail Organa or the underseen Breha Organa. Although, even if Alderaan isn’t featured in the Fallen Order sequel, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’ll appear onscreen in the upcoming Kenobi series.
While I also greatly look forward to the new planets Fallen Order 2 will introduce to the canon, I hope Respawn chooses which legacy planets to feature wisely because there are several which will not only make for wonderful places to sink hours of playtime exploring every nook and cranny, but also add to the history and depth of information of the planets that canon junkies like me will slurp up like a thirsty happabore. So, which planets do you want to see on the holo-atlas aboard the Mantis in the Fallen Order sequel? And what do you make of my choices? Let me know in the comments and be sure to geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.