Why Quinlan Vos Should Appear in Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Sequel

Quinlan Vos is so similar to Cal Kestis that the two meeting in the next game makes perfect sense - either as allies or enemies...

A Jedi survivor of Order 66, a user of the rare force power of psychometry, in a taboo relationship with a Nightsister, aiding the Hidden Path, on the precipice of turning to the dark side. Cal Kestis? Yeah, all these descriptors fit our favourite ginger Jedi, the protagonist of Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi series. But that’s not who I had in mind, who I was actually describing. All these seemingly specific attributes are shared by two. Star Wars shouldn’t be ashamed of creating, likely on accident, two similar characters but rather embrace it. Use it to the advantage of the next game, likely the final instalment of a trilogy. Cal Kestis… meet Quinlan Vos.

Vos is a character profoundly underused in the canon, with an odd history in the franchise. His first appearance is as a background extra in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in The Phantom Menace but his design caught George Lucas’s eye and he retroactively became a Jedi, appearing in comics. Quinlan became a fan favourite from his role in these no-longer-canon comic arcs before appearing in a single episode of The Clone Wars, paired with Obi-Wan. An unprecedented eight-episode arc for the series, starring Quinlan Vos and written by Katie Lucas, was in production when the series was cancelled, smothering Vos’s true grand arrival into the canon and wider fans’ hearts. Thankfully this arc was adapted into the novel Dark Disciple by Christie Golden, a wonderful read, which details Vos’s almost-fall to the dark side and romance with Nightsister Asajj Ventress.

Rehabilitated by the Jedi, he is briefly mentioned as fighting on Boz Pity in Revenge of the Sith. Then, for so long, nothing. We assumed he died in Order 66 until, years later, a comic book listed him as a wanted Jedi survivor. But it’s just an offhand mention, a bit of fun, surely nothing will come of it. And then Obi-Wan Kenobi happened. Obi-Wan sees Quinlan’s name engraved on the wall of a hideout used by the Hidden Path, confirming he not only lives but is actively helping force-users against the Empire. Surely, such a significant mention of the character is important and heralds his return in an upcoming story? I believe it does and the sequel to Jedi: Survivor is a perfect fit.

Sure, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him team up again with Obi-Wan in a hypothetical second season of Obi-Wan Kenobi but encountering Cal makes more sense to me. It all lines up. In each game, Cal and his issues have been reflected by those around him, going through similar ordeals. In Fallen Order, Cal, his allies, and his enemies were dealing with the trauma of Order 66 and the rise of the Empire. In Survivor, Cal and those around him have to find something to fight for, something to save, without succumbing to the darkness that war makes almost inevitable. In the first game, Taron Malicos was the dark reflection of Cal, the Jedi who allowed his trauma to break him. In the second, it was Bode, a Jedi fighting to save what he loved but being corrupted by that selfish goal. In the third, Quinlan Vos can be the final member of the triumvirate of dark reflections of Cal.

Vos could be a hero or a villain; ally or foe. A man who once again succumbs to the dark side, allowing Cal to see where his path might take him, or a man who has rejected the darkness, learned to grow from it, and can offer valuable guidance for Cal, now without a master, so he can save himself before being fully corrupted. He has experience on drawing from the dark side, which can be read in Dark Disciple, something Cal does in the latter stages of Survivor and is left as an emotional cliffhanger when the credits roll. Not only that but he can offer relationship advice to Cal, Vos being perhaps the only other Jedi who understands his relationship with Merrin and how to balance that with his Jedi piety. Quinlan was always an unconventional Jedi, introduced in The Clone Wars by quoting the Dude from The Big Lebowski, so who better for Cal to talk to about how to be a Jedi during a time where being conventional is impossible?

In many ways, Quinlan Vos feels like the character this game trilogy has been leading towards from the beginning. He is so much like Cal, ludicrously so, and it’d be a shame not to capitalise on that. Vos was even an undercover agent for the Republic during the Clone Wars, just like Bode Akuna, so Cal can come to understand and accept how the friend he was forced to kill was corrupted through Quinlan’s stories and similar experiences. But how do these two Jedi, trying to stay hidden, meet in a massive galaxy? Survivor and Obi-Wan Kenobi has given us the answer: both are currently members of the Path, working along the same chain of safehouses. I’d go as far to say that them not meeting and spending time together in the next game wouldn’t make sense. The set-up, whether accidental or purposeful, is complete. It’s time for the long-gestating Quinlan Vos pay-off.


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