Fallen Order Sets Up Cal & Merrin’s Romance

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Cal Merrin Romance

Cal and Merrin’s romance takes up a small part of Jedi: Fallen Order, but it’s a great example of how to do a romance subplot in an AAA game.

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Cal Merrin Romance

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order takes time to carefully set up a romantic relationship between its lead, Jedi Cal Kestis, and Nightsister magick-wielder Merrin. Jedi: Fallen Order is one of the best Star Wars games in recent years. Its story is long and in-depth, so it would have been easy to ignore a romantic subplot entirely, and while Cal and Merrin’s developing relationship doesn’t take up a large part of the game’s story, the relationship is definitely there. It even plays an important part in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s ending. Cal and Merrin’s relationship is built slowly and intentionally.

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[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.]

Fallen Order takes place five years after Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith. The Jedi Purge of Revenge of the Sith has already happened, and the story of Fallen Order focuses on Padawan Cal Kestis as he struggles to survive and save other people like him. Merrin is a Nightsister. In the Star Wars universe, Nightsisters use the dark side of the force and a secret power from their home planet. They were introduced in the 1994 Star Wars Expanded Universe novel The Courtship of Princess Leia. Though this novel and other Expanded Universe material were made non-canon, the Nightsisters were adapted into an important Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode and other canon materials including Jedi: Fallen Order.

Related: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Needs Playable Merrin

In the same way that Cal is one of the few remaining Jedi after the Jedi Purge, Merrin is one of the few remaining Nightsisters after most of them were killed by General Grievous. Cal and Merrin meet when Cal travels to the Nightsisters’ planet to retrieve an important artifact. He’s attacked by Merrin because Merrin mistook Grievous for a Jedi. However, she joins Cal’s group once she learns what happened to him. Later, Cal explains to his team that he would’ve died on the planet without her. Merrin expresses that she sees him as an ally and that she wants to learn more about him. Then of course, when Cal fights Darth Vader at Fallen Order’s end of the game, Merrin dives into the water to save Cal and his master Cere. This way, Cal and Merrin’s connection with each other and feelings are slowly built up throughout Jedi: Fallen Order.

Cal & Merrin’s Relationship In Fallen Order Is A Romance Subplot Done Right

Cal and Merrin Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

Writing in video games is hard, and writing a compelling relationship between characters is especially hard. In video games, it’s easy to force two characters together without building up their relationship or to bog down a story with needless romance. Jedi: Fallen Order avoids both of those pitfalls. It’s good that Merrin and Cal have so much in common. They can empathize with each other’s suffering, but Cal differs from other Star Wars Jedi survivors, and he and Merrin bring their unique perspectives to the table. Not many scenes have to be devoted to their friendship because it feels natural. It’s unusual to see a non-Jedi character that equals and complements a Jedi’s abilities. As a Nightsister, Merrin has powers that are very different from Cal’s but don’t make him obsolete. Cal and Merrin’s story is a great example of a video game romance subplot done well. Not every game needs to have romance, but more can learn from Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order’s example.

Despite Jedi: Fallen Order’s portrayal of a unique and budding romance, some fans feel a Cal-Merrin romance would insult Jedi: Survivor. and that the sequel should veer away from it. But it seems unlikely that Fallen Order wasn’t setting up future events, as both characters are shown to be on equal footing and can empathize with each other, strengthening their connection in a way that makes it seem like Jedi: Survivor’s path is at least somewhat set. Either way, as Jedi: Fallen Order becomes more important for Star Wars as a franchise, it’s clear that there’s more to come from Cal and Merrin’s story.