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Star Wars Jedi Survivor deserves some Horizon Forbidden West-style DLC

Star Wars Jedi Survivor is great, but the ending of this PS5 and Xbox game needs to be expanded with DLC similar to Horizon Forbidden West’s The Burning Shores.

Star Wars Jedi Survivor DLC Horizon Forbidden West: Bode, angry on Tanalorr in the Star Wars game

Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi Survivor is easily one of the best Xbox Star Wars games of all time, and it’s certainly one of the best PS5 Star Wars games available at the moment. However, as excellent as this adventure is, it really could do a better job of setting up its sequel; just like Jedi Fallen Order, it ends quite abruptly – and that really is a shame given how fantastic the storytelling is throughout the rest of the game. How do you fix that? Quite easily. Star Wars Jedi Survivor needs narrative-driven DLC, and Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Forbidden West expansion, The Burning Shores, is the perfect blueprint for it to follow.

Before we continue, if you want to avoid Star Wars Jedi Survivor spoilers, it might be worth bookmarking this page and coming back when you’ve finished; I am going to be talking about the end of this game, the end of Jedi Fallen Order, and the end of Horizon Forbidden West – a little bit.

In the final stages of the Jedi Fallen Order story, you storm the imposing Fortress Inquisitorius on Nur, go toe-to-toe with the rage-filled Second Sister Trilla Suduri, and then face-off against the imposing Dark Lord of the Sith: Darth Vader. It’s an intense and emotional final few moments – an epic conclusion to an important journey of self discovery for Cal Kestis and a set of truly memorable moments for anyone who’s played through them.

Following that, though, after you make your desperate escape and find yourself back on the Stinger Mantis with Cere Junda, Greezy Money, and Merrin, you see Cal make the important decision to destroy the Jedi Holocron you’ve been chasing after the entire game – a decision that reflects his true nature as a Jedi, prioritizing the safety of others above all else. It’s the most important moment in the game, a poignant moment in which Cal accepts the advice of his Jedi Master Jaro Tapaal – to trust only in the force.

Then the game abruptly ends with Cal saying “so, where to now?” That’s it.

I’ll admit, for Jedi Fallen Order, this open cliffhanger ending works quite well. The abrupt ending is charming, in a way, and the destruction of the Jedi Holocron is a significant milestone in the story being told. You haven’t taken down The Empire yet, but there’s still a Galaxy out there waiting to be explored. So, why wouldn’t Respawn end this adventure on a lighter, hopeful note?

Star Wars Jedi Survivor DLC Horizon Forbidden West: an image of Cal and Merrin on Jedha

Fast forward to the ending of Jedi Survivor, though, and it’s a different story – literally and figuratively. This sequel ends, after a bit of betrayal and the loss of Cere to the indomitable Darth Vader, with Cal and Merrin effectively adopting Bode Akuna’s daughter, Kata, and vowing to help continue the work of The Hidden Path. It’s a noble objective, and a conclusion that offers Cal direction – unlike Jedi Fallen Order’s ending. Albeit loose and undefined, an objective has been set and you know – roughly – where this story is going next.

However, as thankful as I am that Respawn has offered us a little more to go on this time around, the ending itself feels a little half-baked. It’s offering us some direction, but there’s nothing substantial there; who Cal wants to be is becoming clearer to him, and we deserve an ending that similarly offers more clarity.

Respawn is teasing us with a Galaxy of possibilities loosely tied together with the broad notion of helping the Hidden Path. While that might not be the worst thing in the world, going into the inevitable threequel, we really do deserve more from this ending. The loss of Cere hits Cal hard, but there’s hardly time for him to reflect on it before he’s hit just as hard with the betrayal – and loss – of Bode. When you throw Jedi Master Eno Cordova’s death into the mix, the event that really kicks off Jedi Survivor’s dramatic third act, it feels far too abrupt to tie it all off with a short triple-funeral. Cal is laying these loved ones to rest, Bode included, but we’re not really seeing how this is going to affect him going forward – and what going forwards actually means – outside of a few sporadic voice lines between Cal and Greez, and Cal and Merrin.

So, that’s why a DLC in a similar vein to Horizon Forbidden West’s The Burning Shores would be perfect for Jedi Survivor. This expansion introduces a new area to the open-world action-adventure game, something Respawn would be able to facilitate with Jedi Survivor’s separated planet maps, and further establishes the stakes and the story going into the next game. Burning Shores also introduces instant fan-favorite Seyka, a character that needs to be central to the story in the third Horizon game.

Of course, a narrative-focused expansion to Jedi Survivor wouldn’t need to introduce any new major characters – that isn’t a prerequisite for DLC, after all. However, it would still present Respawn with the opportunity to, if it wanted, and that’s far from a bad thing – especially when you consider it killed off the newest main character to the franchise, and then killed two more returning characters. The ensemble cast established in Jedi Fallen Order is only getting smaller and it feels like Cal will be fighting alone by the end of all this.

Star Wars Jedi Survivor DLC Horizon Forbidden West: Merrin and Kata on the Mantis

The stakes are higher than before in Jedi Survivor, and you can only imagine they’ll be higher-still in a third game; so, it wouldn’t hurt to give Cal more help to handle things. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to throw a few more abilities in the skill trees for Jedi Survivor, either. It’s quite easy to find yourself with a bank of unspendable skill points in the latter stages of the game.

The Star Wars Universe is a rich one and there’s so much more story for Respawn to explore when it comes to Cal and the Star Wars Jedi franchise. For example, we know Cal has been working with Saw Gerrera in the time between Jedi Fallen Order and Jedi Survivor; however, we don’t know the repercussions of his team dying on Coruscant in the opening stages of the game. In fact, we don’t hear from Saw Gerrera at all throughout the game – which is quite strange when you consider the fact that Cal has been working with him and his Partisans for a little while.

That is, of course, but one avenue Respawn could explore when it comes to additional story content for Jedi Survivor. However, it would be an interesting one – and could be used to continue to establish a sequel. Saw has been mentoring a young Jyn Erso for some time during this period, and – although that narrative ends with Rogue One nine years after the events of Jedi Survivor – this chapter of Cal’s life remains rather unresolved going into his next chapter – which revolves around The Hidden Path. There is, of course, the fact that the Disney Plus Kenobi series occurs in the same year as Jedi Survivor. We’re not saying we want to see Obi-Wan Kenobi in some DLC, but a crossover with Indira Varma’s Tala Durith or even the Hidden Path group on Jabiim would be an excellent way of focusing Cal’s objectives ahead of a sequel.

I know Jedi Survivor deserves a title screen as great as Red Dead Redemption 2’s, but it also deserves expansions as good as what Guerrilla has delivered for both Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West. Saying that, though, I am not hopeful – even if there’s a good reason for it. Respawn abandoned my favorite Jedi Fallen Order feature and, of course, there’s no word on an expansion yet.