Updated: Apr 17
Triple Force Friday took place on the 4th of October 2019 and was the global product release for items from the three big Star Wars properties arriving in late 2019 - Episode 9, The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian and the new EA videogame Jedi Fallen Order. In the Star Wars Black Series, Wave 22 landed on Force Friday and within the 8 figure wave were two figures from the EA game - the Second Sister, and the main playable character Cal Kestis.
Many thought that Triple Force Friday would see the end of the phase 3 Black Series packaging, but the red and black continued through and will now last until at least the end of 2019. Cal Kestis arrives in this standard packaging - and is also available in a First Edition box where the black is substituted for white to create a stark contrast boxed variant.
The figure follows all the usual principles with a nice Gregory Titus artwork on the front capturing the likeness of Cal Kestis and his droid BD-1. The box is named only as Cal Kestis, no mention of the little droid on the packaging. Cal is 93 in the line.
One thing of note that does differ from the norm is the use of the Jedi Fallen Order logo at the bottom right next to the Hasbro logo. Most Black Series figures never clarify the source film or show the figure is from, but in the case of this figure - and the previous EA Battlefront figures - it seems some part of the licencing agreement with EA dictates the inclusion of the game logo.
Round the back of the pack we have a short background piece that gives nothing away for the game ahead of its release. BD-1 does get a credit in this segment.
"A Jedi Padawan during the Clone Wars, Cal Kestis narrowly escaped the horrors of Order 66 and was forced into hiding. Together with his explorer droid BD-1, he embarks on a journey to rebuild the Jedi Order while evading the terrifying Imperial Inquisitorius."
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
Unlike other figures that have translated from the animated page/screen, the likeness for Cal Kestis did not have to be extrapolated into a natural real life sculpt, the game is already photo realistic in its cut scenes and of course the team can also use the original actor for Cal, Cameron Monaghan, for reference.
This gives the figure a good identity and a good match to the character on screen. It is photo realistic and you can see subtle tones on the skin and the eyes.
The costume is one of the many that Cal will wear in the game - and I suspect we may get more variants/exclusives of Cal if he sells well enough. The design is very "Star Wars" and is more of a smuggler/scoundrel look with a few Jedi elements thrown in. There are lots of details around the figure with the straps and buckles down to the left hand glove, tools hanging off the back of the belt, silver panels on the trousers and boots and a couple of canisters on the left arm that scream of Imperial Officer.
Everything is painted neatly, but there is one issue around the right elbow. The right arm is bare from the elbow downwards and the lower arm is cast in a skin tone. Where the joint for the elbow slots in, the centre bit has had to be painted and these two colours don't quite match - and even worse this bit starts to flake and peel the moment the arm is bent.
I am going to look at BD-1 as a character and not an accessory. He is tiny, one of the smallest characters released to date in the Black Series line. He is cast in white plastic with painted red and yellow panel details as well silver strips and eye lenses.
He could potentially do with a wash to bring out more detail considering his size, but all in all this is a good inclusion in the pack considering BD-1's role in the game.
A word of warning, be careful of BD-1's two antenna, they are not the usual softer plastic and are quite brittle. ne of mine broke shortly after these images were taken.
Cal comes with a lightsaber, and this is a brand new design and quite unusual in its length and design with a cut out blade emitter. It is cast in grey with no other paint apps. It fits in either hand and the figure can just about get a two handed pose out of the elbow and shoulder joints.
The blade is removable and is cast in blue translucent plastic. This clips in and out OK, but it is a bit more difficult to align as the slot is hidden within that large blade emitter and cover. Despite all the belts and gizmo's, there is no where to hang the saber on Cal's person.
Cal has the standard 18 points of articulation, with a particularly mobile torso joint under the vest, and the new shoulder butterfly joints. Both of which really add to the posing options and fighting stances
Head : ball joint pivot neck
Body : ball joint torso
Arms : ball joint shoulder, butterfly shoulder joint, single rotating elbows, pivot wrists
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees, ankle rockers
Cal can do plenty of action stances, including kneeling thanks to the double jointed knees. There is loads of scope for display and all the joints are tight and secure, and Cal stands really well.
BD-1 is also articulated, and even at his size he boasts 5 points of articulation. The head sits on a ball joint, not just a pivot, and can rotate and tilt to adds some expression. The legs are then plugged in on a ball joint into the body and then hinged at the knees. Being a ball joint at the hip the legs can move on both axis, allowing the legs to be spread out if needed.
The bad news is the ability for BD-1 to sit on Cal's shoulder as we see in the game. There is no socket or ridge or clever engineered piece to get BD-1 to perch securely. Even with some experimentation of leg position I could not get BD-1 to sit until I cheated and employed some blu tac. It's not the end of the world, but with the way this droid operates it would have been a neat feature.
Cal Kestis is a great figure that benefits from a great design that is sympathetic to the source material and the timeline positioning between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Cal reminds me a little of Kyle Katarn - a Jedi, but with the look of a smuggler. Kind of crossing Han with Luke. The figure ticks most boxes - good sculpt, good paint, decent accessories and solid articulation.
There are only a couple of faults to speak of. The first being that elbow paint which does stand out. And the second the issue with BD-1 and his inability to be perched on Cal's shoulder.
I love all aspects of Star Wars and am so pleased we are getting new designs and stories branching off from the main story. And of course what is clever about Fallen Order and The Mandalorian is their close links with the original trilogy and its designs. I look forward to picking up more Fallen Order figures, particularly that Purge Trooper to complement Cal on my display
I score Cal Kestis a solid 4 out of 5.