I still haven’t gotten around to playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order or its new (apparently fraught) sequel Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, but the more I see of the game’s extensive fashion and customization options for protagonist Cal Kestis, the more tempted I feel. However, one Jedi rebel hairstyle is getting a lot of attention online, and that’s the mullet. It turns Cal from a spacefaring twink into a good, ol’ fashioned (still spacefaring) lover of beer, blasters, and the Second Amendment.
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Though I’ve seen all the movies and played several games, I’m not a Star Wars fan. But I am a fan of Shameless actor Cameron Monaghan, who both voices and performs the Jedi and provides Cal’s face. As a gay man who lived in the rural south most of his life, I find his Shameless character Ian Gallagher incredibly relatable as he sorts through his identity, the conservative expectations of Middle America, and how he deals with patriotism in a country that does not care about people like him. Because I latched on so heavily to his character during my ongoing marathon of the show on Netflix, I’m drawn to Jedi: Survivor for the actor at its center more than any of the other good things the game has to offer. But looking at Monaghan with a mullet and mutton chops feels like looking into an alternate universe in which Ian never overcame the expectations enough to become his own person, and fell hard into some right-wing, gun-nut mentality. It’s unsettling, but I can’t look away, especially as jokes about the mullet are spreading online.
Cal looks extremely silly with the mullet in context, but that hasn’t stopped fans from latching onto the lewk and making jokes about the intersection of Star Wars lore and conservative, good ol’ boy politics.
The quote retweets on this tweet showing Cal in his full space redneck persona are full of zingers.
Ultimately, as much psychic damage as it does to me to see Ian Gallagher with a mullet, the jokes have been very good, and it does speak to how much customization Jedi: Survivor allows. Between this and the game’s scene-stealing alien, Turgle, I keep finding new reasons to maybe jump into Respawn’s take on a galaxy far, far away. Maybe after I finish Shameless and the rest of the Summer Games Hell is over.