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CBUB Character Submission Images

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Set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, the game begins with Darth Vader being sent by Emperor Palpatine, his Sith Master and ruler of the Galactic Empire, to hunt down a Jedi Knight and survivor of the Great Jedi Purge named Kento Marek on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. Throughout the game's first level, the player controls Vader as he slaughters Wookiees during the Imperial invasion of Kashyyyk, eventually finding and defeating Marek.[14][15] As he prepares to kill him, Vader discovers Malek's son, Galen, who is strong with the Force. Upon murdering Malek, Vader takes Galen and raises him to become his apprentice, unbeknownst to the Emperor.

Years later, upon reaching adulthood, Galen (referred to by Vader as "Starkiller") completes his training and is sent by his master to kill a select group surviving Jedi throughout the galaxy as a final test before his ultimate goal: assassinating the Emperor so that Vader and Starkiller could rule the Empire. Starkiller travels between missions aboard his personal ship, the Rogue Shadow, developing a close relationship with his crew, consisting of lightsaber training droid PROXY and Imperial pilot Juno Eclipse.[16] Eventually, Starkiller defeats Jedi Master Rahm Kota, a former respected General in the Clone Wars and the leader of his own militia, when he attacks a TIE fighter shipyard to lure out Vader; kills the insane Kazdan Paratus at his replica of the Jedi Temple on Raxus Prime; and beats former Jedi Council member Shaak Ti on Felucia, who warns him that Sith always betray one another, before committing suicide. His mission to hunt down the Jedi complete, Starkiller returns to Vader to fulfill their ultimate goal and kill the Emperor, only for Vader to betray and kill him to prove his loyalty to his master once he arrives. Unbeknowst to the Emperor, however, Vader then has Starkiller revived, believing that he still has his uses.

Once Starkiller recovers, Vader sends him to foster a rebellion among those who resist the Empire, explaining that this is all part of a master plan to destabilize the Empire and create the conditions necessary to depose the Emperor. Against Vader's orders to cut his ties to his past, Starkiller rescues Juno, who was captured and branded a traitor to the Empire, before escaping with her and PROXY aboard the Rogue Shadow. Looking for allies to recruit into the rebellion, Starkiller first approaches Kota on Nar Shaadda, reduced to alcoholism after being blinded by Starkiller during their earlier duel. Upon escaping from the Imperial forces looking for them, Starkiller and Kota begin their quest to recruit prominent imperial dissidents into the rebellion, starting with Princess Leia Organa on Kashyyyk, now under Imperial occupation. After experiencing a vision of his father's spirit in his old family home, Starkiller proceeds to liberate the enslaved Wookiees, earning Leia's gratitude, who agrees to join the rebellion. Starkiller next heads to Felucia to rescue Leia's adoptive father, Senator Bail Organa, from Shaak Ti's former apprentice Maris Brood, who has succumbed to the Dark Side after her master's death alongside the rest of Felucia's inhabitants, using them to wage war on Imperial forces trying to occupy the planet. Making his way through the conflict, Starkiller eventually defeats Brood, sparing her life after she promises to turn away from the dark side, and saving Organa.

In order to convince more senators to join the rebellion, Starkiller, at Vader's suggestion, attacks a Star Destroyer facility on Raxus Prime to show that the Empire is vulnerable. During his mission, Starkiller is attacked by PROXY, who attempts to kill him to fulfill his programming, but Starkiller defeats him and proceeds to destroy the facility, along with a Star Destroyer that he pulls out of the sky using the Force. Organa later meets with his Senate allies Mon Mothma and Garm Bel Iblis on Corellia to formally organize a rebellion against the Empire, only for Vader to come and arrest them and Kota. Vader then reveals to a defeated Starkiller that he was merely a tool to lure out and destroy the Emperor's enemies and that his plans to overthrow the Emperor never included him, before PROXY sacrifices himself and distracts Vader to save Starkiller's life.

Upon returning to the Rogue Shadow with Juno, his only ally left, Starkiller uses the Force to ascertain the senators' and Kota's location: the Death Star. After bidding farewell with Juno and sharing a kiss with her, Starkiller boards the space station and proceeds to make his way to the Emperor's throne room, defeating Vader when he attempts to stop him. The Emperor then tries to goad Starkiller into killing Vader, and begins electrocuting Kota after he attempts to attack from behind. At this point, Starkiller is left with two possible option: save Kota from the Emperor, or finish off Vader.

In the light side scenario, Starkiller fights and defeats Emperor Palpatine, but Kota prevents him from killing Palpatine in hatred. The Emperor unleashes more Force lightning and Starkiller absorbs it, sacrificing himself to allow Kota and the Senators escape on the Rogue Shadow. The Emperor and Vader look over Starkiller's corpse, concerned that he has become a martyr to inspire the newly formed Rebel Alliance. On Kashyyk, Senator Organa and the others agree to proceed with their rebellion and Leia decides to use Starkiller's family crest as the Rebellion's symbol. Outside, Juno talks to Kota, who tells her that among Starkiller's dark thoughts, Juno herself was one bright spot that he held onto right until his death.[17] This ending was considered the canon one, as it is depicted in the game's novelization and follows the continuity of the films, until it was later made part of the Expanded Universe (rebranded as "Star Wars Legends") following Lucasfilm's acquisition by Disney in 2012.

In the dark side scenario, Starkiller kills Darth Vader and the Emperor offers to make him his new right hand if he proves himself by killing Kota. Starkiller instead attacks the Emperor, who effortlessly crushes Starkiller with the Rogue Shadow, severely injuring him and killing Kota, Juno, and the Senators. The story ends with Starkiller's broken body being grafted with armor so he can serve as the Emperor's personal assassin, though Palpatine assures Starkiller that he, like Vader, will be left behind when he finds a new, more promising apprentice. The Infinities expansion content builds on this ending.[18]

Downloadable content

Jedi Temple mission

Shortly before the mission on Kashyyyk to recruit Princess Leia into the rebellion, Starkiller feels compelled by the Force to make a stop on Coruscant and explore the ruined Jedi Temple located there. After fighting his way through the Imperial forces guarding the temple, Starkiller reaches the old Council Chambers, where the ghost of his father has him pass Jedi trials of mind, body, and spirit. After defeating a mysterious Sith warrior, revealed to be a dark version of himself created by his own fear, Starkiller finds a holocron with a message from his father, who reveals his true identity to him and claims that it is not too late to return to the Light Side. Afterwards, Starkiller returns to his ship and continues his mission, having finally received the closure he sought.

Tatooine mission

Continuing on from the Dark Side ending of the game and taking place during the events of A New Hope, Starkiller, now known as "Lord Starkiller", is sent to Tatooine to gain information regarding the stolen Death Star plans. After fighting his way through numerous Jawas and Tusken Raiders, Starkiller arrives at Jabba the Hutt's palace to ask him about the plans and learns that they are held by two droids located at the Mos Eisley spaceport. Jabba forces Starkiller to fight his pet Rancor when he refuses to work for him, but he is able to kill it and, after carving his way through many of Jabba's guards, as well as an encounter with a hobbled PROXY, reaches the palace hangar, only to be attacked by Boba Fett, who is looking to collect the bounty Jabba has placed on his head. After killing Fett, Starkiller arrives at Mos Eisley just as the droids board the Millennium Falcon, but is forced to fight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Starkiller manages to kill Kenobi and vanquish his Force spirit, but the Falcon takes off, although Starkiller is able to plant a tracking device on it.

Hoth mission

Continuing on from the Tatooine mission and taking place during the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Starkiller is tasked with infiltrating the Alliance base during the battle of Hoth and capturing Rebel General Luke Skywalker. Making his way through the ice caverns, swarming with numerous deadly Wampas, Starkiller infiltrates the base, where he proceeds to fight through Rebel soldiers in search of Luke. As the Empire emerges victorious in the battle, destroying the shield array that is protecting the base, Starkiller finds and duels Luke, but he manages to escape. Starkiller confronts Luke once again inside the hangar and overpowers him, enraging Luke and causing him to fall to the Dark Side. The Sith Lord is able to defeat Luke, severing his right hand, just as the Millennium Falcon attempts to escape. Starkiller seizes it, causing Luke to use Force lighting to attack him and allow his friends to escape. As the Falcon leaves, Starkiller congratulates Luke for embracing the Dark Side, planning to make him his apprentice the same way Vader did to him.

Cast and characters

Sam Witwer as Galen Marek/Starkiller — The forbidden child of a Jedi, Starkiller becomes Darth Vader's secret apprentice and is dispatched by his master to kill several prominent Jedi who survived Palpatine's Jedi purge.[19][20] Although acting as a villain, Starkiller is "really just [a] damaged kid."[21] Developers decided not to give Starkiller a name in the game, but the novelization gives his name as "Galen Marek".[22][23] Although Starkiller starts as Vader's apprentice, a focus of the game is to allow the character to evolve into "something more heroic, something greater."[20] Audio director David Collins saw a resemblance between Starkiller concept art and his friend, Witwer; Collins asked for Witwer's headshot and an audition reel, and a few weeks later Witwer sat for a 45-minute audition.[24] Witwer secured the role by demonstrating to developers his deep understanding of the character;[25] in portraying Starkiller, Witwer brought many new ideas about the character and imbued him with a sense of humanity.[21] Developers tried not to make Starkiller so evil that players would have difficulty connecting to him, aiming to strike a balance between loyalty to his master and his growing sense of disillusionment with the Empire.[21] The character's name is an homage to "Anakin Starkiller," the original name of the character that eventually became Luke Skywalker.[26][27]

Matt Sloan as Darth Vader — Starkiller's master, who discovers Starkiller as a child and trains him.[20] In training Starkiller by having him hunt the few remaining Jedi survivors, Vader intends to prepare him to overthrow the Emperor, although there are "twists and turns" in this scheme.[20] The events depicted in The Force Unleashed are pivotal to Darth Vader's history and development, depicting him as being largely responsible for the events leading to the Galactic Civil War.[28]

Nathalie Cox as Juno Eclipse — Rogue Shadow’s pilot and Starkiller's love interest.[29][30] Eclipse was not originally part of the game; early concepts had the apprentice as an older character who develops a connection with a young Princess Leia.[31] Star Wars creator George Lucas, uncomfortable with this idea, encouraged the developers to create a love interest.[31] The apprentice, who has had limited interaction with women when the game begins, does not at first know how to act around her.[31] Her introduction early in the game allows the relationship with Starkiller to develop, and her inclusion helps "recapture that rich ensemble feel of the original Star Wars".[31] According to Sean Williams, who wrote the novelization, the romantic storyline is the key to The Force Unleashed.[28] The name "Juno Eclipse" was originally proposed as a name for the character eventually called "Asajj Ventress" — it was ultimately rejected as insufficiently villainous.[31] The Force Unleashed project lead Haden Blackman brought the name back for the mythic quality of the name "Juno" and the duality suggested by an "eclipse."[31] Cox, in addition to strongly resembling the character's concept art, had "integrity and poise" appropriate to Juno Eclipse that helped the actor secure the role.[25]

Cully Fredricksen as General Rahm Kota — A Jedi Master and combat veteran who provides Starkiller with additional insight into the Force and helps connect him to his Jedi heritage.[30] Developers realized early that Starkiller would require insight into the Force from someone other than Darth Vader; after rejecting the idea of this coming from the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn or some version of Darth Plagueis, they decided to fill this role with one of Starkiller's Jedi opponents.[31] The character was conceived as a "tough-as-nails" contrast to the more traditional image of a Jedi represented by Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.[31] Senior concept artist Amy Beth Christianson drew upon samurai influences for Kota's appearance.[21][31] The character changed little after being conceived; Fredricksen's own traits made the character tougher.[31] Fredricksen was the first actor cast for the project.[25]

Adrienne Wilkinson as Maris Brood — A Zabrak survivor of the Jedi Purge and Shaak Ti's apprentice.[31] The character was originally conceived as a pirate captain, and Christianson's early art included Brood's distinctive lightsaber tonfas.[31] Wilkinson brought strength to her performance, leading to an expansion of the role with more dialogue.[31]

David W. Collins as PROXY — Starkiller's droid sidekick, designed to constantly test his lightsaber and Force abilities, as well as deliver important messages through holographic projection.[20] Collins said PROXY has C-3PO's innocence but also is "really dangerous."[20] The companion trade paperback describes the conflict between PROXY's primary programming to kill Starkiller and its self-imposed desire to help him;[32] PROXY is eager to please Starkiller, but does not know how dangerous it can be or that there is a conflict between its programming and Starkiller's wishes.[21] Trying to avoid having PROXY's dialogue become too reminiscent of either C-3PO or the villainous HK-47 of Knights of the Old Republic, developers focused on PROXY's friendly naïvety

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