- "I was expecting Lord Vader…"
"The Jedi. Where is he?"
"Oh, he's alive. For the moment. He's been in the Arena for seven days."
- ―Baron Tarko and Starkiller
A rescue mission to free the Rebel Alliance Jedi General Rahm Kota from the Galactic Empire was performed in 1 BBY, during the early stages of the Galactic Civil War. Captured on a failed raid on the planet Cato Neimoidia, Kota was taken to the city Tarko-se, where he was placed in the Tarko-se Arena, the local gladiatorial stadium, for execution. While Kota endured an onslaught of monsters and gladiators, Starkiller, a rogue clone of the late Jedi Galen Marek, escaped from the Sith Lord Darth Vader on the ocean world of Kamino. Unbeknownst to Kota, Vader had initiated a clandestine project to create a more powerful version of his former Sith apprentice Marek—a perfect clone that possessed all of Marek's strengths and none of his weaknesses. However, the cloning process was imperfect and resulted in numerous failures, including Starkiller.
Pursuant of information inadvertently provided by Vader, Starkiller traveled to Cato Neimoidia to rescue the captured Kota. However, his motives were more influenced by a desire to find Captain Juno Eclipse, the woman with whom his progenitor had fallen in love. Starkiller fought against Baron Merillion Tarko's forces on his way to the arena, where he found an exhausted Kota. The desperate Tarko unleashed a beast known as the Gorog on the two Force-wielders, and the creature broke free of its restraints as it attempted to kill Starkiller. In the chaos, Tarko was devoured by the monster, and the arena, along with Tarko-se itself, was destroyed. Starkiller and Kota were retrieved from the falling wreckage by the starship Rogue Shadow, which was on autopilot.
- "The Force gives me all I need."
- ―Starkiller, during his escape from Kamino
In the early days of the Galactic Civil War, around 1 BBY, Rebel Alliance Jedi General Rahm Kota often acted without authorization from the Rebels in his military raids against the Galactic Empire as though he managed his own militia, rather than as a part of a larger organization. During one such raid on the planet Cato Neimoidia, Kota's squad was killed, and he was captured. The local Imperial Governor, Baron Merillion Tarko, planned to execute Kota by placing him in the Tarko-se Arena, a gladiatorial arena located in the bridge city of Tarko-se. However, Kota was able to survive for several days as he fought off the monsters and gladiators sent to kill him.
Meanwhile, on the ocean world of Kamino, the Sith Lord Darth Vader was secretly engaged in a project to recreate his slain apprentice, Galen Marek—whose codename had been "Starkiller" before he became a Jedi. The inherent difficulty with cloning Force-sensitives resulted in many that were abject failures, either very deformed or falling prey to clone madness. At the time of a training session, Vader informed Starkiller, one of the clones of Marek, of Kota's capture on Cato Neimoidia, and ordered the him to eliminate Kota at the conclusion of his training. However, the clone ultimately failed Vader's tests, unable to overcome the memory imprints from the original Marek. Before Vader could execute him, Starkiller lashed out at the Sith Lord and escaped from the facility. Starkiller hijacked Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1 after fighting his way through the local Imperial garrison and escaped from the planet. With Vader's information, Starkiller traveled to Cato Neimoidia to rescue Kota, with hopes that the Jedi General could lead him to Captain Juno Eclipse, who had been Marek's lover when he was alive.
- "I don't know who you are, but you clearly have no idea who you are dealing with."
- ―Baron Tarko, chiding Starkiller
Having not changed the transponder signal on the TIE fighter that he had stolen, Starkiller was identified as Darth Vader and was directed to an executive landing platform on Cato Neimoidia. He received a full TIE fighter escort, was presented with a stormtrooper honor guard detail, and was greeted by Tarko himself. When Starkiller disembarked the fighter and demanded Kota's location, Tarko became suspicious and quizzed Starkiller on the local Imperial security codes. Starkiller ignited his lightsabers, and Tarko ordered the troopers to attack before retreating himself. Starkiller made short work of the stormtroopers, but Tarko escaped. After he destroyed a bipedal All Terrain Missile Platform walker and killed two Imperial Sith Acolytes who stood guard at the entrance to the landing platform turbolifts, Starkiller descended into the hanging city of Tarko-se.
The clone Jedi initially followed the streets, all the while chided by Tarko through a loudspeaker system, but Imperial resistance—including scout troopers, riot stormtrooper, and jumptroopers—prompted him to ascend to the rooftop ledges to save time. As Starkiller continued on, he used mind tricks to turn enemies to his side or to make them kill themselves. However, he was soon driven down by the sudden attack from a Nemesis-class gunship, and he charged into the Infinite Nebstar Casino. As most of the patrons scattered out of his way, Imperial forces flooded in. Defeating the Imperial forces in several of the rooms, Starkiller descended to the lower levels of the casino through the turbolift shafts, where he fought more Imperial resistance before he left the casino.
Finding a passenger tram to the western arch of Tarko-se, Starkiller leaped onto the vehicle's roof and used it for transport. However, the tram was attacked by Imperial air forces, including several TIE fighters and the Nemesis-class gunship. Despite Starkiller's best efforts to repel the Nemesis's own concussion missiles back to their original source, the tram sustained heavy damage. Starkiller was nevertheless able to destroy the gunship. Due to the damage, Starkiller was forced to leap the remaining distance to safety. Starkiller then fought his way through the rest of the Imperial forces and destroyed a second Nemesis-class gunship that had joined the battle.
- "By the Force, I knew you were alive!"
- ―Jedi General Kota, upon seeing Starkiller
Entering the Tarko-se Arena floor, Starkiller walked over to a surprised Kota. Despite being exhausted and injured after several days of combat in the arena, Kota opted to continue fighting to settle his score with Tarko. Tarko himself was desperate to defeat the resilient Starkiller, and he ordered his Neimoidian aide to release the massive arena beast known as the Gorog, one of the largest creatures ever seen in a gladiatorial arena. The creature consumed a bull rancor released into the arena before hauling itself out of its holding pit. Kota departed to hunt down Tarko, leaving Starkiller to contend with the beast.
Starkiller initially harassed the beast with Force lightning and telekinetic attacks at its feet, but both had little effect. Following tactical advice from Kota, Starkiller used the restraint systems built into the arena to snare the Gorog's arms, and leapt onto the creature's head. With a combination of lightsaber strikes and concentrated blasts of Force lightning, Starkiller was able to injure the beast. In its pain, the Gorog burst free from its restraints and swiped Starkiller off its head, sending him flying into the arena supports above. The Gorog aggressively pursued, and Starkiller got the creature to destroy the beams and cables supporting the Tarko-se Arena in an attempt to bring the whole hanging city down. He succeeded, and the structure broke apart before falling off of the Tarko-se city arch. Expecting the Gorog to fall with the arena, Starkiller headed straight for Tarko's executive box, which had its own separate support beam. Rendezvousing with Kota, the two Force-wielders made quick work of the Baron's guards before advancing on him.
Before Starkiller and Kota could capture or kill Tarko, the Gorog grabbed hold of the box in an attempt to avoid falling, causing it to tip and dump Tarko into its mouth. The Gorog reached in and seized Kota before it lost its grip and fell. Starkiller leaped after the Gorog, using the Force to increase his velocity and dodging falling debris. He propelled himself onto the Gorog's back, from where he fired a concentrated blast of Force lightning into its torso that stopped one of its hearts. The Gorog went limp and released Kota. As Kota and Starkiller fell, the Jedi General activated a remote transponder that he had concealed on his person, summoning the starship Rogue Shadow, which was flying on autopilot. The ship swooped beneath Starkiller and Kota, allowing the pair to make it safely away.
- "Fine, then. Go to the forests of Kashyyyk or the caves of Dagobah, or wherever you think you'll find what you need and let the galaxy die."
- ―Rahm Kota, to Starkiller
Soon afterward, the bounty hunter Boba Fett—who had accepted a bounty put on Starkiller's head by Vader—arrived on Cato Neimoidia with his partner, Xasha. The two entered the ruins of Tarko-se, where they found the Gorog still alive. Although the creature was seriously wounded, it attacked Fett. The bounty hunter fired a back-mounted rocket at the Gorog's second heart and used his jetpack to fly through the wound in the Gorog's torso, finally killing it. The encounter with the beast discouraged Xasha from pursuing their prey any further, and she parted ways with Fett, who continued with his assignment.
Meanwhile, unaware that Marek's former ship, the Rogue Shadow, was flying on autopilot, Starkiller charged into the cockpit, expecting to find Juno Eclipse. Kota revealed that he did not know where she was, as the Rebel Fleet had been scattered, but he did agree to provide the rendezvous coordinates with the Rebel Fleet in the Athega system. Upon their arrival, they were ambushed by an Imperial fleet and forced to flee. Kota tried to convince Starkiller to join the Rebellion, hoping to use Starkiller's powers in a full-scale counterattack against the Empire. However, Starkiller refused to go along with Kota's plan because his sole wish was to find Eclipse. Kota disregarded Starkiller's claims of being a clone with the supposed certainty that cloning Force-sensitives was impossible, and he tried to drill Starkiller for information on the Kamino cloning facilities.
Despite Kota's claims, Starkiller remained unconvinced that he could be the real Starkiller, Galen Marek. However, he remained committed to finding Eclipse and stated that he simply needed a quiet place to meditate on his situation. Realizing that he could not convince or force Starkiller to change his mind, Kota gave the Rogue Shadow to Starkiller, as he felt that the ship was rightfully his. Kota then demanded to be let out at the nearest spaceport before Starkiller continued on his personal quest.
Starkiller dropped Kota off on the planet Malastare before following up on one of the hints that Kota had inadvertently dropped, which led to the planet Dagobah. Making his way through the swamps of the world, Starkiller encountered a Jedi Master–in–exile, Yoda, who was watching over the planet's Dark Side Cave. Yoda convinced Starkiller to enter the cave, where he experienced a vision of Eclipse being attacked and wounded on the bridge of her warship, the Salvation. Determined to prevent that outcome, Starkiller retrieved Kota on Malastare, and the two rendezvoused with the Rebel Fleet near the Itani Nebula. The two were too late, however; Eclipse was captured by Boba Fett, who had been hired by Vader to bring her to Kamino in order to lure Starkiller there.
Behind the scenes
- "Why don't you sit this one out, General?"
"Never. I've got a score to settle."
- ―Starkiller and Kota, in a quote from the novel
The rescue of Rahm Kota first appeared in author Sean Williams's novelization of the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II video game; the novel was published on October 5, 2010. An opportunity to play through the mission was presented in one of the levels of the video game, which itself came out on October 26, 2010. The Wii version of the game follows the novel's basic storyline, but differs from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions in the city layout and gameplay. Since the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions stay closer to the book than the Wii version, this article has been written according to their versions. The Cato Neimoidia portion of the Wii version takes place over two missions, City of Bridges and Baron Tarko's Palace. The intro to the first mission is identical to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version. The scene from the novel is slightly different from the one in the game. The dialogue is adjusted and when Starkiller arrives, he finds Kota facing a stormtrooper, not gladiators.
After the intro, Starkiller arrives and fights through Tarko's first line of stormtroopers, which is led by a stormtrooper commander. Imperial riot stormtroopers then arrive. After dispatching the Imperials, Starkiller steps onto the elevator to rise to the next level, where he faces more stormtroopers. Starkiller chases the Baron, who has escaped across a retractable bridge. Starkiller uses the Force to re-extend the bridge, and then fights through the next bridge. However, the Baron escapes onto a passenger tram. The nearby door opens into Tarko-se and Starkiller is met by riot stormtroopers. Starkiller throws his lightsabers at a panel on the far wall, which unlocks it and drops the door, turning it into a platform. Starkiller gets on it and then uses saber throw again on the next platform, which he jumps onto to gain access to the far platform. At that point, Starkiller is ambushed by jumptroopers. After defeating them, Starkiller Force jumps across the next platforms, and uses the Force to extend another bridge.
Once in the city, Starkiller fights through more stormtroopers and reaches a bridge which is protected by the city's defense turrets. The turrets destroy the bridge while Starkiller dashes across. In the next room, Starkiller Force jumps across three platforms. Once outside, Starkiller is met by reinforcements from a dropship. Starkiller crosses another bridge while a defense turret fires on him. Once across, Starkiller turns to the left and Force-jumps up three columns to the next part of the city and uses the Force to bring down another dropship. He then crosses another bridge, which was also destroyed by a laser turret, and turns to the left. He blows apart a door with a Force push and faces more Imperial troops, and then enters another elevator. On the next level, he destroys a large turret and the resulting explosion blows him down to the casino level.
In front of the casino, Starkiller dispatchs a carbonite war droid, and then uses his Force powers to unlock the door. Inside, Starkiller fights through more stormtroopers. He then takes an eleveator to the next level and fights another carbonite war droid. At the end of the casino, Starkiller uses Force Repulse to blow through the roof and goes outside. He uses his Force lightning to charge an elevator and rides it to the next level, where he faces a group of Ugnaughts. Starkiller then rides a passenger tram to the other side of the city while jumptroopers harass him. A TIE fighter blows the end of the track, and, as the tram crashes, Starkiller leaps off the tram and lands on the western edge of the city.
Starkiller fights his way through the assembled Imperials and ascends to another level of the Baron's Palace where he duels another carbonite war droid. Continuing along the corridor, the Imperials block the entrance. Starkiller uses Force Repulse to expand a crack in the floor and falls through it. In that room, Starkiller faces more Ugnaughts and Imperial troops. Starkiller then proceeds deeper into the palace and fights two more carbonite war droids. At the end of the room, Starkiller uses the Force to unlock the door. In the next chamber, he destroys another carbonite war droid, and then rides an elevator down. Starkiller then arrives in the Tarko-se Arena, and the Baron orders the Gorog to be released. Down in the main arena, Starkiller reunites with General Kota who had just struck down two gladiators with his lightsaber. The duel with the Gorog proceeds similarly to the other versions, except that Starkiller does not jump onto the Gorog's head, and the Gorog grabs and eats Tarko deliberately. The Gorog also lacks the head covering seen in the other versions.
In 2012, the mission was mentioned in The Essential Reader's Companion, a guide to Star Wars books. In the book, it mistakenly states that PROXY was flying the Rogue Shadow during Starkiller's escape from Cato Neimoidia with Kota; The Force Unleashed II novel states that the ship was on auto-pilot. The 2014 StarWars.com article "Galactic Gladiators: Great Warriors of Star Wars" innaccurately placed the rescue in 1 ABY.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II novel (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II comic (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- "Striking Back!"—Star Wars Insider 118 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- The Essential Reader's Companion