- "This is crazy... A blind man and a fool, against the Empire..."
- ―Rahm Kota to Starkiller
A skirmish in Cloud City on the planet Bespin occurred in 2 BBY between the armed forces of the Galactic Empire and Starkiller, the secret apprentice and personal assassin of the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Before Starkiller's arrival on Cloud City, his master ordered him to create an army that would fight the Empire for control of the galaxy. Once Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who was publicly known as the Emperor Palpatine, became sufficiently distracted by the rebellion, Vader assured Starkiller that they would both assassinate Sidious before usurping control over the Empire.
Shortly after Starkiller began his mission, he decided to search for an ally who could provide him with the contacts and resources that were required to build an army of rebels and dissidents. His choice fell on General Rahm Kota, a Jedi fugitive whom Starkiller severely injured on a TIE Fighter Construction Facility above Nar Shaddaa. The apprentice eventually tracked Kota to Cloud City, only to discover that the Jedi had fallen into extreme alcoholism out of despair. Starkiller also learned that Kota had lost his sight; his eyes had been burned by his own lightsaber during his duel with Starkiller above Nar Shaddaa.
As Starkiller attempted to persuade the drunken Jedi to fight the Empire once more, a group of stormtroopers entered the cantina and located their target—Rahm Kota. As a result, Starkiller had to fight Imperial soldiers throughout much of the city; he was also forced to protect Kota, especially due to the general's intoxicated and depressed state of mind. Although Starkiller defeated the Imperial garrison, including a member of the Emperor's Shadow Guard, Kota still regarded resistance against the Empire and its "infinite" army as a futile course of action. Nevertheless, Starkiller still convinced Kota to provide the contacts that he needed to begin a galactic-wide rebellion.
- "We need to rally the Emperor's enemies, and I need to find someone who can teach me the things Vader couldn't."
- ―Starkiller to Juno Eclipse
Starkiller's search for Rahm Kota took him across the galaxy, from the Jedi's last sighting on Nar Shaddaa to the ancient Sith world Ziost. From there, he tracked Kota to Bespin. As a result of his defeat and blinding by Starkiller, Kota gave up his struggle against the Galactic Empire and turned to alcoholism in order to suppress his jaded state of mind. But after Starkiller intercepted an Imperial transmission that Kota had been found, and that the Empire dispatched one of its most dangerous agents to retrieve him, he was forced to rush to Bespin. When he found the former Jedi General in the Vapor Room, a local cantina in Cloud City Kota was half-passed out and extremely intoxicated. Hence, he was uncooperative and insistent on being left alone.
- "Nobody fights the Empire and wins, boy. Not even a Jedi!"
- ―Rahm Kota to Starkiller.
Starkiller, who masqueraded as a Jedi at the time, attempted to reason with the unkempt general, but a group of stormtroopers discovered their location with the assistance of Ugnaught informants. For the first time, Starkiller actively fought Imperial troops as an enemy of the Empire. In his previous assignments, he usually killed Imperials to eliminate potential witnesses. While Kota hid under the table, Starkiller drew his new lightsaber and attacked and prioritized the heavily armed and armored Uggernaughts. He disabled one with telekinesis and overloaded the other Uggernaught's electrical systems, which thus killed the pilot and scattering the stormtroopers. During the fight, Starkiller felt as though his efforts were constrained by the need to avoid harming innocent bystanders, but only to preserve his facade as a Jedi. Despite the engagement with Imperial forces, he still intended to use his original landing site to extract Kota.
As Kota began to follow the apprentice in his inebriated state, Starkiller hoped that the Jedi could look after himself, but was ultimately forced to protect him. After cutting through the Vapor Room storeroom, Starkiller attacked the nearby squad. As he dragged Kota along the series of corridors to the Vapor Room's supply dock, Starkiller expected to meet a heavy Imperial presence, but was unconcerned as he planned to board the Rogue Shadow via Force jump. His plan, however, was countered by the arrival of an Imperial Shadow Guard at the docks. As Starkiller eliminated the guard's stormtrooper escort with blast-deflections, he warned Juno to stay away from the loading dock. Hence, the new extraction point was redirected to the shipping balloon dock where the Rogue Shadow would await the apprentice's return. While Starkiller engaged the guardsman, Kota retreated from the fight and sought an alternate escape route. This allowed Starkiller to drop his pretense as a Jedi in order to draw on the power of the dark side of the Force. He then blasted the guard back with a telekinetic surge, which was followed by a Force lightning attack. Starkiller ultimately won the subsequent energy struggle before he forced the guardsman off the side of the dock.
As he made his way to the balloon dock, while hoping that Kota managed to survive on his own, Starkiller was puzzled over the Shadow Guard's identity and affiliation. He eventually deduced him to be a servant of Emperor Palpatine rather than Darth Vader, whom he initially confused the guardsman with due to their similar appearances. After he effortlessly dispensed with the Imperial forces in his path, he was attacked by yet another guardsman. This one was more able than the first, though Starkiller ultimately defeated him as well. Once he arrived at the dock, he found it crowded with stormtroopers and Uggernaughts, led by two Shadow Guardsmen. During the fight, Starkiller's connection to the Force deepened, and he fought on pure reflex. Stormtroopers were thrown off of the dock or into each other, and Starkiller even brought a heavy freight down from one of the shipping balloons above. When his opponents regrouped, Starkiller telekinetically seized an entire shipping balloon and sent it crashing down onto them. As he stood in triumph, Kota appeared.
- Rahm Kota: "It's a fool's errand, boy. The Emperor's army is infinite. You'll eventually be killed—or worse. And nothing will have changed."
- Starkiller: "But wouldn't you rather die on your feet than drown in some cantina?"
- ―Rahm Kota and Starkiller[src]
Kota was unimpressed by Starkiller's victory; his defeat at Nar Shaddaa left him with a pessimistic view of the galaxy. Thus, he asserted that victory was ultimately impossible to achieve because of the "infinite army" that enforced Palpatine's Empire. But after Starkiller appealed to his warrior sense of honor, Kota agreed to be of partial help to the apprentice's cause. He confided in Starkiller that he had a contact in the Imperial Senate who could use the assistance of a Force-sensitive warrior, especially one who was eager to fight the Empire. Shortly after being extracted by the Rogue Shadow, Starkiller felt drawn to the Jedi Temple, which thus caused him to return to Coruscant for a third time.
Behind the scenes
This mission does not appear in the PS2, PSP, or Wii versions of the game, with the search for Kota being instead on Nar Shaddaa in a cantina called The Undertow with only one Shadow Guard, many stormtroopers and "bar scum" to fight. In the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, Kota is armed with a blue lightsaber.
- The Force Unleashed novel (First appearance)
- The Force Unleashed comic (Appears in flashback(s))
- The Force Unleashed video game
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Reader's Companion