Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is the graphic novel version of The Force Unleashed video game, announced in the March 2007 issue of Game Informer. Along with the book, it features the canonical storyline of the game.
Revealed here are the origins of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, the deadly missions on which he was sent to track down and destroy Jedi, and the awesome decision he is forced to make that will, literally, change the way you look at the Star Wars saga!
Scripted by the game's author, Haden Blackman, this graphic novel can be enjoyed alone, or as a companion to the amazing new game.
In 2 BBY, the droid PROXY is found on Corellia by Captain Juno Eclipse and Senator Bail Organa. PROXY is asked to tell the story of the Dark Jedi Starkiller, Darth Vader's apprentice, who was trained by Vader in order to help the Dark Lord stand against the Emperor. PROXY was Starkiller's companion and training droid, whose primary directive (as provided by Vader) was to constantly try to kill him. PROXY was also a holodroid, capable of changing his appearance holographically, in order to present messages and information to Starkiller, or to disguise himself.
PROXY explains that Starkiller, after much training, was sent to kill General Rahm Kota—a Jedi Master whose lack of fondness and distrust of the clone troopers enabled him to sense, and therefore survive, Order 66—and to take his lightsaber. Before the mission, Starkiller met the new pilot of his ship, Juno Eclipse. After finding Kota, who had attacked an important Imperial TIE Fighter Construction Facility over Nar Shaddaa, Starkiller engaged him in battle. The fight ended with Kota being blinded by Starkiller's saber. He was thrown out of a window into space, yet managed to survive by falling onto a ship. Starkiller retrieved Kota's lightsaber and told Vader that the Jedi Master was dead, though Starkiller knew he was not.
The next mission that Vader gave Starkiller was to find and kill the Togruta Jedi Master Shaak Ti, a member of the Jedi High Council who was in hiding on Felucia. Vader told Starkiller that, if he successfully completed the mission, he would be ready to help the Dark Lord destroy the Emperor. After fighting his way to the Jedi Master, Starkiller engaged Shaak Ti herself at the maw of the Ancient Abyss. At the end of the fight, she taunted Starkiller and told him the truth: he was merely Vader's expendable slave. Then, seeing no way out, she killed herself by purposely falling into the Ancient Abyss. Starkiller attempted to reach for her, but he was too late. PROXY is unsure whether Starkiller reached out because he wanted to kill her himself, or if it was because he sensed truth in her words. With Shaak Ti's death, Felucia fell into darkness.
When Starkiller reported back, Vader told him that the Emperor's fleet had arrived, as Starkiller was followed by spies. As Palpatine walked in, Vader impaled Starkiller from behind, severely wounding him. The Emperor demanded that Vader kill him, because having a secret apprentice was an act of betrayal. In compliance, Vader pushed Starkiller out of a viewport to his apparent death. However, his body was secretly recovered by a Viper probe droid.
Six months later, Starkiller woke up in pain aboard Vader's scientific vessel, the Empirical. Vader walked into Starkiller's room and explained that he betrayed Starkiller, and faked his death, in order to trick the Emperor into believing that the secret apprentice was no longer a threat. This would permit Vader and Starkiller to secretly form a rebellion against the Empire as a distraction for the Emperor. Vader was not actually aboard the Empirical, however; it was merely PROXY projecting a hologram, and it became apparent that PROXY had been sent to destroy any evidence that Starkiller was aboard the ship. This meant freeing Starkiller, and destroying the vessel and all crew aboard. After freeing Starkiller, PROXY set the ship on a course into a nearby star. On the way to the Rogue Shadow, Starkiller and PROXY also freed Juno Eclipse, who had been branded a traitor by the Emperor for assisting Vader's apprentice. Successfully escaping, they headed towards Nar Shaddaa in hopes of finding Rahm Kota, so that Kota could train Starkiller to become stronger in the Force by learning things Vader did not teach him.
After six months of searching, they finally found the blinded, washed up Kota in a Cloud City cantina. Starkiller arrived in the cantina and, without revealing his true identity, asked Kota to help him fight the Empire. Kota refused his offer. Suddenly, a squad of Stormtroopers appeared and attacked Starkiller. He killed them all, and officially started his vendetta against the Empire. Starkiller was also attacked by a member of the Emperor's Shadow Guard. Starkiller managed to defeat the guard by using the environment around him, trapping the guard within a block of carbonite from a cut pipe. Afterwards, Kota was finally convinced to come with Starkiller, train him, and help him start a rebellion against the Empire.
They then flew to Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld, as Kota had told Starkiller there was someone important imprisoned in an Imperial base on the planet, who had to be freed if Starkiller was to start a rebellion. PROXY then tells Senator Organa that Kota had brought Starkiller there to save Organa's daughter—though Starkiller was unaware of this at the time. Disembarking the ship upon landing, Starkiller saw a wooden hut in which he sensed darkness. Kota suggested that he not enter, but Starkiller did so anyway. When he opened the door, he noticed a prominent symbol. Whilst looking through the house, Starkiller entered a room, and started having a vision of a hooded man standing in the middle of it, fighting Vader. Vader drew his lightsaber, about to kill the hooded figure. Suddenly, the lightsaber disappeared from Vader's hand, to his surprise. It is revealed that a young Starkiller was the one who pulled Vader's lightsaber away from him; Starkiller notices how his younger self nervously holds it in his hand. The hooded man (revealed to be Starkiller's father) was then Force choked to death, and Vader took his lightsaber back from the young Starkiller. However, when Stormtroopers attempted to kill the young boy for attacking Vader, he defended Starkiller, killing them swiftly. Starkiller watched as his younger self was then taken away by Vader. His vision ends with his father apologizing to him.
Starkiller left his old home, his vision having turned him into a different person, according to PROXY. He was stronger and more intimidating from that point on. Carving his way through the Imperial base, he rescued the young female imprisoned inside, and revealed that he had come with Kota, whom she had believed dead. Starkiller angrily saw her off, and then confronted Kota. He was shocked that they had to go all that way to save a girl. However, Kota told him that Senator Bail Organa had recruited him to save his daughter—Princess Leia Organa. Kota also told him that Bail would be able to help Starkiller begin a rebellion. Starkiller asked where Bail was, and Kota told him he was on Felucia, attempting to find Shaak Ti and recruit her into the rebel cause.
Traveling to Felucia, they discovered that Bail had been imprisoned by Maris Brood, Shaak Ti's former Padawan who had fallen to the Dark Side. Maris imprisoned Bail so she could use him as a "bargaining chip" if she ever got any trouble from Vader. Starkiller soon found Maris, but before he could attack her, he was halted by the onslaught of her bull rancor. As Starkiller jumped over the rancor to get to Maris, she threw both of her lightsabers at him. He caught the first and deflected the second, and then plunged his and Brood's sabers into the back of the rancor's throat. While he was distracted, Maris recovered the deflected saber and hid herself by using the Dark Side. After the rancor's demise, she jumped at Starkiller's back with her saber drawn. He hastily turned around and stopped her by using Force lightning. She then admitted defeat. She gave Starkiller the Senator, and told him that since Shaak Ti's death, the planet had led her to the Dark Side. Despite Bail's warnings, Starkiller let her go. After getting back to the Rogue Shadow, Bail and Starkiller made a plan to create an organization focused on the destruction of the Empire; Bail said he would recruit more Senators to their cause, and he would try to broker an alliance between all of the Emperor's enemies. Afterwards, Starkiller went to meditate, and then talked to Darth Vader, via PROXY. Vader told Starkiller that he did not want Starkiller to become too fond of his new allies. Vader then assigned Starkiller a new mission, telling him that the shipyard above Raxus Prime had to be destroyed, as the Empire was building Star Destroyers there. After the conversation ended, an upset Juno revealed that she had eavesdropped on Starkiller's talk with Vader. She argued that Starkiller was still Vader's slave, and that Vader was completely evil. Starkiller fired back, telling Juno that he only saved her because she could fly the ship. However, she replied that she knew that wasn't true. She then told him that he had control over the fledgling Rebellion, and that he had a decision to make: remain Vader's slave, or help the Rebellion overthrow both the Emperor and Vader. She said that he needed to make up his mind soon.
Afterwards, Starkiller went to Raxus Prime to destroy the Star Destroyer Factory. To destroy it, he redirected an Ore Cannon to shoot the shipyard itself. During the assault, he was attacked on all sides by Imperial forces, so he attempted to overload the cannon via Force lightning, instead of redirecting it. The gambit worked, but a Star Destroyer was sent towards Starkiller and commenced firing at the cannon. Kota, via comlink, told Starkiller to use the Force to make the ship crash into the cannon. At first, he was skeptical because of the ship's large size, but he attempted it anyway. Though his struggle to do so was great, he succeeded in crashing the Star Destroyer into the cannon, which caused the entire shipyard to explode. PROXY explains that he is shocked that Starkiller survived, and says he does not understand the powers of the Force.
The Emperor's enemies then met on Corellia and formed an alliance. Bail agreed to fund the Rebellion, Garm Bel Iblis would provide ships, and Mon Mothma would provide soldiers. Starkiller was chosen to lead the Rebellion. The group was then attacked by TIE fighters and a Star Destroyer. Vader came into the room, surrounded by Stormtroopers. Vader ordered that the Senators were not to be killed, as the Emperor wanted to kill them himself. It then became apparent that this was the Emperor's plan all along, and Vader had never intended to kill him with the aid of Starkiller. After the Senators were taken prisoner, Starkiller confronted Vader, who Force pushed Starkiller off the side of a snowy cliff. However, Starkiller managed to grab onto the cliff's edge. Just before Vader could strike him down, a mysterious man told Anakin to lay down his weapon. The mysterious man is shown to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, who immediately attacked Vader. Vader fought and defeated him with ease. It is then revealed that this was not the real Obi-Wan, but merely one of PROXY's training exercises (one that was used against Starkiller earlier). Though PROXY is highly resilient to lightsabers, he was heavily damaged in the fight. Vader then turned back to the cliff's edge, but his secret apprentice was gone. PROXY's distraction had given Starkiller enough time to either escape, or fall to his death.
This is the point where the flashback narrative catches up to the "present"; thus, PROXY can no longer narrate the story. It is here where Juno takes over as the narrator. She explains that they find Starkiller by using the Rogue Shadow's advanced sensors. Starkiller is weak, but manages to tell her that Vader has captured all the Senators, and that Starkiller is going to find him. After recovering, he meditates to find out where Vader is, telling Juno that he is using a Jedi trick in order to see the future. After having a vision, he says that he has seen a huge space station under construction, and that they must go to the Outer Rim.
They approach the space station, revealed to be the Death Star. Starkiller tells Juno to stay on the ship while he goes to free the Rebels. He tells her that they may not meet again, and they share a kiss. He says goodbye and jumps into the heart of the Death Star. Starkiller makes his way towards the Emperor's observation dome, where the Senators are, destroying Stormtroopers in his way. When Starkiller reaches the observation dome, he finds that Vader and the Emperor are there to greet him. He instantly starts a duel with Vader. Starkiller states that he is no longer Vader's apprentice, as there is nothing left for Vader to teach him. As their bout escalates, Starkiller rips two of Palpatine's massive statues out of the bulkhead and flings them at Vader, crushing the hapless Sith Lord. Though he survives, Vader is massively damaged, with the left side of his helmet bashed off. He then tries to convince Starkiller that this was all just a test, but Starkiller refuses to believe him. Throughout this struggle, the Emperor tries to manipulate Starkiller into killing Vader, and taking his place at the Emperor's side. However, Kota, who was also one of the prisoners, manages to break free and intervene, stealing Palaptine's lightsaber and killing the guards. He then jumps towards the Emperor, who hits Kota with a wall of Force lightning.
Starkiller cries out, and decides to face the Emperor in order to save his friend, rather than taking revenge by killing Vader. During this final showdown, the Emperor tells Starkiller it was on the Emperor's orders that Vader killed his father, and taught the young Starkiller the powers of the Dark Side. Vader was never truly Starkiller's master, and Starkiller was never kept as a secret from the Emperor. Starkiller manages to defeat the Emperor, and is about to destroy him when he is stopped by Kota. Kota convinces him to let Sidious go, because if Starkiller kills him, he will still be an assassin, as he was from the beginning. Starkiller agrees and tells Kota to take the Senators to safety. The Emperor then tries to use Force lightning on Kota again, but Starkiller stops him by using the Force against the lightning. The Force battle grows larger as the Senators and Kota escape onto the Juno-piloted Rogue Shadow. As they fly away, a blue explosion is seen behind them. Kota tells Juno that Starkiller is gone. Back on the Death Star, Vader and the Emperor stand in the fiery aftermath of the battle, both extremely damaged. Starkiller is seen dead on the floor. The Emperor explains to Vader that Starkiller is much more of a threat dead than he was alive. He has given the new Rebellion something to fight for, and his sacrifice will make them stronger.
Returning to the perspective of the rebels, Bail Organa explains to PROXY how important Starkiller's death was. The Senators gather around a table, and Bail announces that the Rebel Alliance has been born. Leia then rolls out some parchment with the symbol of the Rebellion on it, which is the Marek family symbol Starkiller found in his old home on Kashyyyk. The symbol was adopted as a tribute to Starkiller's sacrifice. We then see Juno and Kota talking outside. She asks him if he always knew that the apprentice he fought on Nar Shaddaa and Starkiller were one and the same. He says that he knew who Starkiller was as soon as he approached Kota in Cloud City. The reason he decided to go with them, was because he saw some light inside Starkiller's darkness—his love for Juno.
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Behind the scenes
Copies of the first printing of the Titan (UK) edition are missing the narrative box saying "...he knew that the Jedi had survived..." during PROXY's tale of Starkiller's fight with Kota on page 30.
Starkiller only uses his signature reverse grip on five pages: the front cover, pg. 3, pg. 14, pg. 37, and pg. 112.