- "What do you think I'm afraid of?"
"Being yourself. Being Starkiller. Being Ga—"
"Don't say that name. I'm not him. I'm a clone, a copy—and a bad one at that."
- ―Subject 1138 and Rahm Kota
Subject 1138, also known as "Starkiller," was a clone of Galen Marek, a Force-sensitive Human male trained by the Sith Lord Darth Vader as his secret apprentice. After the death of Marek, Vader endeavored to create a more powerful and obedient version of his fallen disciple, using a cloning facility on the planet Kamino to carry out this agenda. However, the procedure was imperfect, resulting in a series of unstable clones that succumbed to madness. Though initially impressing Vader with his progress, Subject 1138 was affected by the emotional imprints that he inherited from his template and consequently developed a fixation on Captain Juno Eclipse, a former Imperial officer whom Marek fell in love with. Dismissed by his master as another setback in a long line of failures, the clone fled from Kamino and began traveling across the galaxy to find Eclipse.
The clone infiltrated Cato Neimoidia to rescue General Rahm Kota, hoping that Marek's Jedi mentor would lead him directly to Eclipse. Kota, believing the clone was in fact Marek, tried to convince him to rejoin the Alliance to Restore the Republic, but "Starkiller" was neither concerned with the Rebellion nor interested in assuming his progenitor's identity. However, his determination to be with Eclipse was used by Darth Vader as a way to lure the clone back to Kamino, having captured the Alliance officer in a battle near the Itani Nebula.
Returning to his homeworld, Starkiller fought his way into the facility where he was created, battling stormtroopers as well as other clones of Marek while the Alliance Fleet laid siege to Kamino. Ultimately, the renegade clone was able to save Eclipse and, in the process, defeated the Dark Lord of the Sith in a lightsaber duel. As a result of the clone's actions, the Alliance prevailed against the forces of the Galactic Empire, securing their first major victory in the Galactic Civil War and taking Vader himself as a prisoner of war.
Early life and training
- "We are still left with hundreds upon hundreds of abject failures. While they no longer try to kill anything that comes near them, they are nearly insensible."
- ―Lead Cloning Technician, Timira City Cloning Facility
Subject 1138, known informally as "Starkiller," was a clone created as a result of the death of his template, Galen Marek, the original Starkiller who died while saving the leaders of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Marek had been trained by the Sith Lord Darth Vader whose own Sith Master, Emperor Palpatine, sought to replace him with Marek. However, Marek resisted the temptation of the dark side, and died as a Jedi when he became one with the Force.
Cloning a Force-sensitive template had never been accomplished, and Jedi Master Rahm Kota believed that it was impossible. Nevertheless, Marek's body was taken to the planet Kamino where Vader secretly commissioned the Lead Cloning Technician to create a clone of his former apprentice. Utilizing an accelerated cloning process, the cloners succeeded in growing mature clones of Marek in a short amount of time. For reasons unknown to them, however, the Force interfered with the development of a Force-sensitive clone. As a result, the first clones of Marek were aberrant specimens that succumbed to clone madness. Despite making improvements to the cloning process, the clones that followed were also unstable. The memory imprints that trained Marek's clones also created an identity crisis within them, and they could not distinguish Marek's memories from their own experiences. Vader personally oversaw the training of the clones that he deemed promising, such as Subject 1138 whom the Dark Lord of the Sith hoped would be the first success in a long line of failed experiments.
- "The accelerated cloning process is still… imperfect. Those who came before you went mad within months. I believed you would be the first success, but it seems you are to suffer the same fate."
- ―Darth Vader, to Subject 1138
The training of Subject 1138 "Starkiller" progressed rapidly, due in large part to the imprinted memory flashes from the original Starkiller. He was also subjected to numerous brutal tests by Darth Vader, such as having to spend thirteen days in isolation without food or water, forced to survive by relying on the Force. Upon one of Vader's visits, the clone was released from the isolation pit and was informed by Vader that Rahm Kota, the original Starkiller's Jedi mentor, had been captured on Cato Neimoidia. At the conclusion of his training, Starkiller was to travel there and execute the Jedi. When Vader inquired about Starkiller's visions, the clone elaborated, curious about their meaning. Vader explained that they were nothing more than "the memories of a dead man," a temporary side effect of the accelerated cloning process. With that, Vader initiated a training session, providing Starkiller with a pair of lightsabers. Engaging a number of Sith Training Droids imitating Rebel Alliance soldiers, Starkiller cut them down with brutal efficiency, falling into a trance-like state. However, as he turned on the last faux-Rebel, he realized that it was an imitation of Juno Eclipse.
Despite Vader's orders, Starkiller was unable to strike her down. Disappointed at Starkiller's inability, Vader struck down the false Eclipse himself, and Starkiller ran to the cut-up droid to check it, as if it were Juno herself. Vader then declared that Starkiller would suffer the "same fate as the others." Now aware that he was going to be discarded by the Sith Lord, Starkiller lost all respect for him, even doubting the fact that there were other clones of the same template; he believed that any other version of Vader's fallen apprentice would be in love with her as well and seek out Juno Eclipse just as he was. Experiencing a sudden memory flash of the original Starkiller being betrayed by Vader, Starkiller then decided to escape this outcome, and therefore turned on Vader at the last moment.
Darth Vader brandished his lightsaber to execute the clone, but was caught off-guard by a sudden barrage of Force lightning from an enraged Starkiller, dropping to one knee as his cybernetics malfunctioned. Starkiller used the opening to blast a hole in the wall of the reinforced training room, leaping out of the tower into the Kamino rainstorms. Using the Force to clear his path of TIE fighters and exterior fixtures on the tower, Starkiller plummeted onto the exterior ramparts of the Timira City cloning facilities. Drawing his two lightsabers, he cut a bloody swath of destruction along the rain-slicked platforms, eventually reaching the landing platform where Vader's TIE Advanced x1 starfighter was docked.
As Starkiller paused, Darth Vader emerged from within the facility. Quickly boarding the fighter, Starkiller lifted off and escaped Kamino, despite Vader's brief attempt to telekinetically halt the fighter. Although he knew better than to believe he was free, Starkiller further gave in to his imprinted feelings by dedicating himself to finding Juno Eclipse.
- "The Jedi. Where is he?"
"Oh… He's alive, for the moment. He's been in the arena for seven days."
- ―Subject 1138 and Merillion Tarko
Knowing that Rahm Kota would most likely be a valuable asset in tracking down Juno, Starkiller decided to rescue his progenitor's former Jedi ally. Thus, he followed up on Darth Vader's information and traveled to Cato Neimoidia. As he had not changed the transponder in Vader's ship, he was believed to be the Dark Lord and was directed to an executive landing pad, where he was greeted by a full retinue of stormtroopers and Baron Merillion Tarko, the Imperial governor controlling the world from Tarko-se, a city that he named after himself. When Starkiller, clad in a tattered Imperial flightsuit, emerged from the vessel, Tarko immediately noticed that something was wrong, informing Starkiller that Kota had been in the Tarko-se Arena for the past several days before questioning his knowledge of the local Imperial security codes. When Starkiller didn't answer, Tarko and the stormtroopers brandished their weapons, prompting Starkiller to ignite his lightsabers. Tarko retreated while Starkiller quickly cut down the troopers.
Carving his way through the eastern archway of Tarko-se, Starkiller eventually reached a public tramway to the western arch where the arena was situated. En route, he was forced to defend the vehicle against an assault by Imperial air forces, destroying most of the opposition. However, the tram finally malfunctioned and fell out of the sky just before reaching the western arch, forcing Starkiller to leap the distance to the tram station. Once in the western arch, he made his way to the entrance to the Tarko-se Arena.
Once within the arena, he approached an exhausted Rahm Kota in the ring. An incredulous Kota turned to him, plainly surprised, but expressing his certainty in Starkiller's survival. As one of the arena doors opening, releasing a rancor, Starkiller brandished one lightsaber. However, his relaxed attitude quickly vanished when the rancor was seized and consumed by a massive Gorog, and he ignited his second blade. While Kota fled the arena to hunt down Tarko, Starkiller remained to contend with the Gorog. With Kota's strategic assistance, Starkiller managed to use the Gorog's restraints built into the arena to pin the beast's arms, before leaping onto its head and cutting into its brain.
The Gorog managed to break loose of its restraints and fling Starkiller aside, destroying the hanging arena's supports in an enraged pursuit of the Force Adept. Starkiller allowed it to do so, hoping it would fall with the rest of the arena. Making his way to Tarko's executive box, he rendezvoused with Kota and confronted the Baron. However, the confrontation was cut short by the Gorog, who seized hold of the box in a last ditch effort to avoid falling. Tarko fell into the Gorog's open mouth while Kota was grabbed by the beast before it fell. Starkiller leapt after them, attacking the Gorog with bursts of Force lightning and lightsaber throws. Finally, Starkiller used the Force to burst through the creature's torso, causing the Gorog to release Kota from its grip. Once freed, Kota used his comlink to contact the Rogue Shadow, which swept in on autopilot and caught them before landing hard on the rocky terrain below.
- "I'm not Starkiller! Not the original Starkiller, anyway. I'm a clone, grown in a vat by Darth Vader to take the old Starkiller's place at his side."
- ―Subject 1138, to Rahm Kota
Once within the ship, Starkiller charged into the cockpit, expecting to find Juno Eclipse there. Kota revealed that he didn't know where she was, as the Rebel fleet had been scattered. Starkiller convinced Kota to help him find Juno, and Kota provided the coordinates for the Rebel rendezvous in the Athega system. However, they were ambushed by an Imperial fleet upon their arrival, and forced to flee. Kota was quick to try convincing Starkiller to join the Rebellion in a counterattack against the Empire, brushing aside Starkiller's claims of being a clone with the supposed certainty that cloning Force-sensitives was impossible; he also tried to drill Starkiller for information regarding the Kaminoan cloning facilities in order for the Alliance to launch a full-scale invasion of Kamino.
However, Starkiller remained unconvinced that he could be the real Starkiller, believing that Vader found a way to successfully clone Force-wielders with the aid of Kaminoan technology. Furthermore, he remained committed to finding Juno and also stated that he simply needed a quiet place to meditate on his situation. Kota was enraged that Starkiller would not immediately commit to the Rebellion, believing that the clone was putting one woman and his own inner conflict above the needs of the galaxy. Realizing that he could not convince or force Starkiller to change his mind, Kota stormed out of the cockpit, but not before giving the Rogue Shadow to him, feeling that the ship had always been his, and demanding to be let out on the nearest spaceport before Starkiller got "lost in the stars".
Vision on Dagobah
- "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 Subject 1138
Dropping Kota off on Malastare, Starkiller then followed up on both his Force visions and hints Kota had inadvertently dropped. Traveling to Dac, he found the planet in turmoil from recent resistance activity. On Kashyyyk, he experienced a vision of the original Starkiller's father. From freeing Kota to visiting several worlds, he had found that all of his attempts to find Juno had proven to be counter-productive to his primary goal. Having exhausted all other options, he decided to travel to Dagobah.
Landing on the planet, he probed the swamps through the Force, discovering an odd Force signature that studied him in return. Picking his way through the swamps towards it, Starkiller was forced to fight off several predators, but prevailed. Reaching the Dark Side Cave, he was greeted by Yoda. Yoda steered Starkiller into entering the cave, which the Force Adept did after a moment.
Within the cave, Starkiller experienced a vision. Now clad in the robes of a Jedi Knight and wielding blue lightsabers, he wandered the interior of the cave, only to be accosted by various versions of himself. Initially brandishing his lightsabers, Starkiller lowered them and forced his way through. Entering a final chamber shrouded in shadows, he experienced additional layers of the vision, seeing Darth Vader hiring Boba Fett to track him down, and Juno Eclipse being attacked and wounded on the bridge of her vessel, the Salvation.
Emerging from the cave, Starkiller was counciled by Yoda to follow what he had seen. Returning to his ship, Starkiller traveled to Malastare to find Kota. Finding Kota in the workshop of the Rebel contact Berkelium Shyre, Starkiller was recognized by Shyre, who was infatuated with Juno, as the man whom Juno Eclipse always spoke of. After Kota left to rendezvous with his new squad, Starkiller erased Shyre's memory of him, and of his own last meeting with Juno. Afterward, Kota introduced Starkiller to his squad's medic, the Cerean Ni-Ke-Vanz. Vanz possessed extensive knowledge of cloning, having been educated in the subject by a Khommite slave during a shared sentence in the Spice Mines of Kessel. Vanz elaborated on how cloning was not the equivalent of immortality. A clone was its own distinct individual, based on the biological structure of the original subject, but ultimately a different version of its template. Vanz also elaborated on the complications of cloning Force-sensitives, particularly how the clones would lapse into insanity, causing them to develop psychotic and violent tendencies. Although he was unsure, Vanz speculated that the Force was in some way responsible for undermining the stability of Force-sensitive clones.
Starkiller wasn't reassured by this information, despite Kota's belief that it proved he wasn't a clone. They departed for Nordra, the current location of the Rebel fleet, soon afterward. En route, Kota presented Starkiller with a pair of blue lightsaber crystals, relics of the Clone Wars; Starkiller accepted the gifts and installed them in his dual-lightsabers.
Attack on the Salvation
- "I have to get to Juno before she's hurt."
"Even if it means putting yourself at risk?"
"Our bounty hunter friend will find it works the other way around."
- ―Subject 1138 and Rahm Kota
Arriving at Nordra, Starkiller and Kota docked aboard the Salvation ahead of Kota's squad, which had taken an alternate vessel. While taking a rapid cargo tram towards the Salvation bridge, Kota informed Starkiller about the state of affairs within the Alliance. The Alliance leadership was deadlocked, as they didn't have the firepower to take out a meaningful Imperial target, and hit-and-run raids wasted too many lives. Juno Eclipse was part of the militarist camp, calling for an aggressive strike, even for only a symbolic victory. Kota didn't tell Juno that Starkiller was with him, feeling that it would be better for her to see for herself. Starkiller handed Kota an encrypted code cylinder that contained information about the Timira City cloning facilities; everything the Alliance needed to launch a successful attack.
The cargo tram suddenly ground to a halt as the ship was attacked. Starkiller and Kota quickly drew their lightsabers and made their way to the bridge on foot, attacked by Imperial Terror Soldiers along the way. Reaching the bridge, they found it in shambles, most of the personnel dead and Juno missing. Starkiller found PROXY, the original Starkiller's training droid, who informed them that Juno had likely been taken to the Deck 7 docking bays. While Kota remained on the bridge to take command of the ship, Starkiller continued on alone, following the destructive trail left by Vader's bounty hunter and the Imperial forces.
Making it to the hangar, Starkiller arrived just in time to see Boba Fett and a very shocked Juno Eclipse board Fett's ship. Attempting to stop Fett's ship from fleeing by grasping it telekinetically, Starkiller was forced to break off when he was attacked by a Terror Walker. Pursuing the monstrous droid into the Salvation's reactor chamber, Starkiller destroyed it. Contacting Kota, Starkiller demanded that Kota order the attack on Kamino, so he could go rescue Juno from Darth Vader. As he felt his rage build up at the thought of Juno's capture and his Master, Starkiller experienced another vision in the Force; he stood victorious over a defeated Darth Vader and raised his blade to finally end the Sith Lord's life. Before he could deliver the final blow, however, he was impaled from behind by a lightsaber through the chest. In the last moments of his short existence, Starkiller saw that his killer's face was exactly like his own; it was another clone of Galen Marek—a "reborn Starkiller," deeply absorbed in the dark side and much more powerful. The last thing that Starkiller saw before snapping out of the vision was water as Vader telekinetically pushed the imperfect clone's body into the vast ocean of Kamino.
Battle of Kamino
- "I wonder if he's here somewhere."
"The original Starkiller."
- ―Subject 1138 and Rahm Kota
Starkiller returned to the hangar just in time to see the Rebel fleet arrive at Kamino. Engaging the Imperial forces that boarded the Salvation, Starkiller systematically eliminated them before returning to the bridge. Kota and PROXY informed him that the attack was going badly; as the Imperials had been waiting for them, and the deflector shield protecting Timira City prevented them from landing any of their forces. Starkiller advised Kota to order the ship abandoned so he could crash in through the planetary shield and destroy the planetside shield generator.
Slaving all ship systems to the bridge, Starkiller plotted a course straight at the planetside shield generators and set the ship on autopilot. As the ship plummeted towards Timira City, Starkiller cleared debris from the battle out of the ship's path, allowing it to smash through the shield. As the Salvation continued falling, it broke in half, with the rear half plowing into the shield generator, while his flew at the spire where Darth Vader was holed up. Too late realizing that Juno was also being held in the spire, Starkiller used the Force to destroy the entire forward section of the Salvation. Managing to survive the fall onto the facility, Starkiller briefly lost consciousness.
While unconscious, Starkiller remembered Galen Marek's mother, and how she sacrificed herself to protect her family from Trandoshan slavers before Galen's abduction by Vader. When he awoke on the Kaminoan battlefield, he tried to shrug it off and focus on the task at hand. As he was on the cloning facilities interior, he needed to find an entrance to allow the Rebel forces in. Making his way towards one of the Imperial hangar bays, he fought his way through dozens of Imperial troops, as well as clearing out a group of snipers harrying Rahm Kota and his squad. Rendezvousing with Kota, they broke into one of the Imperial command centers, hoping to use it to open the hangar doors, but the controls were destroyed by an Imperial bombing run. While Kota and his men looked for a security hub to prevent any more lock downs, Starkiller made his way to an alternate command center only to find the controls locked. Instead, he used telekinesis to wrench the doors open.
Needing a shortcut across the facilities interior towards the base of the cloning spires, Starkiller climbed on top of the hangar doors and leapt onto a passing Y-wing. The pilot, Wedge Antilles, obliged to Starkiller's request for a ride, flying him across the dome. Leaping off and entering the spire, Starkiller began ascending. Within, he engaged Imperial Saber Guards and Sith Acolytes, and finding to his horror that most of the cloning tanks within the spire contained more clones of Galen Marek. As he ascended higher and higher, he attempted to do so stealthily and with as little bloodshed as possible, but was given away by an unnoticed Terror Trooper, forcing him to kill them all.
Confrontation with Vader
- "I knew it was only a matter of time before you returned. Now you will surrender to me, or you will die here where you were created."
- ―Darth Vader, to Subject 1138
Exiting an elevator in the cloning labs near the top of the spire, Starkiller continued on, despite Kota's protests via comlink. As he wandered through the smoke-shrouded corridors, he was attacked by Vader. Starkiller managed to fend off the Sith Lord, but was struck by a sudden and violent Force vision before he could counter, allowing Vader to slip away. Tortured by his own mind as he wandered the corridors, Starkiller was attacked twice more by Vader before reentering the larger interior spaces of the spire.
Darth Vader made himself visible on one of the tank platforms, declaring that Starkiller would either surrender to him or die. Starkiller leapt up to engage Vader, but the Dark Lord relied on more evasive tactics, fending off Starkiller's attacks while sending Sith Training Droids in the guise of various figures from Galen Marek's past to fight him. Starkiller easily held them off and turned on Vader. However, the Vader he fought turned out to be just another Holodroid, and Starkiller leapt further upwards in search of the real Sith Lord.
As he prepared to face the true Darth Vader, Starkiller also found himself confronted by a veritable army of aberrant clones of Galen Marek, thus proving that Vader had not lied about creating other clones of Marek, as Starkiller had originally believed. As he fought his "brothers," Starkiller could sense that all of the clones were virtually the same as him—not only because they possessed the same skills as him, albeit in varying degrees, but also because they had inherited the same Force potential and identity crisis as Starkiller. Faced with what were essentially alternate versions of himself and his template, Starkiller was forced to truly accept his identity as a clone in the face of this overwhelming proof. His aggressive counters against the clones were reluctant, as he felt they had just as much right to live as he. He killed them all with a powerful Force repulse, then quietly questioned Darth Vader; Why me?
After a momentary dialogue, Starkiller rushed Vader in a rage. Vader casually parried the attack, and blocked the follow-up with his lightsaber and telekinesis, throwing Starkiller off his feet as the platform bucked. Starkiller regained his feet and came on swinging. Even as they fought across the top level of the tower, Starkiller sensed that Vader was still testing him, and attempted to keep a handle on his emotions. When an opening came, Starkiller moved to take it, only to be hit by a vision of a dead Juno Eclipse in his arms. Starkiller's momentary confusion allowed Vader to knock him down and quietly retreat. Starkiller pursued him, and reached the very top of the spire.
When Starkiller demanded Juno's location, Vader sidestepped and revealed her standing behind him. Vader took her up in a telekinetic chokehold, demanding that Starkiller surrender to him in exchange for her life. Starkiller agreed, casting aside his lightsabers and dropping to his knees. With the clone in submission, Vader commanded Starkiller to locate and kill Rahm Kota, embrace the Dark side of the Force, and to hunt down and execute the Rebel leaders upon the completion of his training; failure to meet any of the Sith Lord's demands would result in Juno's death. However, while Vader spoke, Juno retrieved one of Starkiller's lightsabers and attacked Vader. Vader managed to dodge, blasting her back with a powerful Force push, seemingly killing her. Starkiller fell on Darth Vader in blind rage, only to be thrown out of the spire as well. He landed on a nearby roof, situated above what appeared to be a power generator that harnessed Kamino's constant lightning strikes as an energy source. Starkiller immediately attempted to reach Juno, wanting desperately to save her, but found his path blocked by Vader.
Starkiller attacked Vader yet again. At first, he could not understand why Vader was deliberately keeping him from getting to Juno, as she was the one tool that could be used to control him. However, as they fought across the rain-slicked generator roof, Starkiller realized that his former master was using both the duel and Juno's death in an attempt to cause him to fall back into darkness. Without Juno, both Vader and Starkiller knew that he would no longer be motivated to resist the lure of the dark side. With this sudden comprehension, Starkiller attempted to reason with Vader, even as their fight increased in intensity. He even went so far as to suggest that his Master join the Alliance in order to destroy the Emperor. But Vader simply redoubled his own attack in response, making it clear that he wanted nothing to do with the Rebellion. As they continued to fight, Vader tried to encourage Starkiller to rise above his artificial feelings for Juno Eclipse, stating that she meant nothing and was only holding him back. Starkiller continued to press his attacks in order to get to Juno, but Vader stayed firmly between the two and reminded the clone that Juno had loved Marek, but as Starkiller was not truly Marek, he could never have her love.
Starkiller was eventually forced onto his back foot and disarmed. Vader then gave Starkiller one last chance to surrender, telling him that if he did not, he would die. Starkiller appeared to surrender, which caused Vader to drop his guard. Then Starkiller absorbed a lightning bolt from one of the lightning rods surrounding the platform upon which they were fighting and used the energy of the lightning in conjunction with his own powers to launch an incredibly powerful blast of Force lightning at Vader. Having dropped his guard, Vader was struck head-on by the blast, and was severely damaged by the bolt.
Starkiller prepared to execute Darth Vader, even as the Sith Lord continued to try turning him. However, he was halted at the last second by Rahm Kota and his squad. Kota called for taking Vader prisoner to interrogate and formally execute him, reasoning to Starkiller that Vader was the only one who knew for sure whether or not he was truly a clone. Unknown to Starkiller, he had both Boba Fett and the Dark Apprentice—a fellow surviving clone of Galen Marek—preparing to intervene if Starkiller attempted to kill Vader. Ultimately, Starkiller chose to spare Darth Vader, thus heeding Kota's advice rather than succumbing to Vader's insistence that the clone fulfill his destiny.
- "As long as she lives, I will always control you."
- ―Darth Vader, to Subject 1138
With Darth Vader overcome, Starkiller rushed to Juno, whom PROXY was attempting to revive. Unsuccessful, PROXY apologized for his failure, though Starkiller was quick to forgive him, stating that the fault was his own, for seeking out Juno in the first place. Holding her body in his arms, Starkiller began grieving when Juno inexplicably awoke. Unknown to Starkiller, Boba Fett had been preparing to kill him with a sniper rifle, but relented out of sympathy when Juno awoke.
With the battle won and Vader captured, the Rebel attention was turned to cleanup the Timira City facilities. Vader would be transported on board the Rogue Shadow to keep his whereabouts secret, with Starkiller supervising his transport. Kota saw to Vader's "accommodations" aboard the Shadow, telling Starkiller that he hadn't said a word during this process. Starkiller was skeptical that Vader would give in to interrogation, believing that the Sith Lord's own experiences had already pushed him past his breaking point. Starkiller then saw PROXY enter the ship, with scavenged parts from the numerous Sith Training Droids Starkiller had destroyed clutched in his arms. Starkiller followed him into the crew quarters, where PROXY was experimentally swapping out components from the scavenged droids with his own, revealing that he was attempting to find himself a new primary programming to replace his long since erased original. Starkiller advised PROXY to instead figure out a common factor between all the various individuals he had encountered; a set of principles.
Starkiller then went into the onboard meditation chamber, where Vader was detained. While he attempted to project a bold front, Starkiller was inwardly confused and uncertain. He declared to Vader that by letting him live, he had broken the Sith Lord's hold over him. As Starkiller turned to leave, Vader countered that as long as Juno lived, he would always control Starkiller. Starkiller refused to give Vader the satisfaction of an answer, and left the room.
Taking his place in the copilot seat in the Rogue Shadow cockpit, Starkiller left the piloting duties to Juno. The Shadow met up with a formation of Rebel cruisers above Kamino, all arrayed in different directions to throw off pursuit, and was the last to leave. However, they were being tracked by Slave I, which had been hiding in the wreckage from the battle.
Darth Vader's tenure in Rebel Alliance captivity wouldn't last long, as he would be free and active again by 0 BBY. Starkiller's reemergence would likely prove to be a boon to the Alliance, though both Kota and Juno encouraged him to keep a low profile, wanting to keep it under wraps for the time being, unsure about what the Alliance leadership would think of him.
Personality and traits
- "He is no Jedi. A Jedi controls his emotions and his powers. But Starkiller… he does not know restraint. He will bring down an entire Star Destroyer on your head, if that is what it takes to kill you."
"The Starkiller you knew? The one who could pull starships out of the sky? He's dead. Vader had him cloned. That's who is searching for you… a half-mad copy who only thinks he loves you."
- ―Juno Eclipse and Boba Fett, on the original Starkiller and his unstable clone
Like the failed clones created by Darth Vader, Starkiller was programmed with the knowledge and skills of Galen Marek via memory flashes. As such, he also inherited a similar personality as his genetic template, although some characteristic traits were more dominant than others. He was initially loyal and subservient to the will of his creator; fearful of failure yet also determined to prove his worth as the successor to the Dark Lord's original secret apprentice. In spite of his efforts to win Vader's approval, however, the clone was haunted by visions of his progenitor's life. Starkiller struggled to focus strictly on surviving his Master's relentless and unforgiving training regimen, hoping that the motivation to succeed would compensate for the confusion and frustration that he endured due to Marek's memories.
On Kamino, Starkiller never questioned his origin as a clone. He fully accepted the explanation for his existence: the original Starkiller died and he had been created to take the apprentice's place. Nevertheless, he remained conflicted by feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty regarding his purpose in life. As with the other clones, Starkiller did not inherit all of the same emotional attachments that Galen Marek possessed by the end of his life. Unlike the first Starkiller, who had gone to extreme lengths to uncover more memories of his forgotten childhood, all the while developing an affinity for his Rebel allies, the clone spared no feelings for the Rebel Alliance or the dead parents of his template. The cause of the Alliance was of little concern to him, and thus he was willing to comply with Vader's wishes to destroy the insurrection of his former apprentice. Regarding Kento and Mallie Marek, Starkiller immediately dismissed them both as irrelevant. They were long since dead, and hence neither mattered to him. After escaping from Kamino, he experienced several visions of the two Jedi parents through Marek's childhood memories, only to remain uninterested in either of them.
Starkiller, uncertain of everything else, felt absolute certainty in his love for Captain Juno Eclipse. Darth Vader asserted that Starkiller's feelings for Eclipse were artificial; the result of flaws he failed to eliminate from an experimental cloning procedure, and one of many emotional imprints that were randomly distributed into each clone of Galen Marek. It was Starkiller's sentiment for the Human woman that ultimately drove him to desert Vader and, in his deranged state of mind, embark on a single-minded search for Eclipse. His fixation with Juno also motivated him to aid the Rebel Alliance during the Assault on Kamino despite his indifference towards its cause.
While Starkiller's actions were motivated by his fixation on Eclipse, and by extension the influence that Marek's emotional imprints had on him, the clone managed to distinguish himself as a separate individual from his genetic template to a certain degree. He insisted to Rahm Kota that he was not "Starkiller;" not the same man whom the Jedi General befriended and mentored. Furthermore, the clone adamantly refused to be acknowledged as "Galen Marek." In his eyes, the original apprentice's codename and birth name belonged to a different man, not to the clone who had been created to replace him.
Starkiller was originally skeptical about the existence of Galen Marek's other clones. Darth Vader revealed that they had all been undermined by a variety of emotional imprints; some were distracted by memories of Marek's father; others were conflicted by his younger self; yet all experienced the same identity crisis that drove them into a state of complete and utter madness. At first, Starkiller was convinced that there were never any other clones, mainly because he found it impossible to believe that any other version of Marek could exist without being in love with Juno Eclipse. This belief was ultimately broken, however, upon viewing the aberrant clones with his own eyes. The revelation that Vader had told the truth about their creation led Starkiller to accept his origin as a clone; a copied version who was superior to his imperfect precursors, but still an overall failure by Vader's standards. Overwhelmed with internal conflict, the clone became even more desperate to hold on to his feelings out of the fear that they truly were counterfeit. After killing the aberrant clones, Starkiller was distraught with guilt and remorse. Through the Force, he learned that they all had the same inner turmoil that mirrored his own, hence causing him to feel as though he had committed fratricide—even suicide—by killing his clone brothers, all of whom were made from the same genetic source that created Starkiller.
Though his abilities and Force techniques relied on the dark side of the Force, Starkiller's emotional attachment to Juno Eclipse caused him to struggle with his own anger and hatred. His compassion for the female Captain made him more resistant to the allure of the dark side, but it also proved capable of forcing him to surrender to its power if Eclipse's life hung in the balance. When Darth Vader threatened to kill Eclipse via strangulation through the Force, Starkiller submitted to his former Master once more.
Powers and abilities
- "I am strong, my Master, and I am getting stronger."
- ―Starkiller and Darth Vader
As was the case with most of the Galen Marek clones, Starkiller was trained to fight with dual-lightsabers. Starkiller strongly favored the Ataru and Niman lightsaber forms, using their dual-blade training regiments to develop his skills, mastering Jar'Kai. In combat, Starkiller utilized heavily pre-practiced fighting sequences, performing them instinctively while he lapsed into a trance-like state. His bladework was elaborate and highly unpredictable, reinforced by sudden Force-based attacks that he chained into his sequences. Like Galen Marek, Starkiller favored the Shien-style reversed grip.
Starkiller also demonstrated an aptitude for improvised weapons and disarmament techniques; in particular, he would often deprive riot stormtroopers of their Electrostaffs and attack them with the weapons. When caught up in the frenzy of Force fury, Starkiller would unleash brutal physical attacks against his hapless enemies. Also, while in "Fury mode", he utilized advanced Telekinetic lightsaber combat techniques, throwing his twin lightsabers in devastating arcs, often striking multiple opponents at a time.
Starkiller's skill as a duelist was so formidable that he could overcome most opponents with little difficulty, with only Darth Vader being able to stand against him for a significant length of time. Riot troopers, Imperial Saber Guardsman, even other Marek clones were no match for him. He was not invincible however, as Vader managed to both disarm him and destroy his weapons during their duel.
- "Okay… whoever killed that thing is way out of our league."
- ―Xasha, to Boba Fett
Starkiller retained the powerful Force connection of his genetic template, advancing quickly thanks to both Darth Vader's brutal training methods and memory flashes of the original Marek's experiences. Notably, the memory flashes did grant him knowledge of advanced Force techniques that he was previously unaware of. It was said that Starkiller was even more powerful than the original Marek was.
Starkiller's skills with telekinesis were such that he could catch and crush TIE fighters in mid-flight. When unleashing Force pushes, he could clear massive areas as everything in front of him was blasted back. Highly proficient at telekinetic lightsaber combat, he would often direct his lightsabers to seek out specific enemies. He was even able to catch or redirect missiles and other ballistics in mid-flight. Most notably, Starkiller's Force repulse unleashed sufficient energy to disintegrate enemies within a certain proximity, the only protection against this ability being either heavy armor or advanced Force abilities.
Starkiller proved able to utilize Force lightning in many unique ways, able to target multiple foes with overwhelming barrages. Like the original Galen Marek, Starkiller was able to chain lightning attacks into his lightsaber strikes, amplifying his melee attacks with sudden arcs of energy. He also used lightning in a more tactical manner, charging up or shorting out certain types of machinery. As with his telekinetic abilities, Starkiller's lightning even had the potential to disintegrate targets.
One of Starkiller's unique abilities was a variant of mind trick. Unlike Jedi, who used it subtly or to evade notice, Starkiller would take complete control over his target's mind, convincing them to attack their allies, or in more extreme cases, jump from high places or into environmental hazards. When he advanced his skills with this ability to their highest level, he was able to control up to three enemies at a time, and when the effects of the Mind trick wore off, they would physically explode in a sudden burst of Force energy, an otherwise unheard of ability.
One of Starkiller's most dangerous abilities was Force fury. Upon building up sufficient levels of Force energy, he would channel it through his body, heavily amplifying his already formidable abilities. His prowess with telekinesis would be boosted to the point where he could seize AT-STs and crush them, and then hurl the wreckage as a weapon, all with minimal effort. His blasts of Force lightning would instantly vaporize foes, and he was able to further amplify it with Tutaminis, even redirecting a lightning bolt into an offensive attack. Fury allowed the already powerful Starkiller to become a nigh unstoppable force of destruction, though its taxing nature meant that Starkiller could only draw on it sparingly.
Starkiller's lightsabers were modified versions of the stock lightsabers provided to the clones of Galen Marek. They all featured a transparent hilt that displayed the lightsaber energy oscillating within, which was lined by a series of black plates. The activator was a simple red button on a silver ring around the hilt approximately halfway along its length. The emitters on Starkiller's lightsabers featured a slanted, wrap-around guard that bore design similarities to emitter shrouds, as opposed to the standard emitters on the original stock design.
The vast majority of the clones wielded silver lightsabers, but Starkiller and other select clones were provided with weapons that emitted a red blade. Starkiller later replaced the red crystals with a set of blue crystals provided by Rahm Kota.
A simple garment provided to all of the clones, his test subject garments were designed to be purely functional. The outfit consisted of simple slacks and short-sleeved shirt, basic boots, all dark colored, topped off by a brighter sleeveless tunic with a low neckline. The shoulders and the waist featured guards or braces composed of a leather-like material. The uniform also appeared to be fire-retardant. Starkiller's particular set was tattered and threadbare by the time of his escape, due to his heavy training under Darth Vader.
Starkiller evidently found his Imperial flightsuit garment on board Darth Vader's fighter when he stole the vessel. The outfit was a simple Imperial flightsuit, though Starkiller notably did away with the helmet and chest-mounted equipment.
A garment adopted by Starkiller just before his and Kota's rendezvous with the Rebel fleet, his Hero's armor would become his primary outfit. Consisting of a loose-fitting blue and white bodysuit covered by a long white, sleeveless tunic, the garment featured a utility belt covered with pockets and a segmented, bare-metal breastplate. His wrists and knees were also covered by bare-metal guards.
Behind the scenes
Starkiller's clone was created for the 2010 video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, and was played by Sam Witwer like the original Starkiller. He first appeared in the game's announcement trailer, released during the 2009 SPIKE TV Video Game Awards on December 12.
In the early marketing of The Force Unleashed II, the clone is wearing a different costume known as the "combat arena" costume in the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360's unlock of costumes. One such appearance was in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II official game website, where unlockable videos showed parts of his missions during the game. In the last update before the site changed to an interactive website, Starkiller appeared and used a Force push against Subject 1157, the website's character.
The design of the lightsabers evidently underwent a major revision during the development of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. The early design was a heavy duty, segmented hilt with a large emitter shroud and fabric wrappings on the grip. This design was featured in the cinematic trailers, the concept and promotional art, and the graphic novel adaptation. Also, the lightsabers Vader hands to Starkiller in the opening cinematic of The Force Unleashed II are in fact a double set of the original Starkiller's lightsaber.
Starkiller's Force rage ability is slightly different in the Wii version of the game. Instead of making his other abilities highly magnified, the player must select targets with the Wii remote. Starkiller then kills each enemy one by one with a single hit in slow motion. Due to the Xbox/PC/PS3 versions' closer similarity to the rage power, this article considers that version of the power canonical.
Starkiller was set to return in the cancelled game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed III, which was meant to conclude The Force Unleashed saga. The little of the plot that was revealed indicated that Starkiller would be forced into an alliance with Darth Vader to combat a threat made by Darth Sidious.
Some of the hints to Starkiller's origin appear to contradict each other. On one hand, the blurb of the novel stated that Starkiller was brought back as a person devoid of memories from his former life and "programmed to kill." In the Force Unleashed II section of the LucasArts website, however, Darth Vader's profile clearly states that Vader secretly cloned the original Starkiller in order to continue his plot to overthrow Emperor Palpatine—and then lost control of the clone when he escaped from Kamino.[source?]
Within the game, it is implied that the player character is possibly the real Starkiller, having been led to believe he is a clone. However, this argument is largely based around Rahm Kota's perspective. Most of the other supplementary material is fairly straightforward in identifying Starkiller as a clone. However, the novelization, told largely from Starkiller's point of view, generally leaves the idea as viable.
The major piece of evidence supporting Starkiller's identity as a clone are the Distant Thunder cinematics unlocked through the challenge levels. These motion comic-style cinematics depict the training and development of the Dark Apprentice, and shows Vader displaying Galen Marek's corpse to the clone. The body was dressed in Marek's Sith training outfit rather than the Jedi Adventure Robes that Marek was wearing when he died.
The Distant Thunder cinematics take place before the ending of the game and have no impact on the game's progression. With the evidence including the Dark Apprentice's appearance in the novel through a Force vision, as well as being mentioned in the Databank profile of the canonical Aberrant Clones, it is assumed that the Dark Apprentice is a canonical character. The Distant Thunder scenes also reveal that the Dark Apprentice learned to forget his feelings for Juno Eclipse, the original Galen Marek's love interest, and thereby become a "more perfect" clone of the original, devoid of emotions to cloud his judgment.
The Dark Apprentice was ordered by Darth Vader in the last scene of Distant Thunder to "intervene only when necessary" in Vader's upcoming battle with the other clone of Marek. When Vader was defeated by the clone at the end of the game, the Dark Apprentice chose not to intervene in Vader's capture for unknown reasons, as seen in the light-side ending. However, the Dark Apprentice only appeared when his counterpart was about to deliver a finishing blow to kill Vader, as seen in the dark-side ending. In the light-side ending, Vader's life was not in immediate danger, thus not requiring the Dark Apprentice to stop "Starkiller" from executing the Sith Lord.
- "You have faced your final test."
"What is thy bidding, my Master?"
"Take his starfighter. Scour the far reaches of the galaxy. Find the last of the Rebels and destroy them."
"As you wish."
- ―Darth Vader and the Dark Apprentice
Ignoring Kota's pleas to take Darth Vader alive as a prisoner for the Rebellion, Starkiller gave into his anger and hatred. As he moved to strike down his former Master, a red-bladed lightsaber emerged from the center of his torso. Shocked and overcome by agonizing pain, Starkiller dropped his lightsabers and fell to the ground in front of Vader. With Starkiller down and mortally wounded, his attacker de-cloaked, thus revealing that he had been secretly watching the duel the entire time. General Rahm Kota activated his lightsaber and tried to kill Vader's savior, but his attempts were in vain. The dark assassin skillfully blocked all of Kota's attacks and slashed the General across the chest with one swift strike. While the Terror Troopers dispatched several Rebel soldiers and PROXY, the assassin grabbed Kota with the Force and threw him into the remaining Rebels. With a powerful Force push, he sent General Kota and his remaining troops into the vast ocean of Kamino, where they drowned.
As Starkiller struggled to move despite his fatal wound, Darth Vader slowly walked over to the dying clone and revealed that he had lied about failing to perfect the accelerated cloning process. At that moment, the mysterious assassin made his way to Vader's side and lowered his hood to reveal his identity. As Starkiller looked at the face of the man who killed him, he saw that it was his face, only pale and visibly corrupted by the dark side. The assassin revealed himself to be a fellow clone of Darth Vader's fallen apprentice, the only perfect clone amongst many failures, including Starkiller. After gazing at the fallen form of Juno Eclipse for the last time, Starkiller despaired and died.
As the dark clone awaited his new orders, Vader commended him for completing his final test and then commanded him to take the Rogue Shadow in order to search the galaxy for the last of the Rebel leaders—and to kill them. As the Dark Apprentice turned to leave, he took a moment to stare at the body of the woman who loved his genetic template. Having rid himself of the original Starkiller's emotions, the dark clone walked past Juno's body. With a small TIE fighter escort, the Rogue Shadow moved through the debris left behind in the space battle above Kamino and entered hyperspace.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II comic (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II novel
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
- (as Subject 1138)
- "The Good, the Bad, and the Gorog" – Star Wars Insider 121
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 8 (PRX1-2, PROXY)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (comic)
- As a clone of the original Starkiller (Galen Marek), who is 1.85 meters in height per , Starkiller (clone) would also be 1.85 meters in height.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (novel)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (novel)
- The placement of this incident is unclear, but this article assumes it takes place before Starkiller's confrontation with Darth Vader.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game
- The Good, the Bad, and the Gorog
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: Prima Official Game Guide
- Distant Thunder