Sam Witwer is no stranger to the Star Wars universe. The actor has voiced several characters in the Clone Wars animated series and the LEGO Star Wars games including Darth Maul and Emperor Palpatine. But his most iconic role is Starkiller, the secret apprentice to Darth Vader.
In a StarWars.com interview celebrating the re-release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the Nintendo Switch, Sam Witwer sat down with StarWars.com to discuss the Starkiller character and the story of the video game.
“So, Starkiller is the photo negative of Luke Skywalker. It’s like you’re sitting around the campfire and you’re-telling the story of the Sith that turned good, you know, kind of a cautionary tale to Sith everywhere: “Be careful, you might turn good.” It’s that type of thing. And it really is a tall tale. It’s this perspective on what was happening between the two trilogies and what was happening with Darth Vader and what his ambitions were, as played out through this young innocent kid and how he has to learn to think for himself throughout the game. Because at first, all he’s doing is trying to please his master, Darth Vader.”
The Force Unleashed centers around Witwer’s Starkiller, born Galen Marek to a fugitive Jedi name Kento on the planet Kashhyyyk. In the beginning of The Force Unleashed, the player plays as Darth Vader, who senses a strong presence in the Force which turns out to be a young Galen. Vader travels to Kashhyyyk and defeats Kento in a lightsaber duel. The Sith Lord raises Galen into adulthood while secretly training him in the ways of the Sith.
Throughout the game, Starkiller is tasked by Vader with hunting down Jedi. After an encounter with Jedi Master Rahm Kota, Starkiller slowly begins to question his purpose. The turning point of the story occurs when Starkiller is found out by Emperor Palpatine and Vader betrays him (as a ruse). Nursed back to health, Starkiller is instructed by Vader to gather the Emperor’s enemies to form a resistance against the Empire. During this time, the apprentice slowly forms a relationship with Juno Eclipse and befriends Kota.
Starkiller would be betrayed the second time by Vader on the planet Corellia where the representatives of the Rebel Alliance would convene. With Rebel leaders, including Bail Organa and Kota captured, Marek would ultimately confront his former Sith Master on the first Death Star. Starkiller would defeat Vader in a duel and sacrifice himself to save his new friends who would go on to establish the Rebel Alliance on Kashyyyk, using Starkiller’s family crest as their symbol.
Witwer would return to the role of Starkiller in form of a clone of the secret pupil in The Force Unleashed II. The clone of Galen Marek would be simply named ‘Starkiller’ and like his progenitor, he would rebel against Vader. In both games, there is a Light Side and Dark Side ending in which the player can choose Starkiller’s fate.
In the interview with StarWars.com, Witwer also talks about how the Force Unleashed helped kick off his acting career, his favorite games, and wanting to find out how tall Darth Vader is.
The Force Unleashed is now available now on Nintendo Switch!
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