Video Game / The Force Unleashed

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/611px-SecretSith01.jpg
"I bring Darth Vader's enemies to justice, and now so do you."
Starkiller

A LucasArts Star Wars-based multimedia project, like Shadows of the Empire eleven years before it. Covers a wide range of media including Comic Books, a novel (by Sean Williams), action figures and a Role-Playing Game, but the Video Game has received most of the attention. It's something of a Tech Demo Game, with a great deal of pre-release hype surrounding its use of Digital Molecular Matter (a physics engine that makes environmental destruction, such as bending metal and tearing plant matter, much more detailed than anything seen before) and Euphoria AI coding (which determines enemy behavior in a much more realistic fashion — stormtroopers grabbing hold of each other or the environment when lifted by the Force, for example), though the game's inconsistent use of both these elements drew criticism in addition to the elements noted below.

The basic story of TFU centers around Darth Vader's secret Sith apprentice, born Galen Marek but codenamed "Starkiller", and explores his role in the Star Wars universe. Set during the time period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, he ends up interacting with various canon characters and fills in new details.

Reviews for the game were mixed (though they got better), with most complaints being a tricky targeting system for flinging objects around and that some of the large creatures were defeated using the exact same methods. The story, however, has been given significant praise, which is unusual for a Star Wars original video game (they are usually an Excuse Plot with some fun action and characters).

A Downloadable Content pack entitled the Ultimate Sith Edition adds a What If? story based on the Dark Side ending, that allows the player to screw around with the canon, with Starkiller proceeding to hunt down and destroy characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker.

A sequel has been released that follows the exploits of a supposed clone of the original Starkiller, and his (failed) attempts to learn the truth.

That Other Wiki has more information. The other other wiki might help too.

This provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Darth Vader was one to Galen.
    • Juno's dad was also a pile of shit.
  • Action Commands
  • All There in the Manual: The real name of your character. While the game refers to him mainly as "Starkiller", the companion novel, towards the end, gives his name as Galen Marek.
    • The Dark Apprentice from the sequel's Dark Side ending. At no point is he even hinted at during the main storyline, his only appearance coming if the player chooses to kill Vader instead of arrest him. His origin is explained in a series of videos that the player can unlock by completing several challenges.
  • All Your Powers Combined: PROXY has the ability to use a hologram to transform into any Jedi he knows of, and is able to copy their lightsaber skills and even their Force powers.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In the second game, Galen does a Type 2 to Vader when the latter threatens to kill Juno.
  • Alignment-Based Endings: Both The Force Unleashed and its sequel feature Light and Dark side endings.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: You get a bunch of different outfits to choose from right at the start with more being unlocked as you progress through the game.
  • And I Must Scream: Starkiller, in the first game's Dark Side Ending, is transformed into the mangled, robotic Sith Stalker apprentice of Palpatine, barely alive and, as Palpatine makes clear, only living on borrowed time until Palpatine finds a new apprentice; after that, he's done. Makes the second game's Dark Side Ending (where Starkiller's evil clone just shanks him In the Back look fluffy and happy in comparison.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: If you disarm Maris Brood during one of the quick-time events during the boss fight, Galen will casually toss her lightsabers back to her. Whilst she's defenseless face down in the dirt.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Suddenly comes out against the last boss. He adapts to your tactics and punishes any weakness in your style. And if you try to be cheap and and spam him, he'll spam you right back. Of course, since it's Darth Vader if the game gave you any less, people would complain.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Snipers will walk off ledges when trying to get a shot at the player character.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Gorog in the sequel is a skyscraper sized Rancor.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The metal claws on the Sith Stalker armor. How, exactly, does one do stunts with a lightsaber with 6-inch spikes coming out of your fingers?
  • Awesome McCool Name: The only name given to the protagonist in the first game is Starkiller. Doubles as a Development Gag for the original film.
  • Back from the Dead: Starkiller, twice. Technically, the second time he's still dead. He just got cloned. The novel hints that it may have been the case first time as well.
  • Badass Cape: The first alternate costume the player can find throughout the levels is the Sith Robe costume, which gives Starkiller a full-body black cloak typical to the darkest users of the Force.
  • Bag of Spilling: Either averted or justified in the second game. It's averted if the player character is a clone, and therefore has yet to develop all of the original Starkiller's powers, and justified if the player is the original returned, and therefore still recovering from his death.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: In the boss fight on Cato Neimoidia in the sequel. It looks like the clone Starkiller is about to face off against a Rancor - and then an even larger arm reaches out, grabs the Rancor and pulls it into a darkened opening. Out of that opening comes the real boss, the Gorog.
  • Battle in the Rain: The Final Battle in the sequel.
  • Beam-O-War: When the player character and a boss fire Force Push or bolt of lightning at each other at the same time, the two will fire two beams at each other (blue for the player, purple for the boss). The player can overpower the enemy beam by either mashing the attack button or moving the control stick back and forth or do nothing and get blown back.
  • Becoming the Mask: Galen's sent by Vader to organize the rebellion. That turns out to be his downfall.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Meta example. Choose the Dark Side Ending and kill Lord Vader? Congratulations. Your reward comes in the form of Palpatine murdering all of Starkiller's friends and allies, chucking the Rogue Shadow on top of him, and transforming him into a cyborg much like Vader. Not exactly what most people going that way imagined...
  • Berserk Button: For Starkiller, it's Juno. Not even The Force will help you if you harm her in Starkiller's presence, something Darth Vader finds out when it appears he's killed Juno at the end of the second game. You do not screw with Love Interests/family members of Star Wars characters. You end up getting squished like a bug, God-like powers or not.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Carbonite is known for its ability to sever a Jedi's Force connection. However, Starkiller can still use the Force to break out of carbonite with ease.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the Light side ending, Starkiller manages to save his friends, but he dies while buying them time to escape.
  • Blade Lock: If the player character uses his lightsaber at the same time as an opponent, the characters will either lock blades briefly and step backwards to re-commence the duel or the player will have to mash the attack button.
  • Blind Seer: Rahm Kota was a wise Jedi with a strong connection with a Force before he was blinded, but after Starkiller defeats him, he is so devastated by his loss of sight that he can do little but offer wisdom and guidance to future Jedi.
  • Boarding Pod: The companion comics for the sequel provide the page picture. During a battle near the Itani Nebula an unidentified TIE variant launches boarding torpedoes carrying Terror Troopers at the Rebel frigate Salvation.
  • Bonus Boss: The climax of the Jedi Temple missionnote  is a duel with an evil hallucination of the Dark Side version of Starkiller.
  • Broad Strokes: While not exactly with a Literary Agent Hypothesis to justify it, but the crazy uses of the Force can easily be used in this way. And accounting for the fact that despite how powerful Galen is, Vader and Palpatine still seem to be more powerful.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • The game offers the player bonuses for using the Force to creatively crush enemies and kill them in frenzies; despite this, every single game ending supports the message that killing your enemies in battle is morally reprehensible.
    • In the first game's Light Side ending, Starkiller is persuaded to spare Emperor Palpatine so as not to fall to the Dark side. Because righteous fury toward the Evil Overlord that had your father killed automatically means that you're just as evil.
    • In the first game's Dark Side ending. A revenge-driven moment of weakness — even if: (A) it's against an Asshole Victim, and (B) you still try to help the good guys afterward — is automatically a Moral Event Horizon-crossing deserving of a Fate Worse Than Death. Right.
    • In the sequel's Dark Side ending is perhaps the most glaring of all, Starkiller just gets immediately killed via back stab before he can even accomplish anything remotely consequence-worthy.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Appears in the sequel during the "Battle of Endor" DLC level. Starkiller uses Chewbacca as a shield against Han Solo's blaster.
  • The Cameo:
    • Jar Jar Binks of The Phantom Menace shows up frozen in carbonite in the Kashyyyk level. In addition, R2-D2 shows up in the background in a few cutscenes and the last characters PROXY imitates during his boss fight? Darth Maul.
    • There are loads of film and video game characters available as costumes, from Kit Fisto to Darth Sion to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    • Yoda and Boba Fett make brief appearances in the second game, with Wedge Antilles making a cameo in the novelization.
    • Guybrush Threepwood is playable in II as an outfit for Starkiller.
  • Canon Discontinuity: In December 2013, Pablo Hidalgo made a statement via twitter, that declared the game's depiction of the forming of the Rebel Alliance non-canon. This is apparently part of Disney's new canon-policy, that's currently being worked-on by a team that includes Hidalgo, Leland Chee, and Dave Filoni amongst others. This was finalized in 2014, which all EU works before 2014 (that aren't Star Wars: The Clone Wars) are declared non-canon unless referenced by a new source.
  • Captain Obvious: Kota descends into this sometimes, especially when he's serving as Mission Control in the second game.
    (while staring down the Gorog)
    Starkiller: What the hell is this thing??
    Kota: I have no idea. But it's big.
  • Code Name: The main character is only referred to as "Starkiller" (a codename assigned by Darth Vader) in the two games he stars in. His real name, Galen Marek, is only mentioned in the novelization of the game. The second novelization only uses Starkiller's real name on one occasion, but even than the name gets cut off.
  • Collection Sidequest: The Jedi Holocrons are collectibles spread throughout each that restore health and Force energy while also providing the player character with either experience points, different bonuses for melee attacks, or a different color option for the lightsaber.
  • Colon Cancer: The updated re-release of the first game is titled Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition to indicate it includes DLC that goes off from the Bad Ending.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • One of the toughest non-boss enemies, the "Imperial Purge Troopers", are prototype Dark Troopers (Giant Mook killer robots) from the Dark Forces Saga.
    • And at the end of II, the Rebels take Vader to Dantooine. Is it any wonder he knows about it and they've evacuated it by A New Hope?
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run:
    • Inside the Sarlaac, Starkiller and a legion of enemies end up pinned against a wall by gusts of wing as the Sarlacc breathes. Starkiller's smart enough to dodge behind conveniently placed obstructions, but the enemies aren't so clever.
    • In the final level of the first game, Starkiller runs through the Death Star's canons while dodging Stormtroopers and fighting turrets. This happens all while the Death Star is testing its planet-destroying laser, which will instantly kill any enemy and the player.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Starkiller's an incredibly powerful Force user as is, but his abilities are boosted for end-of-boss cutscenes where he can juggle Jedi around with ease, steal lightsabers, and produce enough lightning to kill an entire Sarlacc pit.
  • Darker and Edgier: The creators claim this for the story of the sequel with it being more personal for Starkiller. Turned out to be ironic since the sequel has a far happier ending than the first game. Though that's not to say that it didn't have some pretty dark moments.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Starkiller goes into this territory sometimes, more obvious in the second game when another character is running Mission Control.
    Starkiller: (after the lift stops) Do any elevators on this ship work?
    PROXY: 6% of lifts are in working order... 3%
    Starkiller: Thanks for the update...
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying just causes the player to just go back to the last Checkpoint and lose a few Force points.
  • Death World: Felucia. Not only is it infested with rancors, some of which the hostile natives ride on top of, and has the largest sarlacc specimen in the galaxy, even the plants are out for your blood. Those that don't try to kill you directly by spitting venom at you at least explode violently if you so much as brush lightly against them.
  • Determinator: If Vader took Juno Eclipse to the gates of Hell, Starkiller would be right behind him.
  • Developers' Foresight:
  • Didn't See That Coming: Really, Palpatine. You didn't think your unnecessarily long plan to unite the rebels behind your apprentice's secret apprentice could backfire in any way? It really didn't occur to you or even Vader that Starkiller may actually turn to the Rebel alliance?
  • Disposable Pilot: Starkiller mentions that he had seven pilots before Juno.
  • DLC:
    • In the original, the Tatooine and Hoth levels are available which continue the story from the Bad Ending. The Jedi Temple is available as DLC as well, though it's already included in the Wii version.
    • Preordering the second game from Gamestop gave players Maulkiller costume, as well as silver lightsaber crystals. An Endor mission is available for purchase for II as well, again continuing from the Bad Ending.
  • Doomed by Canon: Anyone who appears in the original trilogy has to survive, and, well, one would think an insanely powerful rogue Jedi/Sith would have been mentioned if he was still in the picture, wouldn't you? This dooms Starkiller not to survive into the original trilogy, although the sequel leaves it ambiguous what exactly his final fate is.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: The protagonist of the second game may or may not be a clone, but one thing is for sure, he will do anything to be with the original Starkiller's love interest, Juno.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The final and only choice you can make will unlock the non-canon dark side ending. Oh, boy, is it a Downer Ending — Everybody gets dead or screwed over. And the Sith Edition expands on it with new levels.
    • Well, I've got good news and bad news. Good news: Luke doesn't die and his friends escape Galen. Bad news: Luke succumbs to the dark side and becomes Galen's apprentice. Oh yeah, Obi-Wan's dead and the Rebellion is pretty much screwed, but hey! At least they blew up the Death Star.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting: Starkiller gets thrown out of a the window of an Imperial spaceship and is left drifting until being recovered on the ISS Empirical.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: When Starkiller seeks out Kota for the Rebellion, he finds the Jedi in a bar on Nar Shadaa, slightly tipsy.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Maris Brood in the first game uses two short red lightsabers, which are closer to knives than anything else.,
    • Starkiller has does wields two lightsabers by default in the second game, but he also uses two at once a few times in the first game.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Right before Galen heads down to the Death Star to save the leaders of the Rebellion from Palpatine, his pilot Juno Eclipse gives him a Last Kiss in case he doesn't return.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Starkiller appeared in SoulCalibur IV before the release of The Force Unleashed.
  • Easter Egg: Numerous. Two occur on the Raxus Prime levels in the first game. First time there, one thing you can pull out of the yellow toxic sludge is Luke's starfighter, a la Dagobah style. The second time you're there, you can spot a piece of junk in the wall - specifically, the front half of the Millenium Falcon.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: Ozzik Sturn prides himself on hunting down sentient aliens like Wookees and Gungans for sport and is openly excited on hearing a Jedi is present just to prove himself.
  • Elite Mooks: Besides regular Stormtroopers, you fight a variety of elite special troopers, including flying, flamethrower-equipped Jumptroopers, black-armored Shadowtroopers with cloaking devices, and the Imperial Royal Guards.
  • Escort Mission: Starkiller heads to Bespin and finds the destitute Kota Ram as Stormtroppers break in to kill the Jedi, forcing Starkiller to fight the Imperial Forces until he can get Kota to a ship. The escort part of the job is actually pretty trivial, because Kota can defend himself with his lightsaber and his health is practically unlimited. He's not invincible, but his health is so huge that basically the only way for him to die is to intentionally kill him.
  • Everything Breaks: Even the windows on space ships! Metal shutters automatically seal the holes after about a second, but everything close to them will be sucked through. And everyone.
  • Evil Knockoff: The dark apprentice at the end of the second game is an identical clone of Starkiller, only without his memories or friends.
  • Eye Scream: A lot in the first game - for starters, General Kota, with his own lighsaber. Ouch. The final cinematic in the Dark Side ending has some of this in 1st person view. The Stalker model also has a small droplet of blood leaking from the visor, hinting at some nastiness underneath, which is in some ways even more disturbing than the previous instance. The finishing move for some Rancors invokes this as well
  • Fake Difficulty: Happens occasionally due to interface troubles.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Proxy, due to his programming, becomes a hybrid of C-3P0 and HK-47. Though given that he sacrifices himself for Starkiller in the end and there were signs of genuine fondness for Galen (later Juno) mentioned in the novel, PROXY wasn't Faux Affably Evil through and through. The only reason he does qualify is that he really does try to kill Starkiller every time they duel (though it's justified as it's meant to keep Starkiller's combat skills sharp).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the prologue, Kento Marek is shown pulling down Tie Fighters. In one of the defining moments of the game, his son (Starkiller) puts all his energy into crashing an Imperial Star Destroyer and actually manages to succeed.
    • Shaak Ti's warning that the Sith always betray one another. It's already shown that Vader is training his apprentice to stage a coup. Then, Vader betrays his apprentice. Twice.
    • There's also Kota's warning to Starkiller that fighting the Empire is pointless and doing so get's people killed or worse. He's exactly right, the two endings are a Heroic Sacrifice and a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The Dark Side ending in the first game has Starkiller enslaved by the Emperor and being transformed into a cybernetic monstrosity very much like Vader.
  • First Name Ultimatum: From the comic: "Put down your lightsaber, Anakin."
  • Flash Step: In his boss battle, the Emperor uses the Force to dash past Starkiller so fast its hard to see.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • Shaak Ti, the game's third boss, can whistle to call upon three alien warriors to help her fight the player. She's immune to attack while making the call, but since Starkiller regains health by killing enemies, the player may not always want to.
    • General Ozzik Sturn only fights the player once he has a fully armored AT-KT tank walker and a troop of elite Stormtrooper to back him up.
    • The Emperor will occasionally surround himself with a shield of lightning so that his Imperial bodyguards can come in groups of two or three to attack the player before the boss fight resumes.
    • For part of the final boss fight, Vader summons Stormtroopers to attack the player while Vader throws platforms from a distance.
  • The Force: A core gameplay mechanic is the player's ability to control the Force's mystical power to manipulate objects, shoot lightning, block projectiles by seeing into the future, and moving with incredible speed. Naturally, enemies pop up that are immune to some of these powers and most bosses can rival the player's characters powers with the Force.
  • Free-Fall Fight: A giant monster named the Gorog chases Starkiller and his friend up a giant tower, only to pull the tower into a pit with it's massive weight. Starkiller is more than willing to let the beast die, but since it managed to grab his friend, he's forced to leap after the beast and use to Force to kill it and grab his friend before jumping into a friendly spaceship.
  • Fungus Humongous: Two levels in the first game take place on the planet of Felucia, which is covered with giant flora and mushrooms that confine the scopes of the levels.
  • Gatling Good: The Militia Elites in the first level and the Rodian Heavy Defenders in the second and eighth levels.
  • Gambit Roulette: Going by the graphic novel, Galen's entire path to the Dark Side (being kidnapped as a child and taken to be raised/tortured for life by Vader, having Vader him, pretty much everything except maybe actually siding with the rebels) was one by the Emperor in order to take someone more powerful than Vader and shape him to be Vader's replacement.
  • Genre Savvy: The novelization of the second game makes a point that while Starkiller's purpose is still to Always Save the Girl no matter what, he is careful to avoid falling onto The Dark Side, as Juno most likely would not want to be with the monster he would become on it.
  • Gladiator Games: In the second game, Starkiller finds his old friend Kota Rahm enslaved and forced to fight against increasingly ridiculous monsters in gladiator games. The end of the level sees Starkiller jump into the arena and save Kota from the most massive monster in the whole tournament.
  • Good Costume Switch:
    • The novel mentions that Starkiller starts wearing robes more like those of the Jedi in order to be more presentable to the Rebel leaders, who all remember the Jedi as the good guys of times past. His outfits are a bit more ambiguous in the game, where his last outfit is a gray and black robe.
    • The "Ceremonial Jedi Robes" unlocked after getting the (canonical) 'good' ending.
  • Groin Attack: The X+A/Square+X grapple in the sequel has Galen stabbing many enemies here. It may look like the stomach at first, but the blade's going through that poor stormtrooper's codpiece.
  • Hail Fire Peaks: The second visit to Felucia features a steel Imperial base functioning as a sort of Eternal Engine, only they decided to make it in the middle of a Sarlaac's stomach.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Starkiller and to a lesser extent, Juno, slowly become more and more sympathetic with the Rebels over the course of the game, although it is ultimately up to the player whether they reject the Dark Side or stay as evil as ever.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In the canonical light-side ending, Galen sacrifices himself to buy time for the senators to escape from the Emperor - and, as Vader and the Emperor note, in doing so, he's become a martyr for the Rebel Alliance that will ultimately be their undoing.
    • The second one might not be the case. In the non-canon Ultimate Sith campaign, you find his remnants in the basements of Jabba's Palace, where he is being reconstructed to be used by the Hutt for his own malicious purposes.
  • He's Back: When Galen and the Rebel founders arrive at Corellia to sign the Declaration of Rebellion, General Kota suddenly shows up, having shed his blindfold, and dressed in full Jedi General regalia. A bewildered Galen says, "I thought you were passed-out in the cargo hold," to which he responds, "I finally came to!"
  • Hitler's Time-Travel Exemption Act: In the new alternate timeline DLC storyline, it is revealed that even if the Rebel Alliance's founding leaders died, the Alliance would be formed anyway, presumably by Princess Leia. Given that the other members were all known and had to go underground or were under careful watch by the empire this is probably not that far from what happened in the lightside ending either.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Vader's plans for Starkiller end up this way. In the sequel, Starkiller can turn enemy attacks against them.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game:
    • As part of his apprenticeship under Darth Vader, the player character starts the game by hunting three fugitive Jedi that survived the Empire's genocide.
    • Ozzik Sturn, the general on Kashyyyk, also mentions that he'd like to hunt Jedi before attacking Galen in a custom AT-ST. Galen responds by ripping one of the guns off the AT-ST and clubbing the walker with it. Did we mention the gun's bigger than him?
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Starkiller looks to very nearly take Senator Organa's head off with his lightsaber in his Reverse Grip style while the senator is standing right behind him. You can see it here at 3:50.
  • I Lied:
    • After Starkiller gathers the leaders of the soon-to-be Rebel Alliance in an attempt to distract the Emperor long enough for him and Vader to stage a coup, Vader himself crashes the party and tells his "apprentice" that the whole plan was a ploy to get all the rebels in one place and capture them in one swoop.
    Starkiller: "You agreed to stay away!"
    Vader: "I lied, as I have from the very beginning."
    • Happens again in the sequel's Dark Side ending.
    Vader: I lied when I said the cloning process was not yet perfected.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Starkiller uses a variation of this trope in the sequel.
    Kota: The main cannon is offline. We're dead in the water without it! See what you can do.
    Starkiller: Do I look like an engineer, General?
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Many attacks involving the lightsaber. Also an ability, where Starkiller lifts an enemy in the air and throws his saber into them as they wrestle helplessly through the air.
  • Improvised Weapon: Well, basically anything, really, thanks to the Force and physics engine, but in the Hoth level of the Ultimate Sith Edition, you can rip the blaster cannons off of X-wings - and shoot them by zapping them with lightning.
  • In the Hood: Several of Starkiller's outfits, most notably the "Jedi Adventure Robe" which he wears at the end.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Starkiller, Juno Eclipse, Rahm Kota, and Maris Brood all look very much like their voice actors, as LucasArts used facial recognition technology to incorporate the likeness of the actors into the game. Bail Organa was also voiced by Jimmy Smitts, but he was in the live action movies anyway. It's somewhat shocking to see Sam Witwer on Smallville and not go "Hey, that's Starkiller!" It's even stranger for some who saw him on Battlestar Galactica first; Sam isn't a particularly large man, but he filled out his Colonial uniform well enough for Crashdown to look like a tank, and Starkiller is significantly more scrawny-looking in comparison. Oddly, the concept art of Starkiller did look just like Sam Witwer before he was cast in the part.
  • Invulnerable Attack
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Amazing how a suggestion from one of the most feared people in Star Wars to entrap political dissidents ends up becoming a major problem to the Empire later on.
  • I've Got Your Girl: In the sequel Darth Vader hires Boba Fett to capture Juno Eclipse in order to lure Starkiller into a trap.
    Darth Vader: As long as she lives, I will always control you.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Sam Witwer (the voice of Starkiller) and David W. Collins (the voice for PROXY) are friends in real life.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: One of Starkiller's powers in the sequel is to use the Force to force enemies to fight alongside him. Taken Up to Eleven as it can turn stormtroopers into bombs when fully upgraded.
  • Kubrick Stare: Pretty much any promotional material has Starkiller doing this constantly.
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: The junk planet Raxus Prime, summed up by PROXY as the place "Where droids go to die."
  • Large Ham: Emperor Palpatine, and Kota in the second game.
    • Made stranger when you learn that the Emperor is voiced by Sam Witwer, aka Starkiller. He does an amazing impression of Ian McDiarmid.
  • Leave No Witnesses: "The Emperor must not discover your presence. Kill everyone aboard..."
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The first game. The PS2 version is notoriously bad about it - the gameplay itself runs smoothly enough, but going through the menus during the rest period between stages quickly becomes a hassle. Scrolling through the various custom outfits can take between 10-20 seconds per shift, with close to a dozen possible outfits to choose from and no way to skip to the one you want.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • The player has an ability set aside for smaller, more vulnerable enemies (i.e. Ewoks, Jawas) known as "Sith Punt" where Starkiller grabs the enemy and kicks them across the room with the full might of the Force.
    • The Dark Side ending for the original has Palpatine verbally kicking Starkiller around as he is being rebuilt into his Stalker armor, assuring him that like Vader, he will only be used until a new apprentice is taken, after which he will be cast aside.
  • Left Hanging: Canonically, the second game ends you spare Vader's life and take him prisoner, but as the rebels jump to Hyperspace, Boba Fett's Slave 1 takes off behind you. Unfortunately, the poor sales of the sequel, combined with LucasArts closing three years later (after Disney bought Lucasfilm, the parent company), suggests that it's not going to be resolved anytime soon (unless of course Electronic Arts does something about it).
  • Loners Are Freaks: Kazdan Paratus. Being isolated on a junkyard planet led him to constructing a replica of the Jedi Temple out of scrap, complete with robotic versions of the last Jedi Council. He speaks to said replica Jedi as if they were alive and freaks out when Starkiller/Galen trashes them.
  • Meteor Move: The most satisfying of Galen's (many) moves in The Force Unleashed is a variation of Type B in which he slashes his opponent multiple times into the air with his lightsaber, grabs him by the throat and then crashes into the ground below, usually sending a resounding shockwave that ripples outward, sending the usually-present crowd of hapless Stormtrooper screaming into the air, setting up for yet-another combo.
  • Morality Chain: Juno Eclipse was the one clear thought, the one bright spark Galen Marek held on to, even at the end.
  • Multi-Platform: The first game was released on the Playstation 2, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Steam.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • Like most other Star Wars games, the first game has Light and Dark Side endings. As with all Star Wars games, the Light Side ending detailed above in Heroic Sacrifice is canon; the Dark Side ending has Galen forced to become Palpatine's new cyborg apprentice, much like what happened to Vader... except Palpatine specifically tells him that he will soon cast him aside. Quite a Downer Ending if there ever was one.
    • The Ultimate Sith DLC adds an alternate story based on the Dark Side ending, with Starkiller becoming Palpatine's apprentice and proceeding to kill off the heroes of the series.
    • And the sequel as well. In the Light Side, you spare Vader's life and take him prisoner, but as the rebels jump to Hyperspace, Boba Fett's Slave 1 takes off behind you setting up a Sequel Hook. In the Dark Side, you are about to finish Vader when you're impaled by a lightsaber. It turns out you weren't the first stable clone, and this one is loyal to Vader. He then takes off to hunt down the remaining Rebels. The downloadable Endor mission follows. Oh, and in the Light Side, Juno lives and in the Dark Side she dies.
  • Mundane Utility: Force Lightning, the black line between the light side and the dark side, makes a great lantern. Better than the lightsaber even.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Juno Eclipse, who is showing much more cleavage than is probably regulation for Imperial shuttle pilots. Hilariously, when Proxy assumes her form while telling Galen about her, his depiction has her in properly-fastened uniform. This is how you tell them apart until he drops the hologram.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In early drafts of the script for Star Wars, Luke's last name was supposed to be "Starkiller." In reference to that, The Force Unleashed gave its protagonist the codename "Starkiller."
    • Also, in the Light Side ending, Vader declares that Starkiller is dead, and Palpatine comments that "he is more powerful than we can possibly imagine."
    • The Marek crest is the Alliance Starbird.
    • Kota's fleet comes out of hyperspace over Kamino to find that the Empire set a trap and were waiting for them. Sound familiar?
    • The Imperial announcer over Kamino's PA:
      PA: Rebel troops have entered the base, Rebel troops have—>static<
    • The databank for the AT-ST has the Empire dismissing outrageous claims that it is prone to "falling over".
    • One of the database entries in II is written by one Lieutenant Piete, who hopes to transfer off Vader's ship before receiving any more promotions.
  • Neck Lift:
    • Using his trademarked Force choke, Vader does this to Juno in the second game.
    • Vader did this in the first game to Kento Marek.
  • New Game+: Beating the game causes the first level to start up again with the player character in a new outfit based on which ending the player got.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Darth Vader sends Starkiller to create a rebellion by gathering potential leaders to start it, to distract Palpatine for Vader to start a coup. Ultimately, doing so starts Starkiller's path to redemption. Even after Vader kidnaps them and tells him this all just a ploy to capture all of them in one swoop, Starkiller, who is now on the Light Side of the Force, rescues the Rebel leaders, performing a selfless Heroic Sacrifice to stall Palpatine, and the Rebel leaders escape and formally found the Rebel Alliance. Even after he and Palpatine now know who the Rebel leaders are, Vader's plan to exterminate them after capturing them ends up backfiring, thanks to Starkiller.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Meta-Example, as with enough playthroughs (and the powerups you get from New Game+ ) any match of you(the player) vs. any squad of mooks becomes this.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Inverted. Starkiller uses an English/Core accent when speaking to Darth Vader, but drops it everywhere else.
  • Nubile Savage: Shaak Ti dresses like this. The last 20 years may have been hard for her, but she was a Jedi Master! To be fair though, all those heavy robes probably wouldn't have been very practical in the jungles of Felucia (see Galen's own outfit for the first Felucia level.) Her padawan, Maris Brood, isn't exactly fully dressed either.
  • Old Save Bonus: Having a save file from the first game on the PS3/360 unlocks Galen's initial outfit and the costumes the player receives upon completing the Light & Dark Side Endings in the first game,
  • Ominous Walk: To emphasize that you're Darth Vader, you are limited to this in the first level, which also serves as a tutorial level.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The Force Unleashed II figures the only way to top a fight with a Rancor is to have Starkiller fight a beast big enough to crush a rancor in its hand.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Galen, at least if the video game is any indication. The developers describe him as a "Force wrecking ball".
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner
    Juno: They're fortifying all positions to try to keep you out.
    Starkiller: Let them try...
  • Press X to Not Die: After doing enough damage to larger enemies, a prompt will appear that activates a sequence of pre-set button presses that the player must follow in order to complete a cinematic that kills the enemy; otherwise, the player takes damage. The ends of boss battles also use Quicktime Events, although failing to complete them will only Force the player to try again with no threat of death.
  • Properly Paranoid: General Kota, who during the Clone Wars did not trust the Clone Troopers and instead relied upon personally trained soldiers. This helped him escape Order 66 rather easily.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Starkiller can make Mooks jump off ledges or into other situations that result in death with his Mind-Trick.
  • Ramming Always Works: In the second game, during the Rebel attack on Kamino, you get to ram an evacuated Rebel cruiser into the main Imperial cloning facility / base. Easily one of the coolest moments of the series. And judging by the flash, the cruiser's reactors went up on impact, multipliying the destruction.
  • Red Shirt:
    • The few AI that help you out include "Kashyyyk" Stormtroopers while playing as Vader, Wookies when Starkiller returns to his own planet, 501st Snowtroopers in the Hoth DLC level and a few scattered Rebel squads in the second game. The PS2/Wii/PSP versions of the first game changed some of these and added more, the Kashyyyk Troopers were replaced by 501st Stormtroopers (these guys had a more noticeably accent), Bail Organa's bodyguards briefly appear on Felucia and Cloud City Wing Guards assist you in the exclusive Bespin level. In spite of all that, these friendly faces aren't of much help in actual combat.
    • Kota's Militia and the Rebel Troopers in the Hoth DLC level technically count as this although they actually fight the player. Ironically enough, these "bad guys" are also more stronger enemies due to their increased health and damage in comparison to regular Imperial units. In fact, if you hang back and let the two groups fight each other you can watch as they often effortlessly mow down the Stormtroopers.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In order to fully become a Jedi, Starkiller sacrifices himself to save the Rebels in the first game's Light side ending.
  • Redemption Promotion: Galen is certainly skilled as Vader's apprentice, but he becomes insanely powerful as he grows closer to the good guys.
  • Resurrected Romance: In the sequel Starkiller's primary motivation for breaking free from Vader's control after being brought back from the dead is to find Juno. It's unclear whether he is a clone or not, but she seems quite willing to accept him back into her life.
  • Reverse Grip: Galen's lightsaber wielding style. This is only present in the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC versions, though, as he holds it normally in the Krome-developed version for PS2, Wii, and PSP.
  • Robot Buddy: PROXY. Subverted in that PROXY's standing orders are to kill Galen. Nevertheless, he's quite friendly toward his master/target. And he even tries to save his master from Vader, sacrificing himself in the process.
    • Note that when he sacrificing himself, the programming that told him to kill Galen were also gone by that point after the smelter's computer core "possessed" PROXY and was destroyed when Starkiller killed the facility. Of course, it's understandable if it's not all that familiar, considering how the Wii version omitted this fact.
  • RPG Elements: Defeating enemies earns you points you can spend to upgrade your Force powers, unlock new techniques, and generally improve the player character's abilities.
  • Say My Name: In the sequel...
    Starkiller: PROXY!
    PROXY: Master?
    Starkiller and PROXY in unison: I thought you were dead?!?
  • Send in the Clones: The sequel involves an attempt by Vader to clone the original Starkiller without free will, which ultimately backfires when he creates an even more rebellious clone who busts out and helps out the original's old friends.
  • Sequel Hook: The second game ends with a rather direct one. As the Rebels take Darth Vader to their base, Boba Fett's ship is seen emerging from cover and following them.
  • Shadow Archetype: Galen has been described as Luke if he had joined Vader or if he were raised by him.
  • Shipped in Shackles: The rebels escort Vader onto their ship in shackles at the end of the second game.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Like many other Star Wars characters (Coleman Trebor, Dannl Faytoni), Kazdan Paratus' name is a shout-out to a crew member—namely, Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote Empire and Jedi (and Raiders of the Lost Ark).
    • May not be intentional, but the Kato Neimoidia level introduces a lucrative and lavish casino, and enemies that fire missles, which you can grab and redirect back at them. Very similar to a 2008 sci-fi game called Path of the Furon.
    • In the sequel, there is an achievement/trophy called "Poor Bob". One must lift a Stormtrooper in the air, impale him with your lightsaber, strike him with lightning, and fling him into an object. Which is what happened to a poor Stormtrooper (called Bob) in this Penny Arcade comic.
    • The achievements for beating Boba Fett in the first game's Tattooine DLC is called "And The Quarterback is Toast" - a rare case of a Shout Out to a Shout Out, as the original quote comes from Die Hard.
    • One of the Rebels in the Wii version shouts that the terror droids are "coming out of the walls!", in a very similar fashion to what some of the characters say about the Xenomorphs from Alien.
    • The Achievement for killing a certain number of stormtroopers in the prologue level? Worst Day-Shift Manager Ever. Possibly an Actor Allusion, given the fact that Vader is voiced by Matt Sloan.
    • During the final battle with Palpatine, Palpatine will say to Starkiller "You will scream just like your father" in such a way that almost echoes what Andross told Fox McCloud in the Easy route of Venom in Star Fox 64.
    • In the first game, in the Empirical, Starkiller is refered to as "Subject 1138". Similarly, in the sequel, the password Kota gives The Salvation is "Talus Haroon Ten Eleven Thirty-Eight". The latter literally comes out to "THX 1138", X being the Roman numeral for "ten".
    • The first level on the Salvation in the second game has horror elements that are reminiscent of Dead Space. The parallel is furthered with one of the datalogs for that level's enemies, which detail a series of gruesome murders on a ghost ship found floating through space.
    • Killing Obi-Wan and then his Force Ghost in the Tattooine DLC awards the achievement "No more lies old man", a reference to Obi-Wan's "if you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" line to Vader in New Hope.
  • The Slow Walk: Darth Vader cannot run or dash when you play as him in the prologue; he can simply menacingly walk forward while throwing Wookee's aside with the Force.
  • Spider Limbs: Kazdan Paratus, the game's second boss, has four robotic legs he uses to scuttle around walls in stead of his tiny legs.
  • Spotting the Thread: In the first game, Galen has hazel eyes. In the second game, he has brown eyes. Therefore, not only was Galen definitely a clone in the second game, but clones were not perfect, possibly because Vader wanted the clones to be better than the original.
  • Storming the Castle: The final level of the first game sees Starkiller invade the Emperor's most dangerous space station in an attempt to finish him off. This gives cause for Starkiller to face the full force of the Imperial army
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Where Starkiller wakes up after being spaced. And it happens to him again in the dark side ending.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Most evident during the Action Command sequences, where Force abilities are accompanied by massive leaps and dramatic punching. During the final sequence in the duel with Kazdan Paratus, it almost feels like an Avatar: The Last Airbender action scene.
  • Superpowered Mooks: The Shadow Guard enemies have lightsaber-lances and can perform several of the same Force powers as you. The robotic Purge Troopers also qualify, thanks to their inhuman power and durability. They're immune to some of your Force powers, at higher difficulty levels, they can take a third of your lifebar with a single attack and their moves cannot be interrupted except by Force Lightning (their only weakness amongst direct Force attacks) or throwing objects at them.
  • Take That:
    • In one level, you can find Jar Jar Binks frozen in a block of carbonite.
    • Salacious Crumb's disembodied head can be seen in one of the gladiator arena cutscenes.
  • A Taste of Power: The first level of the first game puts the player in control of Darth Vader, who has almost the full set of Force Powers that Galen will eventually use.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • A fun overkill at lower levels is to pick up an enemy, throw your saber into them, shoot them with lightning, and then force push them (preferably into something explosive). And then you get the stronger force powers.
    • The end to the Battle of Endor DLC in the sequel has the Apprentice meditating on top of the Endor bunker. He looks up to see a group of Star Destroyers floating above him, and it's pretty much directly stated that they're going to bombard him from orbit in an effort to kill him.
  • They Were Holding You Back: Vader uses holograms to try to train Starkiller's clones to kill his friends on site. It fails spectacularly, and one of the clones (who may or may not be the original Starkiller) escapes from Vader and goes to reunite with his friends.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Trailers for the second game featured the tagline "Unleash Truth". At no point in the game is it ever stated if Starkiller is a clone or the revived Galen. Or both.
  • Tutorial Failure: Feel free to completely ignore the on-screen instructions in the Star Destroyer level, because you will get absolutely nowhere trying to follow them.
  • Tykebomb: Galen Marek was the child of a Jedi, until Darth Vader killed his father and raised him under the codename "Starkiller" to help him kill Jedi and eventually assassinate the Emperor, so Vader can take his place.
  • The Unfought: Boba Fett appears in the second game to hunt down Starkiller, but the two never fight in gameplay. Perhaps justified since Boba can already be fought in the first game during the Dark Side Tatooine DLC & the developers couldn't come up with a way to make the two fights different enough to warrant it.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: In the first game, Starkiller wears a different outfit every level.
  • The Unreveal: Is Starkiller a clone in the sequel? Your guess is as good as ours.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The last level is a massive Imperial space station with giant lasers flying by every couple of seconds and swarm after swarm of enemy armed to the teeth with the most dangerous weaponry in the game. The name speaks for itself: the Death Star.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The amount of ways you can kill enemies in the game is ridiculous, from throwing enemies into the vacuum of space or telepathically lifting them high enough that a light drop will send them hurdling to their death. Penny Arcade has a comic that provides a sample. Apparently the developers read that strip, because in the sequel, you get the "Poor Bob" achievement for Force Gripping a Stormtrooper, then stabbing, shocking and pushing him while in your grip.
  • Villain Ball: At the end of the second game, Vader has Juno, and his threats to her life have cowed Starkiller into obedience. While Vader is focused on him, Juno escapes, grabs a saber, and makes a clumsy attack that he easily dodges. Rather than disarming and restraining his valuable hostage, he blasts her off the platform. Cue Starkiller's Unstoppable Rage.
  • Villains Never Lie: In the sequel, Kota calls Starkiller out for thinking this — believing Vader when he told him he was a clone. Though there is a lot of evidence supporting the idea, Vader has lied a lot in the past. And damn never everything he said to Starkiller in particular was a lie in the first game.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: General Kota. While not too difficult, he is the first opponent that can resist and use Force powers that Starkiller (who at this time is considerably weaker than Darth Vader) faces.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Or in a galaxy far far away that has space ships, upsidedown cities and other modern marvels. Zig Zagged though, in that it depends on who does it. For example, the Empire's ship-building facilities use state-of-the-art automation for building TIE fighters and even the Executor flagship is assembled by an army of construction droids.
  • Weld the Lock: During your breakout from the Empirical, a cutscene shows a purge trooper welding shut a door through which you have to go. You also have to go through the purge trooper and two EVO troopers.
  • Wham Line: This exchange, after which the direction of the game (along with Starkiller's life) changes completely.
    Starkiller: You have lured the Emperor to us? When do we strike?
    Darth Vader: I did not summon him. [ignites his lightsaber through Starkiller's back] His spies followed you here.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Inverted. In the Dark Side ending from the sequel, Starkiller goes to kill Vader... only to be stabbed by an invisible clone that Vader had rid of the original's personality, with several unlockable videos explaining the Dark Apprentice's origin and where he came from. At no point is he even hinted at during the Light Side ending, making the supplementary videos entirely pointless if that's the Canon ending, since we get the origin for a character who canonically may not even exist within the game that introduced him.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Deluges of this trope. The novelization has Juno angrily tell Starkiller that one of the people he just casually massacred was an old friend of hers, but when he apologizes she says it's okay, since she hadn't talked to him in years anyway. Late in the novel Galen - by that point the narration had picked up on his name - is horrified about how Vader's plan involved letting thousands of loyal Imperials get slaughtered, nevermind that he'd done about half of that all by himself, delighting in how easy it was.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Just use the Force & turn the hammer Up to Eleven. At least, that's Starkiller's reponse in the sequel when The Salvation has it's main cannon knocked offline.
  • Womb Level: The "Imperial Felucia" level has a segment where Starkiller must navigate through the segment of a creature called the Sarlaac (featured in the first act of Return of the Jedi) and avoid the other creature it's swallowed so he can find an place to be spit out of it.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: In the sequel, Starkiller gives one of these to Vader.
    "I let you live. You tell me I'm a clone but I chose to spare you. (*beat*) Maybe Kota's right. Maybe this is all a trick —a way to get me so confused... that I'd forget who I really am and become your slave again. But either way... I. Let. You. Live. I've finally broken your hold over me."
  • Wreaking Havok:
    • The prologue level takes away camera control to force a shot that displays the game's physics engine as Darth Vader blows a gate away a giant wooden gate.
    • The first level with Starkiller drops him off in a long open hallway filled with items that can be thrown and cut according to the physics engine.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Darth Vader puts one of these types of plans into motion. Even if, somehow, the members of the new Rebel Alliance escape, he still knows who they are.
  • You Have Failed Me: Lord Starkiller's response to the bungling of the Hoth assault, to an unsuspecting Captain Keenah.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Palpatine, in the original's Dark Side Ending, twice. He's already quite peachy about replacing Vader with Starkiller, and after turning Starkiller into a cyborg, he specifically admits Starkiller's going to be cast aside once Palpatine finds a better apprentice.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The word "destiny" seemed to be used by Darth Vader a whole hell of a lot but it was never consistent at all. Vader just seemed to use it when he wanted Starkiller to do something. This is lampshaded a couple times in the novelization for the second game, used to highlight just how insane Darth Vader really is.
  • You Killed My Father: Starkiller shouts this during his final battle with Darth Vader.
    • Inverted in the Ultimate Sith Edition where Dark!Starkiller tells Luke what happened to Vader.

Alternative Title(s): Star Wars The Force Unleashed

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/TheForceUnleashed