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Video Game / The Force Unleashed

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"The Force gives me all I need."

"With the Force as his ally, he did battle with the Dark Lord. And he showed the measure of a true Jedi at a place called 'The Death Star', where hope for the Galaxy was reborn. May all who struggle against tyranny hold his memory in their hearts."
Epitaph of the Unknown Jedi

The Force Unleashed and The Force Unleashed II are video games developed by LucasArts set in the Star Wars Legends universe, bridging the gap between the films Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

Both center around the secret apprentice of Darth Vader, codenamed Starkiller in the place of a real name, who uses his incredible powers of the Force to battle the enemies of the Empire. However, alongside his droid PROXY, pilot Juno Eclipse, and the Jedi Master General Rahm Kota, Starkiller begins to break off from Vader and fight for his own sake.

They're both something like a Tech-Demo Game, being among the first games to use 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.)

Downloadable Content packs each entitled the Ultimate Sith Edition add What If? stories to both games based on their Dark Side endings and allow the player to battle through the settings of first three Star Wars films as Starkiller and fight characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia.

The games were also the center of a multimedia project à la Shadows of the Empire, covering a wide range of media including Comic Books, a novel (by Sean Williams), action figures and a Role-Playing Game, basically all the side-material that would be released surrounding a movie without actually making the movie; the difference here is that this time, the video game was the centerpiece.

That Other Wiki has more information. Wookieepedia might help too.

A Nintendo Switch port, based on the Wii version of the first game, released on April 20, 2022.

The Force Unleashed and The Force Unleashed II provide examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Darth Vader may have raised Starkiller, but he has no love for the boy and is willing to kill him as soon as Starkiller becomes a liability.
    • Juno's dad was also a piece of work.
  • Action Commands: Generally, a prompt will appear when major enemies are low on health that activates a cinematic where Starkiller finishes them with style.
  • Adaptational Explanation: TFU novel by Sean Williams not just expanded what we saw and played in the game, also gives The Protagonist (The Apprentice, codenamed Starkiller) a proper name and a background: Galen Marek, son of the late Jedi Knight Kento Marek (unnamed in the games and killed in the first cutscene). His mother is briefly mentioned, but in the novel as well in TFU II got a name and a background too (Mallie Marek, also a Jedi Knight who died when Galen was just a baby).
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In the PS2/Wii/PSP version, Galen finds Kota in Nar Shaddaa instead of Cloud City like in the PS3/360/PC version. However, some of the dialogue is still retained as if he found him in Cloud City in the former version. First, while the part about him searching Nar Shaddaa and Ziost is removed, he still says "I tracked you across the galaxy" even though Nar Shaddaa was the first place he checked according to his previous conversation with Juno. Kota also still says Bail Organa "smuggled [him] to Cloud City" in the PS2/Wii/PSP version and doesn't explain why or how he found his way back to Nar Shaddaa.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Proxy is this by design, programmed with an urge to murder Starkiller in ritual combat. The droid brings this up several times throughout the campaign and even interrupts Starkiller's assault on Raxus Prime for an impromptu training session.
    • The novelization of the first game has the Core on Raxus Prime, whose primary task is to recycle the trash covering the planet. However, after Starkiller's interference results in the Empire coming to the planet, the Core is convinced that the Empire is ruled inefficiently and resolves to take it over. For some reason, though, it feels that it needs the Rogue Shadow to get off the planet, even though the planet is littered with ship parts. It should be easy enough for the Core to assemble a whole fleet from that. When trying to slice into the Core, PROXY falls under the Core's influence and is convinced to open himself up to it. The Core takes control of him and tries to kill Starkiller. Starkiller manages to defeat the Core and then uses Force Lightning to fry it in order to wipe any trace of the data it could have downloaded from PROXY. Notably, the Core's meddling has also wiped PROXY's primary programming, so he no longer fells compelled to try to kill Starkiller.
  • All There in the Manual: While the game refers to the player character as either "Starkiller" or "The Apprentice", the companion novel gives his real name as Galen Marek.
  • 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.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • Both games take place in the Star Wars Legends universe.
    • The DLC for a Darth Starkiller and his evil clone in the second game continue where the Bad Endings of each game did. The first game's DLC has Starkiller go through the original trilogy's events to hunt down Luke Skywalker.
  • Alternate Reality Episode: The DLC in the second game focuses on Starkiller's evil clone seeking to kill Princess Leia. There, we learn that Luke was killed on Hoth, and Leia underwent training to become a Jedi.
    • After the game was designated non-canon, the entire storyline can be seen as this.
  • 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.
  • Anti-Magic: The first game features Stormtroopers who use environmental shields to block Starkiller's various Force attacks. It doesn't help them with giant boulders thrown telepathically.
    • The sequel features "Force Acolytes" who use weaker versions of force lightning and push and can only be killed with lightsaber strikes.
  • 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 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.
    • If an enemy's sightline is adequately blocked, they will forget where Starkiller is, which can make tough enemies like Purge Troopers easier to deal with.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Gorog in the sequel is a skyscraper sized Rancor.
  • A Taste of Power: The first level puts the player into the boots of Darth Vader, who has quickly recharging force energy and health, impressive lightsaber combos and force powers that Starkiller won't be able to use until hours into the campaign. The player's first experience with Starkiller is much different, with limited combos, a smaller suite of abilities and much less health and energy.
  • 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?
    • Both Galen's and his clones' saber stances. Yeah, holding a lightsaber backhanded, with the blades mere millimeters from contact with the back of your arms/elbows, looks cool; but you have to use extra movement and time to bring them to the front to defend yourself or attack, and the slightest wrong move means that you'd cut off your own arm. Doubly so with the clones, who do this have a saber in each hand.
  • Back from the Dead: Starkiller, twice. Technically, the second time he's still dead. He just got cloned. Maybe. The novel hints that it may have been the case the 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 for the darkest users of the Force.
  • Bag of Spilling: Mostly inverted. The second game starts the player off with many abilities not unlocked until late in the first game, but others like the Saber Throw and Force Repulse can only be used once Starkiller has a flashback showing himself using that ability. This happens because Darth Vader tried to make Starkiller repress his memories of the last game, which works best in the case of the Lightning Shield ability, which fails to return in the sequel.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the start of Imperial Kashyyyk level, Ozzil Sturn and a whole platoon of stormtroopers stand at attention as an Imperial shuttle lands, which unloads more stormtroopers as well as some Royal Guards. All the while, the Imperial March plays at full blast. Obviously, this must mean Darth Vader or perhaps the Emperor is paying Sturn a visit, right? Wrong. It's actually Princess Leia and Artoo, who are Sturn's "guests" (hostages) on the planet.
  • 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 boss fight against Vader in The Force Unleashed II ends outside in a lightning-storm on Kamino (or is fought entirely there in the Wii version), as the two combatants use the towers around them to absorb lightning and boost their natural abilities.
  • 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 is 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 for vengeance? 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.
  • Big Bad:
    • The Emperor for the first game with Vader acting as The Heavy. It was his plan to use Starkiller to root out his political enemies and destroy them once and for all. Canonically, he's the game's Final Boss.
    • Darth Vader for the second game, acting completely independent of the Emperor to clone Starkiller for his own purposes and hunting him down when he flees. Unlike the previous installment, Vader is the only Final Boss option this time.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Salvation, between the power outage that took outs it lights and the invisible Terror Troopers that strew bodies throughout the level, takes a lot inspiration from horror films in the second game.
  • 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.
  • Blackout Basement: The Salvation level begins with a power outage which stops the platform Kota and the player character are in in its track, forcing them to investigate as the lights begin to go out, automatic doors begin to lose power, and allies begin to be attacked in the darkness by invisible enemies.
  • 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. He eventually decides to get back into action, still capable of lightsaber combat by the end of the first game.
  • 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.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The end for The Force Unleashed 2's DLC, which has Starkiller's evil clone wait on Endor for The Empire's army to come and fight him.
  • Bonus Boss: The climax of the Jedi Temple missionnote  is a duel with a hallucination. For the PS3/Xbox 360/PC versions, it's the Dark Side version of Starkiller.
  • Bottomless Pits: Played straight in the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC ports of the first game and every version of the sequel, save the DS version. Anyone who falls into one is effectively dead.
  • Broad Strokes: The PS2/PSP/Wii ports of the game, which where developed by Krome, show missions and events playing out much differently compared to the PS3/XBOX360/PC ports.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Call-Forward: As a bridge between the fall of the Republic in Revenge of the Sith and the tyranny of the Empire in A New Hope, there are quite a few references to events that have yet to take place.
    • In the Light Side ending, Vader declares that Starkiller is dead, and Palpatine comments that "he is more powerful than we can possibly imagine." In A New Hope, Darth Vader will hear the same words uttered by his enemy, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    • The crest of the player character's family, the Mareks, is the symbol of the Rebel Alliance, Starbird, which will only come into use after his death.
    • 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," referring to its downfall in The Empire Strikes Back.
      • Its in-game death animation shows the walker swaying and collapsing just like the stop-motion models in Return of the Jedi.
    • 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.
  • 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 character 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. Mara Jade is included in the PS2/Wii version.
    • 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 Defilement:invoked Done on purpose with the Dark Side DLC, a What If? continuity which has Starkiller, now an apprentice of the Emperor, rampaging his way through something resembling the Original Trilogy's storyline and murdering most of the major heroic characters.
  • 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, when it was declared that 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.
  • Casting Gag: Darth Vader is voiced by Matt Sloan, who played him in the web comedy Chad Vader. This is even lampshaded in an achievement/trophy unlocked by killing 12 stormtroopers called "Worst Day-Shift Manager Ever," referencing Vader's job in the aforementioned comedy.
  • Ceiling Smash: The first boss fight ends with a series of quick-time events where the player character lifts the boss into the air with the Force before jumping and slamming the boss's head into the ceiling twice, and Force Pushing the enemy back to the ground.
  • 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 then 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.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In the Wii version, the aberrant Starkiller clones' abilities are indicated by the colors of their lightsaber blades. Red blades mean they specialize in melee combat, purple blades mean they use Force lightning, and orange blades mean they use Force push. In contrast, the clones in the HD versions all use silver blades.
  • 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. The PS2 and Wii versions of the game likewise make use of the Imperial heavy repeater introduced in Jedi Knight II.
    • Winning the boss battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Tatooine 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 A New Hope.
    • At the end of II, the Rebels take Vader to Dantooine. Is it any wonder he knows about it and that they've evacuated it by A New Hope?
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • With a few early exceptions, most bosses cannot be lifted and thrown with Force Grip, preventing the player from juggling them around while stopping any offensive measure on their part.
    • The Jedi Mind Trick, which can variably make enemies commit suicide, force them to help the player, or literally blow their minds, fails to work on any of the three bosses in The Force Unleashed II. There are also some large enemies immune to it, but they lose their immunity if the player activates Force Fury mode, where all of Starkiller's powers are increased for a short time.
  • Copied the Morals, Too: In The Force Unleashed II, Vader clones Starkiller to try to make use of him for his own purposes. However, the plan doesn't work because the clone retains enough memories from the first game to turn against Vader.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run:
    • Inside the Sarlaac, Starkiller and a legion of enemies end up pinned against a wall by gusts of wind 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 cannons 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.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: The sequence where Starkiller drags a Star Destroyer out of the sky is fully interactive until just before it hits the ground, which is when the cutscene begins which shows the crash in fully animated detail.
  • 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, throw large pieces of scenery at his foes, and produce enough lightning to kill an entire Sarlacc pit.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: While both games have a light side ending and a dark side ending, Word of God has established that the light side ending is canon in both games, while the dark side one is not.
  • 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.
    • After Felucia comes under Imperial occupation, the planet itself falls to the dark side. The luscious plants begin to die, the natives become vicious killers and large, tooth-like protrusions erupt from the ground.
  • Deflector Shield: The Lightning Shield, the last unlockable Force power, surrounds Starkiller with lighning which deflects laser fire, reduces damage, and saps the health off nearby enemies.
  • Determinator: If Vader took Juno Eclipse to the gates of Hell, Starkiller would be right behind him.
  • Developer's Foresight: Combat arenas with lots of tough enemies will often feature Sith Holocrons providing infinite energy or enhanced damage to deal with them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • 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.
  • 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 Shaddaa, 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 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.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: For the final boss of the sequel, Starkiller gains the ability to enter the Force Fury mode infinitely, greatly increasing the ferocity of his lightsaber combos and the strength of his Force powers.
  • 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.
    • The sequel adds the lightsaber-proof Riot Troopers, Force-proof Sith Acolyte, the hybrid Saber Guards, and the teleporting Terror Troopers.
  • 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.
  • Evil Versus Evil: After defecting to the Rebellion, Starkiller returns to two planets he helped conquer for the Empire, Raxus Prime and Felucia, to find Imperial Forces wiping out the native defenses with their superior firepower. This isn't a cutscene only thing, the first thing the player will see in the second Felucia level is a group of stormtroopers running to their turrets and laying waste to a horde of Felucian Warriors who are rushing them. The players can jump into the middle and take on both armies at once, or just wait for the Stormtroopers to wipe out the Felucians so you only have one group of enemies to fight.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Vader and Palpatine are classic examples. Starkiller in the Sith ending as well as his evil clone in the second game also count, although the latter one is just very pale. This is exaggerated with the Felucians on the second visit to their planet, as they are corrupted by the Dark Side without Shaak Ti's guidance and go from brightly-colored, exotic aliens with plant-like masks to looking like rotting ghouls.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: Half of II likely takes place in the span of a few hours. The whole game itself likely only takes place over a couple of days.
  • 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 making it difficult to lock onto enemies directly harassing Starkiller.
  • 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).
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Foregone Victory: In the first game's prologue, Darth Vader can't actually die. If the Wookiees or the boss Jedi get Vader's health to zero, nothing will happen and the game will just act like Vader still has health.
  • 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.
    • Starkiller jumps off his ship on his first mission to Raxus Prime and lands on a crashed Star Destroyer. At the end of his second trip to Raxus Prime, Starkiller crashes his own Star Destroyer single-handedly.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Free-Fall Fight: A gameplay mechanic in the non-Nintendo versions of the sequel involve Starkiller diving through the air while using the Force to blow away any obstacles in his way. The mechanic comes into play three times:
    • After the tutorial, Starkiller jumps out the window of a tower and uses lightning and the Force to destroy other towers, spaceships, and platforms that block his path as he dives to the ground. The sequence ends with Starkiller crashing through a glass dome, hitting the ground with a massive shockwave, and sending all the nearby Stormtroopers flying.
    • 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.
    • As The Salvation crashes through Kamino's orbit, Starkiller jumps out of the ship and starts diving beside it, giving the player a view as the ship crashes into one of the Empire's cloning facilities.
  • 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 both utilize gatling lasers in their attempts to stop Starkiller's assault. Since Starkiller can simply stand still and deflect each of their shots, the odds are not in their favor.
  • 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, 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.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions of the first game, when you get to one of the three levels where you must pass a Jedi trial at the Jedi Temple in Coruscant, do not backtrack outside to the temple entrance once you go inside until you have defeated all the enemies at the temple atrium. If you do, the game will crash once you defeat all the enemies in the atrium, because the ensuing cutscene draws upon resources in the next area that are erased from memory if you backtracked to the main entrance.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Darth Vader's suit is extremely vulnerable to Force lightning in canon, to make it easier for Palpatine to keep him in check. In the PS2/Wii/PSP version, using lightning is one of the easiest ways to damage him during his boss fight.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In the Dark Side Ending of the sequel, an evil, invisible clone of our hero appears out of nowhere and kills Starkiller in one shot! He does not make an appearance in the Light Side Ending, but could still be hidden and awaiting his next orders from Vader. There are unlockable videos showing the progression of the Dark Apprentice's training under Vader, which you can get after completing the challenge levels. The final one shows that Vader instructed him not to interfere with his fight with the other clone unless he was needed, like if Vader's life was in danger. The only other possible foreshadowing of the Dark Apprentice is that, in the Betrayal trailer, after Starkiller fights his way through the Imperials on Kamino, it shows Vader in a lab filled with Starkiller clones in cloning tubes. As he leaves, one of the clones suddenly opens his eyes. This clone could be one of the countless other clones Vader created, or it could be the Dark Apprentice. Regardless, unless you read the book first, you were probably caught off guard by the sudden appearance of this other clone in the sequel's Dark Side ending.
  • Gladiator Games: In the second game, Starkiller finds his old friend General Kota 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.
  • The Hero Dies: The light side ending to the first game.
  • 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 Dark Side 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:
    • Darth Vader sends Starkiller to collect the enemies of the Empire so he can rally them against the Emperor. Naturally, these rebels cause a lot of problems for Vader later in his life.
    • In the sequel, the death animations for the War Droids involve Starkiller using their own weapons to kill them, with the Carbonite War Droid being frozen before being shattered and the Incinerator War Droid having his fuel lit as he bursts into flames.
  • Humiliation Conga: The "Poor Bob" Achievement in the sequel involves Force Gripping a Stormtrooper, impaling him with saber throw, zapping him with Lightning, then throwing him into an object.
  • 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
    • The first game's difficulty modes (on PS3 and Xbox 360) are based on titles held by the Sith; "Apprentice" is the easy difficulty, "Sith Warrior" is the medium difficulty, "Sith Lord" is the hard difficulty, and "Sith Master" is the Harder Than Hard mode.
    • The second game's difficulty's modes are all named conventionally except for the Harder Than Hard mode, which is titled "Unleashed" mode.
  • 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 involve stabbing enemies through the back. "Impale" is also an ability, where Starkiller lifts an enemy in the air and throws his saber into their chest as they wrestle helplessly through the air.
    • In cutscenes, Starkiller himself is implaed by Vader's lightsaber after the first three levels. Other notable examples in the first game include: Starkiller stabbing the vision of the Sith Stalker in the back at the end of their duel in the Jedi Temple, from the Ultimate Sith Edition; DLC Starkiller stabbing Ben Kenobi through the chest as they fight in the Mos Eisley Docking Bay, also in the Ultimate Sith Edition.
    • In the second game's Dark Side ending, Starkiller's good clone is stabbed in the back by the Dark Apprentice.
    • The Dark Apprentice kills both Han Solo and Leia Organa by stabbing both of them through the chest during the sequel's DLC Endor level.
  • 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 give him a hood, most notably the "Jedi Adventure Robe" which he wears at the end.
  • Industrial World: Raxus Prime has spent thousands of years as a glorified factory for a succession of governments and MegaCorps, which created immense manufacturing plants on its surface to produce goods varying from high-tech weaponry to starships to chemical products. This took an immense toll on Raxus Prime's ecosystem, filling its air and water with pollutants and covering its land with slag and industrial waste. Eventually, aside from immense factory complexes and sealed habitat areas, the planet's surface became a polluted hell of debris fields, played-out strip mines, and lakes of toxic chemicals good for nothing but dumping further waste in.
  • 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.
  • Interface Screw: The boss fight with Darth Phobos in the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions of the game blurs your vision as she intimidates Starkiller.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Jedi bosses like General Kota and Shaak Ti surround themselves with invincible force fields before charging their strongest Force attacks.
  • 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 Have Your Wife: 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. Exaggerated as it can turn stormtroopers into bombs when fully upgraded.
  • King Mook: After spending the entirety of The Salvation level fighting off hordes of tiny Terror Droids, the mysterious creature tearing through the ship turns out to be the Terror Walker, a Terror Droid the size of a house that's armed to the teeth and spawns hordes of its kin.
  • Kubrick Stare: Pretty much any promotional material has Starkiller doing this constantly.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Riot Troopers can use their stun batons to block all lightsaber attacks available to the player and fire them right back at you; the Sith Acolytes are identical, except they specialize in Force abilities. The Saber Guards are the more notable than both of these, because they block both Force and lightsaber attacks, forcing the player to switch between them quickly to take the Saber Guards by surprise.
  • 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, who recites his line of "UNLIMITED POWER!" during his bossfight in certain ports. Kota is also this by the second game.
  • Laser Blade: Lightsaber combat is the second main gameplay element after the Force abilities. Leveling up unlocks new combos for the lightsaber and finding collectibles called "Holocrons" grants the player the ability to change the color and bonuses attached to their lightsaber.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Whether you get the Light or Dark Side ending depends on a single choice you made before (original) or after (sequel) the Final Boss.
    • In the first game, after beating the second to last boss, you're given the option to continue fighting said boss until you kill him or fight another boss before he can kill the would-be leaders of the rebel Alliance.
      • If you choose the first option Starkiller will fight Vader to the death, but while he does so, Sidious kills the would-be leaders of the Rebel Alliance, and when Starkiller refuses to take Vader's place as Sidious' enforcer and tries to attack him, the Emperor blocks the attack and nearly kills Starkiller in retaliation. Starkiller is then rebuilt into a Vader-like cyborg and forced to serve the Emperor until he can be replaced.
      • If you choose the second option Starkiller will fight the Emperor and pull a Heroic Sacrifice to allow the Rebel Leaders to flee and form the Rebel Alliance. This ending is considered to be the canonical one.
    • In the sequel, there's only one final boss, and after beating him you can either let him live and be captured by your allies or kill him. If you choose the former the Rebels will take Vader prisoner while Starkiller finally reunites with Juno. If you choose the latter another clone of Starkiller reveals himself and kills the original, before saving Vader from the rebels.
  • Lean and Mean: Starkiller, before he turns good. Although he packs a fair bit of muscle, he's still pretty much a piece of string compared to someone like Vader.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Since Vader trained his apprentice in secret, Starkiller is required to kill anyone he encounters on his missions, even if they work for the Empire.
    "The Emperor must not discover your presence. Kill everyone aboard..."
  • Level in Reverse: Right after going through the Salvation level, the second game has the player go through the level backwards, starting at the boss room. What makes this level different from the one just before is that the ship is now in the middle of a battle, so you have to deal with missiles shattering the hull, stormtroopers boarding the ship, and parts of the ship collapsing outright as you make your way through a level you thought you mastered.
  • 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.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Kota tends to rush into combat a lot, and it rarely ends well for him.
    • When the Rebels are confronted by Vader and the Empire on Corellia after the first official meeting of the Rebel Alliance, Kota ignites his lightsaber and charges at Vader, but the Sith Lord chokes him into unconsciousness with the Force and throws him aside, resulting in his and the Senators' capture.
    • Then, when Palpatine is trying to convince Starkiller to kill Vader and join his side after their duel on the Death Star, Kota charges at the Emperor, using the Force the grab the Emperor's lightsaber out of his robes' sleeve and attacks him with it, only for Palpatine to use Force Lightning on him, which is too strong for the Jedi Master to break out of. Luckily, in the true ending, this causes Starkiller to forget about going after Vader and instead focus on saving Kota and the others from the Emperor.
    • Finally, in the sequel's Dark Side Ending, after the Dark Apprentice stabs Starkiller in the back, Kota ignites his lightsaber and rushes in to attack, with his men being slaughtered by Terror Troopers. The Dark Apprentice easily blocks all of Kota's attacks, slashes him across the chest, picks him up with a Force Choke, tosses him into the remaining Rebel soldiers, and Force Pushes them all off the platform and into the sea. Unlike the other two examples, this one actually results in his death.
  • 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 hits 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 was 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, which can also find use this way.
  • Muzzle Flashlight: Force Lightning's use includes being able to light the way.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Starkiller has a few costumes that show off his rather toned upper body.
  • 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.
    • Shaak Ti counts, despite canonically being well into her fifties at the least.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In early drafts of the script for A New Hope, Luke's last name was supposed to be "Starkiller." In reference to that, The Force Unleashed gave its protagonist the codename "Starkiller."
    • Leia becomes a Jedi in the non-canon Endor DLC of the second game following Luke's death at Hoth, a plot taken from the What If? Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Darth Vader's apprentice is given the codename of Starkiller. In the Ultimate Sith DLC, Palpatine christens him as Darth Starkiller.
  • 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 Plus: 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 Ending: The Darkside DLC mission for 2 has the evil Starkiller clone kill Chewie, Han, and Leia on Endor, then sits down and waits for orders. At this point, the Emperor congratulates Vader for his apprentice taking out the rebels, but then force lightnings Vader for his plans to overthrow the Emperor which he knew about for a long time. He then tells his men to kill Starkiller. Starkiller notices multiple star destroyers approaching from behind him and the game irises out. The end.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Meta-Example, as with enough playthroughs (and the powerups you get from New Game Plus ) any match of the player vs. any squad of mooks becomes this.
    "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."
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: In the sequel, Starkiller gives one of these to Vader.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Inverted. Starkiller uses an English/Core accent when speaking to Darth Vader, but drops it everywhere else.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Starkiller actually states this to Vader during their final fight in the novelization, regarding being used and enslaved by the Emperor, and likewise expressed pity on Vader for not breaking free.
    • In the sequel's novel, Starkiller realises that Kota, like Vader, wants to use him as a weapon. The difference, however, is that Kota actually cares about Starkiller beyond that.
  • 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 Marek was already a powerful force wielder, but training under Darth Vader and Rahm Kota allowed him to use the Force to tear down spaceships from the atmosphere and fire massive waves of lightning. The developers describe him as a "Force wrecking ball".
  • Pet the Dog: For all the cruelty Darth Vader showed Starkiller, Vader does seem genuinely unhappy gazing upon Starkiller's dead body in the "Light Ending".
  • The Power of Love:
    • The first game has Starkiller torn between his loyalty to Vader and his love for Juno. The latter helps build up to a Heel Realization for him.
    • The sequel makes finding Juno a major motivation for Starkiller. When she's hurt by Vader in their battle, Starkiller is enraged enough to try and go all out.
  • 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.
    • However, failing a QTE in the Wii version of the sequel, which usually consists of or ends with you quickly shaking your Wii Remote and Nunchuk like there's no tomorrow to fill up a bar before it's too late, results in a Game Over.
  • 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.
  • Purple Is Powerful: When fully upgraded in the sequel, Starkiller's lightning will go from being blue to purple to visualize its increased range and lethality.
  • Railing Kill: Starkiller can perform this on hapless mooks several ways... Force thrown over the rail, knocked off the edge by a force push, or force grabbed and then force pushed into the railing.
  • Raised by Orcs: A variant done with the Sith. Starkiller is raised and trained by Darth Vader into becoming an assassin with immense power in The Force, but Starkiller himself is still empathetic and emotional underneath his loyalty to the Dark Side.
  • 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. And judging by the flash, the cruiser's reactors went up on impact, multiplying the destruction.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Starkiller and Vader. Starkiller lets his emotions drive his actions, and is very aggressive in combat. Vader, while pretty aggressive himself, is cold, detached, and calculating, especially in the second game. This is kind of ironic, as Starkiller eventually starts using a blue lightsaber while Vader wields his red one, but given which side each is on, it's understandable. This also applies to Starkiller's two stable clones in the sequel. The one you play as, who is also called 'Starkiller', is even more impulsive than the original, and is driven entirely by his feelings for Juno Eclipse. The Dark Apprentice, on the other hand, is quiet and shows very little emotion, at least when not in battle.
  • Red Shirt:
    • The few AI that help you out include "Kashyyyk" Stormtroopers while playing as Vader, Wookiees 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 have more noticeable blue accent s), 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.
      • It should be noted that while the friendly AI obviously aren't the best helpers, the main reason they can't help you or themselves too well in a fight is because they're often put up against impossible odds. Stormtroopers in the first game can be instantly killed by a regular Militia Saboteur's blaster (while the Stormtroopers' blasters do next to no damage against any Militia infantry and can only win against them if the player deliberately weakens them to a point where the Imperials can finish them off with a good streak of lucky shots which is rare to see as it is). Even if you increase the difficulty level to Sith Master (where regular Stormtroopers can survive a lightsaber slash) they still die instantly to regular blaster fire. This doesn't even account for when they're put up against Militia Elites or Militia Swordsmen (although bizarrely they can survive a burst from the former's Rotary guns).
      • Meanwhile the few areas that have friendly Rebels in the second game have a large amount of enemies for you to fight including; the Salvation's hanger where roughly 30 Stormtroopers, 2 Saber Guards, 3 Scout Troopers, 3 AT-MP plus 2 AT-ST (5 Rebels are with you in this part) attack in full waves. Needless to say they are basically impossible to keep alive.
      • 4 regular Rebels plus a Commando fighting on two fronts against 2 AT-MP plus about 12 Stormtroopers on 1 side and 3 Scout Troopers plus 4 Jump Troopers behind them. Unlike the last group they can be kept alive through a combination of luck, Force Rage and some quick attacking but this requires that the player actively attempts this. These two parts of the game alongside the countless other moments where Rebel troopers are killed off in scripted segments for shock value makes one wonder why the developers implemented them as AI in the first place when they're not going to make much of a difference.
      • This was changed averted in the Hoth DLC level. The 501st Snowtroopers don't die from just one shot from regular blaster fire and can be a decent help in the final area, two troopers will actually follow the player around here while the rest will keep rebel reinforcements away from the right side of the hanger. This can be useful on higher difficulties since the player can retreat back to the Imperial controlled area if their health bar is heavily depleted while their two respawning allies keep the rebels busy.
      • Likewise in the PS2/Wii/PSP versions of the first game, Bail Organa's bodyguards will often hold their own in their brief appearance if they player doesn't intervene, and they can be taken a little bit further into the level with the player's force grip ability. However they are forced to despawn when the player enters the Imperial base.
  • 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.
  • Replay Mode: The main menu allows the player to watch any cutscenes that have been unlocked.
  • 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.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You can smash up the environments to find collectibles, at least in the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions of the first game.
  • 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.
  • Role-Reversal Boss: In the game you control Starkiller, Darth Vader's Apprentice who starts as a Villain Protagonist but ends to make a Heel–Face Turn during the game with Vader becoming one of the Final Bosses. But the first stage is a flashback in which you control Vader going to kill a Jedi Master that survived Order 66 and you adopted a child Starkiller that will be his Apprentice.
  • 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: Starkiller has been described as Luke if he had joined Vader or if he were raised by him.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: The Wardroids in the second game carry a giant shield that blocks all attacks until the player enters an Action Command sequence where Starkiller rips off the shield and throws it into the Wardroid, allowing the player to take them on normally.
  • Shipped in Shackles: The rebels escort Vader onto their ship in shackles at the end of the second game.
  • Shooting Superman: Before enemies diversify their tactics later in the game, it's perfectly possible to win fights by standing still and deflecting enemies lasers back at them with Starkiller's lightsaber. The various Mooks you face will continue to fire, God bless their soul, even after all their allies have been downed by deflected laser beams.
  • 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 Tatooine 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.
  • 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 Wookiee's aside with the Force.
  • 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.
    • The second game's last level is the tower of Kamino, Vader's personal headquarters where he tried to kill Starkiller at the start of the game.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Starkiller wakes up on an operating table after being thrown into space. And it happens to him again in the dark side ending.
  • Strong as They Need to Be:
    • Despite how powerful Galen is, Vader and Palpatine can still get the drop on him and the Rebels during the ending to the first game.
    • The second game has Vader and Starkiller take a lot of punishment during their final battle. All it takes for the latter's death is a sneaky backstab by his evil clone.
  • Stupid Evil: Jabba the Hutt in Ultimate Sith Edition. Despite Lord Starkiller explicitly being the Empire's new Dragon and offering him a generous reward for his information about R2-D2 and C-3PO, Jabba still chooses the bright idea of Rancor-pitting him for some reason.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Most evident during the Action Command sequences, where Force abilities are accompanied by massive leaps and dramatic kicks. 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 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.
    • The Sith Acolytes and Saber Guards can shrug off any Force attack Starkiller can throw while firing back with their own weaker versions of Force Lightning and Force Repulse.
  • Take That!:
    • In the sixth 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 in the second game.
  • A Taste of Power: The first level of the first game puts the player in control of Darth Vader, who comes fresh with the power of a fully-leveled character along with the ability to use the Force-Choke and an inability to die.
  • Tennis Boss: The AT-MP come packed with missile launchers which they use to fire barrages at their targets. Problem is, this gives the player the chance to catch their missiles with the Force and throw it back at them, making them easy to pick off from a distance.
  • 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 final level of the original shows perhaps the ultimate overkill. You can hold enemies in the firing path of the Death Star.
    • 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.
  • Tyke-Bomb: 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: Starkiller wears a different outfit for every single level without exception.
  • 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 force blasting 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.
    • You can also attack and kill your allies as well with no one to chastise you for it, and even earn Force Points for doing so on the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Completely inverted with Palpatine at the end, who tries to goad you into killing him after you've beat him in order to lure you to the dark side. Maris Brood and Darth Phobos did however beg for their lives and Maris was spared but Phobos wasn't.
  • 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 near everything he said to Starkiller in particular was a lie in the first game.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: General Kota in the first game. 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.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Salvation's main cannon is just a normal laser weapon and a fairly proportionate one at that; however, once Starkiller uses his powers to charge it, the cannon becomes powerful enough to detonate an entire Imperial Star Destroyer with a single blast.
  • 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. However, the novelization states that much of the heavy labor on the Death Star was done by Wookiee slaves. Starkiller frees many of them on his way to fight Vader and the Emperor, so it's not clear who puts the finishing touches on the station afterwards.
  • 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.
  • Wham Shot: Princess Leia wiping off the dust from a table in Galen Marek's family hut on Kashyyyk, revealing the famous Alliance Starbird of the series was the family crest of the House of Marek all along, and that the Rebel Alliance had adopted it in Galen's memory.
  • 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.
    • After Starkiller lets her go, Marris Brood walks off into the Felucian wilderness and is never seen again for the rest of the game, not even getting a mention in the sequel.
  • 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 its main cannon knocked offline.
  • Where It All Began: The sequel opens with Starkiller jumping off the highest tower of Kamino to escape death at the hands of Darth Vader. The game's last level sees Starkiller fight through the Empire's forces so he can get to the highest tower of Kamino and confront Vader.
  • Womb Level: The "Imperial Felucia" level (on PS3/Xbox 360) 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 a place to be spit out of it.
  • 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. Mythology Gag in that this is Vader's response to Admiral Ozzel when he does the exact same thing in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • 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.
  • Your Head Asplode: After the timer on a Jedi Mind Trick expires, any enemies still under its effects will be killed by an explosion of blue energy around their head. Their heads still remain intact to keep the game from getting an M-rating.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Star Wars The Force Unleashed, Star Wars The Force Unleashed 2, The Force Unleashed II, Star Wars The Force Unleashed II


As From the Very Beginning

Shortly after Galen Marek gathered rebel leaders for the signing of the Corellian Treaty, Darth Vader ambushes the meeting, blowing Marek's cover by revealing him as his apprentice. When questioned why he didn't follow their plans as discussed, Vader reveals just how much his word means to Starkiller.

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5 (16 votes)

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