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I bring Darth Vader's enemies to justice.
~ Starkiller


Desolation. Destruction. Death. That's what I bring wherever I go. Ten stormtroopers, a hundred, a thousand—the numbers don't matter. Faceless, futureless, disposable, they're all the same to me.
~ Starkiller, reflecting on his life as Darth Vader's apprentice


Galen Marek, also known as Starkiller and The Apprentice, is the protagonist villain in the video game, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. He was raised secretly from a young age as the apprentice to Darth Vader. As Vader's apprentice, he was promised that he would aid Vader in overthrowing Emperor Palpatine and that he would eventually come to be a true Dark Lord of the Sith. He was a very competent wielder of both the Dark and Light sides of The Force, and a master of the Shien variant of lightsaber combat.

He was voiced by Sam Witwer.

Biography

Past

Galen was the son of Jedi Knights Kento and Mallie Marek, who secretly deserted the Jedi Order and the Grand Army of the Republic just before Order 66. Living on Kashyyyk, away from the prying eyes of the Empire and its Sith rulers, they lived peacefully alongside the valiant and loyal Wookiees. While Marek was still an infant, his mother was killed defending a group of Wookiees from a band of Trandoshan slavers, leaving Kento to raise the boy on his own. A few years later, Galen witnessed the brutal Imperial attack on Kashyyyk and his father's defeat at the hands of Darth Vader. As Vader was about to execute Kento, Galen telekinetically ripped Vader's lightsaber from the Dark Lord's hand. Surprised by the boy's natural affinity for the Force, Vader nonchalantly crushed Kento's windpipe and stood before the boy as a group of stormtroopers entered the house. Noticing the stormtroopers' intentions to kill the boy, Vader retrieved his lightsaber and quickly dispatched the helpless Imperials. He took the young Galen away from Kashyyyk, intending to mold him into a weapon of the Dark Side. 

Starkiller

Starkiller Redeemed

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Darth Vader was a brutal and uncompromising Master, ensuring that Galen, whom he codenamed "Starkiller", was a perfect assassin. Vader gave Galen a Sith training droid, PROXY, which Galen sparred with regularly. In order to enhance the reality of the training, Vader programmed PROXY with a primary directive to kill Starkiller. As Starkiller grew older and more powerful with the Dark Side, he was sent on numerous espionage, subterfuge, and assassination missions. Starkiller himself revered Darth Vader and was a staunch Imperialist. It seemed that Darth Vader went against the Sith imperative in the sense that Starkiller was fanatically loyal to Vader, and Vader probably never instilled the ambition for greater power that was characteristic of most Sith Lords. Vader never outright referred to Starkiller as his apprentice for many years, though he had always assumed that he occupied that role.

Nearly 19 years after the events on Kashyyyk, Vader officially dubbed Starkiller as his apprentice, and sent him on his first true mission. Starkiller was instructed to travel to an Imperial Shipyard above Nar Shaddaa, where a Jedi Master named Rahm Kota was leading an attack against the Imperial forces stationed there, and kill the Jedi and bring back his lightsaber as proof. As Starkiller turned to depart for his mission, Vader firmly told him that he was to kill everyone aboard: Imperial or Militia. Although Starkiller was uncomfortable with this, he made sure not to voice his displeasure. When he reached his ship The Rogue Shadow, he met his new pilot, decorated Imperial fighter pilot Juno Eclipse. Arriving at the shipyard, Starkiller ruthlessly cut a swath of destruction to the aging Jedi General. When Starkiller finally reached Kota, the old man scoffed, believing that he could easily overpower the boy that Vader had sent. After a heated duel, during which Kota used The Force to separate the room they were in and send it falling towards the planet surface, Starkiller finally overpowered the Jedi Master. As their lightsabers were locked, Kota explained that Darth Vader wouldn't always control Starkiller, and that eventually Kota would become his Master. Shocked and angered by this, Starkiller pushed the General back, blinding him with his own lightsaber, and threw him from the falling control tower. Retrieving the fallen Jedi's lightsaber, Starkiller leapt from the tower into The Rogue Shadow.

Upon returning to Vader, he was promptly sent on a new mission, which Vader did not believe that Starkiller was strong enough to accomplish. Starkiller was sent to the junkyard world of Raxus Prime to kill the deranged Jedi mechanist Kazdan Paratus. Fighting his way through Force-powered scrap guardians and Rodian mercenaries, Starkiller managed to reach the faux-Jedi Temple that Paratus had constructed from the scrap metal that littered Raxus Prime's surface. After defeating the diminutive Jedi, Starkiller boarded his ship and began meditating. He was interrupted by PROXY, who was acting as a middle-man for Vader and Starkiller to communicate. During their conversation, Starkiller boldly claimed that he was ready to stand by Vader against Darth Sidious, though Vader sharply objected. Vader told Starkiller that his third and most difficult test was to go to Felucia to kill Master Shaak Ti, one of the last living members of the Jedi High Council besides Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Vader himself. Out of the Jedi that Marek had dueled, Rahm Kota was the only one to survive the ordeal.

As The Rogue Shadow passed over the surface of the densely floral planet, Shaak Ti warned her apprentice Maris Brood to hide from the Sith in order to ensure the Jedi Order's survival. Reluctantly, Brood complied and remained out of sight. Ti had befriended the local Felucian populace while in exile, and trained them to hone their already considerable strength with the Force. As a result, the Felucians formed a powerful organized force. Despite this, Starkiller battled his way through the wilds of Felucia to the Ancient Abyss, where Shaak Ti hoped to lure Starkiller into a Sarlaac Pit. Shaak Ti proved to be a powerful opponent, though she eventually fell to Starkiller. Before falling into the Sarlaac's waiting mouth, she warned Starkiller that the Sith always betray one another, and that he would become more than a mere Sith assassin. Starkiller angrily declared that he would never betray Vader, and returned to The Rogue Shadow to notify his Master of his success. 

When Vader heard of Shaak Ti's death, he told Starkiller that he was finally ready to stand against the Emperor. Instructing Starkiller to return to Vader's flagship The Executor, he said that they would at last control the galaxy. When Starkiller arrived, Vader notified him that the Emperor's fleet had arrived. Starkiller, believing that Vader had lured the Emperor to them, asked when they would strike. Vader told him that he had not summoned the Emperor, and turned and stabbed Starkiller through the back with his lightsaber, saying that the Emperor's spies had followed Starkiller. Vader let Starkiller collapse to the ground as the Emperor approached them. Starkiller, writhing in pain at Vader's feet, could only helplessly listen as Sidious commanded Vader to kill him. Vainly attempting to convince Vader that they could destroy Sidious, he could only wait for Vader to end his life. Goaded by Sidious, Vader used the Force to throw Starkiller about the room before sending him through the viewport behind him. Satisfied, Sidious left to return to Coruscant. Vader then sent one of his Imperial probe droids to retrieve Starkiller's body from space. 

Rebel Jedi and founding the Rebel Alliance

Starkiller awoke six months later onboard an Imperial laboratory frigate called The Empirical. Vader used this vessel for his top secret medical experiments. Starkiller, outraged at Vader's betrayal, attempted to lash out at Vader, only to find that he was restrained. Vader explained that he never meant to kill Starkiller, he only needed to make the Emperor believe that he was dead. Still angry, Starkiller reluctantly asked what Vader's will was. Vader told Starkiller that the Emperor's spies diligently watched Vader's every move. They would have no opportunity to attack the Emperor as long as they were occupied with Vader's activities. To that end, Vader instructed Starkiller to assemble an army of rebels to oppose the Empire in order to sufficiently distract the Emperor. He left Starkiller by telling him that his destiny was now his own, and that no one was to know that he still served Vader. His image dissolved, revealing the familiar form of PROXY. Before making his escape, Starkiller fought through the frigate to the holding cell where Juno was being kept. Freeing her from her prison, Starkiller told her that he was leaving the Empire behind.

The first person Starkiller thought to recruit was Master Kota, since during their duel Kota said he would eventually become Starkiller's master. Tracking Kota from Nar Shaddaa to the Sith world of Ziost, he eventually found Kota in a cantina at Cloud City. The old man had become a shadow of his former self, haggard in appearance and constantly drowning his sorrows with strong beverages. Starkiller jostled the drunken Jedi out of his stupor and told him that he needed his knowledge of fighting the Empire, to which Kota said that no one could fight the Empire and win. He also said that he could be of no help to Starkiller since losing his eyesight had apparently lessened his connection to The Force. They were then interrupted by a group of stormtroopers entering the bar, looking for Starkiller. Helping the Jedi to his feet, Starkiller fought his way to the landing platform where Juno was waiting in The Rogue Shadow. After defeating a mysterious Dark Side acolyte, Kota told Starkiller that he had a contact in the Senate that would benefit from his help.

Kota's instructions led them to Kashyyyk, which had long since been Imperialized and many portions of the planet's dense forests had been razed. Upon touching down, Starkiller immediately sensed Dark Side energy radiating from a nearby hut. Cautiously entering the hut, he was confronted by a ghostly apparition of what appeared to be a Jedi. Shocked, Starkiller instantly recongnized the spirit as that of his murdered father and he regained a host of repressed memories. Looking around the hut, he found the shattered remains of his father's lightsaber and salvaged the blue focusing crystals that powered it. Installing them in his own lightsaber, he abandoned the red crystals that marked him as a Dark Side wielder and effectively created a proper Jedi weapon. Concerned, Juno contacted him via comlink, though Starkiller reassured her that he was fine. She then warned him that there was a large Imperial installation near his location. Wielding his new blue blade, he valiantly fought through the Imperial forces to a holding cell located in the personal quarters of the Imperial Captain Ozzik Sturn. In the cell, he found a young woman with dark brown hair and regal bearing accompanied by a blue and white astromech droid. Telling the woman that he did not serve the Empire, Starkiller clarified that he was working with Master Kota and that she needed to get offworld immediately. However, she refused to leave without first disabling the Empire's skyhook, which was used to ferry thousands of Wookiee slaves offworld. Reluctantly agreeing, Starkiller continued to push back the Empire's forces until he reached the skyhook. While attempting to sabotage the machine, he was attacked by Ozzik Sturn in a customized AT-ST. Sturn proved to be no match for Starkiller's strength with The Force, and he succeeded in destroying the skyhook. 

When he returned to The Rogue Shadow, Starkiller demanded that Kota tell him who the girl was. Kota responded by telling him that she was Princess Leia Organa, and that her father Bail Organa was his Senatorial contact. When Starkiller demanded to speak to Bail, Kota informed him that Bail had gone missing after searching for Master Shaak Ti on Felucia. Realizing that he would need Bail's resources in his rebellion, he decided to return to Felucia to hopefully find and resuce Bail. Landing of Felucia, he found that it was radically different from the lush planet he had been to only six months earlier. He had to contend with not only legions of Imperial forces, but also the maddened natives as well. He eventually came upon the Ancient Abyss where he dueled Shaak Ti, and was abhorred by the sight he was greeted with. The Empire had installed a tunnel system within the still-living Sarlaac. Taking measures to lessen the creature's suffering, he journeyed through the Sarlaac's anatomy, hoping that Bail was not dead and digested. When Bail was nowhere within the Sarlaac, Starkiller exited and came upon the Rancor Graveyard, where he found Bail dirty and beaten. Bail warned Starkiller that the madness of the planet was due to Shaak Ti's apprentice Maris Brood, who had turned to the Dark Side following her Master's death. Maris attacked Starkiller with the aid of a monstrous Bull Rancor, though Starkiller managed to overpower both with relative ease. Defeated, Brood vowed that if Starkiller spared her, she would abandon the Dark Side and leave Felucia forever. Allowing her to leave, Starkiller reunited Bail with Kota, who convinced the Senator to join Starkiller's rebellion. Bail also assured Starkiller that he would attempt to convince other disillusioned Senators to join their cause.

When they left Felucia, Starkiller secretly made contact with Darth Vader in his meditation chamber. He notified Vader of his progress with his mission, though he needed advice on what his next target should be. Vader reminded Starkiller that fear was the Emperor's primary tool when ruling and that Starkiller needed to symbollically destroy that fear. He pointed Starkiller to a Star Destroyer construction facility over Raxus Prime, which could be destroyed from the planet surface. Starkiller offered a half-hearted thanks, and Vader reminded Starkiller that he was still under the Dark Lord's control. When the hologram faded, PROXY noticed Juno standing behind Starkiller. Outraged that Starkiller was still serving Vader, despite his apparent betrayal, she urged Starkiller to make the right decision and not force her to abandon another life. This, along with his vision on Kashyyyk, pushed Starkiller further along the path to redemption. 

Landing on Raxus Prime, Starkiller was once again greeted by an entire legion of the Empire's forces, as well as Rodian mercenaries. As he made his way to the Imperial facility on the planet's surface, Juno notified Starkiller that PROXY had for some reason left The Rogue Shadow. Thanking Juno for the advance warning, he continued to fight his way to the facility. When he finally reached the facility, he was confronted by another Sith Acolyte like the one he encountered at Cloud City. After a short duel, the image faded to reveal PROXY. The droid stated that he was attempting to fulfill his primary directive, and that his tactical computers suggested that he had to strike at that moment. He switched randomly between foes that Starkiller had defeated previously, including Rahm Kota, Shaak Ti, and Maris Brood. Continuously outmatching PROXY, Starkiller told him to shut down. In response, PROXY activated a persona that he had never used previously: the legendary Sith warrior Darth Maul. Still managing to defeat PROXY, Starkiller left the droid pinned to a wall while he continued about his mission. He overrode the facility's ore cannon to fire directly at the orbiting shipyard, destroying it. However, one Star Destroyer managed to avoid being destroyed, and was heading straight for Starkiller. Kota told him that he would never get clear of the ship in time, and that he would need to use The Force to pull the massive ship into the cannon. Incredulous, Starkiller stated that it was impossible, only to be reminded that he was a Jedi, and that size meant nothing to a Jedi. After much effort avoiding TIE fighters and telekinetically pulling the ship down, he finally succeeded and barely managed to escape the crashing ship. PROXY, who also managed to avoid destruction, told Starkiller that the shockwave overloaded his primary programming. Relieved, he brought PROXY back to The Rogue Shadow, where they reunited with Juno and Kota. 

Again contacting Vader, Starkiller told him that he needed to cease contact with Vader for a time in order to gain the trust of his new allies. Warning Starkiller not to wait to long to make contact, Vader ended the transmission. Juno asked Starkiller if Vader could be trusted, to which he said that Vader wouldn't risk his mission. Juno then told him that they had arrived at Corellia to meet with the other rebels. She asked him what his plans were for the rebellion, but he simply asked that she trust him. Joining the other rebels, Starkiller and Kota began the meeting. Bail Organa, along with Senators Mon Mothma and Garm Bel Iblis pledged their support and resources to the cause, as long as Starkiller would be leading them with the power of The Force. Just as they officially declared rebellion against the Empire, they felt a tremor from an explosion. Looking outside, Starkiller was horrified to see that the Empire had arrived en masse. Vader, along with a group of stormtroopers, blasted into the building and ordered that the rebel leaders be taken alive to be personally executed by the Emperor. Vader then mocked Starkiller by calling him his apprentice just before throwing a large stone table at him. Landing outside in the snow, Starkiller angrily shouted accusations at his former Master, outraged at yet another betrayal. Revealing that he never planned to kill Sidious with Starkiller's help, he prepared to kill his former apprentice. Just as he was about to deliver the deathblow, PROXY intervened in the form of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Easily defeating the droid, Vader turned to see that Starkiller had apparently fallen over the edge of the neaby cliff. Satisfied that his pawn was dead, he turned to leave the freezing planet. Unknown to Vader, Starkiller had survived the fall and was picked up by Juno in The Rogue Shadow.

Final Battle and Death

Enraged at Vader's betrayal, Starkiller resolved to liberate the rebels before they could be executed. Sinking into a deep meditation, he had a vision of the Empire's dreaded superweapon, the Death Star, which was still under construction in the Outer Rim. Arriving, he told Juno that he would probably never see her again. In response, Juno passionately kissed him before he dove off the ship's ramp to the battlestation below. Cutting his way through hundreds of stormtroopers, dozens of AT-ST's and several of the Emperor's elite guards, Starkiller finally arrived at the Emperor's observation dome above the Death Star's laser convergence array. Confronted by Darth Vader, Starkiller boldly ignited his lightsaber in preparation to duel his former Master. After a long duel, which was a fairly even match, Starkiller eventually defeated Darth Vader, severely damaging the armor that kept the Dark Lord alive. At the sight of his apprentice battered and broken yet again, Sidious started goading Starkiller to kill Darth Vader and take his place as the Emperor's apprentice.  

Kota desperately attacked Sidious, hoping to stop him from turning Starkiller. Blasting him with Sith Lightning, Sidious easily subdued Kota. Torn between revenge on Vader and saving his allies, Starkiller eventually decided to save Kota from Sidious' attack. Left without a lightsaber due to Kota's intervention, Sidious was forced to fight Starkiller using his considerable powers with the Dark Side, periodically summoning aid from his guards. Again, after a long fight that caused much damage to the throne room, Sidious was defeated by Starkiller's superior affinity for The Force. Prepared to kill Sidious for all he and Vader had done, Starkiller was convinced by Kota that to strike him down in anger would put him down the path to the Dark Side. Relenting, he deactivated his lightsaber and began preparations to leave the Death Star. However, Sidious renewed his assault on Kota, which prompted Starkiller to intercept the Emperor's powerful lightning attack. Shouting, Starkiller caused a large explosion that allowed the rebels to make their escape. However, in saving the rebels he sacrificed his own life. Vader and Sidious, dismayed that they had unwittingly created a great threat to their Empire, began preparations to hunt down and kill the rebel leaders before they could do any damage. 

The rebel leaders converged on Kashyyyk, in Starkiller's old hut, where they officially founded the Alliance to Restore the Republic, more commonly known as the Rebel Alliance. Leia suggested that they find a flag to rally behind, and chose Starkiller's family crest in order to memorialize the sacrifice he had made for the galaxy.

The Force Unleashed II

Main article: Starkiller

In The Force Unleashed II, Marek is cloned by Vader, with the new version only known as "Starkiller". However, the memories of his past self lead the new Starkiller to betray Vader and join the Rebellion.

Alternate Endings

The Force Unleashed

Ultimate Sith

Lord Starkiller (Galen Marek)

Should the player choose to attack Darth Vader instead of Sidious at the end of The Force Unleashed, then the player will begin a second boss fight that results in the death of Darth Vader. When Starkiller rejoins the Emperor, he is told that in order to achieve his rank as Sith Lord, he must sever his ties to the Jedi and kill Rahm Kota. Starkiller ignites his lightsaber, but instead attacks Sidious, who intercepts the attack. Stating that he knew that Starkiller would betray him as well as Vader and the rebels, the Emperor attacked Starkiller with Sith Lightning just as The Rogue Shadow appeared to extract the rebels. Using The Force, the Emperor hurled the ship at Starkiller, killing the rebels in the ensuing explosion.

Starkiller regained consciousness in a laboratory similar to the EmPal Surgical Center on Coruscant where Vader had been reconstructed. Like Vader, he had been encased in a cybernetic life-support suit. However, this suit was far less aesthetically designed, instead clearly showing where the metal had been grafted to Starkiller's flesh. The Emperor mocked Starkiller, telling him that he would do the Emperor's bidding until he found a suitable apprentice. Then, he would cast Starkiller aside as he had done to Vader. He then left Starkiller to the painful process of being rebuilt.

The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition

Galen Marek vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi

Galen fighting Ben Kenobi on Tatooine.

This DLC for the game follows a story arc based on the Dark Side ending in which Starkiller kills Darth Vader. This pack includes alternate versions of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back in which Starkiller has become Sidious' new apprentice and fights famous characters like Ben Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Boba Fett.

Trivia

  • Despite spending the majority of his life under the tutelage of Darth Vader, Starkiller never became a true Sith Lord. Rather, he is considered to be a Dark Jedi, one of numerous Dark Side acolytes trained by the Empire.
  • Witwer, a loyal Star Wars fan, also voiced Emperor Palpatine in the game. Later, he would lend his voice talents to The Son and Darth Maul in The Clone Wars TV series on Cartoon Network.
  • Starkiller was meant to appear in a live action TV series called Star Wars: Underground. The show was meant to take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and would focus on pivotal characters such as Boba Fett and Han Solo. The show, however, was bookshelved indefinitely.
  • Galen's alias of Starkiller originated from the Star Wars working title The Adventures of the Starkiller.

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