Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (project)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a multimedia project developed by LucasArts along with Dark Horse Comics, Lego, Hasbro, and Del Rey Books. It consists of a video game released in September 2008, a second video game released in October 2010, a tie-in novel, action figures, a comic book, a reference book, a role-playing game supplement, and a book on the making of the game.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed tells the story of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, code-named "Starkiller" but born Galen Marek, as he hunts down the remaining Jedi after Emperor Palpatine orders them killed. Set between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the story explores the aftermath of the Great Jedi Purge as well as the rise of Darth Vader. The events of The Force Unleashed are "pivotal" in Darth Vader's history and development as a character and offer illumination into other characters from A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Ultimately, Starkiller sacrifices his life to save the leaders of the new Rebel Alliance; they honor him by adopting his family's crest as their symbol.
Sean Williams' novelization was released in the United States on August 19, 2008. It spent one week as #1 on both Publishers Weekly's and The New York Times' hardcover fiction bestsellers lists, slipping to #7 and #9, respectively, the following week. It also reached #15 on USA Today's bestsellers list.
Williams took on the writing project in part because of the "catchy description" of The Force Unleashed being "Episode 3.5" of the Star Wars saga. The novel focuses on the dark side of the Force and its practitioners; Williams found it "interesting" to portray the Jedi as "bad guys." The author most enjoyed developing the character of Juno Eclipse, exploring the "feminine" side of The Force Unleashed in a way the video game does not. Williams also said that while the game allows the player to "do" Starkiller's actions, the novel allows readers to experience Starkiller's thoughts about those actions, adding another dimension to the story.
Other products and critical response
The Force Unleashed game was released in North America on September 16, 2008, and in Australia and Southeast Asia on September 17, 2008, and was released in Europe on September 19, 2008. The Apprentice was licensed to Namco Bandai Games to be a playable character in both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Soulcalibur IV.
Dark Horse's The Force Unleashed graphic novel was published August 18, 2008. Newsarama called the graphic novel a "solid story" that matches the video game source material in both structure and plot. IGN gave the graphic novel a score of 6.9/10 (6.4/10 for art, 7.5/10 for the writing), praising the overall story but faulting inconsistency in the art and questioning whether the comic medium was the best way to convey the story.
- "Overview". Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. LucasArts. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- "Holiday Gift Guide '08". PlayStation: The Official Magazine (Future US).
- Williams, Sean (2008-08-19). The Force Unleashed. Star Wars. Del Rey. p. 316. ISBN 978-0-345-49902-8. "His full name was Galen Marek"
- Gandhi, Mayur. "Exclusive The Force Unleashed Information!". NZGamer.com. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- Keighley, Geoff. "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed". GameTrailers.com & Spike TV. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Making the Novel". Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- "Starkiller (Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice)". Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- Williams, Sean (2008-08-19). The Force Unleashed. Star Wars. Del Rey. pp. 311–314. ISBN 978-0-345-49902-8.
- "Latest BestSellers of Hardcover Fiction — Week of September 1, 2008". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- Cowles, Gregory (2008-08-30). "Best Sellers". Books (The New York Times). Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "Latest BestSellers of Hardcover Fiction - Week of September 8, 2008". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- "Best Sellers". Books (The New York Times). 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- "This week's top 150 best sellers — Based on sales through Sunday, August 24, 2008". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "The Force Unleashed Sells 1.5 Million Units Worldwide in Under One Week". Lucasfilm. 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
- Sinclair, Brendan (2008-06-05). "Soulcalibur IV Unleashed". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- Pawlus, Adam. "Hasbro Celebrates Star Wars 30th Anniversary With Cool Figures And Spare Change". Toy Fair 2007. Galactic Hunter.com. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed TPB". Dark Horse. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Siegel, Lucas (2008-08-27). "Pixels & Panels: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed". Newsarama. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Schedeen, Jesse (2008-09-12). "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed TPB Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-09-14.