|Chronological and political information|
- "I'm not Starkiller! I'm... I'm a clone. I was grown in a vat to take his place."
Starkiller was the codename of a clone of the late Galen Marek, the secret apprentice of Darth Vader. When Marek died, Vader endeavored to recreate his disciple by utilizing the cloning technologies of the Kaminoans on their home planet Kamino. The cloning procedure, enhanced from its original form to allow for a rapid rate of growth among its subjects, was initially imperfect and many clones were too unstable to suitably replace Marek. After months of failures, one particular clone impressed Vader enough for him to hope that this version might become the first success. But as with the others, he inherited Marek's power and skills at the cost of receiving his emotions as well, a side effect of memory flashes used in the training process.
Like those who came before him, the clone could not free himself from the emotional imprints passed on by Marek, especially his personal attachment to Captain Juno Eclipse, a former Imperial pilot stationed on Marek's flagship, the Rogue Shadow. As with Marek, the clone's dedication to the Dark side of the Force was undermined by Eclipse as he steadily became obsessed with her. When Vader judged him to be another imperfect copy, the clone escaped from Kamino and embarked on a personal journey to find Eclipse. Lacking a name of his own, and refusing to take the one that belonged to his template, he was subsequently known by Marek's callsign Starkiller. Immediately after his escape from Kamino, Starkiller's first stop on his quest was to save his template's Jedi mentor Rahm Kota from Imperial captivity on Cato Neimoidia, single handedly incapacitating the massive Gorog beast belonging to Baron Merillion Tarko in the Tarko-se Arena. His desire to find an identity for himself led him to Dagobah, where a brief encounter with the revered Jedi Master Yoda and an epiphany allowed him to glimpse into the future.
This vision offered him insight as to to whereabouts of Captain Eclipse, now a Rebel stationed on the starship Salvation. Darth Vader used Starkiller's obsession with her to his own advantage, hiring the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett to abduct her and bring her to Kamino, in an attempt to lure Starkiller back to his home planet. Starkiller rallied the Alliance Fleet to launch a massive attack on Kamino, using the Alliance's military assets to help him achieve his own personal goal. In the midst of the battle, Starkiller kamikazed the critically damaged Salvation into Timara City and confronted Darth Vader. The clone proved to be as powerful as his template and incapacitated Vader with a powerful blast of force lightning, allowing Alliance soldiers to place him under arrest. Finally reunited with Juno, the two were assigned to personally transport the Sith Lord to the Alliance headquarters to await trial and execution for his crimes against the galaxy.
Early life and training
- "We are still left with hundreds upon hundreds of abject failures. While they no longer try to kill anything that comes near them, they are nearly insensible."
- ―Lead Cloning Technician, Timira City Cloning Facility
When the original Starkiller stormed the Death Star in a bid to rescue the captured Rebel Alliance leaders, Palpatine presented him with the choice of killing Darth Vader and replacing him as Palpatine's Sith apprentice. While Starkiller refused, perishing in the ensuing battle, Vader was at last made aware of Palpatine's long standing desire to replace him with a more able apprentice.
Now earnestly pursuing the idea of a secret apprentice to help him assassinate Palpatine, Vader preserved Starkiller's body, taking it to Kamino and extracting cells to clone the Force adept. Due to the inherent difficulty in cloning Force-sensitives, many of the initial Starkiller clones were deformed and aberrant monstrosities. As the process was refined, the clones became increasingly stable, though many still succumbed to madness after the period of a few months, at which point Vader would simply move on to training a new test subject. This new clone was just the latest in a long line.
- Main article: Escape from Kamino
- "The accelerated cloning process is still... imperfect. Those who came before you went mad within months. I believed you would be the first success, but it seems you are to suffer the same fate."
- ―Darth Vader
Starkiller's training progressed rapidly, thanks in large part to the imprinted memory flashes from the original Starkiller. He was also subjected to numerous brutal tests by Darth Vader, having spent thirteen days in isolation without food or water and forced to survive by relying on the Dark side of the Force. Upon one of Vader's visits, the clone was released from the isolation pit and was informed by Vader that Rahm Kota, the original Starkiller's Jedi mentor, had been captured on Cato Neimoidia. At the conclusion of his training, Starkiller was to travel there and execute the Jedi. When Vader inquired about Starkiller's visions, the clone elaborated, curious about their meaning. Vader explained that they were nothing more than the memories of a dead man, a temporary side effect of the accelerated cloning process. With that, Vader initiated a training session, providing Starkiller with a pair of lightsabers. Engaging a number of Sith Training Droids imitating Rebel Alliance soldiers, Starkiller cut them down with brutal efficiency, falling into a trance-like state. However, as he turned on the last faux-Rebel, he realized that it was an imitation of Juno Eclipse.
Despite Vader's orders, Starkiller was unable to strike her down. Disappointed at Starkiller's inability, Vader struck down the false Eclipse himself, and declared that Starkiller would suffer the same fate as the others. Now aware that he was going to be discarded by the Sith Lord, Starkiller lost all respect for him, even doubting the fact that there were other clones of the same template; he believed that any version of Vader's fallen apprentice would be in love with Juno Eclipse just like he was. Experiencing a sudden memory flash of the original Starkiller being betrayed by Vader, Starkiller decided to escape this outcome, and thus turned on Vader at the last moment.
Darth Vader brandished his lightsaber to execute the clone, but was caught off-guard by a sudden barrage of Force lightning, dropping to one knee as his cybernetics malfunctioned. Starkiller used the opening to blast a hole in the wall of the reinforced training room, leaping out of the tower into the Kamino rainstorms. Using the Force to clear his path of TIE fighters and exterior fixtures on the tower, Starkiller plummeted onto the exterior ramparts of the Timira City cloning facilities. Drawing his two lightsabers, he cut a bloody swath of destruction along the rain-slicked platforms, eventually reaching the landing platform where Darth Vader's fighter was docked.
As Starkiller paused, Darth Vader emerged from within the facility. Quickly boarding the fighter, Starkiller lifted off and escaped Kamino, despite Vader's brief attempt to telekinetically halt the fighter. Although he knew better than to believe he was free, Starkiller further gave into his imprinted feelings by dedicating himself to finding Juno Eclipse.
- Main article: Rescue of Rahm Kota
Knowing that Rahm Kota would most likely be a valuable asset in tracking down Juno, Starkiller decided to rescue his progenitor's former Jedi ally. Thus, he followed up on Darth Vader's information and traveled to Cato Neimoidia. As he had not changed the transponder in Vader's ship, he was believed to be the Dark Lord and was directed to an executive landing pad, where he was greeted by a full retinue of Stormtroopers and Baron Merillion Tarko, the Imperial governor controlling the world from Tarko-se, a city that he named after himself. When Starkiller, clad in a tattered Imperial flightsuit, emerged from the vessel, Tarko immediately noticed that something was wrong, informing Starkiller that Kota had been in the Tarko-se Arena for the past several days before questioning his knowledge of the local Imperial security codes. When Starkiller didn't answer, Tarko and the Stormtroopers brandished their weapons, prompting Starkiller to ignite his lightsabers. Tarko retreated while Starkiller quickly cut down the troopers.
Carving his way through the eastern archway of Tarko-se, Starkiller eventually reached a public tramway to the western arch where the arena was situated. En route, he was forced to defend the vehicle against an assault by Imperial air forces, destroying most of the opposition. However, the tram finally malfunctioned and fell out of the sky just before reaching the western arch, forcing Starkiller to leap the distance to the tram station. Once in the western arch, he made his way to the entrance to the Tarko-se Arena.
Once within the arena, he approached an exhausted Rahm Kota in the ring. An incredulous Kota turned to him, plainly surprised, but expressing his certainty in Starkiller's survival. As one of the arena doors opening, releasing a Rancor, Starkiller brandished one lightsaber. However, his relaxed attitude quickly vanished when the rancor was seized and consumed by a massive Gorog, and he ignited his second blade. While Kota fled the arena to hunt down Tarko, Starkiller remained to contend with the Gorog. With Kota's strategic assistance, Starkiller managed to use the Gorog's restraints built into the arena to pin the beast's arms, before leaping onto its head and cutting into its brain.
The Gorog managed to break loose of its restraints and fling Starkiller aside, destroying the hanging arena's supports in an enraged pursuit of the Force adept. Starkiller allowed it to do so, hoping it would fall with the rest of the arena. Making his way to Tarko's executive box, he rendezvoused with Kota and confronted the Baron. However, the confrontation was cut short by the Gorog, who seized hold of the box in a last ditch effort to avoid falling. Tarko fell into the Gorog's open mouth while Kota was grabbed by the beast before it fell. Starkiller leapt after them, attacking the Gorog with bursts of Force lightning and lightsaber throws. Finally, Starkiller used the Force to propel himself onto the Gorog's back, firing a blast of Force lightning into its chest and stopping its heart. Once freed, Kota used his comlink to contact the Rogue Shadow, which swept in on autopilot and caught them before landing hard on the rocky terrain below.
Once within the ship, Starkiller charged into the cockpit, expecting to find Juno Eclipse there. Kota revealed that he didn't know where she was, as the Rebel fleet had been scattered. Starkiller convinced Kota to help him find Juno, and Kota provided the coordinates for the Rebel rendezvous in the Athega system. However, they were ambushed by an Imperial fleet upon their arrival, and forced to flee. Kota was quick to try convincing Starkiller to join the Rebellion and counterattack against the Empire, brushing aside Starkiller's claims of being a clone with the supposed certainty that cloning Force-sensitives was impossible; he even trying to drill Starkiller for information on the Kamino cloning facilities.
However, Starkiller remained unconvinced that he could be the real Starkiller, believing that Vader found a way to successfully clone Force-wielders with the aid of Kaminoan technology. Furthermore, he remained committed to finding Juno and also stated that he simply needed a quiet place to meditate on his situation. Kota was enraged that Starkiller would not immediately commit to the Rebellion, believing that the clone was putting one woman and his own inner conflict above the needs of the galaxy. Realizing that he could not convince or force Starkiller to change his mind, Kota stormed out of the cockpit, but not before giving the Rogue Shadow to him, feeling that the ship had always been his, and demanding to be let out on the nearest spaceport before Starkiller got "lost in the stars".
Vision on Dagobah
- "Fine, then. Go to the forests of Kashyyyk or the caves of Dagobah, or wherever you think you'll find what you need and let the galaxy die."
- ―Rahm Kota
Dropping Kota off on Malastare, Starkiller then followed up on both his Force visions and hints Kota had inadvertently dropped. Traveling to Mon Calamari, he found the planet in turmoil from recent resistance activity. On Kashyyyk, he experienced a vision of the original Starkiller's father. From freeing Kota to visiting several worlds, he had found that all of his attempts to find Juno had proven to be counter-productive to his primary goal. Having exhausted all other options, he decided to travel to Dagobah.
Landing on the planet, he probed the swamps through the Force, discovering an odd Force signature that studied him in return. Picking his way through the swamps towards it, Starkiller was forced to fight off several predators, but prevailed. Reaching the Dark Side Cave, he was greeted by Yoda. Yoda steered Starkiller into entering the cave, which the Force adept did after a moment.
Within the cave, Starkiller experienced a vision. Now clad in the robes of a Jedi Knight and wielding blue lightsabers, he wandered the interior of the cave, only to be accosted by various versions of himself. Initially brandishing his lightsabers, Starkiller lowered them and forced his way through. Entering a final chamber shrouded in shadows, he experienced additional layers of the vision, seeing Darth Vader hiring Boba Fett to track him down, and Juno Eclipse being attacked and wounded on the bridge of her vessel, the Salvation.
Emerging from the cave, Starkiller was counciled by Yoda to follow what he had seen. Returning to his ship, Starkiller traveled to Malastare to find Kota. Finding Kota in the workshop of the Rebel contact Berkelium Shyre, Starkiller was recognized by Shyre, who was infatuated with Juno, as the man whom Juno Eclipse always spoke of. After Kota left to rendezvous with his new squad, Starkiller erased Shyre's memory of him, and of his own last meeting with Juno. Afterward, Kota introduced Starkiller to his squad's medic, the Cerean Ni-Ke-Vanz. Vanz possessed extensive knowledge of cloning, having been educated in the subject by a Khommite slave during a shared sentence in the Spice Mines of Kessel. Vanz elaborated on how a cloning was not the way to immortality, mainly because a clone is it's own individual that is based on the original subject but still separate; he stated that clones were simply different version of the same template. He also elaborated on the complications of cloning Force-sensitives; the clones would lapse into insanity, developing psychotic and suicidal tendencies. Although he was unsure, Vanz speculated that the Force was in some way responsible for undermining the stability of Force-sensitive clones.
Starkiller wasn't reassured by this information, despite Kota's belief that it proved he wasn't a clone. They departed for Nordra, the current location of the Rebel fleet, soon afterward. En route, Kota presented Starkiller with a pair of blue Lightsaber crystals, relics of the Clone Wars; Starkiller accepted the gifts and installed them in his dual-lightsabers.
Attack on the Salvation
- Main article: Battle near the Itani Nebula
Arriving at Nordra, Starkiller and Kota docked aboard the Salvation ahead of Kota's squad, which had taken an alternate vessel. While taking a rapid cargo tram towards the Salvation bridge, Kota informed Starkiller about the state of affairs within the Alliance. The Alliance leadership was deadlocked, as they didn't have the firepower to take out a meaningful Imperial target, and hit-and-run raids wasted too many lives. Juno Eclipse was part of the militarist camp, calling for an aggressive strike, even for only a symbolic victory. Kota didn't tell Juno that Starkiller was with him, feeling that it would be better for her to see for herself. Starkiller handed Kota an encrypted Code cylinder that contained information about the Timira City cloning facilities; everything the Alliance needs to launch a successful attack.
The cargo tram suddenly ground to a halt as the ship was attacked. Starkiller and Kota quickly drew their lightsabers and made their way to the bridge on foot, attacked by Imperial Terror Soldiers along the way. Reaching the bridge, they found it in shambles, most of the personnel dead and Juno missing. Starkiller found PROXY, the original Starkiller's training droid, who informed them that Juno had likely been taken to the Deck 7 docking bays. While Kota remained on the bridge to take command of the ship, Starkiller continued on alone, following the destructive trail left by Vader's bounty hunter and the Imperial forces.
Making it to the hangar, Starkiller arrived just in time to see Boba Fett and a very shocked Juno Eclipse board Fett's ship. Attempting to stop Fett's ship from fleeing by grasping it telekinetically, Starkiller was forced to break off when he was attacked by a Terror Walker. Pursuing the monstrous droid into the Salvation's reactor chamber, Starkiller destroyed it. Contacting Kota, Starkiller demanded that Kota order the attack on Kamino, so he could go rescue Juno from Darth Vader. As he felt his rage build up at the thought of Juno's capture and his Master, Starkiller experienced another vision in the Force; he stood victorious over a defeated Darth Vader and raised his blade to finally end the Sith Lord's life. Before he could deliver the final blow, however, he was impaled from behind by a lightsaber through the chest. In the last moments of his short existence, Starkiller saw that his killer's face was exactly like his own; it was another clone of Galen Marek—a reborn Starkiller, deeply absorbed in the dark side and much more powerful. The last thing that Starkiller saw before snapping out of the vision was water as Vader telekinetically pushed the imperfect clone's body into the vast ocean of Kamino.
Battle of Kamino
- Main article: Battle of Kamino (Galactic Civil War)
Starkiller returned to the hangar just in time to see the Rebel fleet arrive at Kamino. Engaging the Imperial forces that boarded the Salvation, Starkiller systematically eliminated them before returning to the bridge. Kota and PROXY informed him that the attack was going badly; as the Imperials had been waiting for them, and the deflector shield protecting Timira City prevented them from landing any of their forces. Starkiller advised Kota to order the ship abandoned so he could crash in through the planetary shield and destroy the planetside shield generator.
Slaving all ship systems to the bridge, Starkiller plotted a course straight at the planetside shield generators and set the ship on autopilot. As the ship plummetted towards Timira City, Starkiller cleared debris from the battle out of the ship's path, allowing it to smash through the shield. As the Salvation continued falling, it broke in half, with the rear half plowing into the shield generator, while his flew at the spire where Darth Vader was holed up. Too late realizing that Juno was also being held in the spire, Starkiller used the Force to destroy the entire forward section of the Salvation. Managing to survive the fall onto the facility, Starkiller briefly lost consciousness.
While unconscious, Starkiller remembered Galen Marek's mother, and how she sacrificed herself to protect her family from Trandoshan slavers before Galen's abduction by Vader. When he awoke on the Kaminoan battlefield, he tried to shrug it off and focus on the task at hand. As he was on the cloning facilities interior, he needed to find an entrance to allow the Rebel forces in. Making his way towards one of the Imperial hangar bays, he killed everything in his path, as well as clearing out a group of snipers harrying Rahm Kota and his squad. Rendezvousing with Kota, they broke into one of the Imperial command centers, hoping to use it to open the hangar doors, but the controls were destroyed by an Imperial bombing run. While Kota and his men looked for a security hub to prevent any more lockdowns, Starkiller made his way to an alternate command center only to find the controls locked. Instead, he used telekinesis to wrench the doors open.
Needing a shortcut across the facilities interior towards the base of the cloning spires, Starkiller climbed on top of the hangar doors and leapt onto a passing Y-wing. The pilot, Wedge Antilles, obliged to Starkiller's request for a ride, flying him across the dome. Leaping off and entering the spire, Starkiller began ascending. Within, he engaged Imperial Saber Guardsmen and Sith Acolytes, and finding to his horror that most of the cloning tanks within the spire contained more clones of Galen Marek. As he ascended higher and higher, he attempted to do so stealthily and with as little bloodshed as possible, but was given away by an unnoticed Terror Trooper, forcing him to kill them all.
Confrontation with Vader
- "I knew it was only a matter of time before you returned. Now you will surrender to me, or you will die here where you were created."
- ―Darth Vader
Exiting an elevator in the cloning labs near the top of the spire, Starkiller continued on, despite Kota's protests via comlink. As he wandered through the smoke-shrouded corridors, he was attacked by Vader. Starkiller managed to fend off the Sith Lord, but was struck by a sudden and violent Force vision before he could counter, allowing Vader to slip away. Tortured by his own mind as he wandered the corridors, Starkiller was attacked twice more by Vader before reentering the larger interior spaces of the spire.
Darth Vader made himself visible on one of the tank platforms, declaring that Starkiller would either surrender to him or die. Starkiller leapt up to engage Vader, but the Dark Lord relied on more evasive tactics, fending off Starkiller's attacks while sending Sith Training Droids in the guise of various figures from Galen Marek's past to fight him. Starkiller easily held them off and turned on Vader. However, the Vader he fought turned out to just be another Holodroid, and Starkiller leapt further upwards in search of the real Sith Lord.
As he prepared to face the true Darth Vader, Starkiller also found himself confronted by a veritable army of aberrant clones of Galen Marek, thus proving that Vader had not lied about creating other clones of Marek, as Starkiller originally believed. As he fought his "brothers," Starkiller could sense that all of the clones were virtually the same as him—not only because they possessed the same skills as him, albeit in varying degrees, but also because they had inherited the same Force potential and identity crisis as Starkiller. Faced with what were essentially alternate versions of himself and his template, Starkiller was forced to truly accept his identity as a clone in the face of this overwhelming proof. His aggressive counters against the clones were reluctant, as he felt they had just as much right to live as he. He killed them all with a powerful Force repulse, then quietly questioned Darth Vader; Why me?
After a momentary dialogue, Starkiller rushed Vader in a rage. Vader casually parried the attack, and blocked the follow-up with his lightsaber and telekinesis, throwing Starkiller off his feet as the platform bucked. Starkiller regained his feet and came on swinging. Even as they fought across the top level of the tower, Starkiller sensed that Vader was still testing him, and attempted to keep a handle on his emotions. When an opening came, Starkiller moved to take it, only to be hit by a vision of a dead Juno Eclipse in his arms. Starkiller's momentary confusion allowed Vader to knock him down and quietly retreat. Starkiller pursued him, and reached the very top of the spire.
When Starkiller demanded Juno's location, Vader sidestepped and revealed her standing behind him. Vader took her up in a telekinetic chokehold, demanding that Starkiller surrender to him in exchange for her life. Starkiller agreed, casting aside his lightsabers and dropping to his knees. With the clone in submission, Vader commanded Starkiller to locate and kill Rahm Kota, embrace the Dark side of the Force, and to hunt down and execute the Rebel leaders upon the completion of his training; failure to meet any of the Sith Lord's demands would result in nothing less than Juno's death. However, while Vader spoke, Juno retrieved one of Starkiller's lightsabers and attacked Vader. Vader managed to dodge, blasting her back with a powerful Force push, seemingly killing her. Starkiller fell on Darth Vader in blind rage.
As they fought across the rain-slicked spire roof, Starkiller realized that this was Vader's plan all along; to use Juno's death to bring about his own fall. Knowing this, Starkiller attempted to reason with Vader, even as their fight increased in intensity. He even went so far as to suggest that his Master join the Alliance in order to destroy the Emperor. But Vader simply redoubled his own attack in response, making it clear that he wanted nothing to do with the Rebellion. As they continued to fight, Vader tried to encourage Starkiller to rise above his artificial feelings for Juno Eclipse, stating that she meant nothing and was only holding him back. Starkiller continued to press his attacks in order to get to Juno, but Vader stayed firmly between the two and reminded Starkiller that Juno loved a dead man—not a clone.
Starkiller was eventually forced onto his back foot and disarmed. Dodging Vader's lightsaber throws, he caught his former Master's lightsaber and threw it back at him, cutting off Vader's right hand. Unfazed by the loss of his hand, Vader spun at Starkiller, punching at him with his prosthetic stump. Starkiller managed to duck under the blow, though Vader threw him off his feet with a sudden Force push. With Starkiller vulnerable, Vader telekinetically ripped one of the massive lightning rods across the top of the spire out of it's socket and attempted to crush the prone Starkiller with the large, pointed tip. Driven to the edge of the roof by the colossal metal spike, Starkiller managed to draw on the Force to boost his physical strength, pushing the incredible weight clear of his body, while simultaneously lifting one of the other lightning rods from it's socket. Still holding up the other rod, Starkiller pushed the rod pinning him with enough force to send it spinning towards Vader. As the Dark Lord ducked underneath it, Starkiller arranged his own rod to direct a dazzling bolt of lightning across the top of the spire towards himself. Catching and redirecting the bolt, Starkiller channeled it into a powerful barrage of Force lightning, driving Darth Vader to his knees.
Reclaiming his lightsabers, Starkiller prepared to execute Darth Vader, even as the Sith Lord continued to try turning him. However, he was halted at the last second by Rahm Kota and his squad. Kota called for taking Vader prisoner to interrogate and formally execute him, reasoning to Starkiller that the Vader was the only one who knew for sure whether or not he was truly a clone. Unknown to Starkiller, he had both Boba Fett and a fellow surviving clone of Galen Marek preparing to intervene if Starkiller attempted to kill Vader. Ultimately, Starkiller chose to spare Darth Vader, thus heeding Kota's advice rather than succumbing to Vader's insistence that the clone fulfill his destiny.
- "As long as she lives, I will always control you."
- ―Darth Vader
With Darth Vader overcome, Starkiller rushed to Juno, whom PROXY was attempting to revive. Unsuccessful, PROXY apologized for his failure, though Starkiller was quick to forgive him, stating that the fault was his own, for seeking out Juno in the first place. Holding her body in his arms, Starkiller began grieving when Juno inexplicably awoke. They kissed, and were happy. Unknown to Starkiller, Boba Fett had been preparing to kill him with a sniper rifle, only relenting out of sympathy when Juno awoke.
With the battle won and Vader captured, the Rebel attention was turned to cleanup. Vader would be transported on board the Rogue Shadow to keep his whereabouts secret, with Starkiller supervising his transport, and the Timira City facilities with wreckage from the space battle. Kota saw to Vader's "accommodations" aboard the Shadow, telling Starkiller that he hadn't said a word during this process. Starkiller was skeptical that Vader would give in to interrogation, believing that the Sith Lord's own experiences had already pushed him past his breaking point. Starkiller then saw PROXY enter the ship, with scavenged parts from the numerous Sith Training Droids Starkiller had destroyed clutched in his arms. Starkiller followed him into the crew quarters, where PROXY was experimentally swapping out components from the scavenged droids with his own, revealing that he was attempting to find himself a new primary programming to replace his long since erased original. Starkiller advised PROXY to instead figure out a common factor between all the various individuals he had encountered; a set of principles.
Starkiller then went into the onboard meditation chamber, where Vader was detained. While he attempted to project a bold front, Starkiller was inwardly confused and uncertain. He declared to Vader that by letting the him live, he had broken the Sith Lord's hold over him. As Starkiller turned to leave, Vader countered that as long as Juno lived, he would always control Starkiller. Starkiller refused to give Vader the satisfaction of an answer, and left the room.
Taking his place in the copilot seat in the Rogue Shadow cockpit, Starkiller left the piloting duties to Juno. The Shadow met up with a formation of Rebel cruisers above Kamino, all arrayed in different directions to throw off pursuit, and was the last to leave. However, they were being tracked by Slave I, which had been hiding in the wreckage from the battle.
Darth Vader's tenure in Rebel Alliance captivity wouldn't last long, as he would be free and active by 0 BBY. Starkiller's reemergeance would likely prove to be a boon to the Alliance, though both Kota and Juno encouraged him to keep a low profile, wanting to keep it under wraps for the time being, unsure about what the Alliance leadership would think of him. Starkiller's ultimate fate is unknown.
Personality and traits
- "He is no Jedi. A Jedi controls his emotions and his powers. But Starkiller... he does not know restraint. He will bring down an entire Star Destroyer on your head, if that is what it takes to kill you."
"The Starkiller you knew? The one who could pull starships out of the sky? He's dead. Vader had him cloned. That's who is searching for you... a half-mad copy who only thinks he loves you."
- ―Juno Eclipse and Boba Fett
Upon his creation, "Starkiller" was trained by Darth Vader to become the same lethal assassin that the original Starkiller had been, prior to his redemption and death as "Galen Marek." But like all of the clones that preceded him, Starkiller was undermined by the emotions that he inherited from Marek. As his training continued, the clone tried to avoid contemplating on the memory imprints of his progenitor's life, especially when it came to surviving Vader's relentless and unforgiving training regimen. However, Starkiller became increasingly confused by visions of Marek's life, mainly due to his inability to separate Marek's memories from his own experience.
When Darth Vader revealed that other clones of Galen Marek had previously been created, Starkiller refused to believe his Master. According to Vader, the clones had also inherited many aspects of Marek's personality, although some characteristic traits were more dominant than others. Some clones were overtaken by the original apprentice's sentimental emotions over the memory of his dead father; others were brought down by the memories of Marek's younger self. In Starkiller's case, the most dominant trait that he inherited was Marek's love for Juno Eclipse. Starkiller cared nothing for the memory of his template's dead father or the young boy that Marek had once been. It did not seem possible to the clone that any version of Galen Marek could be more motivated by anything other than his feelings for Eclipse. He believed that if there were any other clones besides him, they would have all been in love with the same woman while everything else was less relevant. Aside from all of his self-doubt and uncertainty, Starkiller's emotional attachment to Eclipse was the one thing he felt truly certain about.
Aside from Starkiller's feelings for Eclipse, Galen Marek's other personality traits were not nearly as dominant within his clone by comparison. Before his death, Marek became increasingly curious about his past, especially after seeing a Force vision of his dead father. He even traveled to Coruscant, the capital world of the Galactic Empire, just to visit the ruins of the Jedi Temple in order to learn more about his father. But unlike Marek, the clone did not share the same emotional sentiment over the apprentice's origin. In spite of the childhood memories that he inherited, the memory of Marek's father and mother were of little importance to the clone.
Even though Rahm Kota believed that cloning Jedi and Sith was an impossible accomplishment, Starkiller remained unconvinced by the general's stubborn opinion. Even though it hadn't been achieved in the past, the clone suspected that Vader may have discovered a way with the help of Kaminoan cloning technology. Although he became known as "Starkiller", the original apprentice's former codename, he had no intention of being known by his template's birth name, "Galen Marek." As far as Starkiller was concerned, Marek's real name was of no significance to him since it technically didn't belong to the clone at all. Despite Kota's contradicting argument, Starkiller remained convinced that he was nothing more than an imperfect version of Darth Vader's dead apprentice.
Ultimately, the two greatest aspects to the clone's personality were his uncertainty over his origins and his single-minded fixation on Juno Eclipse. He was willing to sacrifice anything to protect her, even the entire Galaxy to the oppression of the Sith or the Rebel Alliance that his template helped to create. Despite the clone's refusal to return to the dark side, he was willing to serve Darth Vader once more as long as his obedience to the Sith Lord insured Juno's survival.
During Starkiller's confrontation with Darth Vader, he struggled internally with his feelings over the matter of his identity as a clone. Overall, Darth Vader's explanation made more sense to him than Rahm Kota's argument, which was greatly undermined with the discovery of Marek's other clones in the Timira City Cloning Facility. Furthermore, Starkiller began to believe that he held on to his feelings with even greater desperation because, deep down, he knew that they were counterfeit.
The clone spared his former Master's life at the end of the duel, only to struggle even more with his inner conflict over whether he was a clone or not. Although he tried to convince himself that the truth did not matter as long as his existence led to the eventual destruction of Emperor Palpatine, Starkiller was still haunted more than ever by the clones that he killed while fighting Vader. He was burdened with guilt after realizing that he had committed fratricide—or even suicide—by murdering his brothers, all of whom were genetic copies of the same man just like him.
On a side note, Starkiller possessed both a sense of humor and sarcasm, which he displayed in the Tarko-se Arena while General Kota tried to advise him on how to kill the Gorog. However, this side to his personality rarely surfaced, most likely due to his utter fixation on Juno Eclipse.
Powers and abilities
As was the case with most of the Galen Marek clones, Starkiller was trained to fight with dual-lightsabers. Starkiller strongly favored the Ataru and Niman lightsaber forms, using their dual-blade training regiments to develop his skills, mastering Jar'Kai. In combat, Starkiller utilized heavily pre-practiced fighting sequences, performing them instinctively while he lapsed into a trance-like state. His bladework was elaborate and highly unpredictable, reinforced by sudden Force-based attacks that he chained into his sequences. Like Galen Marek, Starkiller favored the Shien-style reversed grip.
Starkiller also demonstrated an aptitude for improvised weapons and disarmament techniques; in particular, he would often deprive Imperial riot troopers of their Electrostaffs and attack them with the weapons. When caught up in the frenzy of Force fury, Starkiller would unleash brutal physical attacks against his hapless enemies. Also, while in "Fury mode", he utilized advanced Telekinetic lightsaber combat techniques, throwing his dual-lightsabers in devastating arcs, often striking multiple opponents at a time.
Starkiller's skill as a duelist was such that he could overcome most opponents with little difficulty, with only Darth Vader being able to stand against him for a significant length of time. Riot troopers, Imperial Saber Guardsman, even other Marek clones were no match for him.
Starkiller retained the powerful Force connection of his genetic template, advancing quickly thanks to both Darth Vader's brutal training methods and memory flashes of the original Marek's experiences. Notably, the memory flashes did grant him knowledge of advanced Force techniques that he was unaware of.
Starkiller's skills with Telekinesis were such that he could catch and crush TIE fighters in mid-flight. When unleashing Force pushes, he would often clear entire hallways as everything in front of him was blasted back. Highly proficient at telekinetic lightsaber combat, he would often direct his lightsabers to seek out specific enemies and impale them, often killing them instantly. He was even able to catch and redirect missiles and ballistics while they were in mid-flight. Most notably, Starkiller's Force repulse unleashed sufficient energy to disentigrate enemies within a certain proximaty, the only protection against this ability being either heavy armor or advanced Force abilities.
Starkiller proved able to utilize Force lightning in many unique ways, able to target multiple foes with overwhelming barrages. Like the original Galen Marek, Starkiller was able to chain lightning attacks into his lightsaber strikes, even amplifying blade attacks with sudden arcs of energy. He also used lightning in a more tactical manner, charging up or shorting out certain types of machinery.
One of Starkiller's unique abilities was a variant of Mind trick. Unlike Jedi, who used it subtly or to evade notice, Starkiller would take complete control over his target's mind, convincing them to attack their allies, or in more extreme cases, attempt suicide. When he advanced his skills with this ability to their highest level, he was able to control up to three enemies at a time, and when the effects of the Mind trick wore off, they would physically explode in a sudden burst of Force energy.
One of Starkiller's most dangerous abilities was Force fury. Upon building up sufficient levels of Force energy, he would channel it through his body, heavily amplifying his already formidable abilities. His prowess with telekinesis would be boosted to the point where he could seize AT-STs and crush them, and then hurl the wreckage as a weapon, all with minimal effort. His blasts of Force lightning would often vaporize foes, and he was able to amplify it with Tutaminis, even redirecting a lightning bolt into an offensive attack. Fury allowed the already powerful Starkiller to become a nigh unstoppable force of destruction, though it's taxing nature meant that Starkiller could only draw on it sparingly.
Starkiller's lightsabers were modified versions of the stock lightsabers provided to the clones of Galen Marek. They all featured a transparent hilt that displayed the lightsaber energy oscillating within, which was lined by a series of black plates. The activator was a simple red button on a silver ring around the hilt approximately halfway along its length. The emitters on Starkiller's lightsabers featured a slanted, wrap-around guard that bore design similarities to emitter shrouds, as opposed to the standard emitters on the original stock design.
The vast majority of the clones wielded silver lightsabers, but Starkiller and other select clones were provided with weapons that emitted a red blade. Starkiller later replaced the red crystals with a set of blue crystals provided by Rahm Kota.
- Test subject garments
A simple garment provided to all of the clones, this wardrobe was designed to be purely functional. The outfit consisted of simple slacks and short-sleeved shirt, basic boots, all dark colored, topped off by a brighter sleeveless tunic with a low neckline. The shoulders and the waist featured guards or braces composed of a leather-like material. The uniform also appeared to be fire-retardant. Starkiller's particular set was tattered and threadbare by the time of his escape, due to his heavy training under Darth Vader.
- Imperial flightsuit
Starkiller evidently found this garment on board Darth Vader's fighter when he stole the vessel. The outfit was a simple Imperial flightsuit, though Starkiller notably did away with the helmet and chest-mounted equipment.
- Hero's armor
A garment adopted by Marek just before his and Kota's rendezvous with the Rebel fleet, it would become his primary outfit. Consisting of a loose-fitting blue and white bodysuit covered by a long white, sleeveless tunic, the garment featured a utility belt covered with pockets and a segmented, bare-metal breastplate. His wrists and knees were also covered by bare-metal guards.
Behind the scenes
In the early marketing of TFU2, the clone is seen wearing a different costume known as the "combat arena" costume in the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360's unlock of costumes.
The design of the lightsabers evidently underwent a major revision during the development of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. The early design was a heavy duty, segmented hilt with a large emitter shroud and fabric wrappings on the grip. This design was featured in the cinematic trailers, the concept and promotional art, and the graphic novel adaptation. It should also be noted that the lightsabers Vader hands to Starkiller in the opening cinematic of The Force Unleashed II are in fact a double-set of the original Starkiller's lightsaber.
Some of the hints to Starkiller's origin appear to contradict each other. On one hand, the blurb of the novel stated that Starkiller was brought back as a person devoid of memories from his former life and "programmed to kill." In the Force Unleashed II section of the LucasArts website, however, Darth Vader's profile clearly states that Vader secretly cloned the original Starkiller in order to continue his plot to overthrow Emperor Palpatine—and then lost control of the clone when he escaped from Kamino.
Within the game, it is implied that the player character is possibly the real Starkiller, having been led to believe he is a clone. However, this argument is largely based around Rahm Kota's perspective. Most of the other supplementary material is fairly straightforward in identifying Starkiller as a clone. However, the novelization, being told largely from Starkiller's point of view, leaves the idea largely up for grabs.
The major piece of evidence supporting Starkiller's identity as a clone are the Distant Thunder cinematics unlocked through the challenge levels. These motion comic-style cinematics depict the training and development of the Dark Apprentice, and shows Vader displaying Galen Marek's corpse to the clone. Interestingly, the body was dressed in Marek's Sith training outfit rather than the Jedi Adventure Robes that Marek was wearing when he died.
The Distant Thunder cinematics take place before the ending of the game and have no impact on the game's progression. With the evidence including the Dark Apprentice's appearance in the novel through a Force vision, as well as being mentioned in the Databank profile of the canonical Aberrant Clones, it is assumed that the Dark Apprentice is a canonical character. The Distant Thunder scenes also reveal that the Dark Apprentice learned to forget his feelings for Juno Eclipse, the original Galen Marek's love interest, and thereby become a "more perfect" clone of the original, devoid of emotions to cloud his judgment.
The Dark Apprentice was ordered by Darth Vader in the last scene of Distant Thunder to "intervene only when necessary" in reference to Vader's upcoming battle with the other clone of Marek. When Vader was defeated by the clone at the end of the game, the Dark Apprentice chose not to intervene in Vader's capture for unknown reasons, as seen in the light side ending. However, the Dark Apprentice only appeared when his counterpart was about to deliver a finishing blow to kill Vader, as seen in the dark side ending. In the light side ending, Vader's life was not in immediate danger, thus not requiring the Dark Apprentice to stop "Starkiller" from executing the Sith Lord.
Ignoring Kota's pleas to take Darth Vader alive as a prisoner for the Rebellion, Starkiller gives into his anger and hatred. As he moved to strike down his former Master, a red-bladed lightsaber emerged from the center of his torso. Shocked and overcome by agonizing pain, Starkiller dropped his lightsabers and fell to the ground in front of Vader. With Starkiller down and mortally wounded, his attacker de-cloaked, thus revealing that he had been secretly watching the duel the entire time. Rahm Kota activated his lightsaber and tried to kill Vader's savior, but his attempts were in vain. The dark assassin skillfully blocked all of Kota's attacks and slashed the general across the chest with one swift strike. While the Terror Troopers dispatched several Rebel soldiers and PROXY, the assassin grabbed Kota with Force and threw him into the remaining Rebels. With a powerful Force push, he sent Kota and his men into the vast ocean of Kamino.
As Starkiller struggled to move despite his fatal wound, Darth Vader slowly walked over to the dying clone and revealed that he had lied about failing to perfect the accelerated cloning process. At that moment, the mysterious assassin made his way over to Vader's side and lowered his hood to reveal his identity. As Starkiller looked at the face of the man who killed him, he saw that it was his face, only pale and visibly corrupted by the dark side. The assassin revealed himself to be a fellow clone of Darth Vader's fallen apprentice, the only perfect clone amongst many failures, including Starkiller. After gazing at the fallen form of Juno Eclipse for the last time, the imperfect clone despaired and died. As the dark clone awaited his new orders, Vader commended him for completing his final test and then commanded him to take the Rogue Shadow in order to search the galaxy for the last of the Rebel leaders—and to kill them. As the Dark Apprentice turned to leave, he took a moment to stare at the dead body of the woman who loved his genetic template. Having rid himself of the original Starkiller's emotions, the dark clone walked past Juno's body. With a small TIE fighter escort, the Rogue Shadow moved through the debris left behind in the space battle above Kamino and entered hyperspace.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II novel
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II comic
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Force Unleashed (novel)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 The Force Unleashed II (novel)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (comic)
- ↑ Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game
- ↑ The Good, the Bad, and the Gorog
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: Prima Official Game Guide
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Distant Thunder