After sleeping for years, the famous star wars Title–The Force Unleashed— has been reissued. This time it’s about players on the Nintendo Switch. Given the portable system’s popularity, it’s a chance for rabid fans to experience a Force-fueled adventure they may have missed when it was originally released. A galaxy far, far away is gaining new followers every day, after all.
Of course, what star wars also has a sufficient supply of fan service. Every entry in this series, whether it’s a movie, TV show, book, or game, references other pieces in the sci-fi fantasy saga. The Force Unleashed is no exception to this. Many winks throughout the adventure will prove familiar to enthusiasts. Often finding them all is a game in itself.
The first third of the game ends with a brief reminder to Return of the Jedi, and it comes at an equally pivotal moment. The Emperor discovers that Darth Vader has trained a secret apprentice, so he orders his subject to destroy Starkiller as a test of loyalty. The student begs his master, and the masked asthmatic has a moment of indecision where he looks at the two of them. It’s simple but effective body language that illustrates her inner struggle.
This appropriately mirrors a similar struggle in the aforementioned film. When the Emperor tries to kill Luke, Vader is conflicted and similarly emotes. Viewers again see his head spinning from side to side. The difference is that it leads to a better outcome, which is the Dark Lord turning on the Emperor and saving his son.
Hindsight is a funny thing. While not an easter egg at the time, this cast may seem like one after watching the star wars TV shows. Starkiller and fallen Jedi Maris Brood, who come to blows, are voiced by Sam Witwer and Adrienne Wilkinson, respectively.
These two guests then performed in The Clone Wars as physical embodiments of the Force. Witwer represented the dark side while Wilkinson represented the light. At the time, it was a cheeky nod to The Force Unleashed. With the re-release of the game, however, it looks like the opposite.
The rebel logo
This is deliberate since the game’s story sees the founding of the Rebel Alliance. That said, fans probably didn’t think they’d see such a small detail get time to shine. Eagle-eyed players might see that Starkiller’s father has a family crest in his humble abode on Kashyyyk. The surviving heroes dust it off at the end, where the audience gets a clear view of it.
They then see that it is the familiar logo of the Rebellion. X-wing pilots in the film wear it on their helmets, and it additionally serves as a symbol of freedom fighters in the expanded universe. How fitting that it comes from a fugitive and a remnant of the Republic, which the heroes are desperate to restore.
When young fans hear the hero’s name, they may think of Starkiller Base, the First Order Death Star replacement from the force awakens. In reality, this name goes back much further. Its origins lie in the creation of the series.
When George Lucas was creating his universe, he originally envisioned the protagonist as Luke Starkiller. This evolved into Luke Skykiller and eventually Luke Skywalker. Enraged fans fascinated by the making of star wars probably know that. As such, they’re all the more pleased to hear this new adventurer return to the series’ roots.
Organa’s reference to Vader
After Starkiller defeats Maris Brood, he lets her go. Bail Organa thinks it’s a mistake, saying it reminds him of “another young Jedi who turned to the dark side”. This line has no meaning in this game, but it’s not hard for movie buffs to figure out who he’s talking about.
This refers to Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi who turned to evil and became Darth Vader. It’s somewhat confusing considering Bail has only had passing interactions with Anakin, and they mostly come around when they’re both visiting Padme. Still, Maris is a Jedi who becomes a Sith; she will obviously draw parallels with Vader within the larger fanbase and general public.
During his mission on Bespin, Starkiller encounters a crime lord named Chop’aa. He and his thugs are Mandalorians; the armor, the jet packs and the bad attitude betray him. They supposedly sided with the Separatists during the Clone Wars and later joined the criminal organization Black Sun. They were not alone in these efforts.
The Expanded Universe sees many Mandalorians following the same career path. They confront the forces of the Republic and then find work in the underworld. Black Sun is often included in their list of employers. Again, this is more fortuitous given the clone wars The TV show devoted several episodes to these same transactions. Chop’aa and his buddies even sport red armor, evoking images of their peers who fought under Darth Maul.
Wookiees as slaves
The first level features Vader and the Imperial forces battling the Wookiees on their homeworld of Kashyyyk. Starkiller visits years later to find the planet under Empire control. Treadmills live in slavery, forced to work on colossal construction projects like the Sky Hook and the Death Star. Such a sad sight should be familiar to fans.
Several Expanded Universe stories have seen the Wookiees fielded. Han Solo even met Chewbacca when he saved the fuzzball from this ordeal. This origin must have been popular since the filmmakers kept it in Solo: A Star Wars Story. There, a young Han frees Chewie and his Wookiee brothers. Unfortunately, this also means that star wars is still enslaving those hairy pooches.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is currently available on Switch, PC, iOS and Legacy platforms.
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