Force Unleashed Story, Characters, and Clues Revealed at CE

unleashed

Saturday, fans witnessed some rare insights into the story, characters, and development of the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, LucasArts’ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game. Set during the “dark times” between Episodes III and IV, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed portrays the previously untold story of Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice, and is due for release in 2008.

On hand were Project Lead Haden Blackman and Producer Julio Torres along with Secret Apprentice actor Sam Witwer. The panel featured the debut of a new Force Unleashed trailer, the first time actual game play footage has been revealed. The trailer can now be viewed on starwars.com.

Here are some edited highlights from the panel:

The Story

Blackman: “It really started with identifying the time period. We presented a ton of concepts to George and identified the time period between Episodes III and IV for this game and the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. We felt like the Star Wars saga is ultimately about Vader and his art, so we needed a time period that had Vader in it.
We brainstormed what stories we wanted to tell and at the same time focused on what we might want the game play looks to be. And we hit on this idea of the Force Unleashed which takes some inspiration from the Genndy cartoons and some comic book stuff as well. We really wanted to blow the Force out of proportion, really amp it up in order to serve game play.”

Torres: “Because this is being treated like a movie, the next Star Wars chapter, a lot of our inspiration comes from the original trilogy and Episode III. So a lot of the music and sound effects that we’re using for this game come from that particular content. Because it’s a new story, it’s going to require brand new music. We have original music that we’re going to compose to bridge the connection between Episodes III and IV. Just like John Williams, we’re really leveraging the concept of what Wagner did, which was to write themes for characters. I think the story melded together with the music is going to create an immersive experience very much like a Star Wars movie.”

Witwer: “It’s not just about amazing visuals and Force powers – it all really makes sense within the Star Wars saga. As a matter of fact, once you put the apprentice into Star Wars, if you take him out, the original Star Wars never takes place. This guy paves the way for Han and Leia and Luke to do their thing. This guy makes some huge impacts and changes in the Star Wars universe — this really is the next chapter of Star Wars.”

Blackman: “One of the things that’s exciting about this game is that you get to see how the galaxy has suffered or evolved under the influence of the Empire. So when you go to Kashyyyk at one point, it will look very different from the Kashyyyk that you might recognize from Episode III because the Empire’s taken over.

“George has allowed us to put some twists and some revelations in the game’s story that will really change your perception of Episode’s IV, V, and VI. You’ll have greater insight into both Vader and the Emperor and some of the things they’re plotting. George gave us a huge amount of feedback on what type of master Vader would be, what types of schemes he has cooking, and what types of things he’s after which we were able to leverage into the story. So I really do feel this leads right into Episode IV.”

Secret Apprentice

Witwer: “Darth Vader’s secret apprentice is this extremely powerful Force user. He’s been raised under these torturous circumstances with a father figure that is just nightmarish – this is sort of what would have happened to Luke Skywalker if Vader had ever gotten a hold of him. One of the concepts that we played with a lot is that he’s sort of a dark Luke Skywalker, a photo negative of Luke Skywalker. He’s not a Sith, but he’s been raised with Sith powers. Whereas a normal Jedi would be very conservative and respectful of the Force, this kid just runs around using it as much as he can.

“What’s interesting is, even though he’s an extremely deadly and competent warrior, underneath it all, he’s this wide-eyed scared kid. Vader pretty much raised this kid in fear and darkness so throughout the story as he meets Juno Eclipse, the Imperial pilot and love interest, he is sort of faced with his budding humanity. He’s eventually able to see his actions through the eyes of Juno which causes him some conflicts. He’s inherently a conflicted character from the very beginning.”

Blackman: “We don’t call him Darth Vader’s apprentice, we call him Darth Vader’s secret apprentice. We often get asked why the secret apprentice is fighting Imperials in the game footage if he’s Darth Vader’s apprentice – it’s because he’s a secret apprentice. Vader actually directs you as the secret apprentice to leave no witnesses behind. So there are times you’re in an area where stormtroopers are fighting whoever you’re after. If they spot you, you have to dispatch them since you’re not allowed to leave any witnesses. Vader is very firm about the fact that if you’re ever discovered, bad things are going to happen – the Emperor can’t know about you.”

Juno Eclipse

Blackman: “In some of our earlier drafts of the story, we relied a lot on existing characters, and while Princess Leia does appear in the game, she had a slightly different role in some of the early drafts. George really encouraged us to create new characters and particularly a love interest for the Secret Apprentice. I think one of the things that’s been exciting about that character is that she is an equal to the apprentice. She’s not a Force-wielder, but in her world, she’s just as competent as he is in the kind of things she does. We wanted a little Han-Leia feel in terms of some of their banter but I feel what we ended up with is a very unique and new relationship for Star Wars.

Other New Characters

Blackman: “We’ve created a new Jedi general we’re really excited about – he’s not a warm-and-fuzzy Qui-Gon type Jedi but a militant, hardboiled Jedi general named Master Rahm Kota – kind of a Samurai-like Jedi. There’s a new Zabrak Jedi which is Darth Maul’s species but she’s female and has a brand new fighting style with these lightsaber tomfas that gives her a very quick, martial arts type of feel. Her name is Maris Brood.

“Aside from the apprentice, one of my favorite characters is named PROXY, who is the apprentice’s droid sidekick. We really focused on creating a droid who will hopefully provide a little bit of comedy in a totally different way than a C-3PO, although he’s sort of wide-eyed and innocent in some ways.

“Princess Leia, Bail Organa, and Shaak Ti are also in the game, and there’s a couple other characters who have some cameos that the fans will be able to spot [Lucas has confirmed that Shaak Ti’s death scene in the Episode III DVD extras is not canon since it did not make final cut].

“These Jedi who have been left over are not really in the same mindset that you’re aware of because they’ve been hunted for years now and they’re not doing so well. Some of them aren’t thinking straight, in terms of using the Force or what being a Jedi means to them anymore. There’s a lot of interesting psychology there.”

The ILM Connection

Blackman: “One of the things we’re doing is collaborating very closely with Industrial Light & Magic on a number of techniques. One of the things we’re doing to enhance the performances and really tell the story is a lot of image capture and motion capture work. We’re using techniques that were pioneered for movies like Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3 to capture Sam’s likeness and Nathalie’s [Cox] likeness and pick up nuances we’ve never been able to do in games before. So something like a small smirk or smile or twitch actually come through now…and convey the emotional intent of the scene.”

The Force Power in Force Unleashed

Blackman: “The first direction I gave to the team and concept artists was to take this building block power, this Force-push, and let’s re-envision it so it’s not just knocking someone over or sending them back two or three feet but it’s hitting them with the force of a cannonball. We really wanted to re-imagine the Force power, so you’ll have the Force-push and the Force-grip (telekinesis) and Force lighting but they’ll all be kind of unleashed and over the top. On top of that we’re creating new Force powers that we feel are logical extensions of the Force. The Force-repulse power creates a violent shockwave and radius around you that sends everybody flying. We have a number of combos – if I do a Force-push followed by lightning, it actually sends an auto-targeting ball of lightning that will explode on impact.”

Multi-player Component

Blackman: “We will have a multi-player component to the game. The game is all about kicking butt with the Force, and from Day 1 we knew that one of the most satisfying things to do is kick your friend’s butt with the Force so we wanted to make sure we delivered on that experience in multi-player. There will be an online component as well and it will support all the requirements of a system like Xbox LIVE.”

Force Unleashed Sequel?

Blackman: “All these characters are going into the continuity, they’ll all be canon, and they’re all part of the Star Wars galaxy. So I can imagine that there will be other follow-ups with those characters. We’re already starting to toss around ideas about the next storyline and how some of these characters can resurface and have major roles in a sequel.

48 Responses to Force Unleashed Story, Characters, and Clues Revealed at CE

  1. Master Devwi says:

    Wow… I can’t wait for this game to be released! It’s going to be awesome!

    (By the way, at the end of the second-to-last paragraph, it says “Xbox Alive.” The correct name is “Xbox LIVE.” (Caps are the part of the correct spelling, too.)

    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/?WT.svl=nav

  2. Thomas says:

    How can Shaak Ti can be present during this period, she’s supposed to have been killed during the episode III ( cf. “deleted scenes” on the dvd) ?
    Resurrection ?

  3. Gregg says:

    In answer to Thomas’ question, Haden made specific reference to a conversation with George Lucas in which it was said that, because Shaak Ti’s death scene did not make the final cut of Revenge of The Sith, it was not considered canon, and therefore she was considered still to be alive, and hence appears in The Force Unleashed.

  4. Thomas says:

    Thanks !

  5. Phantom Jedi says:

    Wow! I’m finding myself more anxious to see the storyline than I am to play the game! Kudos to everyone who’s been working on this immense project: your efforts are greatly appreciated by the Star Wars fans. Keep up the good work!

    Phantom Jedi

  6. Darth Magnus says:

    I agree Phantom. KOTOR was one of my favorite SW storylines ever, including the movies. I hope the Force Unleashed pays as much attention to story as KOTOR did.

  7. Racer X says:

    pheew. I WILL get a playstation 3 no matter how much it costs just for this game! This game sounds awesome.

  8. Racer X says:

    p.s. I really hope it’s worth it! beacouse i live in finland and everything is really expensive here compared to what it is in U.S.

  9. Megatrends says:

    “The trrailer can be viewed at Star Wars dot com”

    …. no it can’t the video player doesn’t work. i have 3 pcs and 2 laptops and no video has worked for 2 weeks and it did before.

  10. Slatin56 says:

    The only problem with this idea is that it’s been done 1,000 times before by lucas arts. How many times have you played a game where the fate of the galaxy is in your hands. A bunch of times. It’s like remixes of the same damn song over and over again. They just change names dates and locations, but they keep feeding us the same stuff, just in a different bowl. I’d wish they do something that nobody would expect and do something groundbreaking, but this game isn’t it. And jesus, the secret apprentice’s head is just like that guy from seinfield. And juno eclipse looks like her teeth are going to fall out of her head. To top it off, Haden Blackman’s nose is so damn big it looks like it can conquer the galaxy all on it’s own. In 3 years you’re going to be playing a game created by these guys where you play as jar-jar’s brother’s son that becomes obi-wan’s secret apprentice but then get’s sick of retrieving prune juice on secret mission’s where the fate of the galaxy is in your hands for the 100th time and you get to kill more storm troopers and meet with old classic star wars caracters like you have already done before. These guys need new material, and fast, it’s like a comedian telling the same funny joke over and over until it’s not funny anymore.

  11. Stveo says:

    Wow. Slatin56. What a long winded, rambling, incoherent trolling post you ‘ve made there. I am sure there was a original opinion in there somewhere but you just demonstrated that yout incapable of making it like a grown up.

  12. David says:

    you dont have to get a PS3 to play this great game…. just buya Xbox 360. its much better.

  13. David says:

    if u wanna see the trailer… just go to – http://www.theforceunleashed.com

  14. Megatrends says:

    Well thanks for the link. I got the star wars site video to work finally.

    Even though I gave my ad blocker instructions to ignore star wars dot com it was blocking the flash video. It should not have blocked it which is why I thought the site wasn’t working ptoperly.

    Anyway i saw the video and love how the game looks. Being an older guy at 39 and having played video games since I was a kid when they literally were very simple and not very much tothem I can appreciate what gaming has become now.

  15. Abctoz says:

    does this mean…… we cannot play as a jedi ? :(:(:(

  16. valentin10 says:

    Very good blog, very rich nice pictures and articles, congratulations !!!

  17. Racer X says:

    who would even wan’t to play as a jedi :D

  18. pvilmur says:

    Thanks for the heads-up Devwi — I wrote that story at 3:30 in the morning so a few mistakes slipped in. Fixed now!

  19. 21212121212 says:

    This game is going to be great! I especially enjoy the fact that Blackman and all the other game creators are bringing in some of the classic characters from the movies. We’ve never gotten to see what Leia or Luke look like in 16 B.B.Y. We’ve never gotten to see how Bail Organa has changed sicne the movie. It just opens up so much more story and depth to the Star Wars movies that we all know and love. Although I don’t have any of the Next Generation consoles, with the release of this game coming up, i’m going to have to start saving up some money!

    It’s going to be cool, guys!

  20. Bjorn says:

    The game is gonna be sweet, but they haven’t talked at all about using a lightsaber it shows the secret apprenctice hold one but never attack with it.

  21. Jedi Dark Knight says:

    I agree with some people on the idea that this has been done several times before. It seems like in every Star Wars game the fate of the galaxy is in yuor hands, which is of course a marketing strategy to add relevance to a video game storyline and enhance the drama.

    But seriously how many secret apprentices and surviving Jedi Generals can we stand before it becomes ludicrous? Is like it’s part of some Star Wars enabling gimmick: you have to have a secret apprentice that can kill stormtroopers. Besides the movies have already established that The Emperor was able to forsee a lot of things at the begining of the Dark Times, and now he can’t sense a secret apprentice? Vader starts his apprenticeship fully devoted to his master, why would he take on an apprentice.? The storyline is weak, it’s sad to see this is how Star Wars will fade out.

  22. Stveo says:

    The storyline isn’t weak it expands upon whats been in the original trilogy since its release. Vader is seen plotting to overthrow the Emperor when he asks Luke to join him in the Empire Strikes Back to rule the galaxy together. That plot element has always interested me and now we have it being explored with the involvement of George Lucas himself. Plus the fact that the Emperor has been shown to forsee a number of things in the films doesn’t make him omnipotent, there are lots of things that did not see. For example Vader chucking him over the ledge in Return of the Jedi. He didn’t forsee that coming.

    Plus where in this article does it say the fate of the galaxy is in your hands. This article and all the released info say that this game will have a large impact on the galaxy and will lead into the original trilogy but nowhere does it mention some massive galaxy wide threat such as the Star Forge or the Death Star that you have to defeat. This is about hunting down remaining Jedi Knights.

  23. Dan says:

    Nothing new, but I wouldn’t expect anything other than mediocor from Haden Blackmen.

  24. fufer56 says:

    someone needs to tell stveo to get a life, it’s like every time someone makes an opimion about this game that points out flaws, he’s right there on the spot to shoot it down. It’s like he’s a sales person from lucas arts that’s truing to make sure that nobody can see the weaker points of this game. Well stveo, that’s what opinions are all about, to seperate what’s good and what’s bad and if you didn’t have the mind of a tv commercial and would lighten up and take into account what might make this game a better game, you might be able to stop getting your panties in a bunch every time someone has an opinion on this game that doesn’t sound like a brain washing tv commercial.

  25. Trey Murray says:

    I have to say that as hyped as this game is and as cool as it looks, I am disappointed as both a lifelong fan of both Star Wars and video games that this title is not releasing on the PC. I would upgrade my PC to any specs given to play this game, but I refuse to be told by any game company that I have to buy a new system to play a game. Especially one that cost half a mortgage payment. I appreciate everything Lucas has brought to the entertainment industry as a whole, but LucasArts has missed the boat on this one. From the inception of the Star Wars arcade games (the original stick figure wire-framed games) to the latest installment of KOTOR, I have been a loyal fan, playing them through to the end. I even sat up until 2AM feeding the newest arcade games about 2 dollars worth of coins at Disney World to beat the game. It really sickens me to the core to know that I am overlooked because I didn’t run out with the other “mindless philosophers” (to use R2D2’s term) to get the newest console. Maybe some “overweight glob of grease” who made the decision (hopefully not Lucas, if it was, please forgive the humor, it is your words afterall!) will give this a second look and change their decision. I would spen the $50+ dollars for the game on release plus any upgrade costs. Well, I hope this gets read by someone who can make this decision, or cares…

  26. Stveo says:

    Whoa easy there fufer56 settle down. I’ve made a grand total of two comments to this article if you dont count this one. One was after someone was trolling and personally insulting the makers of the game and the one other was simply me responding with my opinion on how I thought the game did not have a weak storyline. Opinions can be positive or negative. My opinion about the story was positive. That does not mean I was trying to stamp out any negative opinion far from it I like a good debate. It seems you’ve gotten yourself a little confused.

  27. lingling says:

    come on stveo, put a cork in it, you’re doing exactly what he said you’d do so just calm down, take a break, and just leave at that. You seem like you always have to have the last word.

  28. Stveo says:

    Nah sorry lingling thats not true I was just calmly explaining myself and hoping to leave this article so that it can get back to being about the game and not about internet drama.

  29. lingling says:

    I undestand now. Peace my brother peace. Man I gots to find me some Mountain Dew Code Red.

  30. lingling says:

    scratch that, screw you stveo, you @#$%hole!

  31. 21212121212 says:

    Hey, lingling. Let’s not get too immature here. Je was just voicing his opinion. No harm in that.

  32. […] the entire entry at the official Star Wars blog. bookmark These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new […]

  33. William Bonds says:

    You guys should seriously consider adding an online component to this game. The vs. mode could be like ROTS’s but more intuitive, and you could also add a Jedi VS. Stormtroopers mode. The Troopers could play in first person while the Jedi play in third.

  34. Khameir Sarin says:

    One an/protaganist I’d love to see is Asajj Ventress. Her story was ended two simply and peacefully for what her personality suggests. People like her never truly quit, they lick their wounds and accumulate power to one dayachieve their goals. Ventress wants to be a Sith, plus she probably hates Sidious/Palpatine because of his betrayal of her master, Dooku/Tyranus. Obviously she hates Vader, maybe more than anyone else. And she’s had a sick obsession with killing Obi-Wan. Each of these emotional situations would make her a great addition to this game story wise because she’d be a loose canon. Plus she might have been able to track down a Sith splinter sect or maybe even travelled to one of the many Sith ruins spread throughout the galaxy making her more powerful and knowledgeable in the force.

  35. Juul says:

    I can’t wait for this game to be released! This game’ll become the best game ever and the best game of 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Dan says:

    I tried to get to the star wars website but i couldent..any of you guys know if its shut down or anything?

  37. mu57@ng says:

    i totally agree with stveo… there’s nothin more i can say.. the guys n gals who disagree, they ain’t true starwars fans which means u neva understood any of da games properly, never enjoyed playin it… so buzz off.. by da way way wat do u thinks most of the other games are based upon???? mostly fighting ur way to become a crime lord OR tryin to overthrow a terrorist org OR sojme major evil science experiment BLAH BLAH…. dudes n dudettes learn to grow up n perceive things around u in a better way..

  38. mu57@ng says:

    oh ya n sorry most important of all… u guys at lucas arts… great work.. i’m totally speechless…. my friends who werent stawars fans at all took one look at this n were baffled… they even made me tell them both the stories of da kotor series n now r regular visitors of wookiepedia i only hope this game comes out for pc…. GREAT JOB TEAM OF “FORCE UNLEASHED” N “MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU” always 4 more kickass game like this..

  39. Phill says:

    I fell in love with the star wars series by lucas arts back in the Dark Forces day. I ended up playing KOTOR l & ll several times just to get the story lines from good and evil point of view. However when I heard that this game was not going to be for PC this sadden me. It was the PC community that made the Star War series popular and now Lucas arts turns their back on them. I’m sorry I’m a not a 16 year old who has nothing else to spend their money on execpt for a gaming console. I can not justify spending x-amount of dollars for only a gaming console.

    I use my PC for work and play… I hope that lucas arts see and realize that not everyone can afford to spend $500+ just for a machine to play games.

  40. Shauno says:

    another supporter here hoping that a PC edition will make it to the stores…..

    (everyone else who wants the game on PC please add a comment!)

  41. Jorge says:

    I start to be a fan of star wars when i play Star wars Jedi OutCast, since then i’m in love with star wars, i play every game that have been release until know, and i think that lucasart could make a PC version to this game, i have a computer and i don’t have money to buy a Xbox or a PS3, soo remember that most of your fans are PC users, please lucas art make a PC version

    Thanks

  42. bored.... says:

    I hope there will be a PC version, will this game be on PS2?

  43. mu57@ng says:

    REPLY TO BORED…

    Ya there wil be a ps2 version which i guess will be done in collaboration with Krome Studios…. (sorry if i got the company name wrong).. ya n i agree with shauno… all of the force unleashed staff should know that atleast 80% of starwars fans are pc users… so guys PlEASE THINK ABOUT US 80% n decide to release the game on pc… its A DEATHWISH OF MINE TO PLAY THIS GAME…. PLEASE GUYS.

  44. jamesL123 says:

    There is gonna be a Wii version

  45. […] von Darth Vaders geheimen Schüler und letztendlich dem Produzent Julio Torres. Der offizielle StarWars.com Blog veröffentlichte einige interessante Auszüge aus einem Panel des Teams. Ein großes Thema war […]

  46. Chosen One says:

    Dude somebody above me said that u had the fate of the UNIVERSE in ur hands…….UH-UH……UR VADERS apprentice

  47. Chosen One says:

    THIS GAME IS GONNA B THE BEST GAME EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-()

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