You may know him as Crashdown from “Battlestar Galactica,” but you’ll soon know actor Sam Witwer as Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice in next year’s new title from LucasArts, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Here’s what he had to say about his character.
Sam Witwer (Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice): The character certainly is a dark sider. I guess what I found interesting about him was trying to get into the psychology of someone who raised in torturous conditions. He’s not a Jedi. He wasn’t raised a Jedi. His growth has been horribly stunted by this awful father figure.
Whereas a regular Jedi, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, would use the Force elegantly to trick a couple of stormtroopers, the apprentice would use the Force to bring the building down on the stormtroopers. He’s like a Force-wrecking ball. You can’t even call him an assassin.
There was one scene we shot where he’s going in to rescue someone. We did a take where he came in and whispered, “I’m here to rescue you,” very hushed. Afterwards, we all looked at each other and scratched our heads — that’s not quite right. Why is he whispering? He just killed five people and burst through the wall! He’s not subtle. When it comes to his job, he doesn’t have a lack of confidence about what he does.
What the cool thing about this story is that Haden [Blackman] and George [Lucas] have come up with a story that once you put it into the middle of Star Wars, if you take out the character of the Secret Apprentice, [A New Hope] doesn’t happen. He’s an integral character. And he’s proportionately powerful. Nothing against … I’m a LucasArts fanboy … nothing against Kyle Katarn. Nothing against those guys. They’re a bunch of wusses.
What I found most interesting about the character is that he’s a dark sider, he’s extremely aggressive, he kills many, many people, but underneath it all he’s an innocent in a weird way. He’s a kid. He’s like the photo-opposite of Luke Skywalker. That’s sort of the way we decided he should be played. There’s certainly a lot of attitude. You get snarky a lot of times, especially with her [Nathalie Cox as Juno Eclipse], but he’s also got this innocence. He’s this kid trying to figure out what’s going on. What is he supposed to be doing?