Publisher LucasArts knows how to please a crowd. At today’s Comic-Con panel on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, speaker Hayden Blackman could barely get a word in edgewise between the bursts of spontaneous applause that regularly broke out like waves on the world’s geekiest beach. It probably helped that Blackman was in the process of dishing severe new information on SWTFU2 – starting with a cinema that appeared to be the game’s opening, then moving straight into a verbal walk through the first few levels’ plotline and ending with an eye-shattering gameplay demo. Here’s how it all went down.
Vader stands, looking down upon a kneeling Starkiller (wait – isn’t he dead? We’ll get to that). “Well done, my apprentice,” Vader intones, “but I have no further use for you.” At which point, Vader turns and walks out of the room, pausing only to give the guards the order, “Kill him.”
At that point, the stormtroopers make what might be the dumbest move in history and actually come closer to Starkiller, gathering in a circle around him. He tenses, and suddenly, the lights go out. A few errant shots bounce off the ground where he knelt, and just as one trooper says, “Where did he go?” the light of a saber igniting emerges through the front of his chest plate. Starkiller carves through the rest of the troopers like a buzz saw through a cereal box and blasts into a hallway, spreading destruction and death the whole way. He encounters a huge robot that extends its hand and blasts a flame toward him, but he just knee-slides under it and chops into its fuel tank from behind. It’s done for.
Moving outside onto a raised catwalk piled high with soon-to-be dead troopers, Starkiller’s dual sabers spin almost faster than the eye can follow. Then, when he seems to be surrounded, he levitates into the air and blasts out a blue globe of pure force power, which reduces the front few rows of troopers to ash and concusses the rest back. This guy is clearly a badass of the highest order.
A massive, four-legged spider-bot appears and discharges a huge beam of yellow lightning directly at Starkiller – but he blocks it with his hand. That was the droid’s one chance; Starkiller throws his saber, slicing through one leg, then lifts the entire mech into the air, force-rips off all its legs, then leaps up and slices the main carapace in two.
At that moment, the camera cuts to a dark room. But it’s only dark for a slit second. A light snaps on, revealing a person who looks just like Starkiller floating in what looks like Luke’s bacta tank from Empire Strikes Back. Then, lights flick on in at least nine more tanks. They all contain identical beings, clearly clones of Starkiller. And Vader stands watching over them, his mechanical breathing the only sound.
At that point, Blackman gets up and acknowledges the one thing anyone who finished the first game was thinking: “How exactly is Starkiller alive again?”
Apparently, the game opens six months after the first game, with the same scene of Vader and Starkiller talking that the cinema portrayed. However, the thing that we didn’t see in the cinema was that Vader actually told this Starkiller that he was a clone. In fact, he’s apparently a failed clone – because Vader has been using experimental, accelerated cloning methods and memory dumps, this Starkiller is haunted by the original Starkiller’s feelings for Juno Eclipse (the original Starkiller’s girlfriend, who piloted his ship, the Rogue Shadow). He can’t even pretend to kill a holographic projection of her. Vader explains that means he’s a broken clone. Useless and broken.