Let's face it: You'll really thought that Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice and the protagonist in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the franchise's fastest-selling Star Wars video game ever, had indeed went to the Jedi Heavens and turned "one with the Force" (to quote the great Yoda I am)?
One of 2008's best-selling game across more platforms than you would have thought, from the conventional 3rd-gen consoles like PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 to iPhone OS, to second-generation N-Gage, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, and even Java-equipped mobile phones. That's George Lucas milking the cash cows in all angles, and that's just the gaming portion of it. The Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Project were developed by LucasArts alongside partners, Dark Horse Comics, Lego, Hasbro, and Del Rey Books, and therefore consisted more than just a video game, with a tie-in novel, action figures, a comic book, a reference book, a role-playing game supplement, and a book on the making of the game released simultaneously.
In an effort to garner more attention to the unknown protagonist, the aforementioned Starkiller, the Apprentice to The Dark Lord was also licensed to Namco Bandai to be a playable character in both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Soulcalibur IV.
In the fairly predictable ending, Starkiller met his maker, one way or the other, given that he does have his choices on how to go out Jedi Force ablazing. Despite the dual choices, there can be only one canon ending, in order not to mess up the entire Star Wars continuity. You'll be amazed at how the dead cash cow can still be managed to squeeze further, when LucasArts re-released the game complete with all previous downloadable content in Ultimate Sith Edition of The Force Unleashed, just last month. These downloadable contents included an interesting take on an alternate Star Wars reality should the canon ending is the other path (darker, of course) that the Apprentice had taken.
Surely, that must be the end of the road for this niche franchise, then? Not quite. LucasArt had indeed attained a Jedi Master-like level when it comes to squeezing cash cows. While the details are still unsure, Starkiller, will be back from the dead in this direct sequel to the 2008 hit, in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II scheduled for release in 2010 (along with the "accompanying" tie-in novel, action figures, a comic book, a reference book, a role-playing game supplement, and a book on the making of the game, I reckon), as announced exclusively at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, with a trailer (embedded below for your viewing pleasure).
Relatively mediocre the original game may be, it was indeed filled with unfurnished potential, one aspect that a sequel could accomplish, provided the developers look into them more diligently (unlike the earlier mentioned re-released version which all but ignored the glaring problems).
Let's keep our fingers crossed on this one.
Check out the official site for a better resolution of the trailer.
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