I knew my words had the ring of prophecy. And not just because I was huffing Delphic vapors at the time. That stuff is strictly recreational for me, you know what I’m saying. I just didn’t believe it would happen so soon.
Last week I said that despite the huge shortcomings of Clone Wars, the franchise was far from dead, and that one day somebody would do something cool with the Star Wars universe again. Something dark, something that meant … something.
Then a dude at Lucasfilm sent me a beta version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Then I put it in my debug Xbox. Then it wouldn’t play. Then they sent me a firmware updater disk. Then I put the beta disk back in the Xbox. Then it played. And damn.
You probably know the premise. It’s set in the gap after the last prequel movie and before A New Hope. Anakin has turned into Vader (spoiler alert!), and you’re playing Vader’s apprentice, a dude named Galen Marek, whose job is to kill Jedi.
And maybe I’m just jaded, but making this guy chew through armies of Stormtroopers is just unbelievably satisfying. He uses the Force in a completely unfettered, unrestrained way — throwing people off walkways, bashing through blast doors, chucking his light saber at people, beheading harmless droids (their innards glow red from contact with the saber blade), and generally not giving a damn about anything. He even grips his light saber in a bad-ass, gangster-style grip. He don’t do a lot of meditating, that Galen Marek. There’s nothing cute about The Force Unleashed. The mood is dark, the emotions are dark, the scenery is dark.
It’s a thing of beauty. I can actually have feelings about it that don’t seem cheapened or forced. It may be the best piece of Star Wars entertainment I’ve experienced since Empire.
The trailer is below:
Update: Penny Arcade gets a pretty good handle on the flavor of Force Unleashed.