Star Wars The Force Unleashed

Star Wars The Force Unleashed

by Sean Williams

Audio CD(Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hours)

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“The Sith always betray one another. . . . I’m sure you’ll learn that soon enough.”

The overthrow of the Republic is complete. The Separatist forces have been smashed, the Jedi Council nearly decimated, and the rest of the Order all but destroyed. Now absolute power rests in the iron fist of Darth Sidious–the cunning Sith Lord better known as the former Senator, now Emperor, Palpatine. But more remains to be done. Pockets of resistance in the galaxy must still be defeated and missing Jedi accounted for . . . and dealt with. These crucial tasks fall to the Emperor’s ruthless enforcer, Darth Vader. In turn, the Dark Lord has groomed a lethal apprentice entrusted with a top-secret mission: to comb the galaxy and dispatch the last of his masters’ enemies, thereby punctuating the dark side’s victory with the Jedi’s doom.

Since childhood, Vader’s nameless agent has known only the cold, mercenary creed of the Sith. But his future beckons with the ultimate promise: to stand beside the only father he has ever known, with the galaxy at their feet. It is a destiny he can realize only by rising to the greatest challenge of his discipleship: destroying Emperor Palpatine.

The apprentice’s journeys will take him across the far reaches of the galaxy. And he will be tested as never before–by shattering revelations that strike at the very heart of all he believes and stir within him long-forgotten hopes of reclaiming his name . . . and changing his destiny.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739358085
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/19/2008
Series: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Series
Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hours
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Sean Williams is the co-author of the bestselling and award-winning Evergence Series. His other novels include Metal Fatigue and The Resurrected Man. His fantasy series, The Books of the Change, concluded in December 2002. He lives in Adelaide, South Australia.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The life of Darth Vader’s secret student took a strange and deadly turn the day his Master first spoke of General Rahm Kota.

He’d had no warning that a moment of such significance was approaching. During his nightly meditations, kneeling on the metal floor of his chamber while construction droids built the Executor, unaware of his existence, he had seen no visions in the pure, angry red of the lightsaber that he held like a burning brand in front of his eyes. Although he had stared until the world vanished and the dark side flowed through him in a bloody tide, the future had remained closed.

Nothing, therefore, prepared him for the sudden deviation from the day’s punishing and unpredictable exercises. His Master was not a patient teacher; neither was he a talkative one. He preferred action to debate, just as he preferred recrimination to reward. Never once in all the days they had sparred together, with lightsaber, telekinesis, or suggestion, had the Dark Lord offered a single word of encouragement. And that was as it should be, he knew. A teacher’s job was not to drag a student along a single, well-worn path. Rather it was to let the student forge his or her own way through the forest, intervening only when the student was hopelessly lost and needed to be corrected.

Even on the wrong paths, he knew, lay some wisdom. What didn’t kill him only made him more powerful in the dark side.

And there had been many, many times he had thought he might die . . .

Breathing heavily after a punishing round of blows, lightsaber lowered in submission, he knelt before his Master and prepared for the killing strike. He could feel the wrath radiating from the Dark Lord like heat—a visceral, angry heat that brought out his skin in gooseflesh. For a moment that seemed to stretch for years, all he could hear was the regular, implacable respiration that kept the man inside the mask alive.

“You were weak when I found you.” The voice seemed to come from the far end of a long, deep tunnel. “You should never have survived my training.”

He closed his eyes. He had heard these words before. They were the closest thing to a bedtime story he’d had as a child. The moral he had taken from them was burned into his mind: Learn . . . or die.

Behind his eyelids he pictured again the clean, cleansing heat of the lightsaber. He had brushed his skin against it many times, defying the pain, and taken numerous small wounds while dueling with his Master. He imagined that he knew what the blade would feel like when it struck him down. Part of him longed for it.

The lightsaber drifted so close to his neck that he could smell his hair burning.

“But now, your hatred has become your strength.”

The lightsaber retreated. With a hiss it deactivated.

“At last, the dark side is your ally.”

He didn’t dare nod or look up. What was this? Some new ruse to lure him into overconfidence and failure?

His Master’s next words made his heart trip a beat.

“Rise, my apprentice.”

Apprentice. So he had always thought himself, but never before had it been said aloud! And that strange motion with the lightsaber . . . Could he possibly have just been knighted?

His lightsaber retracted. It was all he could do to balance on knees that felt suddenly made of rubber. The black shape looming over him was unreadable, limned with crimson from the light of the star shining through the wide viewport to their right. Metal, angular, and functional, the space around them was as familiar to him as the scars on the back of his hand, but suddenly, disconcertingly, everything seemed different.

The apprentice kept his eyes up and his voice level.

“What is your will, my Master?”

“You have defeated many of my rivals. Your training is nearly complete. It is time now to face your first true test.”

A roll call of past missions sped through the apprentice’s mind. Lord Vader had instructed him to dispatch numerous enemies within the Empire down the years: spies and thieves, mainly, with the occasional high-ranking traitor as well. He felt only satisfaction at having fulfilled his duty. His victims had brought their fates upon themselves, these vermin that gnawed at the footings of the Empire’s magnificent edifice.

But this was different. He could sense it in more than his Master’s words. Darth Vader wasn’t talking about some low-life smuggler with no awareness at all of the Force. There could be only one foe he was worthy to fight now.

“Your spies have located a Jedi?”

“Yes. General Rahm Kota.” The name meant nothing to the apprentice: just one of many in an archive of unconfirmed Jedi kills. “He is attacking a critical shipyard above Nar Shaddaa. You will destroy him and bring me his lightsaber.”

Excitement filled the apprentice. He had trained and hoped for this moment as long as he could remember. At last it had come. He could never truly call himself a Sith until he had taken the life of one of his Master’s traditional enemies.

“I’ll leave at once, Master.”

He had taken barely a step toward the door when Darth Vader’s irresistible voice stopped him. “The Emperor cannot discover you.”

“As you wish, my Master.”

“Leave no witnesses. Kill everyone aboard, Imperials and insurgents alike.”

The apprentice nodded, keeping his sudden uncertainty carefully clouded.

“Do not fail in this.”

The lightsaber hanging back at his hip was a comforting, reassuring weight. “No, my lord,” he said, back straight and voice firm.

Darth Vader turned away and gripped his hands behind his back. The red sun painted his helmet with lava highlights.

Thus dismissed, his secret apprentice hurried about his latest, darkest duty.

General Rahm Kota.

The name ran through his mind as he hurried through the warren connecting his Master’s secret chambers. They were sparse, functional spaces, consisting of a meditation chamber, a droid workshop, sleeping quarters large enough for one, and a hangar deck. All were on a concealed level of Darth Vader’s flagship, a space long since written out of the floor plans; it would go unnoticed by the future crew.

The Emperor cannot discover you.

Excited though he was by the thought of hunting Jedi, the reminder of the goal his Master allowed him to share was instantly sobering. All his life he had been trained to turn fear into anger, and anger into power. It was no different, he realized, for Darth Vader. Where else could Lord Vader look for increased power than to the Emperor himself? People were either predators or prey. That was one of the most basic rules of life. Together, Darth Vader and his apprentice would ensure that their joint power only increased.

But first he had to survive an encounter with a Jedi. That his Master had found one at liberty was unsurprising. A handful were suspected to have survived the Great Jedi Purge, and none was more adept at finding them than Darth Vader. The dark side infiltrated every corner of the galaxy; nothing could remain hidden from it forever. Perhaps one day, the apprentice thought, he, too, could seek out his enemies by their thoughts and feelings alone, but like the visions of the future that were closed to him, that ability remained elusive. He had never met a Jedi. Their natures were mysterious to him.

Their history, however, was not. His Master set no lesson plans or written examinations, but Darth Vader did give him access to records surviving from the Republic and the Order he had helped unseat from its position of undeserved privilege. The apprentice had devoted himself to the study, understanding that knowledge of his enemy might mean the difference one day between life and death.

General Rahm Kota.

The name still brought forth no details of combat styles, character, or last sightings from his memory. He would access the records when he reached the Rogue Shadow. There would be time to research on the journey to Nar Shaddaa. If he dug deeply enough, he might find some small detail that would give him an edge when he most needed one. That was the only preparation he required.

Entering the hangar bay, he wound his way through the familiar maze of crates, weapons racks, and starfighter parts. The ambient lighting was dim, with shadows pooling in every corner. The air tasted of metal and ozone—a sharp stink that had by now become very familiar. For some, the underbelly of a Star Destroyer might have seemed a strange place to grow up, but for him it was a comfort to be surrounded by such unambiguous symbols of technological and political power. Ships like these had patrolled the trade lanes of the galaxy for years. They had put down insurrections and quashed resistance around hundreds of worlds. Where else would a Sith apprentice live and learn?

Kill everyone aboard, Imperials and insurgents alike. Leave no witnesses.

Even as he mulled over this new development, a familiar snap-hiss sounded to his right and a glowing blue-white blade sprang into life in a dark corner of the hangar. A brown-robed figure ran forward, weapon raised.

Instantly in a fighting crouch, the apprentice brought his own blade up to block the blow, teeth bared in a delighted snarl.

He and his adversary held the pose for a bare second, lightsabers locked across their chests. The apprentice quickly sized up the being who had attacked him. Human male, fair-haired and bearded, with calm, serious eyes and a firm set to his jaw. Anyone within living memory of the Clone Wars—or possessing free access to the Jedi Archives—would have recognized him immediately.

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, High General of the Galactic Republic and master of the Soresu form of lightsaber combat, slid his deadly blade down and to the right, ducking at the same time to avoid the inevitable countersweep. Sparks flew as the apprentice Force-leapt high into the air and landed with perfect agility on top of a stack of crates. He reached out with his cupped left hand and swept a metal tool kit across the hangar bay, toward his opponent’s head. Kenobi ducked and leapt up after him, deflecting a flurry of blows that would have left an ordinary man in pieces, then responding with a sweep of his own that sent the apprentice dodging backward, jumping from one stack to another in temporary retreat.

So the duel proceeded for almost a minute, with Kenobi and the apprentice dancing like acrobatic Gados from stack to stack, lightsabers spinning and clashing, racks and tools turned into temporary weapons as they hurled themselves from one to the other. The racket was enormous, and the threat very real. Kenobi slashed a new rip in the sleeve of the apprentice’s combat suit with a move that would have taken his arm off at the elbow had he not moved in time. Twice he felt rather than saw the Jedi’s blade sweep over his head.

The apprentice wasn’t afraid of dying. His only fear was of failing his Master, and that fear he put to good use. The dark side rushed through him, made him strong and resilient. He felt more powerful than he ever had before.

Vader was sending him to hunt one of his old foes—and how better to warm up for the mission than by killing the man who had once been among the most famous Jedi in the galaxy?

Alive with murderous intent, the apprentice rushed forward, his red blade swinging, to finish the job.


An interview with Haden Blackman, Project Lead for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Question: Can you first tell us a little bit about your role in the creation of the FORCE UNLEASHED video game?
Haden Blackman: I was the project lead, which is basically a hybrid between creative director and executive producer. I was responsible for setting the overall vision for the game, and rallying and managing the team throughout the development. I directly managed all of the leads, worked very closely with the design staff, and wrote the “shooting script” for the cinematics.

Q: As the lead writer of the game story, how much input were you able to give Sean Williams while he was writing the book?
Haden Blackman: He was on a pretty tight schedule, and I was deep in crunch on the game, so we only had a few opportunities to talk and exchange notes. Fortunately, he was able to use the game’s shooting script as his starting point, which I think gave him a strong foundation. After he finished his first draft, I was able to take a few days reading it and providing notes, most of which he incorporated into the final draft. A great deal of my feedback was centered on keeping the characters true to the way they are portrayed in the game. This was really important because, in the game, we can’t get into the characters’ heads the same way a novel can, and there were thoughts and feelings expressed by the characters in the first draft that weren’t always true to our vision of the characters. Juno was probably the toughest character in this regard: The novel spends a lot of time exploring her character, and I really wanted to make sure that it was aligned with our take on her personality, motivations and psychology, even in areas that aren’t explored in depth in the game.

Q: How would you compare the different experiences – playing the game versus reading the book?
Haden Blackman: They are obviously very different – but hopefully complementary – experiences. The game is a very visceral, interactive experience that puts you in control of the Secret Apprentice. Everything is from his point of view, because as the player, that’s the character you’re inhabiting. Hopefully, the level of interactivity allows players to connect with the apprentice and even impart some of their own personality onto him. We’ve found that different people interpret some of his actions and decisions in different ways based on who they are and what they bring to the game. This feels very true to the Star Wars films, in which everything isn’t always explained and some things are left up to the audience to interpret. I think that the whole notion of the Force truly “unleashed” also comes across very well in the game because you can see it in action and it feels like an extension of you, the player: you push a button, and something dramatic happens, enemies go flying, stuff blows up... We have the benefit of audio, visual effects, even a controller rumble to help bring the experience to life. By contrast, a novel isn’t an interactive experience, but it does provide the opportunity to explore themes, subplots, and characters in more detail than we could in a game. The novelization for The Force Unleashed devotes a lot of space to getting into the heads of some of the characters, especially Juno, which we just couldn’t do in the game. This is great for fans because I think it will absolutely give them a better understanding of who these characters are and what they represent.

Q: It’s common for a movie novelization to flesh out and expand some scenes from a film. Could something similar be said for the novelization of the FORCE UNLEASHED game?
Haden Blackman: Absolutely. Again, the game is mostly from the Apprentice’s point of view, but the other characters are still doing things in the background. The novel can bring those activities to life. The novel also includes some scenes and interactions that we cut from the game because we didn’t feel they really helped move the gameplay or the Apprentice’s story forward; having these “restored” for the novel again helps to develop some of the characters even further. For example, we wrote up a detailed backstory for Juno that included the fact that, as a child, she was very interested in alien species and planned to become a xenobiologist when she grew up. Eventually, her career aspirations changed and she joined the Imperial Academy to try to connect with her father, an ardent supporter of the Empire. But she always retained that fascination and even respect for alien flora and fauna. Some of this is included in a databank entry on Juno in the game, but there are only a few exchanges in-game that really explore this part of Juno. The novel has the opportunity to explore it in much greater detail. There are also a few big differences that will be important to fans: in the game (and the comic book adaptation), we never name the Apprentice, beyond his codename of Starkiller. We did this because we really wanted to keep him somewhat mysterious (in keeping with some direction from George Lucas that we shouldn’t explain everything). In the novel, he has a name, which should be a neat factoid for fans.

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Star Wars The Force Unleashed 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 145 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was never a really big reader. I read books here and there, but nothing on a regular basis. But this title really caught my eye. I first noticed it when I seen the video game. I was hooked as soon as I seen it. Then I found out out there was going to be a book. I got it the first day it arrived and could not put it down. It explains everything that happened between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It shows how Darth Vador really struggled with himself what happened to the last of the Jedi Knights from Order 66 how the Death Star was created and the birth of the Rebel Alliance. I recomend this to anyone that is a Star Wars fan...old and new. This will explain alot of the Star Wars universe that was left blank in the movies. This is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book seriously is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The chaos of war throughout the galaxy is no more as the Republic and its Jedi Knights are history and ironically so is their Separatist opponents who while destroying the Republic destroyed their movement too. However there is no power vacuum as the diabolically brilliant Darth Sidious has played the sides against each other and has come through as the only central power left declaring himself the Emperor Palpatine. However this sly dictator knows others out there want to dethrone him either out of a thirst for freedom or the more dangerous group that want to replace him. He plans to rule with an iron fist forever so must eliminate the cancers that remain in revolt even those that are microscopic. The Emperor assigns his top assistant, the equally vicious Darth Vader, who Palatine brought into the dark side with him, to destroy the remaining resistance. Vader has groomed a student for years for a deadly enforcer role. This Sith student knows one thing: to kill Vader¿s foes, who are defined as those opposing the Emperor. This student of Vader must first kill the remaining Jedi who failed to turn dark. However, this Apprentice has one flaw of light in an otherwise totally dark existence. He must choose between his mentor father figure Vader or the flickering light of hope he feels when he thinks of Juno Eclipse who hopes to hear his long lost name from her lips. --- THE FORCE UNLEASHED is an exciting novelization of the video game though at times falls into the trap of feeling like a game. The Apprentice is a fascinating prime player who knows only loyalty and death as everything else has been programmed out of him by his fatherly mentor. His trek to eliminate resistance takes the audience on journeys to fascinating worlds especially that of the Wookiee. Fans will relish his escapades as this seemingly emotionless killing machine suddenly has feelings for a woman, but will his training or his heart rule his mind? --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard about this video game and I wanted to get it, but that was before I got a Wii. Now I have a Wii, but that's another story. I got this book around May of 2011 and could not put it down! Sean writes great action, and there's no doubt that I'm gonna buy the second one very soon! Awesome job Sean!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the game not read the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down.It captured me and would not let me go
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sean williams is a amazing star wars author. I would buy this book if i were you. Star wars the force unleashed is a awesome book to read.
madieraman More than 1 year ago
This book was non stop action from beginning to end! Following the turmoil of a powerful Sith Apprentice from betrayal, to revenge, to an internal struggle with the dark and light sides of the force. I highly recommend this book!
ColoradoBR More than 1 year ago
It is a good concept to have an anti-hero in the Star Wars Universe. Starkiller takes on the good guys as well as the bad guys. It fits well between the prequels and the original trilogy
Townsaver More than 1 year ago
This book is very good. The characters are great (especially PROXY) and the overall plot is good. The story takes place in between Episode III: REVENGE OF THE SITH and Episode IV: A NEW HOPE. Darth Vader, during his time hunting down the last of the Jedi, discovered a boy with great force powers. He took the boy and began training him as his secret apprentice hoping one day he will help him overthrow the Emperor. Giving him the code name "Starkiller", a droid named PROXY, a ship, and a pilot named Juno Eclipse; Vader sends the apprentice to hunt down a Jedi General named Kota. This mission begins a journey in which Starkiller will discover his origins, his name, and his destiny. But is his destiny to help save the galaxy or embrace the dark side of the Force? I have not played the video game but after reading this book I really want to. This book is very good for fans of the video game and Star Wars fans in general. I give it a 9/10. May the Force be with you!
1wolffan More than 1 year ago
This is an action-packed canonical novel in the Star Wars extended universe. It's the detailed story behind the forming of the Rebel Alliance. One of the coolest parts is how over-the-top the force abilities were. This book explores some of the limits of The Force, and shows what happens when said limits are pushed. All in all; it's a good, action-packed, drama that is fun to read, and imagine. The Star Wars universe may never be the same.
coral68 More than 1 year ago
It is a very interesting book with a lot of action. Just a splash of romance too. A Great gift for Star Wars Fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
another layer added to the star wars universe
AnakinFanatic More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of Vader's Apprentice and follows the same path as the video game. However, the book features more details than the game. For those who enjoyed the game, the book is a good read. For those who have not played the game, the book's graceful storyline will keep you entertained. It is a must-read for any Star Wars fan.
Longhorns-Bama More than 1 year ago
I purchased the book for my son who is a huge fan. He really enjoyed it and felt it gave him a deeper understanding of the whole series.
BDbksllr More than 1 year ago
This is one of the few times that a Star Wars novel lacks the luster to be included. Great as a novelization of the game but could have been done as a better stand alone arch.
neku104 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was REALY good, it was exactly like the game(played it on wii and ps3.) It was very addicting=)
Zare on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Novel is sort of a tie-in between events in the video-game and comic book with the same title.If you have read the comic you'll find descriptions of events that were omitted and some story gaps will be filled.I haven't played the game so I do not know if book follows events to the letter. It is a fast paced novel with intriguing story (birth of alliance was caused by something nobody could predict :)) - only part that annoyed me somewhat was martial-arts descriptions when it comes to lightsaber combat (just too many references to this-and-that combats stance/style etc).All in all this one has interesting story and characters.Recommended.
Hedgepeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was not impressed as the story unfolded. Part 1 "Imperial" had so much promise and then things just spiraled down. I felt like I was getting patches of other novels strung together instead of original new material. Also, I felt like the plot line conflicts with Rebel Dawn.
legoman64 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though this book is action packed and great for any true Star Wars fan, the violence makes it not so hot and similar in content to that of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and does not fit the style of the movies except that one. Though I must admit, it was better written than the official versions of the original trilogy.
qarae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I had my reservations about reading a book based on a video game. But thanks to my brother's urgings, I picked it up from the library. This book rocked my Star Wars world!!Have you ever wondered what sparked the rebellion? The Force Unleashed follows Darth Vader's secret apprentice on his dark missions.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow - I really enjoyed this novel! I think what I enjoyed most was the widening view of Force-users and indeed Jedi. If all you know about the Jedi comes from Episodes IV, V, and VI you would think Luke was the last hope to resurrect the Jedi from extinction. This novel widens the story beyond the Starwalkers and gives texture and depth to the world around the movies. Also - good writing! And an ever expanding idea of "the dark side" and "the light side".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very addictive. I have been impressed by the star wars novels
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Video games good . So the book should .