Producers, actors talk of Vader’s new ‘attack dog’ at Star Wars Celebration IV

  • Los Angeles (CA) - Throwing Clone Troopers through walls and bringing down entire buildings is just a few things players will get to do in the upcoming ‘The Force Unleashed’ Star Wars game.  At the recently completed Star Wars Celebration IV convention, producers and actors for LucasArts spilled the beans about the game’s main character, Vader’s Secret Apprentice.

    The apprentice is a new character in Star Wars lore and is raised by Vader in between Star Wars Episode 3 and 4.  He is played by Sam Witwer, a young actor who has appeared on episodes of the television hit Battlestar Galactica.  He told us that the apprentice isn’t subtle about using the force and often prefers to go with sheer brute force.  “Vader didn’t raise an assassin, so much as he raised a force wrecking ball,” said Witwer.

    Witwer compared the apprentice with the somewhat smoother Obiwan Kenobi.  “Obiwan would use the force to sneak around people… but the apprentice will bring buildings down on top of them,” said Witwer.

    But for all the sheer power of the apprentice, he does have a soft side.  For years, he has been under the heel of Vader and subjected to both mental and physical abuse.  This abuse has stunted his emotional growth, according to Witwer.  This lack of emotional and social skills is evident when he meets female Imperial Fighter Pilot Juno Eclipse, played by actress Nathalie Cox.  “The apprentice has no idea how to deal with her… he becomes a 12-year-old essentially,” said Witwer.

    The blonde-haired Cox also fits very well into the ‘love interest’ role, something that is almost a requirement in most Star Wars films.  “Star Wars has a history of fantastic, independent female characters,” said Cox.

    Acting in a video game would seem to be very different from traditional film or television acting, but both Cox and Witwer said that they approached the game “just like any other acting job.”  The game will most likely have full-motion video clips along with motion capture rendering and several minutes of voice-overs.  So far only pre-rendered video of the apprentice flinging Clone Troopers around has been published.

    While The Force Unleashed will be coming to higher-end consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, there will be no Wii or PC versions for the time being.  “At this time, we are not planning a PC release,” said Blackman.  He said that current PC hardware constraints would prevent the game from reaching a broad audience and added, “The minimum spec for a PC version right now is just too high.”