Posts Tagged ‘The Force Unleashed’

Sam Witwer: A Force Wrecking Ball Team | May 26, 2007

You may know him as Crashdown from “Battlestar Galactica,” but you’ll soon know actor Sam Witwer as Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice in next year’s new title from LucasArts, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Here’s what he had to say about his character.

Sam Witwer (Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice): The character certainly is a dark sider. I guess what I found interesting about him was trying to get into the psychology of someone who raised in torturous conditions. He’s not a Jedi. He wasn’t raised a Jedi. His growth has been horribly stunted by this awful father figure.

Whereas a regular Jedi, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, would use the Force elegantly to trick a couple of stormtroopers, the apprentice would use the Force to bring the building down on the stormtroopers. He’s like a Force-wrecking ball. You can’t even call him an assassin.

There was one scene we shot where he’s going in to rescue someone. We did a take where he came in and whispered, “I’m here to rescue you,” very hushed. Afterwards, we all looked at each other and scratched our heads — that’s not quite right. Why is he whispering? He just killed five people and burst through the wall! He’s not subtle. When it comes to his job, he doesn’t have a lack of confidence about what he does.

What the cool thing about this story is that Haden [Blackman] and George [Lucas] have come up with a story that once you put it into the middle of Star Wars, if you take out the character of the Secret Apprentice, [A New Hope] doesn’t happen. He’s an integral character. And he’s proportionately powerful. Nothing against … I’m a LucasArts fanboy … nothing against Kyle Katarn. Nothing against those guys. They’re a bunch of wusses.

What I found most interesting about the character is that he’s a dark sider, he’s extremely aggressive, he kills many, many people, but underneath it all he’s an innocent in a weird way. He’s a kid. He’s like the photo-opposite of Luke Skywalker. That’s sort of the way we decided he should be played. There’s certainly a lot of attitude. You get snarky a lot of times, especially with her [Nathalie Cox as Juno Eclipse], but he’s also got this innocence. He’s this kid trying to figure out what’s going on. What is he supposed to be doing?

Beat by Beat: Opening Ceremonies Team | May 25, 2007

Editors Note: While the below events transpired inside, an entirely different story unfolded outside. Please read this statement regarding the events of that night.

7:30 PM: As the thousands of fans stream into Hall K of the Los Angeles Convention Center, a classical pianist performs a medley of John Williams’ score from all six Star Wars movies.


7:40 PM: The hall has now filled to three-quarters capacity. The pianist is performing Obi-Wan’s theme (a.k.a the Force theme, or the Throne Room Theme) from A New Hope. On the screen is the triangular CIV logo against a fireworks-spotted skyscape of Coruscant.


7:50 PM: The last rows are now beginning to fill in. Lightsaber salutes in the frontward rows are met by cheers. Tom Warner, Senior Director of Marketing at Lucasfilm takes the stage. “Hello Los Angeles! Welcome to Celebration IV. We’ve had a slight change of schedule to introduce a very special guest.” Warner recounted past venues that hosted Celebrations, like Denver and Indianapolis. “It took us about two seconds to decided where we wanted to be. For the 30th anniversary we knew we had to bring it back to Los Angeles. So, it is my pleasure to introduce the mayor of Los Angeles: Antonio Villaraigosa.


The Force Unleashed: Behind the Scenes Team | May 25, 2007

Today, the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars, fans were given a glimpse of the next chapter of the saga: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Key members from the crew of LucasArts’ cutting edge videogame as well as the two star cast-members of The Force Unleashed joined host Dave Collins (who is actually developing sound for the game) to discuss what fans can expect. Check back later for more quotes…

Haden Blackman (Project Lead): When we first started out with this game, we explored a lot of different options and a lot of different directions. We kept coming back to the idea where we really wanted to reinvent the Force and create a game that took the Force in new directions. What really resonated with us was this idea of really amping up the Force and kind of blowing it out of proportions, and in some cases, making it totally out of control. Really being able to use that to set up interesting game-play situations, and to really take advantage of the power of next generation systems and do a lot with physics and simulation, and all driven by this notion of the Force as you’ve never seen it before.

Matt Omernick (Art Director): As a Star Wars fan, it’s a cool dream come true There’s that 18-year gap that we get to work with. A big theme that we really stick to visually is the idea of evolution and construction. As you know, the galaxy is pretty much turned on end at this point. The Empire’s taken over. We see a ton of transition. Imagine a TIE fighter construction factor. What does that look like? We get to create that.

Another example is Kashyyyk, which is in the game. We think of Kashyyk as this pristine, very calm world. What happens when the Empire really makes it mark there on that, takes over and starts to enslave Wookiees? From an artistic standpoint, it’s an incredible playground. You get to invent.

Haden Blackman: Ultimately, we hit on this idea of — what if Darth Vader were to take a secret apprentice? From there, the story kind of exploded. It’s cliché to say that things write themselves — they don’t. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of iteration, but once we had that idea, the number of possibilities seemed limitless to us. The story really has been driven from this main character. The plot all revolves around that.

Matt Omernick: Getting the script really opened up our mind to the possibilities of the Secret Apprentice. How would Vader really treat an apprentice? We came up with this concept that referred to internally as “Vader’s Attack Dog.” The idea being that Vader would really keep this person under his heel and beat them down both physically and mentally and basically raise them in darkness. That’s what really informed our design of the character. You’ll see tattered clothing and layers and layers from years and years of… not necessarily torture devices, but restraints and things like that when you see design of the character.

Juno Eclipse, on one hand has to be this very stoic hardened Imperial pilot with tons of experience, but at the same time, she has this soft heart inside of her, because she’s the love interest in this game. So, it’s finding this balance. Finding someone you know and respect as an Imperial officer, yet there’s something inside her that’s redeemable.