Thursday, March 23, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Mini-Comic

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was devised as a multimedia event similar to Shadows of the Empire.  Released in 2008, it has a video game, novel, graphic novel, and toys, but, unlike Shadows of the Empire, The Force Unleashed is remembered more as a video game with tie-in products.  A large reason why is because the game used ground breaking technologies including Euphoria and Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) which provided a level of realism not seen in previous Star Wars video games.  Euphoria provides on-the-fly animation of 3D characters, allowing for different outcomes rather than using predefined animation.  When characters are thrown around in the game by the user-controlled Force wielding Starkiller, they behave in ways that are not repeated like traditional video games.  DMM also increases the realism by allowing inanimate objects in the game to break and bend according to the material they are made of.

While much of the focus was on the game, and deservedly so, The Force Unleashed also provided a compelling story about Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice.  Starkiller is at first tasked by Vader to eliminate the remaining Jedi in the galaxy and finally is used as a pawn to expose the leaders of the fledgling Rebellion.  Along the way, he is befriended by the Imperial pilot Juno Eclipse and the holodroid PROXY.  The story is rich and unpredictable, told in both the Del Rey novel and the Dark Horse graphic novel.

A mini-comic containing an excerpt from the graphic novel was published exclusively for inclusion with copies of the game sold through the online Star Wars Shop.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Mini-Comic a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (September 2008)
available with video game sold by the online Star Wars Shop
The cover for the mini-comic does a good job of capturing the enhanced Force abilities of Starkiller.

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