The HoloFiles

Sam Witwer Discusses Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ahead Of Its Re-Release

By Josh Bate

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is now available on Nintendo Switch as the iconic game from a galaxy far, far away enters the spotlight once again.

The Force Unleashed follows Galen Starkiller, a name rooted deep in Star Wars history as Skywalker was originally Starkiller in the original scripts of A New Hope. Make Hamill famously was forced to reshoot the scene in which he introduces himself to Leia in order to compensate for the name change. Starkiller is, in many ways, the antithesis of Luke Skywalker, as they are both young Force users with a wise older Master, but the latter is firmly in the light whereas the star of The Force Unleashed remains in the dark side.

Recently, Galen Starkiller actor Sam Witwer spoke with StarWars.com to discuss The Force Unleashed as it makes it’s debut on Nintendo Switch. As it is the 15 anniversary of the game, Witwer spoke of how time has passed since his introduction into the Star Wars universe.

“Well, it’s hard to say. Just a few days back was the 11th anniversary of Dave Filoni calling me to tell me to play Maul, right? So, I’m like, “Wow, that was 11 years ago that we decided to do that.” Force Unleashed was 15. I guess the passage of time is a tricky thing to track these days, because I don’t know that I feel that different than I did back then. And then when I review certain things about my life, maybe I am different. But one thing that hasn’t changed about me is my undying enthusiasm and excitement over the Star Wars stories.”

Witwer also went on to discuss the specifics of the gameplay, something he is very knowledgeable about as he has worked in the video game industry for years and is also an avid player himself.

“Well, when I play it, I’m biased, because a giant flood of memories comes back and I remember how excited I was to go to San Francisco and go to the studio and be at Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts, Skywalker Ranch…all these places that I had dreamed of seeing. But having said that, I still love the way the Force is used in that the game. It really encourages you to get creative with the Force and to try things. And that’s really the way it was designed to be played.”

Witwer, a lifelong Star Wars fan, also brought up some of his favorite memories from working on the game.

“I remember we were shooting and we didn’t have a Darth Vader on set, so I was like, “How tall is Vader? Can someone please tell me how tall he is and where I’m supposed to be looking when I’m talking to Darth Vader?” And I remember [voice director] Darragh O’Farrell said, “You know, that’s a very good point, Sam. Can someone take Sam down to go look at Darth Vader? So we go downstairs, and they took me to see — I believe it was from Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi — a Darth Vader costume. And I was struck by how enormous and terrifying Darth Vader is. We all grew up with Darth Vader, and his character is multi-layered…he’s Anakin Skywalker. So we weirdly are afraid of him, but also have affection for the character. He’s one of the most famous movie characters of all time, but to be confronted with him, face-to-face, and seeing how tall and large he is, how terrifying that armor is, it was a reminder to me how absolutely horrifyingly villainous he could be.”

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is available now on Nintendo Switch.

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