The Force Unleashed 2 is the novelisation of the Star Wars game, written by the accomplished author Sean Williams. The prequel, The Force Unleashed (also written by Sean Williams) was a New York Times number 1 best seller.
As ruthless apprentice to Darth Vader, Starkiller was mercilessly schooled in the ways of the dark side, commanded to exterminate the last of the purged Jedi Order, and groomed for the ultimate Sith power play: assassination of the Emperor. He served without question, killed without remorse, and lost his heart without warning to beautiful Imperial fighter pilot Juno Eclipse, never suspecting that he was just a tool in the schemes of his masters until it was too late to escape their lethal betrayal.
Juno mourned Starkiller as dead but now he is back, purged of all memories and programmed to kill. And as fate brings Juno and Starkiller closer to reuniting, with Darth Vader determined not to lose his assassin a second time they will both have to make a stand. The prize is freedom, the punishment for failing - eternal enslavement to the dark side of the Force.
Last month I reviewed Sean Williams previous Star Wars novel, The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance and I must admit to fast becoming a fan of his creative, energetic prose and this latest novel doesn't dissapoint. I am also a big old school Star Wars fan, and while I won't go as far as some do (like refusing to accept episodes 1-3) I do prefer the original series, growing up with them from being a small(ish) child. As a teenager I enjoyed the novels set after the events of the films by authors such as Kevin J Anderson, Timothy Zahn and Roger McBride Allen. The Force Unleashed 2 is set between the new films and the original trilogy.
I haven't read the first Star Wars Unleashed book, nor played either game (yet) but the novel gives you enough quick back story points that you can enjoy the novel anyway. The plot is fairly straight forward and easy to follow, and doesn't get in the way of this action oriented story. The main protagonist is just great, not willing to play by either the Rebel or Alliance rules and even willing to stand up to the likes of Darth Vader, Starkiller is a much more interesting Jedi than most and it's refreshing to see a character survive outside of the whole good or evil, black or white trope which seems most who use the force are faced with.
As the novel is set just before the original series complete with characters such as Darth Vader, Princess Leia and Yoda making appearances it's very easy to relate to, but could spell disaster if any canon was trampled on. I'm glad to say I found little evidence of any canon being changed or continuity damaged and the novel in many ways almost feels like another film itself, with many dramatic scenes that clearly tie into the game.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 feels just like a star wars book should, with plenty of energy, excellent characters and a great plot, Sean Williams has done a great job again of bringing the pixilated characters to the page.
Written on Tuesday 23rd November 2010 by Antony.
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