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What was Starkiller's final allegiance or motivation, and why? When Starkiller pursues Vader to the Death Star,

  1. Is he simply seeking personal revenge against Vader for betraying him? OR...
  2. Has he now actually sided with the rebels, sincerely believing in their cause?

The story as shown in the game seems to support option 1 - personal revenge. If the answer is option 2 then when and why did he start believing and thinking like a Rebel?


Background research:
Starkiller (AKA Galen Marek) is raised as Vader's apprentice/assassin. He personally believes in Vader's motives and is on Vader's side. Starkiller is upset when Vader impales him and brands Juno a traitor, but he is placated when Vader explained they needed to have the Emperor believe Starkiller had died. He is still on Vader's side working to help Vader overthrow the Emperor. Starkiller at one point even assures Juno that he is "doing the right thing".

Later Starkiller becomes upset with Vader for ambushing the leaders of the Rebellion because he learns that Vader never intended to let him rule the galaxy at his side. This however only show why Starkiller would fight against Vader, but this doesn't indicate he has joined the rebel cause.

The game shows Starkiller acting as if to rescue the rebels, which is curious because, again, he's never shown any signs of actually caring about them or their cause. This could be easily be part of option 1 or 2. If he just wants revenge it makes sense he'd want to release the rebels. Enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that. If he had truly joined the rebel cause in his heart then obviously he'd still want to free them.

In the end the Rebels use his actions to serve their own purposes but for all we know he could merely have been a disgruntled ex-apprentice.

NOTE: I realize that a lot of the problem lies with the fact that the game was made so that the player can choose which path to follow: revenge against Vader or protect the rebels.

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    Juno Eclipse because a huge part of Starkiller's motivations. I'm a little disappointed none of the existing answers even so much as mention it (one does mention her, very briefly). – Ellesedil Jan 23 '16 at 6:11
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TL;DR:

The character's transformation from Starkiller to Galen Marek was a grandual change that happened over time. However the biggest single event that became a major turning point for him was the vision he had inside the hut on Kashyyyk.

Starkiller exited the hut a changed man; his newfound knowledge of his origins shocked him to the core.

He catches glimpses of his two possible futures; he could end up a soulless pawn or a brave Jedi. He is overwhelmed with the realization that, were it not for Vader's control and manipulation, he would've known the love of his parents and would be a Jedi following the path of Light. This is a profound turning point for Marek.


We learn about Galen Marek's turning points on his Wookieepedia article. The character's transformation is fleshed out in the novel.

Summary of main turning points:

[Marek] found Darth Vader in battle with a Jedi unknown to him; a vision of Darth Vader's duel with Kento Marek, though this time Kento was victorious. Unaware of the nature of the battle, and ignorant as to the Jedi's identity, Starkiller leapt to his Master's aid.

The Jedi [Kento] attempted to dissuade Starkiller from intervening, encouraging him to turn away from the dark side of the Force, but Starkiller countered that the dark side was all that he had.

Starkiller's choices had always been made for him by Vader. He only followed Vader because that's all he knew; he was not free to choose because he didn't really have options to choose from.

Starkiller then charged the Jedi as he attempted to rise and stabbed him through the abdomen. As the Jedi lay dying, he apologized to Starkiller before vanishing, and only then did Starkiller realize that the mysterious Jedi was his father.

Starkiller was raised without any knowledge of his parents, so realizing Vader killed them sowed the seeds of mistrust and defection in his heart.

[He] activated a message left by his father, who stated that Starkiller's destiny was indeed in his own hands, and that he had to complete the Jedi Trials once and for all.

For the first time in his life, he actually began to feel free to choose his own path.

Starkiller then fell into another Force vision, in which he was forced into (...) a confrontation with a dark specter. (...) [T]he face underneath [was] his own—pale and twisted through deep immersion into the dark side. The sight of his own visage caused Starkiller to hesitate.

He begins to realize he doesn't want to end up twisted and evil like that.

However, as Starkiller regained his senses within the Holocron Vault, he saw that his left hand had taken on the clawed and emaciated appearance of the warrior's arm, who intones that Starkiller would never escape him.

He begins to realize that he will end up like that unless he makes some major changes, and fast.

Later he has the following experience:

Starkiller (...) found a dilapidated old hut, permeated by a great darkness in the Force. [H]e was suddenly caught in the throes of a violent Force vision. He witnessed the murder of his father, as well as his own abduction from his home by Darth Vader. Then his vision took on a different tone—a contest within himself rather than an image of the past. Embodying the grisly Sith Warrior he had fought in a previous vision back at the Jedi Temple, he was pitted against a Jedi version of himself. (...) Starkiller then found himself was back in the hut, confronted by the ghost of his father. As he had back on Coruscant, Kento Marek again apologized to his son for all that had happened to him, referring to him by his birth name; Galen. Starkiller exited the hut a changed man; his newfound knowledge of his origins shocked him to the core.

He catches glimpses of his two possible futures; he could end up a soulless pawn or a brave Jedi. He is overwhelmed with the realization that, were it not for Vader's control and manipulation, he would've known the love of his parents and would be a Jedi following the path of Light. This is a profound turning point for Marek.

Marek no longer has any love for Vader or the Dark Side. He was likely planning to eventually use the Rebel Alliance he had been forming to destroy not just the Emperor but also Vader. However, when Vader attacked and captured the Rebels, he no longer had that option.

As Vader advanced to kill his own disciple, Starkiller declared that without him, Darth Vader would never be free.

We see here that Marek is not motivated by hatred towards Vader, instead choosing to reach out to him and offer a chance at redemption to the very man who had sought to control and deceive him his whole life.

Taking on his birth name, Galen Marek abandoned the name Vader gave him. He took control of his own destiny and went to free the Rebels, now considering himself a Jedi and a Rebel. When faced with the choice, he decided to give his own life so the Rebellion could survive rather than attack Vader and the Emperor. Marek died a Jedi.

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Starkiller is traditionally seen as an anti-hero. As in, his motivation and reasoning for doing 'heroic things' are quite different from the average hero. From what I have observed, Starkiller has little to no interest in the rebel cause but uses it to fulfill his own, whichever plot line the player may choose. That's what I find so fascinating about TFUL, you may be given a choice, but it ends up fitting the character's persona anyway.

Although after some further research, there did seem to be an internal struggle at several points in the story line, right after Juno's confrontation being one of them.

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    Hey! Welcome! Since you've done the "further research," could you link to or quote some of it? Just so the rest of us can follow your reasoning as well :) – Wolfie Inu Nov 2 '15 at 11:20
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In my opinion he is manipulated by both sides, pretty much as Revan was manipulated. The difference is Revan realized that in time and then his true power could be revealed. As for Starkiller, it can be said that he is actually the most powerful Force user ever (he does defeat Skywalker and can defeat Vader), but power without control and a strong foresight of the bigger picture is just wasted power, as it was in his case. Probably not directly his fault, but that of the Sith mind manipulation techniques....but still...it happened. After he realizes he has been used by Vader he certainly does not want to get trapped into the 'work for the rebels' just because they hate the same enemy situation. Not letting used by them is a sign of awakening.

Anyway, his character definitely needs more story-telling. His motivation ? Well, the will to fight and the power to do it extremely efficient may have been enough. As most loose themselves in war... a few find themselves.

  • What do you mean "he does defeat Skywalker"? The bonus level(s) where he fights Luke aren't even Legends canon. Thanks for the answer (even if the wording in your answer isn't very clear). – RedCaio Nov 4 '15 at 3:08

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