Galen Marek, aka, Starkiller, was a male human who the Sith Lord Darth Vader took under his wings during the height of the Jedi Purge. He was born to Jedi Knight Kento Marek and freedom fighter Mallie who were both members of the Jedi Order. In a hush-hush affair, they got married during the Clone Wars and escaped order 66 which called for the termination and destruction of the Jedi order. He was born on the run and the circumstances of his parents’ flight naturally made him grow up with the fear of the empire. He is known have a strong connection to the force. In 5 points, this piece will focus on landmark/watershed stages or moments that led to his formations and transformations in life. So read on.
1. The Orphan and His Secret Adoption
After their flight, Galen’s parents decided to settle down in the vast jungle of Kashyyk. They had hoped that the denseness of the jungle will provide them with a secure shelter. However, the strength of Galen’s connection to the force was such that it was impossible from them to be hidden from Vader’s sense. Next thing we know, Vader decided to hunt them down, with him personally leading the mission. The planet was laid nearly barren with the forest fell and countless wookies killed to track down young Galen. Upon locating the family, Vader killed Kento Marek. Seeing this young Galen used the force to pull Vader’s lightsaber out of his hands. Vader then decided to abduct the child and raise him in secret.
Galen was hidden away from prying eyes when he was taken on board The Executor, Vader’s unfinished ship. The orphan was trained in the ways of the Sith Order. Another reason for this secrecy was due to the fact that Vader was violating the ‘Rule of Two’ doctrine, also called them Banite System. This rule states that there could be only two Siths at one time – Master and Apprentice. During this time, Vader was himself an apprentice to Darth Sidious. Thus, he was violating the Doctrine which governed the Siths.
2. Torturous Training Regimens and Traumas
Galen was put under unforgiving training regimens to combat in order to master his force abilities and become really skilled in combats. The brutal lessons Vader taught young Galen bordered on torture and it gave him physical and psychological traumas. He was nearly driven to insanity. He was instructed to repress all memories of his past and as a result, Galen nearly forgot who he was and how he had come into Vader’s control.
His only company during this period of brainwashing was his sparring partner was the holoroid PROXY. This holodroid is an amalgamation of many Jedi as it was capable of storing the personalities and abilities of various Jedi. No doubt, Vader’s methods were very extremes but it must also be noted that much of the abuse was self-inflicted. Starkilller pushed himself to the limits by ordering PROXY to deprive him of food and water under his goals was achieved.
3. Vader’s Apprentice and Personal Assassin
This section will focus on the relationship between the Master and the Apprentice. During a sparring session with Vader he was commanded to kneel. Believing that this is his end, Starkiller obliged only to be surprised when Vader knighted him instead.
Right from the get go, he was raised for only one purpose – a soldier for war. Orphaned in his childhood and brought up in a way that can only be called abusive, Starkiller’s is incapable of thinking like a free individual. His thought process is clouded and he is used like a brainwashed soldier. After his training, he became the personal assassin to Vader. He was tasked with small missions to assassinate Imperial targets and he believes that he was just doing his Imperialistic duty.
In his role as a Master, it can be observed that Vader does his job decently. To give a couple of examples – though Starkiller was a skilled pilot but Vader wanted more effort and concentration from him. He insisted that Starkiller meditate and focus in order to sharpen his knowledge of the target. In another instance, being a seasoned warrior, Vader is fully aware about the surprises a battle can throw at you. During a mission to Duro, Starkiller encountered a resistance much heavier than originally believed and that led him to develop a strong dislike for AT-ST’s.
4. Trials and Jedi Hunting Missions
In the course of his training, Starkiller made 3 trips to the Jedi temple. The purpose was to undergo trials namely – a trial of skill, a trial of Insight and a trial of Spirit.
In his first trip, he encountered a hologram warrior of Darth Desolous and barely defeated it. The second brought him face to face with imperial Sentinels blocking his path. He managed to defeat them and he progressed forward. Next up was a holographic warrior taking the personality of Darth Phobos. A long battle followed in which Starkiller had to adopt a more passive attitude and finally he defeated the hologram. In the final trial, he was presented with a vision of the battle of Vader against his Father Kento. He is completely clueless that Kento was his father and so he leaped to Vader’s aid. Only moments after he defeated the Jedi, he discovers that it had been his father. He began his quest for knowledge of his father. His search yielded an encounter with a dark entity, a dark alter ego of him if you like. He defeated his dark reflection after very long fight and left the Jedi Temple deciding it was enough.
Upon acing the trails, he was certified powerful enough to undertake Jedi hunting mission. The first Jedi he assassinated was the Jedi Master Rahm Kota. He was blinded and thrown off from space station. The next target was the Jedi Kasdan Paratus who had gone mad on Raxus Prime. Starkiller stabbed him in the chest. And, his final victim was none other than the Jedi High Council Member Shaak Ti. It was one hell of a viscous battle which went on and on till finally, Starkiller managed mortally wound her. Ultimatley, she threw herself into the great Sarlaac pit.
5. Betrayal and Rebellion
Vader declares that the time has come for them to execute their plan to overthrow the Emperor. Starkiller was elated that the time has come for him to fulfil the sole purpose of his life. However, he was betrayed by Vader and he had his bones broken, and was thrown into the vacuum of Space. Vader claims that Sidious ‘ spies had discovered the existence of the secret apprenticeship and that he had to betray to prove his loyalty to the Emperor. However, the betrayal was just a ruse to that Starkiller can escape.
Later, Vader searched for and recovered Starkiller’s severely injured body and revived him. The original plan of coup was still on and he commanded his apprentice to form an army of dissidents to distract the Emperor so that they could together carry out the coup. Following the order, Starkiller went about business with brutal assaults on Imperial targets. Along the way, he found allies in the likes of the wounded and now drunkard Rham Kota, Bail Organa, and young Leia Organa. Rham Kota was especially helpful to him by acting as a master to Starkiller. This helped him to relax his mind, thus, finally unlocking his ability to sense the future.
Tragically for Starkiller, Vader betrayed him once again and this time for real. He abandoned his apprentice who loyalty to him is unwavering, who has no one else apart from him. Vader stormed the rebels meeting on Corellia. He captured the leaders and Master Kota, thus, enraging Starkiller who led an all-out assault on the Death Star alone.
By this time, Starkiller had become extremely powerful. He fought his way to the Emperors chambers. Along the way, he encountered Vader and he destroyed his master’s helmet and threw him at the Emperors feet. Realizing what was going on, Emperor Sidious offered Starkiller a legitimate apprenticeship if he killed Vader. Then, Kota’s suddenly launched an attack on the Emperor. Starkiller went to his aid in battling the Emperor but had to pay the ultimate price of his own life so that the new allies could escape. He sacrifice made him a very powerful symbol to the new alliance. He continues to live in the memory of the rebellion. As a tribute to his sacrifice and valour, the rebellion turned the Marek Crest into the rebel insignia.