Name: Galen Marek AKA Starkiller
Game(s): The Force Unleashed 1 and 2
- Incredibly powerful connection to the Force.
- Skilled lightsaber combatant.
Galen is a conflicted, powerful character. Unfortunately, according to Disney, he’s now not part of official canon, HOWEVER he still exists in my headcannon as an awesome figure in the Star Wars universe. Now, there are some options of choice in-game for both of the Force Unleashed games, but we’re going to assume you followed the canonical (at the time) “become the good guy/help form the rebel alliance” path. Most of the principles here can be applied either way. Galen’s moderate build, masterful combat skills, and spirited personality make him a shoo-in for the fighter archetype, and though his aggressive tendencies would possible stick him the the brawler subset, and his force skills might land him in monk, I’m going to say due to his skills with the lightsaber and offensive force talents he would land pretty squarely in the Weapons Master category.
Galen had a relatively idyllic use, shattered in a single day by the incursion of Darth Vader. Darth, of course, recognizes Galen’s considerable force sensitivity, and absconds with the young boy, wiping his memory and proceeding to put him through a hellish training regimen as his secret apprentice. Galen, absent a father figure, begins to look upon Vader and idolize him, trying his best to fulfill his wishes and remain loyal to his master, despite the hardship Vader puts him through. Vader betrays Galen, though. Repeatedly. In doing so, he creates a powerful foe with a vendetta against him, and the empire, especially once Galen recovers his memories of his youth.
Galen, the Duelist
Galen’s skills with a lightsaber are unquestionable. If we’re looking to emulate him, we definitely want to look into studying some serious weapons arts. Unfortunately, lightsabers don’t really exist in real life, HOWEVER you can still learn some pretty cool moves with traditional swords. In the original trilogy, the lightsaber battles were rather close to kendo-style attacks and defenses, however in the prequels and other movies/TV shows the saber styles were expanded to encompass elements from many different types of sword arts. As such, ANY decent sword art should do as a starting point, with major candidates being Kendo, HEMA fencing, or a traditional Kung Fu sword art.
I would also put forth aiki-jo, an aikido subset focusing on the use of the jo, a short staff. This may seem a bit off-course at first, however a lightsaber doesn’t behave like a traditional sword; it has no edge, it doesn’t need to be “drawn through” the target to cut through limbs, and it can be dangerous from any angle. For an example of movements, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5OTRh9Fxxc The narration is boring as heck, but skip to 1:55 and tell me that isn’t a Galen Marek move.
Galen, the Force Adept
So who the heck wouldn’t want to have Force power, right? I mean, lightsabers are awesome, but if I had to choose between them and the ability to wield The Force, I’d pick The Force every freaking time. Unfortunately, we live in a world bound by silly things like “physics” and whatnot. I’m not ruling out the possibility of technologically-assisted telekinesis at some point in the future, but it’s extremely doubtful that anyone’s going to be moving things around with just their mind any time soon (nevermind Force Lightning or Force Choke). That said, some force-related activities that Jedi and Sith engage in are still quite valid in everyday life.
Galen would spend much of his time meditating upon his rage, hate, and passion, strengthening his ties to the dark side of The Force. Now, I personally would not advise meditating on such subjects yourself…it’s less likely to give you superpowers than it is to just make you feel miserable. HOWEVER, meditating upon a goal you have, or just learning to increase your focus and control of yourself is INCREDIBLY helpful. In the digital age, our minds spend most of our time rapidly flitting from one thing to the next. Focusing on a single goal at a time, or learning to focus in general, is a very, very powerful tool. For more on beginning meditation, check out this article: http://www.swamij.com/beginning-meditation.htm
Force Enhanced Muscles
In addition to helping you stay focused on your goals, meditation can also help your body achieve more impressive results in the physical activities you pursue. Visualizing your goals, and “feeling” your body do what you want it to do, before you actually attempt it, can dramatically increase your success rate. Additionally, meditation and mindfulness of your body can help your muscular awareness when it comes to precision skills like balancing, martial arts, and parkour. When engaging in your meditation practice, it’s sometimes good to begin or close your session by mentally running through your body and flexing every muscle in it. Try to keep it as close to individual muscles as you can (like, don’t tense your whole arm. Tense your deltoids, then your triceps, then your biceps, forearms, etc.) Additionally, once you get good at meditation, you can start doing it in different positions like standing on one leg, to help increase your bodily control.
Galen, the Sith Apprentice
So, something that kind of irks me is that Sith are more often than not cast in an evil light. This is a very narrow way of looking at things. We’re not going to go into a FULL philosophical analysis of the Jedi vs the Sith, because goodness knows plenty of people have gone there already, but let’s look at the code of the Sith:
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
Full disclosure: If I existed in the Star Wars universe, I would unequivocally fall on the side of the Sith. This code is actually sort of similar to my own creed.
“Peace is a lie, there is only passion.”
The universe is constantly changing; the idea of a stagnant state of non-conflict is actually kind of horrifying. Change the world is one of my main tenets, because things are going to be changing regardless, you might as well have a hand in it. Life is change, peace is non-change. Passion and emotion are part of what makes life worth living.
“Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.”
Live boldly. Govern yourself by your needs, strive for your own goals, and seize your victories whenever you can. This does not necessarily mean sideline other people needs (quite the contrary, taking other people’s needs into account and forming a group of friends and supporters drastically increases your own strength, power, and chance of victory). However, to help anyone else, you need to continue to improve yourself and strive towards greatness. It falls along the same lines of “Before you can give anyone else your love, you first need to be able to love yourself.”
“Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.”
Be awesome. Limits are there to be pushed, greatness obtained by the exceeding of our own limitations (either real or self-inflicted). Follow your passion and free yourself.
Galen is an incredibly passionate individual. He puts his all into everything he does, meditating upon the goals at hand and driving towards them relentlessly. In serving his master, he was tireless in his desire to better himself and earn Vader’s acceptance and praise. In helping to form the rebel alliance, he followed his own heart, standing up to and conspiring against and entire empire, led by the biggest big-bads in the known universe. Galen is a young man who followed his passion in everything he did, and I heartily encourage you to do the same.
That’s all for today. Friday will see the Galen Marek workout, and Saturday will be a video post. Until next time, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.
Dan “Darth Rattus” Wallace