a twist too far
i was reading a plot summary of 'the force unleashed' on wookiepaedia. it wasn't given in much detail, so i found the biography of galen 'starkiller' marek, which gives the plot in it's entirety, since he is born and dies within the confines of the story (and yet somehow i just know they'll find room somewhere for yet another spin-off). since it was written as a book and game together, the plot follows a repetitive pattern of arriving on planet, wiping out hundreds of enemies, defeating special tough enemy, repeat. but i persevered because it was supposed to contain revelations about the original films.
now, how can there be anything left to reveal about the first star wars film? it's three decades since they retconned the first scene into the first meeting of a father and daughter. we need a new word; one that reflects a newly invented revelation. retvelation? so they found some space where they could fit more facts in, as they do, and crammed away.
so, spoiler warning: darth vader created the rebellion to distract the emperor from his plot to take the galactic throne with malek - the son he never had - well he did, but that's beside the point - by his side. quite why the sith bother with these apprentices is beyond me, you train someone for twenty years, telling them explicitly to betray you.. paradox ensues.. images of kato.. but anyway, i thought that was quite a cool little twist in the star wars cannon, which didn't affect the characters too much. but! then we find out that that was just what the emperor wanted malek to think, and actually that whole plot was a trick by the emperor to get all his enemies in the same place so he could capture them all; then malek somehow lets them get away and sacrifices himself for the good of the rebellion.
turned out vader was following old palpatations orders all along. you know what? I liked the first twist better. like the wicker man: we tricked you here as our sacrifice (good twist); everything you've seen and heard has been an act to make you walk into our trap (bad twist). the second, bad, 'everything was a setup' twist totally undermines the whole plot of the piece. It makes you wonder why you paid any attention in the first place. the prisoner, all those years ago, played with the 'everything was a setup' plot, by having number 6 continually trying to get deeper than the setup only to find more - except in one episode, where the seeds of suspicion sown by such elaborate plots meant the downfall of a band of rebels, who couldn't believe they'd actually found other real people - unless all that was an unclaimed setup itself. the genius of the prisoner is you never find out how deep the conspiracy goes. or what it is or who or what it is hiding. actually there's more genius to it than that but it's irrelevant to this post.
plus eurogamer gave the game an extra point, on the open value of being a star wars game, which is rubbish.