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Did Andor just make The Force Unleashed’s Galen Marek a canon character?

October 1st, 2022 by Marc Comments

Ok, so over the last few years, we’ve had some big nods to our favourite Star Wars game, the Force Unleashed and now, in the latest episode of Andor, we have our biggest yet.

So, The Force Unleashed was a fantastic game that saw Sam Witwer play Galen Merrick, a young Jedi who became the student of Darth Vader and who ultimately moved into the light to help form the rebellion and to stand against Vader and Palpatine and it sounds like it would have been great. It wasn’t just a great game, well, two actually, but it was a great story. Merrick was – and still is – none of my favourite Star Wars characters.

However, after the Disney take-over, the Force Unleashed story was abandoned to Star Wars Legends ie not canon and the third game, in which Merrick would stand against Vader, Palpatine and Boba Fett, was canceled.

However, like all good legends, he has endured.

When The Mandalorian season one first aired, in the finale, fans were happy to see a flame-trooper, just like the ones on The Force Unleashed, appear in Moff Gideon’s army (here), with Witwer himself saying:  “But yeah the flame trooper, I definitely smiled at that. I don’t know if… well, look, it’s Dave Filoni, so I have to believe it was done on purpose..”

We also now know that Starkiller almost returned in Star Wars: Rebels (here) and, in recent months, the first game has been released on Nintendo Switch (here) and we’ve heard rumours that Merrick will soon be getting a Star Wars Black Series 6″ figure and it won’t be part of the Gaming Greats range… weird.

So, yes, the legend is alive and well.

Which gets us to this week’s Andor.

In the show’s fourth episode, Aldhani, we see Stellan Skarsgård’s character, Luthen Rael’s collection of items from all over the universe and timeline of the Star Wars universe… there’s Mandalorian armour, a Gungan shield, what looks like a slab of the Jedi temple art from Rebels and much more but there’s also a very cool piece of armour in the background. A piece or armour that looks familiar to fans of The Force Unleashed:

Yup, that’s Galen Marek’s Starkiller helmet, the Sith Stalker; in the game, Marek wears many suits to reflect what stage of his journey he’s on, going from Darkside to lightside and the Starkiller suit, complete with red lightsaber and razor-sharp talons, is as dark as they get.

And there it is.

Funny thing is, in the games’ timeline, even though it’s not canon, Marek’s story happens around the same time as Andor and Rebels and involves characters such as Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and Princess Leia, so that suit would make sense, chronologically, as existing at this stage in the wider Star Wars universe.

Now, we know Andor’s creator Tony Gilroy as said several times that Andor will not be the sort of show littered with easter eggs and cameos, so it’s possible this one is there thanks to a fan working behind the scenes, but the fact is that everything in Rael’s collection is a nod to other characters and stories, so it seems that Starkiller’s story is out there in some shape or form… indeed, when Mon Mothma, played by Genevieve O’Reilly, tells Rael that she has found someone who may be an ally, the fans are speculating Ahsoka or Leia but… could it be Marek?

Ok, probably not, but while I wait for the Marek Black Series figure, I’ll hold on to the notion that somewhere out there during the birth of the Rebellion, Marek is waiting, fighting and turning to the lightside.


Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….