SWTOR Species Watch

August 6, 2010

The Friday Star Wars: The Old Republic update unveils new playable species!

Bioware says all classes will include optional non-human species. Already revealed are the Rattataki, Chiss and Twi’lek races, and now we can add the Sith (the red-skinned species, that is), Miraluka, Mirialans, and Zabrak to the list, which I hope will continue to grow as we get closer to release. A couple of these I had to look up to remind myself who they are, what they look like, and why they are significant to the Star Wars universe.

Sith Pureblood (Red Sith)

This species was instantly recognizable, and coincidentally I had just finished reading the Lost Tribe of the Sith ebook novellas in which the Red Sith play a huge role, so they’re still fresh in my mind. This originally evolved on Korriban but experienced a long period of interbreeding with human Dark Jedi after the latter group fled the Republic and arrived on the planet. Many of their descendants were subsequently very strong in the Force. The prominent traits of Sith Purebloods include cheek tendrils and red skin.


I forgot about this species until I was reminded of Visas Marr. Probably the most notable Miraluka, she was a companion of the Jedi Exile in Knights of the Old Republic II. Miraluka are a near-human species who adopted the planet of Alpheridies as their home. Because this environment was mostly flooded with energy from the infrared spectrum, they gradually lost their eyes and subsequently their ability to see visible light waves. Instead, they evolved to utilize “force sight” to sense the world around them. Due to their strong affinity to the Force, Miraluka may become powerful Jedi.


I had no clue who these guys were, but it turns out they are near-humans from the planet of Mirial. Cool, I learned something today! They possess yellowish to greenish skin, and some individuals will have tattoos on their face to symbolize certain accomplishments. Many wear protective gear on their heads to cover sensitive, extrasensory organs on their skull. They are a deeply religious and spiritual species that have embraced the Force, so I would expect to see them as a playable Force-class in SWTOR.


This one seemed like a no-brainer to me. The most well-known Zabrak is of course, Darth Maul, one of the characters whom the Sith Inquisitor class is base on. Zabraks are a humanoid species from Iridonia that similar to humans, except for some notable differences such as the horns they sport in a crown around their heads. Members of this species sometimes also bear striking facial tattoos that can reflect their clan lineage or which could have been designed by the individual. I’m hoping this is indication that we’ll be able to customize our own tattoos in the game.

Bioware has confirmed that the list of playable species is not yet complete (why release them all now when you can milk them for several more updates, right?) and hinted that players might not be solely limited to the factions or the combinations featured on the new article.

There are combinations we haven’t confirmed. James recently talked on this subject at Comic-Con International, though, and announced that there will be some restrictions. For the time being, the combinations we have announced you can count on. What other combinations will there be? That’s an update for another day…

I’m happy to hear this. I get how certain species might be restricted to faction and class (such as Sith Purebloods available only to the Sith Force-users) and how making “Zabrak” and “Sith Inquisitor” go hand-in-hand might seem like the good, logical and “iconic” choice…but at the same time, I know a lot of players would be disappointed if it turns out we can’t make any other combinations. I for one foresee some flexibility, and I see hints of this in sources like Fatal Alliance, for instance, which includes a minor character who is a Zabrak Trooper.

Today’s update also includes a new timeline, focusing on the Mandalorian Wars. Again, fans of the KOTOR games will already be familiar with much of its content, though don’t expect too much emphasis on KOTOR II or the Jedi Exile. Not much to say here except that it’s worth watching for the background information and details on arguably one of the most significant events of the Old Republic era. It also further drives my suspicions that while Revan and Malak’s fall to the dark side was probably something that happened over a long period of time, their meeting with the Emperor and whatever occurred during that encounter was mostly likely what sealed the deal.


  1. Friday reveals on SWTOR.com are an interesting phenomenon to see – so much applause, and simultaneously, so much QQ.

    I am glad someone over there brought up the developer tracker, because that does a lot to dispel any thoughts that these races will only be for these classes. I do agree that it just makes sense to limit some races (Sith Purebloods, in particular) to a faction, and that it just wouldn’t work if they could be available to both factions and all classes – no matter how much gamers would love to reason they should be.lol However, I also hope there is customization beyond just one alien race to one class; judging by the dev tracker, it looks like it is too soon to say that it won’t be possible to go through a different class than an Inquisitor if you play a Zabrak, or that you will have to be a Sith Warrior if you want to be a Sith Pureblood, etc.

    I haven’t read the Fatal Alliance book yet, but I am encouraged to hear that there was a Zabrak in there that was not only not an Imperial, but in fact, a Trooper! I can’t imagine the writer would have had permission to create a character like that if it weren’t possible to see members of the Zabrak race outside of the Empire. BioWare usually doesn’t make those kinds of oversights.

    I have to admit, the Sith Purebloods made the biggest impact on me of the race reveals. I have wanted to try my hand at playing a Pureblood since I first saw Exal Kressh in the BotE webcomic.

    Miraluka & Zabrak were also races I was looking forward to seeing revealed, but nothing tops the feeling of knowing I can now begin planning for my Sith Pureblood Marauder as my first alt.

    • LOL you are so right about the QQ. I know there’s a whole bunch of people on the forums right now whining over the inconsistencies between the timeline video and the KOTOR games. I mean, I know there are some things that don’t add up, but seriously, nothing worth frothing at the mouth about.

      And I agree the reveal of the Sith Pureblood is the most exciting part about the update. Like the article says this is the first time one is playable in a video game, so that alone already makes it something to look forward to. Not to mention they’re a pretty significant race with a very rich history.

      I’m hoping the Twi’lek will be playable by both factions and most classes. I really don’t see a reason why they wouldn’t be, but I don’t want to get my hopes up or anything until I’m absolutely sure. I’m playing with the idea of making my Bounty Hunter a Twi’lek…I know, it’s so typical (I even joke that they’re like the elves of Star Wars) but I just really like them.

      Edit: You inspired me to add the quote from Sean Dahlberg to the post.

      • I’m in y’all’s boat: Sith pureblood for the win! Exal Kressh is really freakin’ awesome. That said, if I play a Sith character, it’ll be a bounty hunter, so that’s probably off limits.

      • I’m glad that Sean Dahlberg quote is in there. It doesn’t answer all questions on the subject, but it does give reasons to exhale a little bit and not worry so much about being pigeonholed in one race/class combination.

        I would love to say “don’t worry about it too much” with regards to Twi’leks but, of course, I can’t say that for sure. I will say that I will be surprised and a little disappointed if they aren’t playable by both factions. There is nothing in the lore that has ever said Twi’leks choose one side; they have been everything from Sith, to Jedi, to slave girls in a Hutt pleasure palace.lol I could see other races getting restrictions, but I can’t think of any scenario that makes sense to annex the Twi’leks to one side.

        However, if anyone could come up with a plausible reason — lore-wise — why this generation of Twi’lek only fight for one side, it is BioWare.

        I guess they are like the elves of Star Wars, now that you mention it. I think Twi’leks are more awesome, though.:P

        Now all I need to see from BioWare are playable Nautolons. Maybe not necessarily at launch, but I hope that race is in their future plans.

        Tentacle dreads, ftw.\m/(>.<)\m/

      • Ack! I didn’t realize my typo on “cna” until I saw it on your article… *off to fix the post*

      • Hi Mr. Dahlberg! I’ll edit my article to reflect your fix 😛

        (I actually noticed it before but it didn’t feel right to alter a quote hee hee 😀 )

      • Huh, Sean Dahlberg… Well that was unexpected.lol

        Seriously, thanks for the dev tracker piece on these classes. It helps to get those kinds of posts to put the reveals into better perspective, and to remind people following the game to be patient until we/they hear the full details.

        Gamers are definitely an antsy bunch. Most of us aren’t built to be patient.:P I still can’t fathom how you all at BioWare can maintain an official forum with hundreds of thousands of us, and still retain some sanity. But I tip my cap to you guys.

        Keep up the great work.

      • Yeah Sean, I must say I was a bit surprised (but super super flattered!) for you to visit my humble little blog and I want to add my thoughts to Jaramukhti’s comment and say keep up the good work! And thanks again for reading 🙂

  2. Between SWTOR and GW2, it’s nice to have some nice actual hype to get excited about. Although I’m not following this game as closely, I’m looking forward to logging in for the first time.

    • I’m looking forward to logging in for the first time, and seeing the OPENING CRAWL!!!

  3. This is like a much better written version of my posts. I’ll remind you that a Cathar was in one of the gameplay videos i believe. Bariss Offee, a mirialan, has a couple novels centering around her during the clone wars.

    • I’ve seen the Cathar models, but I wasn’t sure…were they confirmed to be a playable species? They probably are, but I don’t think Bioware has made that clear yet.

      And cool that you brought up Barris because that’s her in the picture 😀

  4. I was totatlly not expecting Pureblood Sith. A great addition for people who want to play a “hardcore” sith. They are ugly though. I had to struggle to read their story in Tales of the Jedi just because they were so gross to look at.
    I was expecting Zabraks, but the other too were also a surprise.
    Now if only they make an Arkanian like Jarael from KOTOR series I will be a happy camper.

    • Yeah they are pretty hideous now that you mention it 😛 The model in the screenshot doesn’t look too bad though, probably because it doesn’t have prominent tendrils, which I think are the features that make them so unsavory.

  5. Very interesting! I’ve been wondering what some of the races would be. Ah, now I just am itching to get my hands on it and try them out hehe.

    • Haha, out of the four that were in the update the only race I would have predicted is the Zabrak. The others were a complete surprise, but a good surprise!

  6. Not that it is strictly limited to that but at it’s core every class will have the option of 2 races with one always being human. Hmmm…

    • Nothing beyond what has been revealed is confirmed yet, but something in my heart tells me there will be more choices than that. 😀

  7. I’m digging the choice of races so far, especially how BioWare have gone for some more obscure races. Chiss? Yes please!

    Of course they’ve also played it safe a little and picked very humanoid races. I can understand this because it no doubt makes it easier for them to model animations and armour etc but I do kinda wish there were a few more excentric races like Wookies, Ewoks or Jawas.

    • We can all be a Thrawn if we want, and that’s perfectly awesome with me.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I love the funky races but I cannot picture let alone think of an ewok trooper without laughing my ass off!

  8. Speaking of Zabrak’s, I never liked Bao-Dur’s voice actor in KOTORII. How is that going, by the way?

    • With the move and everything, I had to take many breaks in between. Almost done though!

      • Sweet! I’m glad to hear that. KOTORII has it’s problems, but even with them, it’s one of my favorite video games ever. I look forward to your review!

  9. Sith pureblood was a big surprise to me as well. I didn’t think there really were any in the KoTOR era. So far all of the announced races are pretty close to human looking. Obviously it is a lot easier to design equipment models that way. I wonder if any really weird looking races such as Ithorians will be included?

    • Weird looking species are possible, but I’m guessing they have to be mostly humanoid in shape and have to be able to speak basic because of the voiceovers. So that means probably no playable wookiees 😦

      Ithorians can apparently speak heavily accented basic though! LOL

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