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Star Wars: The Old Republic General Article: Possible Playable Races, Part Three

By Michael Bitton on May 28, 2010

E3 is fast approaching, which promises to offer a veritable truckload of juicy new details on Star Wars: The Old Republic we’re excited to bring to you, but until then we return this week with the third and final entry of our Possible Playable Races series, where we’ll take a look at another seven races we’d like to see in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and evaluate their chances of making it into the game.

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Rodian

Hailing from the planet of Rodia, Rodians are a violent green-skinned race who often end up as bounty hunters or mercenaries. The Rodian race is one of the most recognizable in Star Wars lore, with fans both casual and hardcore alike easily able to recognize them due to the unfortunate Greedo, who was gunned down by Han Solo in an attempt to bring in Jabba’s bounty on the smuggler’s head. Of course, there is still controversy as to “who shot first”.

Why we like them: They’re essentially super violent Martians, and Greedo’s cocky attitude and unfortunate demise makes him, and by association, Rodians, a staple of the Star Wars mythos.

Likelihood of making it in: Practically guaranteed. As a truly iconic race, we’d be shocked not to find them as a playable race in The Old Republic. Rodians are relevant in just about every time period of Star Wars, with examples such as Hulas the bounty hunter and Dree Vandap the Jedi in The Old Republic time period. We saw them in Star Wars Galaxies, as well as many other Star Wars games, and they are likely to make it in simply on the account of Greedo being such a popular character, nevermind the countless other references there are to Rodians in the Expanded Universe.

Shistavanen

The lupine Shistavanen hail from the worlds located in the Uvena system, and most closely resemble werewolves. Isolationist by nature, most Shistavanens did not venture out into the galaxy outside of the Uvena system, but those that did often made their living as scouts, bounty hunters or mercenaries, as the unique features of their race, such as a strong sense of smell and hearing, exceptional stamina, and excellent nightvision made them potent trackers and hunters.

Why we like them: Like the Defel mentioned in the first entry, werewolves or wolfmen are simply cool. I first found myself interested in the Shistavanen following their brief (and intimidating) appearance in the Mos Eisley cantina scene in A New Hope. You wouldn’t want to run into one of these guys in a back alley somewhere.

Likelihood of making it in: Not likely. While they do make a brief appearance in one of the films, and would likely be recognized by most gamers for this reason, there aren’t too many examples of notable Shistavanen characters in the lore, including the Expanded Universe, and no known references in The Old Republic time period. I can’t say I’ve ever seen them in any of the various Star Wars games, either.

Togruta

The Togruta are a nature-loving, peaceful race from the planet of Shili, and bear a striking similarity in appearance to Twi’leks, featuring varied skin tones and pattered headtails. However, one key difference that distinguishes them are the two large horns that adorn their heads. Togruta often found themselves hunted on their home planet by Shili’s native creatures, encouraging them to band together in large groups in order to survive, and as a result they work great in teams and make excellent leaders.

Why we like them: Clearly, I’m a fan of races with head tails, such as the Nautolan and Feeorin featured in the previous entries. I first laid my eyes on a Togruta in the prequel films where the character of Shaak Ti was a notable Jedi Master. They don’t have the sex appeal of the Twi’leks, but they are certainly majestic in appearance.

Likelihood of making it in: This is tough, there is every reason they should be included in the game. Togruta are featured in the prequel films, and Ahsoka Tano, a young Togruta, was actually Anakin Skywalker’s padawan apprentice during the Clone Wars. We’ve seen the Togruta as prominent characters in the Knights of the Old Republic comics, and even the Star Wars: The Old Republic webcomics.

So, what’s the issue then? Well, like we mentioned earlier, they are a bit too similar to the Twi’lek and there is no doubt in my mind when push comes to shove the Twi’lek would make it in instead of the Togruta if Bioware had to choose between them. Then again, this is an estimated $150 million dollar game we’re talking about here, so I’d say anything’s possible!

Trandoshan

Trandoshan are a large bi-pedal lizard-like race from the planet of Dosha. They possessed regenerative qualities, the ability to see in the infrared spectrum, and a violent warlike nature. Dosha neighbored the planet Kashyyyk, and as a result the Trandoshan often took Wookiees as slaves, and even served the Empire as Wookiee slavetraders. While mortal enemies of the Wookiees, the Trandoshans did share a few similar qualities with their furry counterparts, such as the fact they too honored life debts. Similar to the Rodians, the Trandoshan often found their niche in the galaxy as bounty hunters, though this was mostly due to the fact they worshipped a goddess known as the Scorekeeper, who, as her name would imply, kept track of a Trandoshan’s “jagganath points”, which were typically earned by committing violent acts, making the Trandoshan a natural fit within the seedy underworld.

Why we like them: They’re giant space iguanas with a penchant for murder, what’s not to like? Bossk, the most notable Trandosha bounty hunter was a rival of Boba Fett and could be seen in the Empire Strikes Back film aboard Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, the Executor.

Likelihood of making it in: Practically guaranteed. We’ve seen these guys featured in screenshots and other media for Star Wars: The Old Republic numerous times, including today, as an example of one of the game’s companion characters. The Trandoshan are one of the most recognizable races in the Star Wars lore and will undoubtedly be a playable race in The Old Republic. I’ll eat my hat if they aren’t!

Twi’lek

Twi’leks are a race of humanoids from the harsh world of Ryloth, where one side of the planet always faced the sun, while the other was completely shrouded in darkness. The exceptional beauty and grace of the head-tail adorned female Twi’lek made them a fixture in the galaxy as dancers or slaves. Indeed, Ryloth was known in particular for its slave trade, as well as its spice trade, as one of the galaxy’s most prolific spices, ryll, originated on the Twi’lek home planet.

Why we like them: It all begun with Oola, Jabba the Hutt’s slave dancer, who met an unfortunate demise as the meal of Jabba’s rancor when she failed to amuse the crimelord with one of her dances. That dance may have not done it for Jabba, but there isn’t a soul out there who has seen the films that could forget the beautiful Oola. The Star Wars lore is littered with memorable Twi’lek characters, such as the cunning Bib Fortuna, the Jedi Master Aayla Secura, Rianna Saren, and of course Mission Vao from the Knights of the Old Republic games. They are simply an iconic Star Wars race, and even non-Star Wars fans would instantly recognize them.

Likelihood of making it in: Guaranteed. No, seriously, and you can take that one to the bank. It would be blasphemy if Twi’leks were not a playable race in Star Wars: The Old Republic, for all the above reasons. Expect to find them with all their vibrant variations of skin pigmentations and head tail arrangements.

Wookiee

Tall and covered with fur from head to toe, these “walking carpets” hail from the forest-world of Kashyyyk, where they live amongst the wroshyr trees, as many Wookiees do not dare to travel to the extremely dangerous ground floor of the planet which is known as the “Shadowlands”. Wookiees lived in a clan-based society, and were renowned as being tempermental, with the combat prowess to back it up. Their native tongue was Shyriiwook, and they were unable to speak any other language due to their unique vocal structure. Wookiee’s are also known for their unique weapons such as the bowcaster and ryyk blade, as well as their “life debt” tradition, in which they would dedicate their lives to servitude of those who saved them. Chewbacca, for example, was serving a life debt to Han Solo, who rescued Chewbacca when Chewie was still but a Wookiee slave, and Han, an Imperial Lieutenant.

Why we like them: The relationship between Chewbacca and Han Solo was the ultimate buddy pairing, and while we could never understand the walking carpet, he stole all of our hearts in the original trilogy. Both fearsome and hilarious, Chewbacca instantly popularized the Wookiee race, which is bar none the most iconic in all of Star Wars.

Likelihood of making it in: You’d think this would be a no brainer, but there are a few complications involved with adding Wookiees to Star Wars: The Old Republic, the most basic of which are visual. There aren’t too many obvious customization choices for Wookiees, and this extends beyond character creation. Wookiee’s simply don’t wear much, despite what Star Wars Galaxies might have you believe. Can you honestly imagine a Wookiee as any of the game’s classes? It would be difficult to itemize them properly.

Also, and I’ve had a hard time tracking this one down, but supposedly George Lucas has banned Wookiees from being Jedi characters going forward (Lowbacca existed before this decree) and if this is true it would exclude them from two to four (not sure if this includes Sith) of the game’s eight classes.

Another major issue is the fact they can only speak Shyriiwook, which would make dialogue for Wookiee’s a bit challenging. Not everyone can understand Shyriiwook, and even if Bioware made an exception here and assumed they did, the dialogue would amount to nothing more than a few varied growls and roars. If you recall in the original Knights of the Old Republic games, dialogue with races that did not speak Basic simply went through the same few soundbytes over and over and it just wasn’t convincing. Unfortunately, I’m going to say these guys probably won’t make it in as a race, but hey, this is Bioware were talking about, I’m sure they’ll surprise us. Hold out hope!

Zabrak

From the planet of Iridonia, the Zabrak, or Iridonians, were a near –human race that featured vestigial horns atop their heads arranged in a wide variety of patterns, and were easily distinguishable by their unique facial tattoos. Even more interesting than their outward appearance was their personality. Zabrak are an extremely determined, confident, even borderline arrogant race who did not often accept the idea that something could not be accomplished. The Zabrak were also renowned for their fierce combat prowess and exceptional constitution, as they were able to withstand a great deal of pain. Their combat prowess came as a result of their war-like culture, which required all Zabrak to learn a specific form of martial arts native to their species at a young age.

Why we like them: While many view the character of Darth Maul as one-dimensional, despite his badass combat moves, Darth Maul’s relentless pursuit of revenge against the Jedi is a great example of the unique personality of the Zabrak race. Maul wasn’t about the Machiavellian machinations of Palpatine and many other Sith Lords, he was singularly focused on taking out the Jedi, and he was anything but subtle about it. Intense and determined, the Zabrak are easily one of the most interesting races in all of Star Wars.

Likelihood of making it in: Shoe-in. Face it, they are iconic, loved by many (due in part to the popularity of Darth Maul, of course), are featured as many notable characters in the Expanded Universe and Star Wars games (Bao Dur, Darth Maul, Eeth Koth), and most important of all, they are much easier to implement than many other races given their significant similarities to basic Humans. Add some horns, some differing eye and skin color variations, facial tattoos, and a few unique hairstyles and you’ve essentially got a Zabrak in apperance. Expect to be able to live out your Darth Maul fantasies in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Enjoyed part three? Read parts one and two!

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