Last week’s Friday Update consisted of a simple update to the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website’s Inhabitants section. The update was understandably slim given the Thanksgiving holiday and subsequent madness of Black Friday, however, one of the new entries to the Inhabitants section got me thinking a little bit: the Sith Pureblood.
During the weeks leading up to this year’s E3 I put together a series of articles on races that could potentially be playable in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but for one reason or another I left out the Sith Pureblood. Well, one reason to forget is the fact that Sith Purebloods are so painfully obscure (outside of say, Naga Sadow), which would be a well enough an excuse for most, except for the fact that I tend to consider myself pretty knowledgeable on the history of the Sith, so much so that I put together a detailed timeline for a Star Wars MUD I was designing many years back, yet somehow I managed to omit them.
Most of us know that the Sith hate the Jedi, and if it wasn’t clear then Darth Maul’s “At last we will have revenge” lines from Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace and subsequent cold-blooded murder of Qui-Gon Jinn would make it pretty crystal clear. But why? Ironically enough, the films never explain the source of the Siths’ hatred towards the Republic or the Jedi (or even the origin of the Sith), instead you have to dig into the Expanded Universe (including the KOTOR games) to find out.
The Sith Empire was first established following the “Hundred Year Darkness” which saw the Jedi Order attempt to exterminate the Dark Jedi (as well as their twisted creations) and for the most part they succeeded. The conflict ended in success for the Jedi Order, but still Dark Jedi remained, these remaining Dark Jedi were mercifully (or foolishly) only punished with exile by the Order, and in their exile they discovered Korriban where they also encountered the primitive Sith species.
The Dark Jedi subjugated the primitive Sith species when it was discovered that they were Force-wielding creatures knowledgeable in the Dark Side of The Force. Once enslaved, the Dark Jedi interbred amongst the Sith and eventually took their name as well, and thus was the beginning of the Sith Empire. At its height, the territories of the Sith Empire were vast, and in their pursuit of expansion they eventually rediscovered the territories of the Galactic Republic with the advent of hyperspace travel. The Sith Lord Naga Sadow led the Sith Empire in what is now known as the “Great Hyperspace War” against the Galactic Republic in an attempt to expand the empire even further.
Outmatched, the Sith Empire was defeated and this time the Republic and the Jedi Order weren’t so merciful. Instead, they attempted to purge the galaxy of the Sith and this (along with the original exile of the Dark Jedi) is the source of the Sith’s deep-seated desire for vengeance against the Republic and the Jedi Order.
The aforementioned interbreeding between the Dark Jedi and the Sith species resulted in the ironically named “Sith Pureblood”. Contrary to their name, the Purebloods are not actually pure-blooded Sith, but are simply hybrids of varying degree (depending on lineage).Just about all Purebloods share a characteristic red skin tone, however, those with more of the original Sith species still in their blood look much more like their alien ancestors than they do human.
Within the setting of The Old Republic, the Sith Purebloods are generally more human looking than Sith (see: Exal Kressh), however, the Inhabitants section of the site features new screenshots that demonstrate pretty convincingly that players will be able to create characters that are distinctly more Sith than human, so those of you worried that the Sith Purebloods are simply humans with red skin can be at ease.
While I am excited to play a Chiss Imperial Agent in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I would say that playing a Sith Pureblood comes in at a close second. If you’re thinking I’m just looking to have one blue character and one red character, well, you’d be a pretty funny guy, but that’s not it. Bioware is clearly tying storyline tightly to the race selections available to the individual classes and I am curious to see how much your background choice factors into the overall storyline. The potential for elements of elitism or discrimination due to the arrogance of the Sith Pureblood species (who object to the inclusion of other races in the Sith Empire) manifesting itself in the Sith Warrior’s storyline is a strong draw for me, and I’m eager to find out how it all plays out.
Nevermind what class you want to play for gameplay reasons, what class do you feel presents the most potential for a great storyline? Share your thoughts in the comments below!