twitter logo and link to our twitter account
SWTOR Life Logo
Search our SWTOR Database

TOR Lore- Class Species

Published by under Lore on Sep. 08. 2011.

Let me go ahead and say this right up front, I am a lore nut. To me the idea of spending an evening surfing the pages of Wookieepedia to add even more knowledge to my arsenal is an evening well spent, so I am very interested in how lore is going to affect The Old Republic once it is released. And don’t kid yourself; it is going to affect how the MMO plays out, and not just through the story. Like it or not, lore is going to affect gameplay in this title. It’s impossible to get around it; the lore behind the Star Wars universe is too massive and too important to fans for Bioware to sweep it under the rug when making decisions about gameplay. At the end of the day lore will probably be trumped by gameplay, but if you think it is not going to be taken into account you are sadly mistaken.

I do not envy the developers at Bioware who are forced to strike a balance between lore and gameplay. All right I actually do envy them, but I’m just a massive geek like that. It is a monumental task. You can’t ignore lore when it comes to making this game, that would be impossible. Too many people know too much about the lore of the Star Wars universe for them to make stuff up as they go along. At the same time if the gameplay is not there then The Old Republic is doomed to fail. Luckily for Bioware SWTOR takes place during a time where little to no story has been developed within the Star Wars universe, which will allow them certain liberties when it comes to incorporating lore into the game. But if they ignore what has come before, or what will come in the future, they are going to have a bunch of angry fanboys and fangirls screaming about how “This would never have happened!” or “This makes no sense if you look at what happens here!” and so on and so forth. From what I have seen so far they are doing a pretty good job of pleasing both sides of the fanbase, but some of their decisions may not make sense to the average Star Wars fan. I plan to look at the game from a lore nut’s point of view, and hopefully give you a little insight into why certain decisions were made.

We can already see evidence of lore affecting a player’s choice when it comes to the very first decision in the game, choosing the class and species you will play as. This is particularly evident for the Empire classes. The Empire has two species that only they can choose, the Sith Purebloods and the Chiss, and both these species can only be played by one class each. Purebloods can only be Sith Warriors and Chiss can only be Imperial Agents, and for good reason. Let’s start by taking a look at the Purebloods. For those who don’t know these individuals are descendents of the original Sith species and are therefore considered to be of a higher class than most all other species within the Empire. Members of their species have an almost 100% chance of being Force sensitive, which is why you will not see them as Bounty Hunters or Imperial Agents in the Empire. But why can’t they be Sith Inquisitors? The answer lies within the story of the Sith Inquisitor class. This may be a slight spoiler for some, so don’t read on if you want to avoid it, but the Inquisitor character starts out as a slave who proved themselves worthy for Sith training. Because of this it makes absolutely no sense for a Pureblood to be a species choice for this class, a Pureblood would never be a slave within the Empire due to their heritage. It simply does not fit the lore of the species.

The Chiss have a similar issue, once again related to their culture. The Chiss government, known as the Chiss Ascendancy, is the heart of their culture. Everything the Chiss do is supposed to have the ultimate goal of improving the Ascendancy in some way, it drives the honor and discipline that is the backbone of their society. There have been a couple instances of a Chiss Force user, but it is an incredibly rare phenomenon. The reason behind this is that the Chiss have very little interaction with cultures and species outside of their own territory. The Chiss are very isolated; they rarely seek out new races and are incredibly defensive of their borders. While some Force sensitive Chiss probably do exist, as a species they have never taken the time to seek guidance from the Republic or the Sith Empire. As such they have not had a chance to meet anyone who could teach them to harness the power of the Force. Even if they had done so the Chiss are very wary of allowing outside forces to influence their culture, as a species it is unlikely that they would encourage the development of something as unpredictable as the Force. Their society is built upon hard discipline, strict adherence to rank and family, and collecting as much data as possible before taking action. The nature of the Force simply does not mesh well with the culture that the Chiss come from. These cultural ideals are why the Chiss are unable to be either of the Sith classes or a Bounty Hunter, it just doesn’t make sense for them. Not only is it incredibly rare for a Force Sensitive Chiss to receive any training, but it’s highly unlikely that a Chiss would abandon their culture and honor to seek personal riches or glory as a Bounty Hunter*.

These are only two examples, but you can bet there will be more decisions like these when it come to how Bioware molds the universe of The Old Republic. Perhaps you will be able to branch out as part of the oft hinted at but rarely discussed Legacy System, but that is unknown at this time. For now if you really want to play as a Chiss or a Pureblood you are stuck with a single class for each. Sure there are going to be people upset by this decision, but to ignore the lore in order to please some fans would anger just as many fans who want to see the history and lore of the Star Wars universe upheld by Bioware.

I will continue to look at how lore and gameplay will interact within The Old Republic and will bring you as much information as I can about why certain decisions and plot points are being made by the game designers, as well as background information on the various races, planets, and groups that will play a role in the game.. The Old Republic is looking to be the most ambitious Star Wars project ever conceived, let’s hope that both gameplay and lore fanatics can come together to experience the fantastic world Bioware is creating for us.

*I would like to note that during Gamescom a video surfaced that some believe portrays a Chiss Bounty Hunter. However, this has not been confirmed by Bioware. I personally think it makes no sense for a Chiss Bounty Hunter to be possible due to what I have stated here but I am keeping a lookout for information on this front.

17 responses so far

17 Responses to “TOR Lore- Class Species”

  1. Joshuaon 08 Sep 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Custom avatar

    I was looking up Sith species on wookieepedia and there are different classes within the race the overall race.

    “The Kissai were the subspecies of the ancient Sith race that was enslaved by the exiled Dark Jedi on Korriban. The Kissai were the priest class in the Sith caste system, where the Kissai would study the nature of the dark side of the Force and practice of ancient Sith magic and alchemy” (

    which I can see as being the Sith Inquisitor.

    I mean couldn’t a pureblood not show much physical strength or the strength in the force as the rest of the race and be used as slave, untill they changed?

    I mean I could be wrong, but that is just my opinion.

  2. Aldricon 08 Sep 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for the article, and I agree that the devs have to walk a fine line. And so far I think they are doing a pretty good job of it.

    I may be wrong, but I don’t remember Bioware ever confirming any race exclusions and rather only saying that certain classes will have certain races available (ie they have said that Agents may be Chiss, but never said that the other classes are not able to be Chiss).

    And MJ just described how a Chiss may abandon their culture without violating lore, so I wouldn’t rule out the speculation regarding chiss bounty hunters yet.

  3. prenerfedon 08 Sep 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Rumors persist that Purebloods will be able to be Inquisitors, due to a specific part of the SI story. No real spoilers here b/c I don’t know the particulars, but speculation has it that they might bend it so that your PB SI’s family was dishonored sometime in the past (or something like that) and that will set it up so that your PB SI is totally possible. Add to that the fact that Darth Malgus’ master in the Return cinematic was obviously a PB SI, and I’d say that it will happen that PBs can roll either Sith class.

    As for the Chiss, I haven’t heard anything about whether or not they can or can’t roll a BH. If PBs get two classes I’d bet that Chiss will ass well.

    See here’s the thing about lore: it’s fiction. And as such it’s easy to retcon or otherwise modify a story to make anything possible (including Huttball). Personally I despise the retconning (Retroactive Continuity for those who haven’t heard of it before) of established characters and stories, so I hope they keep that particular story tool in the toolbox unused. But since SW:TOR is set three thousand years before the movies they will be able to pretty easily say that anything they need to change was just “different back then.” Or since it’s during a great galactic war they can say that any lore preceding the time of SW:TOR was “how it was before the war started.”

    Ultimately gameplay is what will drive the success or failure of SW:TOR, but I do think that BW is doing a great job toeing the line to keep the lore-junkies satisfied. When necessary for the fun of the game though some minor revisions or caveats will be necessary.

  4. MJon 08 Sep 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Josh, LOVE the column and can’t wait to see more! Your input and insight into TORLore will definitely help out the RP side of things. I’m sure there will be a number of Star Wars movie or legacy book fans who will get into the game because it’s Star Wars not knowing beans about TOR.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with next. This is definitely a great start and a great resource. Just to throw you some suggestions of things I’ve heard others argue about: The “Rule of 2” and how it DOESN’T apply to TOR, the truth behind lightsaber colors, the position of corporations (ie. Czerka) in TOR, etc. Your topic is practically limitless. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    Keep up the awesome work, and welcome to the team 😉

  5. Joshroomson 08 Sep 2011 at 10:27 pm

    First of all thank you everyone so far for your comments! I love hearing back from people on this topic 🙂

    @Joshua At this point the various subspecies of Sith no longer exist. I will actually be elaborating on this very shortly, but you have to realize that at this point the term “Sith Pureblood” is slightly misleading. No real, pure Sith even exist at this point, the term Sith Pureblood describes the members of the Sith/Human hybrid who still show enough of their Sith lineage in their features to be noticeable (i.e. red skin, face tendrils). I will be going into the lore behind the Sith Pureblood very soon so be sure to check back!

    @Aldric It’s true that the devs have not confirmed class exclusiveness for any species, but if they have not come out and said it’s possible by now I personally doubt we will see it. And while I do agree that MJ has shown us a case where a Chiss would abandon their family, and I don’t mean to say that it would never happen, you must remember that concept would be INCREDIBLY rare among the Chiss. It would be hard, in my eyes anyway, for Bioware to use such a rare case to justify the thousands of players who would be playing a Chiss BH. Would it be the end of the world if Chiss could roll as BH? No. At the same time would it make sense to see thousands of Chiss BHs in this game? Not to me it wouldn’t.

    @prenefed I have heard these same rumors, and I know a lot of people would like to see the Pureblood as a SI. Still even if a Pureblood’s family was shamed I, completely from a lore perspective mind you, would still have an incredibly hard time believing that they would be made a slave simply because of being dishonored. For me it would break my immersion, but 80% of the people playing this game will probably not know as much about Star Wars lore as I do and might not feel the same way. I know it was an option at some point, but was taken out because the devs didn’t feel it fit the story of the SI.

  6. Joshroomson 08 Sep 2011 at 10:31 pm

    @prenefed Also keep in mind that just because the Pureblood in “Return” was a SI it doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the SI’s story. I am sure we will see NPCs that are Pureblood SI, but not every SI out there had to start life off as a slave.

  7. Joshuaon 08 Sep 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I look forward to reading bout it, :D. I am trying to catch up on some of the lore before the game comes out. So I will keep an eye out for more posts.

  8. torplayeron 08 Sep 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Sith purebloods can be SW or SI.

  9. Joshroomson 08 Sep 2011 at 11:44 pm

    No they can not, at least not anymore. They could in early builds of the game, but it was taken out. At this point the only confirmed species for SW are Humans and the Purebloods while the SI can be either Human, Twi’Lek, Zabarak, and Rattataki.

  10. DarthXxyzon 11 Sep 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I dont see why a Zabrak cannot be a SW. Here is my reasoning:

    * They come from Iridonia, which is a planet known for its harsh climates and predatory life, sounds like the perfect place for a warrior to come from.

    * Zabrak were often seen by most other species as being single-minded, which wasnt true but this single-minded determination came from the fact that they were a race with a strong sense of self-assuredness, confident that they were able to accomplish any task that they set out to do, another great aspect of a warrior-esqe character.

    * Zabrak can be jedi Knights and Guardians, its the mirror of a Sith Warrior. With a background of determination and self-assureness it would be easy for a force-sensitive Zabrak to fall in with the Darkside (Darth Maul, or the SI as proof?) to accomplish if they felt it was the right path.

    My class choice for SWTOR is depending on whether or not Zabrak will ultimately be able to be SI or SW. So Bioware should make the right choice and let Zabrak be SW! 😀

  11. mikeon 11 Sep 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Purebloods can still be SI…I played in the beta weekend and i made a pureblood SI

  12. Joshrooms13on 11 Sep 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Well I have not played the beta so I have not had a chance to see if that is possible, but every source I have seen has said that the SI can no longer play as a Pureblood and I have never seen a video with a Pureblood SI.
    I do hope that the Pureblood can be a SI, but only if they take out the slave aspect of the character. It just does not fit within the lore of the Sith.

  13. JT_HOloNeton 12 Sep 2011 at 7:29 am

    Great article and a huge knowledge bomb for the SWTOR Community. Look forward to more articles.

    With the Pureblood and the SI storyline, could they possibly have been sold off as a young child and no way of establishing family, so would require them to earn their way? I do agree they could not exactly be a slave. It would be great to see Bioware use a unique story element to allow Purebloods to be SI.


  14. Joshroomson 12 Sep 2011 at 7:45 am

    I suppose that would be a possible scenario, but I find it unlikely. It would be more likely that if a young Pureblood were to be without family that they would have just been sent straight into training on Korriban or some other academy. Given the fact that pretty much the whole species is Force sensitive makes it seem to me that they would have just started training right away. Granted we have not seen a lot of info on how the Sith Empire operates, but what we have seen leads me to believe that they don’t let potential resources go to waste. Why would they take someone who they know to be a Force sensitive, an probably a fairly powerful one given the species history, and not just immediately start working on developing them? It just seems like an uncharacteristic move on the Empire’s part to let a resource like that go to waste.

  15. Rackhamon 12 Sep 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Great article. I really enjoyed it.

    There is indeed a video showcasing a Chiss bounty hunter:

    However, this still supports the Chiss lore does it not? Still not a Force sensitive class AND it’s possible to believe that Chiss society WOULD need a bounty hunter on occasion.

    Although I understand why Bioware chose near-human species, I still wish they threw in one or two iconic Star Wars races in the pot like Rodian or Mon Calamari.

  16. Joshroomson 12 Sep 2011 at 9:47 pm

    That is indeed the video in question. Still I have not seen anything from BioWare that said this is a possible choice at launch so until I see something from them I am going to consider it unconfirmed at this time. I personally don’t think it supports Chiss lore, they may need Bounty Hunters on occasion but I don’t see a Chiss becoming a BH myself, their society doesn’t really fit into the mind set of a BH, at least not in my opinion.

  17. donkeypunchon 13 Sep 2011 at 2:48 am

    As of the July 26th build that was just taken down in lieu of the next build, you could make a Chiss bounty hunter. When I made my BH, I just looked at the options and said “Whoo, blue guy. He looks like he’d be a neat bounty hunter.”

    Thanks to your post, I now have a better insight into a couple of the races. However, Chiss could be bounty hunters.