At the New York Comic Con, we learned that BioWare had changed their stance on Sith Purebloods being playable as Sith Inquisitors. On various different podcasts, blogs and forums I have seen different takes on whether this is acceptable or not from a lore standpoint. As the resident Holocron Gatekeeper, I feel as though I should toss in my two credits and weigh in on this issue.
“Without strife your victory has no meaning. Without strife you do not advance. Without strife you have only stagnation.”
– Yuthura Ban
The point of contention for this debate is that the Sith Inquisitor class story starts out with the protagonist, namely the player character, as a slave. Having not played the Sith Inquisitor, I cannot say how this is treated in the story or how the character grows from being a slave to a lightning-throwing, red saber-swinging hell on a speeder. Sith Purebloods cannot, some say, be slaves since they are the aristocracy of the Empire. Purebloods, you may recall, are descendants of the ancient Sith species and the Dark Jedi that fled from the Republic and its Jedi protectors. This setup for the Purebloods makes perfect sense, and I agree with it in an overarching sense. On the other hand, I would like to discuss some possibilities that arise with these red-skinned humans.
I believe that a Pureblood Sith could be a slave. I am going to discuss two approaches that could easily fit within the lore of Star Wars and be enjoyable to play. Firstly, if you research the ancient Sith species, you will find that before the Dark Jedi found them, they were a caste-based society. Such a society has several rigid social classes. In the Sith example they had the Massasi, or Warrior caste; the Kisssai, or Priest caste; and a slave caste. Perhaps a Pureblood Sith could be descended not from the noble Massasi or Kissai castes but from the slave caste. In this system, people are born to be warriors, priests or slaves. They have no say whatsoever in the matter; if their parents were slaves, they would be as well.
Secondly, we must remember that this society is always mired in internal strife. As Yuthura’s quote above indicates, strife is what drives the Sith. The second sentence in particular I want to draw attention to: “Without strife you do not advance.” I would like to pose this simple question: in politics what is a good tactic for making you look good? As we see in political ads all across the country, here in the States, there are two different approaches. You either talk about how good you are or smear your opponent to make them look bad. If a noble family wants to get ahead, one viable tactic would be to discredit another family. For example, the Jamar Darkman family might accuse the Caleb family of not only being inept, but also traitors to the Empire. Mix in a little intrigue, stir in some false evidence, and spice things up with a few assassinations here and there, and Caleb’s family is getting kicked down the social scale, while the Darkmans gain prestige for uncovering the “plot.” Over the years or centuries, the descendants of House Caleb are still looked down upon for being the sons and daughters of traitors. I admit that it would be a bit of a stretch for the Purebloods in this example to be slaves, but not an unreasonable assessment.
These are just two examples of the possibilities for Purebloods to be slaves. If any of you folks can think of more I would love to read them in the feedback section for this article. I do want to point out that either of the above scenarios would be fascinating characters to play. I enjoy stories about characters that have a stigma that they feel they need to fight against their whole lives and moreover were not responsible for directly. For example, some ancient ancestor dropped his lightsaber at a critical battle and seven hundred years later their descendants are still paying the price. To my mind this is what makes an epic story, something BioWare is very good at telling.
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Until next time, may the force be with you all.