A female and male human character from The Old Republic: both are the maximum size allowed but the female model is much thinner

A Jedi Needs Not Games To #Fail: Ableism, Fat Hatred, Heterosexism, and Misogyny in Star Wars: The Old Republic

Annalee is a gamer and general-purpose geek. She can be found on Twitter as @leeflower.

Like most feminist gamers I know, I have learned to give myself permission to love problematic things. If I didn’t, I’d pretty much have to give up on video games entirely.

The fact that I’ve grown accustomed to the whiff of garbage that comes with almost every game on the market doesn’t mean I can’t smell it, though. So while I’m having a heck of a lot of fun playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, I am also slapping my forehead a lot and going “really Bioware? Did you seriously just- I mean, really?

Because boy howdy does this game have some issues. Minor spoilers ahoy.

Ableism.

On pretty much every world you visit in SWTOR, there’s at least one sort of stock mob-usually some kind of aggressive animal-standing around to attack you on your way from one quest area to the next.

Then there’s the prison world of Belsavis, where mobs of escaped prisoners rove the landscape between you and every objective. Lest you get the impression that all of these prisoners are, as the story suggests, the very worst of the worst criminals the republic has to incarcerate, some of them are helpfully labeled for you as “lunatics” and other charming ableist slurs. Because people with mental illnesses are totally the same as vicious animals, amirite?

(Also, Seriously? The great Galactic Republic, shining beacon of justice and equality, has no facilities for people with mental illnesses who are a danger to others, and instead throws them in with the general prison population? What?).

Fat Hatred

When you create your character, you have a choice of four body types. For a guy toon, your options vary from lanky to football coach. When you play a woman, your choices are bratz doll, barbie doll, she-hulk, and one that I guess passes for plus-sized in mass-media land.

Here’s what I mean-these are the two “plus-size” models, side by side:

A female and male human character from The Old Republic: both are the maximum size allowed but the female model is much thinner

Yeah, so apparently Even Longer Ago in a Galaxy Not Quite As Far Away, ‘plus’ was a bra size. Because everyone knows fat women can’t be heroes, amirite?

As you zoom about the galaxy, you’ll encounter many fat guys. They’re soldiers, wardens, shopkeepers, spies, smugglers, community organizers, and Jedi. You’ll see not a single flippin’ fat woman anywhere. They just don’t exist.

And if erasing fat women from the galaxy wasn’t enough, the protocol droid on my ship helpfully informs me every once in a while that he’s put my crew on a diet. My crew of athletic guys and one skinny woman; all of whom spend their time sprinting across strange planets, getting into fistfights with monsters, and kicking the forces of evil in the face. God forbid these folks exercise their own discretion about how much fuel their bodies need. Not when BioWare can get in a cheap shot at fat people and call it a “joke.”

Heteronormativity

After the great strides BioWare made towards including gays and lesbians in Dragon Age, SWTOR has felt like a big step backward. All romance options are heterosexual, and if any of the non-player-characters are in same-gender relationships, they never mention it. Heterosexual relationships, on the other hand, appear quite regularly.

Back in 2009, there were reports of people being banned from the game’s official forums for questioning why words like “gay,” “lesbian,” and “homosexual” were on the censored words list. Banned, that is, after being rudely informed by a BioWare staffer that those words “don’t exist” in Star Wars. Classy.

(I guess we all just imagined Juhani the lesbian Jedi from the original Knights of the Old Republic, then?).

Last September, they changed their tune, releasing a statement saying that same-gender romances will be available as a post-launch feature, and citing the “design constraints” of a fully-voiced MMO as the reason they weren’t able to include it at launch. I took that as fair enough-they hadn’t committed the resources for the extra dialogue they were going to need, and it was going to take some time to fix it.

That is, until I encountered the first character that would have been a romance option if my toon were male. If you’re playing a dude, she initiates a relationship, and you have the choice to take her up on it. If you’re playing a woman, there’s an entirely separate, fully-voiced conversation in which she awkwardly asks to adopt you as her sister.

So, in fact, they spent extra time and effort to remove the same-gender romance option. I’m not sure heterosexism really counts as a “design constraint,” BioWare. But I guess a statement reading “We made a horrible mistake and are working as hard as we can to fix it, and we apologize to all our players for the bigoted, hostile statements we’ve made in the past about this issue” would have taken a little more courage than they had on hand.

LOL slavery, amirite? [TW for violence against women]

If you play a Sith Warrior, one of your companion characters is an accomplished treasure hunter the Sith have enslaved. Your dark side options involve [Trigger Warning] torturing her with a shock collar and either making her watch you have sex or forcing her into a threesome (it’s not clear which).

I know, I know: dark side Sith are supposed to be evil, so slavery, torture, and sexual harassment/assault are just part of their alignment, right? Bullcookies. Any writer worth hiring is creative enough to come up with dark side options that don’t involve turning slavery and violence against women into a punchline.

(h/t Club Jade for that link).

Objectification

If you pre-ordered the game, your character starts out with a handful of mostly-useless toys, like a flare gun and a droid that buzzes around. Oh, and a holographic burlesque dancer.

A woman dancer, of course. I imagine some of the guys playing the game might start feeling vaguely gross and uncomfortable if they had to run the risk of seeing a mostly-naked dude shaking his thang every time they entered a populated area. I imagine this because that’s exactly how I feel about that flippin’ hologram.

And since we’re talking about feeling vaguely gross and uncomfortable, let’s talk about the slave bikini.

For the most part, I have been quite impressed with BioWare when it comes to armor options for women. Unlike most games (where full-body armor magically morphs into a bikini when you equip it on your woman toon), all but one piece of armor I’ve found in the game has looked perfectly sensible and protective on my lady knight (the exception was a piece of low-level armor that magically lost a midriff when I put it on, but kept its sleeves and neckline). Women characters start off wearing pants and a shirt (PANTS! It’s amazing! It’s like they know that most women don’t do their butt-kicking in bathing suits, or something!).

But of course, it’s Star Wars, and you can’t have a Star Wars property without some kind of reference to Leia’s slave outfit. So if you’ve got the extra in-game cash to burn, you can buy it and equip it on your character.

Well, if you’re playing a woman, that is. Unlike every other garment in the game, which can be equipped onto either available gender, the slave outfit is ladies only. Also, I say “your character,” but really, I mean “your companion,” because so far, every time I’ve seen it, it’s been a player with a dude character, who’s equipped the bikini on their female non-player companion character.

At first, I thought maybe they included it as a joke, and just didn’t account for people actually wanting cheesecake enough to take massive armor penalties to have it. Sadly, I was mistaken. Because rather than making people live with the consequences of forcing their companion to walk around in metal underwear, they decided to make Leia’s slave outfit armor.

In fact, it’s not just armor; it’s orange-grade armor, which means it’s some of the best armor you can get. You can have your character walking around in a bikini that protects her as well as anything else she can put on.

So no, it’s not a bad joke gone wrong. They actually incentivized using it. The fact that I have to put up with other players reducing their companion characters to sex objects is no accident at all. And of course there’s no version for guys. Like the bikini itself, that gross feeling that comes with being subjected to someone else’s demeaning fantasy is reserved for ladies only.

There are a lot of things to love about this game. It’s well designed and well-paced, with engaging stories and gorgeous graphics. The mechanics are smooth and easy to learn, and the details are delightful. As a gamer and a Star Wars fan, I’m having a heck of a lot of fun with it. I don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve clocked playing since launch.

As a queer woman and feminist, however, I’m having to close my nose. Because there is an undeniable whiff of garbage.


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28 thoughts on “A Jedi Needs Not Games To #Fail: Ableism, Fat Hatred, Heterosexism, and Misogyny in Star Wars: The Old Republic

  1. Blake

    What really got me was the egalitarian society I encountered during the Jedi intro quest, where they went out of their way to tell me it was “matriarchal”. Apparently in order to have a woman at the head of an tribe with both men and women in positions of leadership they had to flee their home.
    “Sheesh,” I thought, “That’s not matriarchy. That’s just, like, a normal society of people working together. Anthropology even has evidence that this cooperative approach is the most effective in hunting societies like this one.”

    So I was a little confused by why they’d call it a “matriarchy”. That is, until I did the Smuggler intro quest. They never said anything like “this is a patriarchal planet”, but they should have. When I wasn’t allowed to shoot the guy who was extorting sex from a harram of women in exchange for “protecting” them from soldiers it became clear that patriarchy was the explicit and purposeful norm, and a society like the one I live in is an oppressed group of weirdos in the world of Star Wars.

    Individual story lines broke out of this sometimes. There was even a dog whistle quest on the Smuggler world where I could help an off-world woman soldier survive long enough to leave this planet where she’s been undermined and put in danger at every turn. Elsewhere in the universe I met interesting women, a number of whom weren’t even defined by their relationship to a man! What I never encountered was a truly matriarchal planet, much less an oppressively matriarchal planet the way the Smuggler starter world is oppressive and alienatingly patriarchal. It’s not just that you can rape a slave, it’s that you are only given the option to rape a female slave; I would actually be interested to see the gamer response if offered the exact same storyline with the genders flipped. It would not make it any more or less horrendous or evil, but I am certain the reaction would be different. It is clear that women “express[ing] sentiments that differentiate [her] from a doormat or a prostitute” in the Star Wars universe would be far more radical than any Empire or Republic.

    I suppose it is not that surprising, given the property they are exploring. One of the ways to make teenage boys feel like a hero is to give them women to control, rescue, seduce or dominate. Unfortunately, that wish-fulfillment doesn’t even offer a model of how one might form a fulfilling relationship with a real person who is the hero of their story too.

    (I would love for a game to have a hidden option to join, say, a cross-faction feminist underground that seeks to dismantle the military-industrial masculinity complexes on both sides. The potential for interesting and morally-ambiguous conflict would be high, as even if they did agree on the goals there is bound to be disagreements over methods…)

    1. Annalee

      It’s not just that you can rape a slave, it’s that you are only given the option to rape a female slave; I would actually be interested to see the gamer response if offered the exact same storyline with the genders flipped.

      Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. I was thinking about what it would look like if Vette were male, but I couldn’t think of a way to word that without making it sound like I thought torturing BroVette would be ok. Obviously it wouldn’t, but it also wouldn’t exist in the same ugly context of uncritical, unchallenged depictions of women with no agency being abused.

      It is clear that women “express[ing] sentiments that differentiate [her] from a doormat or a prostitute” in the Star Wars universe would be far more radical than any Empire or Republic.

      To their credit, they do have several women in positions of power and authority–like Satile Shan and General Garza. Playing through with female toons, I’ve been impressed with the overwhelming extent to which the game passes the Bechdel test.

      Even if you’re playing a man, Kira still talks to Master Kiwiks and Elara Dorne still speaks to Garza (Knight and Trooper stories, respectively) about things other than you/other dudes. And I appreciate that some of the random Republic soldiers you see protecting bases are women, but I wish they had a better gender balance there.

      My Knight and Trooper both feel suitably heroic and un-defined by the men in their lives (in fact, they both outrank most of the men in their lives). This may be because the dialogue and stories, aside from romance and flirt options, are the same for both offered genders.

      But if they had a secret third faction to take down the Patriarchy, me and my shiny magenta lightsaber would be all over that.

  2. Anjasa

    Wow, I had no idea about Vette. She was such a sweet character, I took the collar off immediately. Then again, I was also playing a female character, so the chances of having sex was about halved right off the bat, so no rapey threesomes for me.

    I also noticed about the ‘fat male’ versus the ‘fat female’ thing and just couldn’t get past it. I mean… the male character is obviously obese. The female character is, like, big boned.

  3. Julie

    I noticed that in the beta (that there wasn’t an option for a big woman) and told them about it. I also mentioned the holo dancer to them along with some ‘armor’.
    The leveling in the game was way too quick (told them about that too ><), it was so quick I could never see the ending for each of the planets before it was time to move on to the next area.
    I liked the graphics and how they handled a group picking up quests, though it does get old after the first time you've seen it *SPACEBAR!!*. I loved the voice acting, it really brought you into the game even if they kept calling you 'sir' while playing a female character. The PvP was decent, it reminded me a little bit of Global Agenda (the way it was fast paced).

    I played the game for a total of 2 or 3 months, got a character to lvl50 and some alts in the 30s, then got bored and quit =
    I am now waiting on Secret World, which is supposed to be out in April! :)

    And I just noticed my sentences are short, choppy, and sporadic…That's what I get for drinking coffee @.@

    1. Jayn

      The ‘sir’ thing greatly annoyed me as the first two characters I created were a trooper and an agent, aka the two military classes, so I got called ‘sir’ a lot. Really disappointed me too, because there’s only been once or twice in the Mass Effect series that my female Shepard has been called ‘sir’–usually it gets changed to ‘ma’am’

      With the body options, I noticed the lack of a truly fat body type for the women, but what caught my eye more was that I don’t think I’ve seen a single NPC using the amazon body (I don’t think I’ve seen any players using it either, aside from myself). So while it was nice to at least have options, it frustrated me that they seemed to limit themselves more than the players.

      1. Annalee

        Yeah, you’d think that at least some of the NPCs we see in melee combat (like, say, the ones we fight) would be using the tall, muscular body type. I’ve been using the “plus size” body type for all my characters so far.

        As far as the “sir” thing–I feel like it bugs me less because it’s a thing that’s taken from real world military traditions, but of course, it only exists in the real world in the context of the hot sexist mess that is military tradition. At least they’re consistant, though–General Garza gets “sir”d too. And in the Jedi Knight storyline, you fight at least one female “sith lord,” which I’m assuming is a nod back to KOTOR I, where Revan is repeatedly referred to as “lord” even if she’s a woman.

        I like the way that Star Trek: Voyager sidestepped that one–everyone calls Janeway “Captain.” For the class quests at least, where they always know what rank you are, it seems like they could just use that.

        1. Jayn

          And in the Jedi Knight storyline, you fight at least one female “sith lord,” which I’m assuming is a nod back to KOTOR I, where Revan is repeatedly referred to as “lord” even if she’s a woman.

          The Sith Inquisitor storyline sent me for a small loop when I found out that Lord Zash was female. They do make a reference to Revan being either male or female in one of the Empire quests on Dromund Kaas, but I was rather disappointed that they didn’t hold to that ambiguity when you actually meet Revan in game :/

        2. Vass

          Actually, I seem to remember something in the pilot episode of Voyager about that. Someone (was it Paris?) calls Janeway ‘sir’ and she corrects him and says he can say ma’am but she prefers Captain.

        3. Dina

          In the codex, it actually specifies that the Republic army (at least – haven’t really played that much Empire) uses “sir” as an honorific for any higher-ranking soldier or officer.

        4. Crissa

          Of course, in Star Trek they established prior that ‘sir’ or title was to be used, unless specific permission was made by that individual.

          That didn’t show up in Star Wars until recently.

  4. Timid Atheist

    As much as I hate the slave outfit, I will say this. On the two RP servers I play on I most often see that outfit worn by female characters. Now whether that means they’re played by male or female players I do not know as I usually don’t get personal with people I’ve never met. I see nothing wrong with a woman choosing that outfit if that’s what they want. And several of those women use it as a dancer out fit and go to Cantinas to RP out being dancers and entertainers. I’m completely okay with women doing what they want with their bodies as long as it’s their own decision. Other than that, I agree with you about the male players objectifying their female companions. That is the worst.

    I’ve been noticing a trend about male versus female came play as well. I roll female characters because I prefer to play women. (Note: I myself am a woman.) It’s very rare, maybe once every planet or three, that I”ll come across an NPC that I can flirt with on my female character. Most male NPCs don’t even flirt in passing unless I start the flirting, if that’s even an option. Yet now that I”m leveling with two different friends who have male characters, I’m finding that male characters are flirted with much more frequently by female NPCs. I am bothered by this only because it seems like male characters are give priority and interest far more often than female characters.

    1. Annalee

      This ties right in to previous discussions on GF about “sexy cosplay” in general and Leia’s slave outfit in particular. Suffice to say, I agree that women should be able to wear whatever they like, but I can also see the way that geek culture rewards women for sexualizing themselves and rewards men for playing into that, and I find that trend gross.

      Honestly, I would have far less of a problem with the bikini armor if there was an equyally-revealing male version (a thong and a capelet, perhaps?). That would indicate to me that they weren’t just shamelessly pandering to the straight male gaze.

      1. Anjasa

        I would love sexier male armour in MMOs. This is why I’m super excited for Guild Wars 2. They’ve been pretty good in the past about giving men sexy options.

    2. Anjasa

      I actually got so annoyed by the lack of flirt options, I blogged about it. My partner and I were both playing Sith Inquisitors, me female, him male, and he had tons of of flirt options.

      I got my first one at 27.

      There’s a lot of women that have noticed the discrepancy between the genders, and it just doesn’t make sense based on stereotypes. Don’t /women/ want romance subplots?

      1. Annalee

        Oh, I saw that thread on the forums!

        Also, the flirt options women do have don’t seem to lead to casual sex the way that options for men do (going off my spouse’s Smuggler play through). I guess guys having casual sex is heroic, but women heroes must be pure and strictly monogomous?

  5. Shannon LC Cate

    I recently got into a discussion on a sci-fi board about the lack of imagination in sci-fi regarding gender and sexism. Whyohwhyohwhy do we assume that in 1000 years being called “ladies” will still be an insult? I got a bunch of psuedo-anthropological/philosophical/historical claims about that just being the human condition. It was all men, of course, in this discussion, all treating me like I was a terribly irrational feminazi dyke who needed a lesson in common sense.
    I finally just stopped looking at the responses.
    More women need to be designing this stuff, that’s all there is to it.
    There may be shitty inequality in future worlds, but it’s bound to be new and different shitty inequality at the very least…

    1. Me again

      P.S. These guys tend to think my lesbian heroes in my own sci-fi are unrealistically not discriminated against, too. Though it’s 500 years into the future.

      1. M

        LOL. This is one reason I have trouble getting into the pseudoscifi worlds like Star Wars and Star Trek. By pseudoscifi I mean that, besides the addition of spaceships and aliens and holograms, the cultures are pretty much the same as modern-day or even historical ones, and the overarching plot could easily be rewritten as high fantasy or an AU present. Technology is thrown in for flavor but often obvious ramifications of the technology are ignored, as are the societal/cultural impacts it would create. A big part of why I enjoy scifi is the exploration of how alternate biologies, scientific advancement, and cultural progress might impact the state of humanity (or other species). I want to see things that have never been seen before, not just Christopher Columbus in Space. The world today is staggeringly different today than it was 500 years ago, and it’s pretty naive to assume nothing of serious consequence will change in the following 500.

        Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for decent sci-fi and yours sounds like it might be interesting. Have you published/released anything?

    2. Jumwa

      Well said. I’ve had a very similar discussion in regards to fantasy and sci-fi before myself, numerous times. Sadly even amongst writing communities, where one would expect a bit more creativity than to assume prejudice and social norms will always be the same across time and fantastically different dimensions.

  6. Nonny

    The “fat” characters bother me too. On one hand, it’s nice to play a character that actually looks somewhat like me (or, well, when I weighed a little less)! On the other hand, it’s frustrating that there’s no “fat” option for women — and even more frustrating that there are comments from players about playing the “fat” female character. (To be fair, I have not actually seen much hate directed towards female characters of type 4, which is surprising, since it is still a non-standard body type according to media.)

    It’s frustrating, because at this point, I am fat and would like to play a character that looks like me as I am now. I know someone who was really hurt that she could play a character that looked like her — if she played a male, but not if she played a female. She eventually quit the game, and that, while not the primary reason, was definitely a factor.

    I was really uncomfortable with the option to shock Vette. My Sith warrior, an avowed lesbian, let her free immediately (because she has a weakness for cute mouthy chicks), but I read about what you could continue to do and — hells. Like an above poster said, I don’t think it would bother me if there were an equivalent male option somewhere in the game, because then it would be about treatment of slaves (still problematic, certainly, but less emotionally charged) and not about gender.

    The game has its problems, but Bioware has been actually good about listening to the playerbase. I’m not sure if you paid attention to the news coming out of the guild summit, but it seems like they heard that people are unhappy with not having gay/lesbian options and that might feature more in the game. Also, same sex romances are coming this year. Which made me happy-dance, since I LOVE the romances but I do have characters that are. not. straight. (and not pansexual, either).

    One other thing that was mentioned is that they’ve heard a lot of people clamoring for a male equivalent to Slave Leia — and there will be one. Which I thought was pretty cool, since other games I have played have never introduced male options, no matter how many people have asked for them.

    1. Annalee

      I’m really excited for the same-gender romances. My current understanding is that they’re going to be introducing new characters, rather than letting players romance current companions of the same gender, but that’s from a few months ago, so they may have changed their tune. (I’m actually hoping for new characters, at least for my Jedi Knight).

      As far as the male version of the slave leia costume, that is really awesome and great to hear.

      I do wish they’d give women some better body type options though. I somehow doubt that’s on the table, which makes me really sad. This is as story-oriented game, and I would like the option to have a story in which a fat woman saves the galaxy.

      1. Nonny

        I believe that it was mentioned at the guild summit that they will be introducing new characters. It makes sense, considering that if they did it with current companions, they would have to figure out some way to let lvl 50 characters access those storylines, and those storylines develop over time. It’s a pity, because I adore Vette and Mako and Kaliyo (I have played more Empire side if you can’t tell >_>), but if it’s one thing that Bioware is good at, it’s developing characters that pull you in.

        I haven’t heard anything regarding body types, and that sort of thing is generally not added to the game after the fact. The sad thing is that in terms of media, just having the current type 4 body was a bold move. I wish they had done more, but I’m glad they did as much as they did. (I want to see the fat woman saving the galaxy, too, dammit! And the disabled woman, which, I doubt I’m gonna see anytime soon.)

      2. Puffy

        Thanks for the interesting post. The characters I roll tend to be extensions of myself, rather than roleplaying completely separate personalities (perhaps some might find that boring), as such I tend to roll male characters that are somewhere between chaotic and neutral good, leaning more towards neutral good (so had to be republic of course). As such, I haven’t seen as many of the things you pointed out so it’s great to get a different perspective.

        It was definitely an oversight on Bioware’s part to not include anything other than heterosexual relationships. As I was reading the post though my first thought was that I’d much rather see them introducing new characters or adding romantic arcs to existing characters that don’t currently have the option for heterosexual relationships. So I’m really glad to see that that’s what they’d be doing. Having every character interested in you regardless of gender seems to be rather unrealistic and doesn’t really account for the diversity of human sexuality. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be some characters who are interested in both genders, and of course not every character should be interested in the player/relationships at all.

        As for the slavery aspect, I don’t think that games should necessarily shy away from these topics, even if they are shown from the perspective of a character favouring slavery. However Bioware’s treating of the subject is certainly flawed, as a lot of commenters have pointed out, it seems to be more an indulgence of torture fantasy and dominance over women than trying to create an interesting slavery narrative. I do like that it’s not something that you have to do, as a few people have noted, it didn’t even occur to them to do it and they removed the shock collar as soon as they could. I really appreciate giving the player choices in the matter. One of the most disturbing things I’ve encountered in a game was a particular quest in WoW:WOTLK where you have to torture information of a prisoner. I was playing a paladin who had always strove to be good and right injustices and here I was faced with a quest which could not be completed without torture, no option to refuse and gain the information through treating the prisoner as a person. It left me sick to my stomach.

        Wow, this comment has turned out far longer than I expected it to, so I think I’ll wrap it up now. All in all I think that SW:ToR is a fantasic game that is very well made and in general does a good job with the story. Sadly, it’s almost inevitable in our society that there will be issues such as the ones that you have pointed out, I’m glad to hear that bioware is listening and trying to address these concerns.

  7. Chelsea

    I agree with more or less all the qualms of the OP and commenters, although I would mention that as the Sith are a culture that explicitly values confrontational and oppressive models of power and actively engages in slavery and genocide (“millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced”, anyone?) I was disturbed but sadly not the least bit surprised to hear about the horrible sexual options available with Vette. I would not be more comfortable with the notion if Vette was a man, either. With moves ascribed names like “Focus Hatred”, I kind of expected the Sith storylines to include some stomach-turning options. I agree that Bioware’s writers should be competent enough to come up with better ways to illustrate evil than sexual assault of a slave, but then again racially or politically motivated violence isn’t really any better, and have similar triggering potential.

    One point on the Leia bikini: I don’t know if I would agree that its use is incentivized, because although it is orange armour, it comes empty of mods which would make it extremely expensive to bring up to snuff when you are sufficiently levelled to acquire it. Not to mention the fact that it requires Social II, which I consider a barrier to acquisition rather than a motivating factor. By the time I reached Social II, empty orange armour wasn’t a very attractive option when I could better equip both myself and my companion.

    So, yes, I think it is included for cheesecake purposes and as a reference to the films (like the seemingly mandatory inclusion of the films’ major planetary settings), but I don’t see it as incentivized. However, I do look forward to seeing how many people equip their companions with the male version when it is released!

  8. Heynonny

    The companion romance option for female Sith Warriors is creepy at times in terms of consent issues. Basically the SW keeps flirting with a male subordinate (who refers to her as “my lord”) who, although he admits that he’s attracted to the SW, mentions many times that he wishes she wouldn’t pursue him because he’s trying to be professional and he doesn’t want a relationship to interfere with his job.

    When describing it to my friends I said that it was basically turning this guy’s job into the sexual harassment zone, but that’s kind of just the tip of the iceberg considering what Sith often do to subordinates that displease them (and my Sith was evil enough to drop a cargo container on a group of unarmed people that had cooperated with her). He couldn’t exactly be that adamant about refusing her with that kind of power dynamic in place.
    It’s definitely not as creepy as what male SWs can do with Vette, but it’s still pretty creepy.

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