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Hands on with The Old Republic

The low-down on some of the alien civilisations that will reverberate to the distant hum of saber…

Ord Mantell

Starting planet for both the Smuggler and Republic Trooper classes, Ord Mantell is in the grip of a civil war. (So far, so very Star Wars). Here the Republic are on the tail of separatists who aren’t averse to exploderising civilians, and to make matters worse the local planetary government is a front for the various smuggling, bounty hunting and space pirating organisations that call Ord Mantell home. In short: it’s another one of those hives of scum and villainy that George likes so much.

Tython

The place where the tenets of the Force were first tapped into, thousands of years before science proved that it was all due to midichlorians rather than a hokey old religion. Nevertheless this is also where the first schism in the Jedi occurred, and while the Force-users abandoned the planet an evil taint was left behind (yes, that trope again). Now, rebuilding their temple on holy ground after the Imperial attack on Coruscant, it’s a problem that this roaming band of super-powered life-monks will have to face up to.

Korriban

Korriban is a desolate, red and dusty planet: conveniently the right setting for a noxious, evil civilisation such as that of the Sith. Originally home to the true Sith race, before it was beaten in various wars, it’s become something of a graveyard for evil-doers for a long while now. When the Sith Empire returned to confront the Republic, Korriban was one of the first planets it took back. The Sith Academy is now well established, and many students have already received their master's degrees in Force Chokery.

Tatooine

Thought the sand planet was all about moisture farming and sand people? Wrong. There’s actually an ancient Czerka secret weapons complex deep beneath the dunes, and the Imperials and Republicans are squaring off in two parallel dusty towns just above it. This smells like a PvP session to us, but it’s also an interesting twist on what must be the most lore-packed desert in entertainment history. It also has two suns doncha know? And its more disreputable citizens are based on some appallingethnic stereotypes.

Coruscant

A place of shiny mega-buildings and the home of the goodie-goodie two-shoes Republic is also a planet that’s been severely damaged by Imperial attacks. Not only has the Jedi Temple been ransacked, but huge lumps of the planet’s mega-city need to have a visit from the town-planners. First though, they’ll need a visit from goodly MMO players to wipe out the criminal gangs that have sprung up in the ruins.

Alderaan

In a few thousand years, these guys are gone. Though it isn’t all crown jewels and pots brimming with Earl Grey for these days either. With a nation scarred and battle-hardened by earlier Imperial attacks, more recently the assassination of the prince regent has left the planet in the grip of yet another Star Wars-special civil war. The Republic-backed House of Organais facing off against upstarts backed by the Empire, and history will no doubt get a victor before everyone gets blown up anyway.

Click the next page for a developer interview. No comment on whether Jedi mind tricks were used.