Star Wars the Old Republic: Controversial Twi’lek Slave is Controversial

It’s Wednesday and a sad day when I can’t even work up the energy to get even a little bit irate about the Twi’lek slave companion with shock collar option in the Star Wars the Old Republic MMORPG.

Unwittingly opened my browser this morning to a storm of controversy about whether or not having a sexy female slave in a shock collar and being able to punish her at will is problematic or not. And yes, I do think Twi’leks are sexy. Those brain tails man. Unf.

So here goes – slaves are problematic. Women as slaves are deeply problematic. 


If you can shock this beautiful blue face, you're a monster. Just sayin'.

Do fangirls feel uncomfortable with another female being forcibly enslaved and brutally punished? Yes.

Does this hurt fanboys feelings because it’s all in good fun and you’re an evil Sith killing loads of people anyways? Yes.

Can fangirls just get over it? No.

Can fanboys just be OK with fangirls NOT being OK with it? No.

*I would have included “some” or “many” here as qualifiers but that should be obvious.*

So there are female attempts at explaining their reactions to this information and then men start to mansplain and then men-apologists back up their assertions and then people who’ve never played the game chime in with their two cents. I’d like to pretend that I care more. But today is a sad day because I really don’t. Fairly certain men and women of all ages will mistreat this poor imaginary creature and fap all over themselves while they do it. There is nothing to stop them.

Do I wish the game developers had been a bit smarter about all of this? Of course. It would be nice to have the female perspective considered when games are being put together.

Just last night I had to endure the most wince-worthy few hours of gaming yet because someone told the creators of Gears of War 3 they should include female characters. So I get to hear dude banter about “a woman serving with the COG” for two hours, in which she has to be called ugly, etc, etc and run down by the Baird character I was playing. You know –  instead of interesting game play or dialogue.

Not that Gears of War is known for stunning dialogue. It’s mostly known for it’s bro-mance and fun alien first person shooter tactics. It’s Left 4 Dead with aliens and no playable women characters – and also some semblance of a coherent plot line. I’m fine with all that. I really am.

When it comes to first person shooters – I am willing to sacrifice the potential of playing a character of my gender for the free-wheeling fun of blowing shit up and taking glorious head shots at non-humanoid targets. This is cathartic and grand.

If I didn’t love the Kiwi voice acting for the Sam Byrne character so much, I might simply insist they not have bothered with female characters at all because I can’t stand the exceptionalism and mansplaining when a token female enters a sausage fest FPS. We get it. She has a vag where her dick should be. Nothing to see here folks, let’s move along.

Thank the lord it just seemed to be my character Baird who had the most problems with Sam’s presence. I didn’t really get his complaints – she was immensely helpful on the battlefield (as helpful as an NPC can be) – she revived my ass several times in the heat of battle, and therefore I stuck close to her. I’m hoping an interesting plotline evolves with her beyond the verbal sniping with Baird. We’re only on Act One of the campaign, so there’s loads more storytelling to go.

In Conclusion: The video game industry is still lousy with lame attempts to seem “inclusive” when in practice said attempts wind up being either alienating (heh, aliens) or kind of gross. C+ for effort.


Kotaku article where a man admits he likes to shock Twi’lek slave companion, but it still makes him feel dirty inside

Daily Mail article where Brits think you’re stupid for playing video games anyway. More tea, Vicar? 

So maybe including a shock-collar wearing female slave in SWOTR wasn’t the best idea?

Even Forbes thinks it’s “a little sexist” – whoa. 

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

3 responses to “Star Wars the Old Republic: Controversial Twi’lek Slave is Controversial”

  1. richardween says :

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  2. star wars the old republic says :

    It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people on this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  3. Raharu says :

    I have never seen the Sith Warrior’s first companion as a “sexy” female save. I didn’t know anyone did until I read this post. Would a “sexy” male slave be more… whatever it is you’re going for? In SWtOR there are all sorts of subjectively horrible and good things a character can do. It’s an rpg. Get over it.

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