It’s no surprise that the structured society of the Sith Empire employs a system to quickly and clearly identify an individual’s social function by configuring their appearance accordingly. Being a militaristic society, even many Imperial citizens not part of the military are still uniformed.
This article assists Imperial RPers in identifying trends in Imperial uniform wear and coloring. Such knowledge allows Imperial RPers to configure their own characters’ appearances appropriate to their in-character (IC) role while maintaining a closer adherence to game lore.
Many lore-knowledgeable gamers and RPers know there are very few consistencies in the uniform dress of Imperial NPCs in SWTOR. A careful review of the uniforms worn by Imperial personnel in-game reveals there are only four consistently identifiable trends in Imperial uniform wear, and most other Imperial uniforms seem to have been assigned to NPCs based on their environment, specifically the planet they are on. In a few instances, unique uniforms are assigned according to an NPCs’ unit assignment.
The most explicit consistency among Imperial uniform wear in the game comes from four Imperial organizations. NPCs assigned to two of the three principal ministries of the Imperial government (Sith Intelligence and Logistics), the Imperial Diplomatic Service, and the Imperial Reclamation Service, enjoy a neat consistency to their dress and appearance (Note: This consistency is not exclusive. For example, Imperial Intelligence personnel wear a variety of uniforms).
Ministry of Sith Intelligence. Reformed from its predecessor organization, Imperial Intelligence, at the conclusion of the Revanite crisis. Though now more directly administered by the Sith, the organization retains its original functions of intelligence gathering and analysis and internal security. Though not all members of the organization wear the same uniform (the nature of intelligence operations sometimes demands an individual’s outfit compliment their operational status), many Intelligence personnel can be discovered in multiple locations wearing a purple / light gray uniform. Despite the clandestine nature of the organization’s operations, it’s conceivable that in the dictatorial Empire, it may suit the agency’s needs to sometimes have its personnel be more easily identifiable in public. Prominent examples of this uniform in use are Watcher One on Taris, Fixer 308 on Hoth, and the Intelligence Officer on Korriban (first appearance of this uniform coloring scheme). The prospective upcoming Sith Intelligence Watcher stronghold decoration (see Fig. 1) can also be seen in this uniform, confirming that the uniform coloring scheme is still in use by Sith Intelligence.
Ministry of Logistics. One of the principal administrative governing bodies of the Sith Empire. Led by the Minister of Logistics, the organization oversees most non-military day-to-day operations of the Empire including logistics and supply, media and communications, transportation, industry, mining operations, economics and treasury, slave labor, and bounty management. Though not part of the military, the ministry, like most non-military Imperial organizations, is still militaristic in nature, and many of its members are identified by distinguishable uniforms. Logistics personnel in-game are identified by their gray / white uniforms. We first see this uniform on Logistics Officer Nattle on the Imperial Fleet outside the Black Talon flashpoint entry, but the uniform can also be seen on Logistics Officer Sy at the Dromund Kaas spaceport, the Logistics Officer outside the Mandalorian Enclave on Dromund Kaas (see Fig. 1), and on multiple personnel at the Imperial terminal on Manaan.
Imperial Diplomatic Service. The Sith Empire’s diplomatic corps supports the civilization’s goal of galactic domination by bringing foreign worlds into the Empire through diplomatic means. The organization is also responsible for establishing alliances and partnerships to work with the Empire against its oldest enemy, the Galactic Republic. Diplomatic Service officials are easily distinguishable by their style of dress, usually revealed by pink / white or red coloring. The Imperial Diplomatic Service Official on Corellia (see Fig. 1) is an excellent example of this uniform in use. Other examples include Maro Vizhen on Nar Shaddaa and Ambassador Yoran on Voss. Some agency diplomatic wear a uniform with a more consistent red hue like Ambassador Rove, the Imperial ambassador to the Hutt Cartel seen in the Karagga’s Palace operation instance on the Imperial Fleet. Many Diplomatic Service personnel are present in the Imperial terminal on Manaan for viewing as well. Even some Chiss officers can be seen in Diplomatic Service garb such as Captain Karu and Sergeant Drev, both vendors on the Imperial Fleet.
Imperial Reclamation Service. A part of the Imperial military, this organization of soldier-scholars discovers, obtains, and studies Sith and alien artifacts that offer benefit to the Empire’s greatness. Regrettably, this is the only organization of the Imperial military that has a consistent uniform design. Reclamation Service personnel are easily identified by their tan / gray uniforms. Examples of this uniform in the game are the Imperial Reclamation Service Official on Corellia (see Fig. 1), Archaeologist Shellaster on Dromund Kaas, and even the service’s commander, General Threnoldt on the Imperial Fleet.
Bioware provides a little information about Imperial military uniforms. Concerning the moffs, the highest tier of Imperial military command, the SWTOR: Encyclopedia states, “Uniform colors worn by Imperial moffs come in a much wider variety than those worn in the lower ranks. These unique designs reflect both their past service and current areas of command.” If we look at the uniforms of in-game moffs (see Fig. 2), we find that there are really only five discernable uniforms they may appear in (only three of which appear regularly). The first set, worn by Grand Moff Kilran and others, closely resembles the Clandestine Officer Armor Set. The second set, worn by characters like Grand Moff Regus, is the one most commonly found worn by in-game moffs. Set 4 is only found to be worn by Moff Tarandon on Corellia, and is similar in design to uniforms worn by other senior Imperial NPCs on the planet. Under-Moff Arribid Bensen’s uniform (Set 5), actually is similar in its color scheme to uniforms worn by Ministry of Logistics personnel.
A look at other Imperial military uniforms in-game reveals that they seem to be assigned principally by an NPC’s environment, area, or the planet they are on. Keeping this in mind, there are actually several consistencies in location-specific dress.
Dromund Kaas / Balmorra (Fig. 3). Most uniformed Imperial military personnel on the Imperial capital of Dromund Kaas and the occupied world of Balmorra can be found wearing a similar standard gray uniform.
Nar Shaddaa (Fig. 3). On the Hutt-controlled moon, Imperial military personnel wear a consistent gray uniform with sort of purplish-colored pants. This uniform is worn by personnel of the Ministry of War and Intelligence alike, supporting the argument that Imperial service uniforms are configured to a large degree based on environment or area of operations.
Tatooine / Alderaan / Voss (Fig. 3). Many Imperial military NPCs on multiple planets or instances are found in this standard gray uniform. There are multiple variations of the tunic, some without shoulderpads, some with, some with chestguards, some with chestguards and shoulderpads.
Taris (Fig. 3 and 4). Imperial NPCs on this conquered world are another fine example of Imperial NPCs assigned uniform designs based on planet-of-assignment. Many armored personnel wear armor with a blue / green color scheme, while uniforms are consistently characterized by their pale-green pants.
Quesh (Fig. 4). Uniformed Imperial personnel on Quesh and Korriban have distinct white lapels. The standard armor set worn by Imperial troops on Quesh is a consistent light-blue.
Hoth (Fig 4). Armor worn by Imperial military NPCs on Hoth is consistently (and unsurprisingly) of a whitish-light gray hue.
Belsavis (Fig. 5). Armored troops are exclusively outfitted in blue armor while uniformed personnel have a light gray / white-outlined color scheme to their uniforms.
Ilum (Fig. 5). Donning a uniform that can also be found worn by Imperial personnel on Corellia as well as high-ranking Imperial officers, the bluish-gray / red-outlined uniform appears consistently on the planet.
Yavin IV (Fig. 5). In characteristic Imperial fashion, Imperial troops on the Hunter’s Moon are outfitted in green / black armor to blend into the jungle environment.
In a few cases, Imperial military NPC uniforms are tailored to their unit affiliation. The most notable example of this is the Reclamation Service (described above). There are a few other instances where Imperial military uniforms are tailored to a particular unit.
Korriban Regiment (Fig. 6). Imperial military personnel assigned to the Sith holy world of Korriban all appear in consistent red / gray armor (Note: These troops are part of the Imperial military and are not affiliated with the Imperial Guard.).
Armageddon Battalion (Fig. 6). While their armor’s color scheme is similar to that of other Imperial military forces stationed on Hoth, members of this formation have distinctive red markings on their uniform to denote them from other forces.
Imperial Marines (Fig. 6). In the few instances where Imperial Marine NPCs make an appearance in-game, and despite that there are actually several different uniforms worn by the marines, the black / red color scheme depicted below is found exclusively on marine personnel.
WHERE TO OBTAIN IMPERIAL UNIFORMS
There are several fantastic outfits available in-game for RPers to configure an appropriate look their Imperial characters. Included among these are:
Callacord Cuirass (Imp)
Clandestine Officer Armor Set
Hooligan Armor Set
Mullinine Onslaught (Imp)
RD-06B Eliminator (Imp)
WHAT RPers NEED FROM BIOWARE
More Uniforms. With regard to available in-game outfits for Imperial military characters, SWTOR RPers are in most dire need of additional available outfits. More uniforms, more armor configurations, like the ones displayed above, would greatly assist Imperial military RPers in developing the best possible appearance for their characters. The expansion of available Imperial-themed outfits would greatly enhance the quality of Imperial RP. Bioware must consider that the intended customers (RPers) of such uniforms are unlikely to obtain through running Operations, Master Mode Flashpoints, Ranked Warzones, or other more advanced PvE and PvP venues, and should make these outfits available in a manner appropriate to the RPer’s playstyle.
More Dyes. Bioware developers have taken a great step forward in how they roll out outfit dye modules to game players. Instead of producing their original style dye modules (e.g., Primary Red, Secondary Black), they’ve been rolling out modules tailored to a particular function (e.g., Honor Guard Red Dye Module).
I propose that an efficient way to roll out Imperial-themed dye modules would be to:
a) Develop a base Imperial uniform conformable to applying a variety of dye modules,
b) Develop dye modules themed to a particular Imperial organization (e.g., Diplomatic Service, Reclamation Service, etc.),
c) Arrange for the application of the Imperial-themed dye module to color the entire outfit according to the lore-adherent color scheme
Example: A player procures the [imperial officer armor set] and a [reclamation service officer dye module]. The player applies the module to the outfit, which colors the entire uniform to match those of in-game NPCs, rather than adhere to the traditional primary / secondary color scheme structure.
Rank insignia consistency/rank plaque modules. As many astute RPers are aware, there is no consistency to how Imperial military rank plaques appear in-game. I’d like to see Bioware adhere, at least a little more strictly, to a consistent application of uniform insignia among military personnel. Additionally, the introduction of rank insignia modules, similar to dye modules, allowing RPers to select a specific rank plaque for their Imperial outfits would be of tremendous benefit to players engaged in Imperial military RP.
Do you RP any Imperial military characters?
How have you configured Imperial uniforms in-game for your characters?
How have you configured Imperial uniforms in-game for your characters?
Feel free to share comments below, and even share photos of your own characters with a description of how you have colored or tailored the uniforms for your own specific RP purposes.