Fugitives, bounty hunters, and Kessel Runners rejoice! BioWare just announced that Nar Shaddaa, also known as “The Smugglers’ Moon,” will be a featured planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Those gamers familiar with the more recent Star Wars titles will recognize Nar Shaddaa, as the seedy cityscape has already played a role in both Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Now, SWTOR will again take players to the nexus of the Hutt Cartel’s power.

The Smugglers’ Moon’s vile history is forged upon the back of the Hutt Cartel’s criminal syndicate. With the Galactic Republic abandoning the moon due to shifting trading routes, Nar Shaddaa operates with very little outside influence and even less law enforcement. After the Great War (as detailed in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games), Nar Shaddaa became a haven for the aspiring criminal.

Bioware is promising to showcase Nar Shaddaa’s famed dichotomy in SWTOR. The moon will feature grandiose luxury on its surface, but take a look at what lurks beneath:

For all the opulence above, however, an equal level of brutality lies below. The bowels of Nar Shaddaa hide some of the galaxy’s darkest secrets. In the pursuit of advanced technologies, unscrupulous enterprises conduct hazardous experiments on unwilling test subjects and crime lords employ slaves as fodder on industrial assembly lines. Fugitives hide from the law after committing heinous crimes, and prisoners who’ve vanished from all over the galaxy are held in anonymous and inescapable private prisons. Criminal enterprises beyond Hutt control compete for power, as well — foremost among them the Exchange syndicate, the Hutt Cartel’s only genuine rival.

I think it’s safe to say that Nar Shaddaa is not for the faint of heart, as both Republic and Sith classes will find few allies and many enemies within the city’s depths. Naturally, BioWare remains mum on what in-game events will transpire on the Smugglers’ Moon, but I can hazard a guess that Nar Shaddaa’s nefarious role in developing technology will play an integral role in SWTOR‘s plot.

Personally, the inclusion of Nar Shaddaa gets me even more excited for this game (As if the cinematic trailer weren’t enough). A MMORPG setting with the line between friend and foe blurred is indeed a rare thing, and it will be interesting to see how BioWare capitalizes on one of the most unpredictable and potentially explosive places in the Star Wars universe. Seeing how SWTOR is BioWare’s first foray into the world of MMORPGs, I think BioWare will take every opportunity to maximize the quality of its product.  Expect the Smugglers’ Moon to live up to the hype.

No, I haven’t forgotten the pretty pictures.  Take a look at the promise of Nar Shaddaa for yourself!

Let us know how what you think about Nar Shaddaa in the comments below. Star Wars: The Old Republic will release exclusively for the PC in the Spring of 2011.

Source: SWTOR Official Website

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