Star Wars: The Old Republic has a fairly broad assortment of mini-pets for avid fluff-junkies like me. I have a few real-life pets myself, and there's something about pet ownership that humanizes even the foulest Dark Lord of the Sith. While the vanity pets in SWTOR don't really "do" anything, they have their own stories which add to the stories of the characters who own them - just like real-life pets - and that gives them an intrinsic value.
Be sure to check our Vanity Pet Guide for instructions on how to get the pets mentioned in this article.
Personally, I tend to favor pets that have a basis in film-canon lore. You won't see any Orokeets on the list, for example, because they don't show up in the movies. There's certainly nothing wrong with Orokeets, but the have no canonical presence in the films. Occasionally, the lore may not be exact, but it's not too much of a stretch.
Pretty much everyone has a Taun Ram - this pet was given as a free gift to all active subscribers as part of the rollout for Patch 1.2. The Taun Fawn, on the other hand, is more rare. It was a gift to attendees of PAX East 2012, and I got one from a generous co-worker who attended. If you missed out on either of those events, baby tauntauns can be found other ways: purchased with cash from the Collector's Edition vendors, looted from a world boss on Hoth, or painstakingly lured and captured in the wild.
Your own baby chicken-goat.
The Taun Fawn is a cute little guy - white with black spots, kinda like my Jack Russel Terrier. He doesn't have the big mountain-goat horns of the Taun Ram, but he makes the same jabbering sounds.
Equal parts camel, mountain goat, ostrich and pup tent.
Lore-wise, there are no baby tauntauns seen in the movies, but the adult tauntauns of Hoth are used in the same manner as camels or horses. And, in dire emergencies, as foul-smelling sleeping bags. My light side characters keep this little guy around because he's adorable. My dark siders keep him around because you never know when you might get trapped in a blizzard on one of the three ice planets. He's not yet big enough to sleep inside, but some day...
The Crimson Rakling is a small creature mutated by the Rakghoul virus. It was available during the Rakghoul plague epidemic event in April, and is no longer available. The Crimson Rakling pet came from the scavenger-hunt quest, and a similar Pale Rakling was available from the event vendor on Tatooine. The only way to get a Rakling now (the Midnight Rakling) is to defeat the last boss of the Lost Island flashpoint in hard mode.
Diminutive spiky demon-mutants never looked so adorable.
There is, again, no exact canonical lore pertaining to Rakghouls or Raklings. Rakghouls first appeared in Knights of the Old Republic, and spread to the Expanded Universe from there. However, there is one particular ugly, nasty bipedal pet that is seen in the movies:
Salacious B. Crumb likes shiny objects.
Salacious B. Crumb, the Kowakian Monkey-Lizard pet of Jabba the Hutt. If Kowakian Monkey-Lizards are ever added to the game, I'll probably ditch the Rakling and get one of those instead. In the meantime, I have a nasty-looking helper-monkey of my own. I use this pet on my Powertech - he's a Cybertech by trade, and the Crimson Rakling looks like it would be as fascinated with small shiny objects as Salacious B. Crumb was.
There's a scene in Episode IV: A New Hope where Darth Vader enters Princess Leia's prison cell to interrogate her about the Rebel Alliance. He informs her that they will be discussing the location of the hidden rebel base, and a floating black droid hovers in, menacing Leia with its assortment of needles and probes. The door to the cell slams closed, and the scene ends with an Imperial soldier marching off down the detention area's hallway. As a kid, this scene terrified me - you have no idea what that droid is going to do to the poor young woman in the cell, but the menacing needle and Vader's dark insistence are probably all you need to know.
Vader's Interrogation Droid
Dark Side characters can purchase a similar pet from the Dark Side vendor on fleet. It costs 25,000 credits and requires Dark Side III. Being a massive Vader fanboy, and having modeled my Juggernaut after the Man In Black, I had to get one of these. No Sith should be without one.
SWTOR's Interrogation Droid doesn't have as many cool accessories.
The Light Side counterpart of this droid is a Miniature Sand Crawler. Basically, it's a Mouse Droid with different paint and accessories. It's kind of boring - it doesn't come with little jawa action figures or anything. Yet another reason why the Dark Side is way better.
This is as good a reason as any to get the security key authenticator. You buy this droid from the security key vendors, and it's basically an astromech jukebox that stands there for about 30 seconds and plays cantina music.
DJ R.A.D. drops a beat.
There is no lore equivalent of a stationary jukebox droid in the movies, but the song the droid plays is the one that famously introduces the cantina scene in Episode IV. For the trivia junkies, the band playing the song is Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes, and the song title is "Mad About Me." In most games, and even on the soundtrack, the song's title is simply "Cantina Band" or "Cantina Band #1," but it was named "Mad About Me" in the book Tales from the Cantina, in the short story "Empire Blues: The Devaronian's Tale."
Figrin D'an drops a beat.
This is another security key vendor pet. It's really nothing more than a box on wheels that occasionally makes buzzing squeaks.
Seriously, who doesn't want a self-piloted RC car?
In Episode IV: A New Hope, Mouse Droids are found on the Death Star performing a number of simple functions. They are used to physically deliver coded messages or as "tour guides" to direct troops through the long, winding corridors of the massive battlestation. They fulfill a variety of functions, according to Expanded Universe lore - they can be programmed for maintenance, vermin extermination, message delivery, and any number of other menial functions. Think Kenneth the page on 30 Rock.
Evidently, they are also capable of experiencing emotion. Or, at the very least, fear. In Episode IV: A New Hope, Chewbacca terrifies one when he roars at it while pretending to be captive, causing it to flee, shrieking in terror. and in Episode III, a young Darth Vader terrifies a group of small ones while stalking down the hallway of the Separatist base on Mustafar.
The droid equivalent of rats.
There are other cool pets in the game, but these are the ones that are closest to my own heart because of their association with lore. Got a favorite pet you want to share? Let us know in our comments!