Damion Schubert, Lead Designer for SWTOR, answered some questions on the forums playable races.
Quote: Originally Posted by Lium
This is one of the few aspects of SWTOR that is a real turn-off to me and quite puzzling. I don’t understand why there wasn’t more variety for playable species in a Star Wars game, a universe known for its alien creatures.
Next two playable races | 01.18.2013, 12:01 AM
Making an alien race fully human playable is a huge amount of work, at least if you want to give players the level of customization options that they have come to expect. It takes a lot of work to make all of the customization options work together and look good, while still ensuring people still can find looks that are unique to each other.
The Togruta provide a unique problem in this regard, in regards to the tentacles. Yes, the Twi’leks have tentacles too, but they are typically behind the player, whereas the Togruta’s canonically drape across the front of the character. This means that they struggle to work with the existing animations and gear without clipping — indeed, the first screenshot you see for Ashara if you google her is one with her chin ridiculously clipping through her tentacle. While this may be acceptable for a companion who is frequently offscreen while fighting, or NPCs who we can dress and pose carefully, its much more problematic for player characters who need to be able to wear anything and perform any animation and still look good. (The Twi’leks clip somewhat as well, but much art was tweaked to make this a lot less prevalent than it otherwise would have been)
I’m not trying to pour cold water in the species discussion. Quite the opposite – if the Cathar do well, I hope to expand your options even more, and we should know the answer to that ‘soonish’. I just don’t want anyone to think that just because an alien is currently in the game as an NPC, that it is trivial to turn it into player art — it’s a TON of work to do that, and do it well.