If you were hoping to play through Bethesda's new space RPG role-playing as a pacifist, then you're going to be sorely disappointed, as you will have to do just a teeny bit of killing before you roll credits.
Starfield's lead quest designer Will Shen took to Discord to answer fans questions on the game. Thankfully, a Reddit post has transcribed the Q&A, where Shen revealed that you won't be able to live out your peace-loving space dreams.
"I can’t guarantee every mission can be completed in pacifist mode," Shen says. "but we do have a couple of systems that will help. One system is our Speech Challenge game, where you can persuade someone to do something like not fight you. The speech challenge game is added in specific scripted moments, and we try to add one in to most quests where important characters confront you."
His colleague Emil Pagliarulo follows up with more clarity. "We talked about this very early on during pre-production, whether or not we would fully support a non-lethal playthrough," he says. "We realized that, for various reasons, that wasn’t totally feasible.
"Now, that being said, there are some good non-lethal options, whether through dialogue or by using a non-lethal weapon. Those can be used in certain situations, honestly a lot of situations, though I couldn’t comfortably say you can complete the entire game without any killing whatsoever."
So, it seems that during general gameplay you will have the option to use your linguistic wits or non-lethal weapons to get out of sending your adversaries to an early grave.
With that said, as there is now confirmation it can never be totally 'pacifist', we can only assume that during a cutscene - or time when the player has no control - you will have to kill someone.
This might hamper those who want to truly embrace what we think Gandi's vision of space would look like, but for those who want to go full Darth Vader, it won't make much of a difference.