FFG's Star Wars is skills-based (like the stuff from White Wolf or Shadowrun), not level-based like d20. Careers are roughly equivalent to d20's classes, and talents are roughly equivalent to d20 feats. A starting non-Force-using PC in FFGSW is considerably harder to kill than a level-1 character in d20, and is more capable in terms of skills use. OTOH, Force-users in this system are far weaker than in any other SWRPG. They don't become effective as Force-users until they achieve Knight-level (which is considered to be 150 XP) or not far from it (in my experience, at least 100xp), depending on how the character has been developed.
The game that I am currently running is EotE-based, and none of the PCs are Force-sensitive. Whether the players transition in the future to become Rebels is something that the players will have to decide for themselves, if ever. At present they don't even know how to contact anyone in the Rebellion, nor have any of them expressed any hint that they might want to try to. With the unfortunate departure of Teknon from gaming, the party now lacks a player controlling the absolutely critical role of a face character. Anyone joining this game may take over Teknon's face character (who has already earned 15xp), or create a new one of their own (with zero xp). I have openings for 1-2 characters (one must be a face). The archetypical roles of close-combat, medic, and tech are already spoken for. What the party lacks, besides a face, is a rogue (key attribute: Cunning; key skill: Skulduggery; lesser skills: Deception, Streetwise, Stealth), an ace pilot (a useful role, but not a critical one), and a heavy gunner (also useful, but even less critical than a good pilot).
By 'role' I mean a character that is built (and optimized) to be as effective as possible for a very narrowly focused purpose. That means pumping up one key attribute and usually only 1-2 skills. For the following roles, that would be:
- Face - Presence; Charm + Negotiation
- Tech - Intellect; Computers + Mechanics
- Rogue - Cunning; Skulduggery
- Medic - Intellect; Medicine
- Ace Pilot - Agility; Piloting (Space)
- Close-combat - Brawl; Melee
- Gunner - Agility; Gunnery + Ranged (Heavy)
I haven't reviewed the current PCs in our game, but I suspect that none of them are built as well as they could be for their roles. I, as GM, and the players, have all learned a lot about this system since we began the game last year. And, before anyone asks, yes, I will allow the players to rebuild their characters if they wish to do so. If any of you want my advice/opinion on what you might do, please feel welcome to ask me.