Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer talks companions. One is a Jawa with a rocket launcher
Trying to tell a sweeping story in an MMO where every hero is following a similar plot arc is going to lead to some jarring contrivances. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the most striking of these is likely to be the companion system. Companions will act much like team mates in other Bioware games. By selecting the correct responses and giving them gifts, your relationship with them will change, and they'll open up more about their past, kicking off new quests.
But imagine attacking an imperial base with your very own equivalent of Chewbacca, and then suddenly running into another hero with their own version of your companion. It'll be odd, as though you've both managed to catch the same giant hairy Pokemon. Bioware are hoping to avoid this awkwardness with the addition of 40 possible companions. Each of them can be given different appearances, and can be levelled up to your own specifications. Find out more in the developer diary above, spotted on Gamespot.