Electronic Arts' plan to topple the Activision-owned World of Warcraft gets underway in earnest on December 13, when those who have pre-ordered the game are granted a week's advantage.
The game is not due for official launch until December 20, but many have been trying it out as part of a beta testing program: 725,000 participants logged in between November 25-28.
The Old Republic takes place 3,500 years before the six Star Wars films, though the Jedi and Sith are still mortal enemies.
Players can choose to become Bounty Hunters, Sith Warriors, Jedi Knights, Republic Commandos and Smugglers, with a host of planets to visit that include Hoth, Tatooine, and Coruscant.
Electronic Arts and developer BioWare (Dragon Age, Mass Effect) are targeting both experienced online gamers and fans of the Star Wars universe.
Their task is to persuade prospective players to dig out $15/€13/£9 a month for the pleasure of galavanting around George Lucas's universe.