I happily stole my new ship a few days ago. I was grinning as I flew out of the dock – it’s great to see the animation – and not long after tried my first space ship mission. Lots of fun! Good exp too. Those I’ve completed so far gave 10K exp each, plus a fleet commendation token.
The ship gives you a new companion, a brown-nosing annoying droid who you can summon to act as a healer. I found that the ‘parts’ and ‘core’ equipment drops I’d sometimes seen in mission rewards are for him. He doesn’t wear boots like we do, as a Droid, he equips parts, core, and a few other odd items. If you summon him as companion (from crew window), you can check him out. He starts with no gear.
Cybertech crew skill lets you craft new gear for your Droid. Probably more important for a Jedi Knight since their first companion is like R2D2.
Ship upgrades are important
I failed my second space mission because I hadn’t upgraded my ship. I didn’t know you could, actually. The ship has slots for gear upgrades just like you and your Droid do. I only have one upgrade installed in this image:
On the Imperial Fleet, this is where the ship upgrades vendor is located. The speeder vendor is in the same bay as the ship upgrades vendor, for when you get them at L25, but remember to get the speeder skill first from your class trainer (switch to his vehicle tab to train).
There is also a vendor who sells items which cost Fleet Commendations, including a fancy set of pilot’s armour (the bounty hunter gear makes me look like a deep sea diver, so I don’t think I’ll get it) or fancy weapon slot upgrades. I believe the gear – tooltip shows light armour – automatically scales up to meet your armour type, which is heavy for Hunters.
That guide gives more detail on ship upgrade choices, plus how to complete a few early missions.