I don't understand what to do. First I'm waiting for a reply to join a faction. That's taking forever. Then I'm stuck in Mos Eisley. How do I leave Tatooine or get a local job, or, when I have enough credits, buy ships? I don't understand the interface really...
Assuming you have set your location and are currently in a city, certain people should appear on your map; if you walk over to them and then hit "Scanner" and then hit "Hail" beside their name, they will talk to you...often giving you hints or details about the game.
No, it's not really *important*, it's just helpful, especially if you're new. Most important thing to do, however, is to join a faction as soon as you find something that appeals to you. This game is not designed for freelancers, and it's very hard for them to get started, so it helps to receive a salary, assigned ship, and meet some new people.
Tutorial NPCs will always show up yellow. Those are the most informative to talk to. I believe that other NPCs and people both just display by alignment color, where green = friendly, red = not friendly, blue = mix of both (er.. hope I got those right; I'm currently unable to scan, but it shows you a key).
Anyhow, hailing people in game doesn't really accomplish anything since few people will actually be online at the time or even paying attention, and if you're at a starting location there's a very good chance you're hailing someone who's inactive. (: Communication with other players is mainly done through regular means like IRC, ICQ, e-mail, and forums to coordinate.