BioWare's community manager Sean Dahlberg wrote at the forums that space combat will be a part of the Star Wars: The Old Republic gameplay:

"If you’ve been following the news coming out of the Star Wars: The Old Republic panel at Comic-Con International, you’ve heard the announcement that we will indeed have Space Combat as part of the TOR experience.”

"Space combat is an alternative gameplay experience to the primary game of storytelling, questing, and ground-based combat. In space combat, you fly your personal ship to various hot spots on your galaxy map. From there, you will blast your way through asteroid fields, enemy fighters, frigates, destroyers, and a variety of other obstacles that will evoke memories of some of the great Star Wars space battles."

More about space combat will be revealed in the next issue of PC Gamer.