For the record, there will be a "grace period," in which those currently playing Star Wars: The Old Republic may still continue their character's progress on the full title they've purchased, when that arrives. Previously, BioWare had suggested there would be no such "grace period."
This is important because some are depending upon the shipment of physical goods, and with no grace period, if the boxed game didn't arrive on launch day, then anything these players had accomplished or earned in that first week of early access would be lost, and they'd have to start over.
BioWare's Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, the development firm's co-founders, spelled out the grace period policy in this thread on the game's official forums.
They also clarified that the clock on the 30 days of game time, included with the game, starts when you redeem it, or if you happen to redeem the code before its midnight launch on Dec. 20, it will starts at 12:01 am EDT, Dec. 20.
Zeschuk and Muzyka acknowledged that the uncertainty over grace periods and game time "has been an issue for some of you," and apologized for the concerns they raised.