This one is something I am having big trouble getting my head around, so I think it's worthy of a thread on its own. (That probably means it'll be answered with perfect clarity in a single short paragraph, but oh well.)
There are actually several questions here, but they are all related to the same basic concept: how much of the world (that is, each planet, and also, the galaxy) is created before playing each planet. The mission creation rules suggest: pretty much nothing, except what is needed for the currnet plaent. But some sections of the rules don't seem to work at all with this assumption.
1. The Star Killer: after hearing the briefing, choose to use it and vape the star system. Then go to the Mission briefing for the next planet.
First, the rules tell us that the players don't know the AA or Special Ability of the aliens till after they make contact with the enemy, so how can they know when it's a good idea to use this resource?
2. Ranks: players of high ranking characters may sometimes give the mission briefing.
How does this work, when the GM creates the planet? Does the GM says - "the plaent is like this, this is what is known of the aliens. With this background, what sort of mission do you want to do?"
Actually, I could see that working, so it's not a biggie, but it fits in with the general theme of this post.
3. This paragraph on page 48 leapt out at me as if it was flashing neon; i've put certain bits in bold:
"Also note that when PCs become Officers you should allow them
to deﬁne what Missions are and which planets they are setting
course for. As the GM you will be choosing the planet Special
Abilities, but the highest ranking PC may well be driving where
the group is going in the ﬁction. Possibly back towards Terra."
I may be being too literal, but I honestly cannot see how this can work without a gazeteer of planets created in advance, that the players know about.