If you’re like many MMO fans out there, you are anxiously awaiting a release date for BioWare’s new story-driven MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Other than “holiday 2011,” BioWare is keeping a tight lip on when we can expect the mass rush to fulfill our lifetime dreams of becoming a Jedi or a Sith.

In the meantime, here are a few ideas to get you prepared for the big release:

5. Check out your computer hardware

The minimum system requirements for SWTOR can be found on swtor.com. (Check out the bottom of the page. Although the FAQs still say no system requirements have been announced, the requirements are listed at the bottom of the pre-order page.)

Still having doubts of whether your system will be able to handle the flare a lightsaber opening day? If you’re currently sporting an OS that can play games like World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online or even the semi-newly released Rift, you should be good to go when your pre-order early play becomes active!

4. Familiarize yourself with BioWare’s other RPG games

If you’re not already familiar with BioWare’s RPG games, you should check some of them out. The Mass Effect and Dragon Age series are amazing examples of BioWare’s dedication to producing story-driven games. Do I forget I’m supposed to be fighting things and think I’m directing my own movie when I’m playing Dragon Age II?  Why yes, yes I do.

Familiarize yourself with BioWare’s dialogue choices. For the most part, you’ll have three choices: good, bad and comedic. You can bet you’ll be seeing similar styles in SWTOR.

3. Brush up on your Star Wars trivia

Do you know the difference between a Miraluka and a Mirialan? No? You may want to before you jump in and start playing as one. What about a Trandoshan and a Chiss? One’s a dinosaur and one’s blue. Take some time to learn the facts! When in doubt, there’s always wookieepedia.com.

2. Watch the movies!

And no, I’m not talking about the trailers swtor.com releases every Friday (though I’ve added 20+ views to each of them myself…). I’m talking about the movies that started it all! George Lucas hit the target on the money when he introduced us to a young Luke Skywalker, a scantily-clad Princes Leia and the scruffy Han Solo.

It’s always best to stick with the originals, but you may also want to check out I, II, and III – if only for the epic battle scenes with lots of lightsabers and an army of wookiees. (Can we forget about Jar-Jar?)

1. Play KOTOR!

First and foremost, the best way to prepare for SWTOR is to play its predecessor, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It’s available through Steam for $9.99. You may run into some crash issues and video glitches. Ironically, you’ll probably see glitches if your computer actually meets the requirements for SWTOR. There’s a plethora of suggested fixes out there, including operating Steam as an administrator, downloading the latest video drivers, playing the game optimized for a past version of Windows, or the option that worked for me: changing the .ini file to allow for a windowed mode.

Once you get the game going though, you’re in for a wild ride, one most of us have already gone through. But I suggest you revisit your quest for the Star Forge and brush up on some of the KOTOR storylines and jargon – you may be seeing them soon!