First is Politics The Wavefront Empire and its opponents, the Rebellions. The Wavefront Empire is so vast that there are several rebellions going on which are not necessarily even aware of each other. Where you fit on that axis is vitally important, because it - to a large extent - determines the focus of your play.
Second is Clan. Clans are allied families, and are created as Associations, with all sorts of assets. Clans can back an individual's play, or they can disavow them, because an individual can drag their Clan into bad situations as well as lead them to greatness. The trick is knowing which is which.
Third is Guild. Your career is within the Guilds, and you must choose on as your Primary. Your income, your status, and your personal possessions all stem from your standing within your Primary Guild. When you create your character, each Guild has its own Template Tree based on its Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary skills.
To create a character, you take the species sheet, which gives you base attributes, base skills, some edges and negative edges. All the species are offshoots of Humanity, Then you modify the species attributes for an individual. Then choose your background - Poor, Middle Class, Wealthy, whatever - which gives you some starting skills, an edge, and an attribute bonus. Then you choose your Adolescent Boost - an implant placed in your brain at puberty, which gives you a final few skills, an edge, and an attribute bonus. Then you choose your Primary Guild and buy templates from the Guild Tree using points depending on the character's age.