Quick question on standard game, what bonus cards does luke get in the standard game? in the front of rule book it only says gather cards- in the back in squad building it says that in standard game plays will have 31 points (luke is 28, so i assume 3 point for cards) but the imperial player only has 28 since his two pilots=28 and have no bonus cards…
If you're looking to keep it simple for out of the box play, with a new player, stick to strictly what it suggests in the front of the book; take the 3 pilot cards it mentions; Luke, Night Beast, Obsidian Squadron pilot and play with those forces.
It's a 28 point squad per side, so the totals are equal. When it says to gather cards, it would just be referring to the pilot cards for the ships, in addition to the tokens that go on the ship bases, put the shield tokens on Luke and get playing. The TIE's in question cannot take upgrade cards.
Consider that the "intro squad build".
At the back of the book, under squad building on page 21, when it mentions using 31 point forces using only the core box, you can use whatever combination of pilots and upgrades you want to run. Remember, it also states that the Imperial side gets first pick of upgrades. Since the "intro squad" Imperial ships cannot take upgrade cards, you would be limited in your options, so feel free to swap out Night Beast for Mauler Mithel and the Determination upgrade to make an even 31 points, but there are other options.
Luke could take Marksmanship to also get to 31 points.
Other 31 point build options out of the Core Set (correct me if I'm wrong, someone);
Red Squadron Pilot (Proton Torpedoes, R2-D2)
Luke Skywalker (R2-F2)
Anything else would have you come up short in points, which is fine of course, so don't worry about getting 31 points exactly. The way the Rulebook provides for just using those three specific ships on their own is a great way to introduce the game, so a new player doesn't have to worry about the abilities on their upgrade cards, and can focus on the basics of learning to use the movement dial, choosing an action from their pilots available choices, and rolling dice to attack and defend.
I had great success actually letting a new player pick anything they wanted to use, so they chose to fly the X-Wing, as Luke Skywalker, with R2-D2, Proton Torpedoes, and Marksmanship, and I built my TIE's around that points total, which was actually 39 points if I'm remembering correctly. Ultimately, feel free to do whatever gets the best response from you and your opponent, in terms of learning the game, then go out and score yourself at least one more X-Wing and either a TIE Fighter or TIE Advanced expansion (or a second Core Set) and spice up the games a little with the extra ships.