My suggestion, and what I did with my 3rd group, is let them play jedi. Let them find out what it’s like to be a jedi in this time period, in this part of the world.
Use pre-made player characters. Make up some full on Jedi powers, or use one of the posts on these boards. Use the first game session, or two, to create the setting. After that, have the players make their own characters and start the real campaign.
When I set the party, I made two full on Jedi – a counselor and a knight. I also had a “doc”, a bounty hunter, and a gun.
Things started out well enough, on an outer rim planet, un-charted, named Draxlor. It is populated, etc… This stuff wasn’t important to the game, it was just background for me to get the atmosphere going. The crap hit the fan the second they got into combat, the doc got pickpocked by a local gang member and cought the guy doing it. The rest of the gang showed up and the situtation escalated. Fight broke out , gangers pulled knifes, the jedi knight pulled the saber… that drew attention, he further force pushed a dude during that combat, and launched the baddie a good 20 ft.
That let the population know he was a “force type”, presumably a jedi. Then it was “on”.
First the general population believes the jedi were the reason the empire exists, because that’s what they are/were told…. "The jedi were traitors". It's Imperial TV, it's been drilled into everyone's head for the last 20 years. The lack of education in the outter rims leads to more ignorance, and that leads to further belief in what's told, and so on… (This is all in the movies, and supporting media), you're not inventing anything that isn't there, you're just being accurate).
From there, the locals started either actively attempting to kill/capture the jedi characters or they were on informing the empire as to the wearabouts of the "force users" for the reward monies (The wanted posters everywhere with the rewards listed---half million for the body, 50K for information leading to the capture/kil of a jedil).
When people live in the ghetto that kind of cash is a pretty strong motivation.
The party started getting ambushed by street gangs, local bounty hunters, etc… After a time the Empire would have sent troopers to detain the characters, but the jedi didn’t live long enough for them to get there.
The non-jedi in the party started realizing what a hassle it was to have the jedi/force users with them and started to try to ditch them when they had “things” to do.
All said and done, by the end of the first adventure, the bounty hunter (other player character), found out how much the bounty was on the jedi (all jedi, not just they players), she, the politico, and the doc were the ones that actually killed one of them, and were directly responsible for the death of the second one by luring them into an ambush with local law enforcement. (Remember the jedi are legally wanted) That means nowhere to hide, the cops want them for “crimes” and everyone else wants them for financial reasons.
Once you set the atmosphere, the game should manage itself as far as characters are concerned. I had two die hard jedi players and neither play a jedi, or even a force user. The characters they did make are trying to help the few jedi that are left by finding hiding planets and establishing an “underground railroad” type thing, linke an early version of the rangers, however they are not jedi, nor do they wish to be.
Don’t force the game, let it play naturally. If it goes on long enough and the rest of the party doesn’t turn on them (at some point) then the empire does show up eventually. Have a detachment of storm troopers show up and start razing the city looking for them, start killing civilians in town, because they are "hiding the jedi". Jedi shouldn't stay in hiding when innocents are being murdered for their protection. That's an automatic darkside. Feel free to kill all the players in the group, as they are “known associates”.
To play an actual jedi in this time period one would have to be away from everyone else, basically isolated, and that’s a pretty boring game to play. Once the players realize this, they tend to avoid them.
NOTE: Due to the obligation system the characters (jedi), are already standing on questionable grounds mororals of the jedi code are not in line with what crime lords want from their indentured servents. In my game it didn’t take long for the counselor to start slipping to the dark side, not that he was committing the crime (wet work), but he didn’t stop it when the other characters did, not that he even could have if he intended to. It’s a no win situation, and the jedi will eventually fall to the darkside completely. My whole point was to make the characters realize that it was a “no win situation” a foregone conclusion, but I didn’t come out and say such, I just let the story play out and let the players draw their own conclusions.
Anyway, that’s how I did it. And I didn’t have to tell the characters “no”, and stayed completely in agreed upon canon. In fact the games were a great deal of fun and that group is still going strong after 3 months.
Hope it helps,