I'm rather new with FFG Star Wars and I'm in the process of creating my first character. Given the multitude of choices available, and the amount of future talents and possible options, I've decided here for help, hoping that someone can help me create a character that I'll be happy -- and a character that will be efficient mechanically as well as I know there is nothing worse than having a great concept in your mind but being unable to actually achieve it with the game mechanics. So I'm looking for some advice as to make sure that the two are doable in the way I want.
My idea is a cocky but charismatic, hedonistic Zeltron who's a master duelist, both with swords and his words. Later on, I would like him to fight with two lightsabers, but for now, he'll start out with an Ancient Sword, a relic which belonged to one of his ancestors, and if you were to believe the rumors, a Sith Lord. The idea is to improve his fighting skills in order to be a great duelist and melee combatant -- and Makashi seems to be great for that but is it survivable? It seems to be, at least in melee thanks to lots of Parry, but is it enough in-game? Any other specialization that would greatly synergize with Makashi Duelist but maybe cover some defense problems?
I have read how important Characteristics are, so I was thinking of spending all (or almost all) my starting experience in them. I'm unsure yet if my GM will allow me to play a Zeltron as presented in USM. If not, I'll choose Falleen as a species but refluff it into a Zeltron as their stats and power seem close enough to accurately portray a Zeltron. As for Characteristics, I'm not sure which ones I really need apart from Presence for all the charming and also lightsabering with Makashi, and, possibly Cunning for Deception and maybe some Skullduggery later on as I like to play charismatic rogues of sort. How badly does this concept need Brawn? Would I absolutely die the moment I enter combat if I left it at 1 (if using Falleen stats) and instead went for Cun 3, Will 3, Pre 4? Or would Brawn 2 or 3 be required given that I intend to be at the forefront fighting? With Zeltron I could go Brawn 3, Cun 3, Will 1, Pre 4, but with Falleen the best I can hope for is Brawn 2, Cun 3, Will 2, Pre 4... which doesn't seem bad to me, but I'm really looking for some advice from more experienced Mystics and others here.
EDIT. No USM, so I'll be using Falleen stats.
As for powers, I'm definitely getting Sense for the (tele-)empathic feeling of a Force-sensitive Zeltron and also the combat upgrade. I also want Influence and Misdirect as I love illusions.
For later specializations, I'm trying to decide between Seer (because I personally love the concept of any kind of seer or prophet or other future-seeing character; but also because it offers two Force Ratings and is in career), Niman Disciple (because it has Reflect and is the only lightsaber spec with FR increase), Shadow (for the stealth-y illusionist-y feeling), Charmer (it just seems perfect for the Face side of the character but I'm unsure how good it can be in this combination) and possibly Magus (if I decide to go further with that Ancient Sith Lord heritage... and once I've actually had a proper look at the specialization since I don't own the book yet).
What other things should I think about? Thanks a lot for any help!