Actually, it is a free-to-play option
Starting on November 15th, Bioware and EA will pull the covers off what the company is referring to as its Free-To-Play Option for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The free-to-play option will come with the 1.5 update.
The free-to-play option is Bioware’s attempt to expose the game to the widest possible audience, and allowing everyone to download the game for no charge to play levels 1 to 50 (without having to purchase anything) is perhaps the best possible introduction to the game.
Within the game, SWTOR will now have a cash shop, or what the game calls the Cartel Market, where players can buy and shop with Cartel Coins (the currency within the game). More details are coming next week when it will be released.