Do I need a tinfoil hat to participate?
No, but it helps.
Honestly, I would really prefer it if I was wrong... If it turns out to be true it could generate a ton of bad press and flat out kill the game. For the most part, it's a really good game.
Actually, by the sounds of it, this could actually go a long way to making the game MORE playable on lesser PCs, since the strain of rendering is on the internet connection, and not the local graphics card.
SOME of the rendering: what I've seen so far sounds like it's mostly or entirely the character models it's affecting. Your computer still has to splice the different bits together.
Additionally, it's possible that the remote renderer is in fact the second swtor.exe process that runs when the game is open: the assets could still be on the server, sent to the second process in what they consider to be a secure way, securely unpacked, rendered, and sent over to the other process (the actual client).
Several of the methods listed in the research paper outlining it admit to having substantial performance hits, and the first listed and also touted as the most secure is...software rendering. If the second process was software rendering parts of the gameworld and remoting it over to the client, that could explain some of the apparent CPU related problems as well.