The stereotypical gamer is an overweight greasy sack of crap hiding out in a basement while screaming for Mom to bring down more Cheetos. Nobody wants to be that guy, because everybody laughs at that guy. Also, that guy is also the stereotypical Internet troll, and you don't want them. They're ugly and smell funny.
See you just lost all credibility right there by insulting hardcore gamers. I'm a hardcore gamer; I'm also a full-time student at a 4 year university with a double major. I'm a NCAA Division 1 (albeit far from the top) student-athlete. And I get on an hour or two a day to finish dailies and raid on the weekends with my guild. So fix your **** before you around insulting hardcore gamers.
As to your OP, no you don't have to do them to get the commendations, except for the few daily commendations if you want to do those. The whole point of an MMO is to be able to socialize and play with other people. Sometimes that takes time to find. Go the the space station and ask. If you don't want to put up with it and decide you're going to solo an entire game alone you should just go back to KotOR where you won't have to "waste" your money on a subscription.