This Thursday the 9th, BioWare will take down the Star Wars: The Old Republic servers to perform unscheduled maintenance. During this window, servers will be offline but will return with the need to download a patch.
Quote from BioWareThe servers and SWTOR.com will be down for two hours on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 from 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM EDT/8 AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 4AM CDT (2AM PDT/5AM EDT/10AM BST/11AM CEST/7PM AEST). All game servers will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than two hours, but could be extended.
After the maintenance, please login via the launcher to download the latest patch. If your launcher was open during the maintenance, you must close and reopen it for a fresh login.
To find out more about this unscheduled maintenance window, head on over to the official post.