One of the frequently-voiced concerns about Star Wars: The Old Republic is the possibility that the non-Force classes will wind up becoming almost irrelevant. Who's going to pay attention to being a spy when you can wield an energy sword and fling lightning, right? As a matter of fact, the Imperial Agent would like very much if no one ever notices they exist. They're quite happy to stand in the background and never be observed, because as the latest developer's entry explains, that's precisely what the Agent does best. They exist in the shadow, the man of many faces and a hundred names, a presence whose influence is strongest when it isn't evident at all.
Star Wars: The Old Republic faces the difficult task of making the Sith -- traditionally the villains of the franchise -- into a playable and likable faction rather than monolithic evil. As the developer entry points out, the Imperial Agent is a major part of that, of giving the chance to look at someone who is quite possibly a proud citizen of the Empire and happy to serve in keeping the peace and bring down the Republic. It's also a look at the parts between the lines of the films, the spies and intel operators whose role was important but whose faces were rarely seen. But you might decide not to look at the full discussion of the class anyway -- and as we've mentioned, really, that's what the agent would want.