Will the space stage be similar to Spore's, where the player only controls one ship and, indirectly, a small group of allied ships, or will it be more akin to a 4X RTS game, where the player directs fleets and planets while conducting negotiations and planning actions for the entire empire? Or would the player be able to choose between the two during play?
Skews very heavily to the latter. Depending on how we design the basic granularity of control for the civilization stages, you might not have total control over all actions everywhere, but instead, for example, command a fleet to take particular strategic goals, with the fleet AI doing the work of managing the operation.
There might also be semi-independent economic entities within your space empire, for example, space corporations in a capitalist system.
We're still working out exactly how we can make a workable game model with that much flexibility, and it's quite obviously not going to be an urgent priority yet, but I'm hopeful that we'll manage something that lets these kinds of things happen.
After all, if we don't have any FTL communications tech (beyond, say, small FTL messenger drones), then any interstellar operation would by its very nature have to be very independent. Same thing applies to historical military operations before the telegraph, of course, so we'd be able to use the same model for both, which is nice.
There should definately be ftl comms. Maybe a system similar to master of orion with the player being able to micromanage each colony world, but with systems for autonomy of certain things like production, and without warp points. Any ship with an apropriate drive should be able to travel between any system, the only factor should be increased travel time for longer voyages. The star fleets should also be under direct player control, otherwise it wouldn't be fun. But yes, a 4x direct control system would be way more fun!