In the last AP I ran I made the occasional use of "cut scenes" - giving the players the chance to play through some of the events that happen off screen from their regular characters by playing some of the background NPCs for part of a session.
Show rather than tell.
It was very effective in communicating the story to the players.
The thought I have is to begin the campaign with that idea.
Here's the outline:
1 - Before actual character generation, have each player build a 15 point npc classed character.
2 - Have the players experience the selection process through to the final step of the first wave selection, but will ultimately NOT be selected as a first wave colonist.
3 - Have the players generate their own PC characters for the second wave selection after having experienced the selection process once on another character.
4 - The NPC classed characters will be part of the second wave and join the PCs on their mission as second wave colonists.
5- The NPC classed characters will be used on a recurring basis to show the players things that their actual characters are not their for.