[RPG] How to tell your players about the setting without make them read


I'm a (quite) new GM who's going to start a Traveller campaign, where my players don't know anything about the setting (be it the canon one or a modified one).

I tried to sum the basic setting concepts (Imperium government description, major races, galactic directions, jump, law levels etc.) in few pages for them to read, so when they'll start they'll know something about it. I didn't liked to do it but I told them that would be the only thing they would have to read, so please read it (and that's true).

Problem is, of course they never read it, even if those were few pages.
Since I'm new at this, I don't really know how to tell them about the basic setting facts without doing a boring introduction or making them read these things.
Can you suggest me some ways to handle it?

I am referring to the general setting, not specific places (or people or things).
My problem is more "How can I explain them the Star Wars universe?" (with this I mean a general overview like Rebels and Empire, Jedi, hyperspace etc) than "How can i tell them about Tatooine/Jedi/Darth Vader etc?".

One of my friends suggested me to prepare a short pre-quest for every one of my players in order to tell them a little of the setting each. It is a similar approach to the suggestion @GMJoe gave me in his comment and @Sardathrion's answer.

Best Answer

One off game(s)

If the group is open to it, pre-gen some characters and run through a few simple one-session (3-4 hours long) games that detail a little of the background. In Travellers, an Out of Gas scenario can allow you (with judicious choice of pre-gen character) to introduce a lot of background: When you focus on the back story of one of the PC, the rest play NPCs thus getting a lot of exposure. This could even be your opening pilot episode for the game -- pre-gens are the PCs.

Edit after comment: I agree with CatLord in his comment below. However, I was not advocating anything more than a (short) paragraph of NPCs' descriptions/characterisation. After all, they will play those for 10/15 minutes maximum. There's not point in those NPCs being anything but card board cut outs. But I did not make that clear. Hopefully, it now is.

Second, if your players "do not know how to play", then you have another problem. I assume that the players are mature enough to know what role playing is and how to do it.