I think I remember an interview where they said there'll be plenty of lifeless rocks, they just aren't showing them in promo videos because they're not as trailer-exciting.
If the game had literally no functionality beyond "Explore space and name aliens", I'd still be well on board. But there's also trading, resource mining, piracy and space battles, alien races to learn the language of and communicate with, and an overarching fiction with a goal to get to the centre of the galaxy. However I do think if the idea of discovering never-before-seen worlds isn't appealing, you might not get as much out of it. But just that concept alone makes me giddy as a school girl.