Originally Posted by DaveW
Does this mean you can save the game just before opening a footlocker, then keep opening it, reloading, opening it, reloading until you get something cool?
Items contained in chests and carried by enemies are randomly chosen when first entering a new area. Item sold by merchants are determined when talking with them first time.
Are random items good ? It depends. I had at a time something like 10 different green saber crystals picked up from dead sith jedi (!) and none red despite obvious use in their lightsabers. Have you ever picked up a viridian crystal? I happened to find one on Telos very early. Too bad I re-loaded that area because I screwed up another quest I couldn't find any other during the whole course of the game.
Random items are good unless they screw balance. I couldn't find any decent robe for my jedis but ended having dozens of high quality heavvy armor. What's the point of having merchants who sell random stuff when you can find everything in crates for free or assembling it by yourself ?
EDIT; Oh, btw, it seems I'm not alone : http://www.gamespy.com/articles/588/588057p1.html