To put it quite simply, I think LEC has learned its lesson, and is moving away from going with smaller teams and is instead now focusing on getting games RIGHT instead of getting games DONE. I just came from E3, and their stuff is REALLY impressive. The SW Galaxies is amazing, I can't wait to play it, especially since they're going to include space combat (my jaw dropped when I heard that). Also, Jedi Outcast (Jedi Knight II) looks FANTASTIC, and Knights of the Old Republic is also really promising. All of those titles are being developed by LARGE outside developers, instead of the smaller-sized developers they worked with previously. The LEC commitment is there now, where I think they went through a time where the commitment was more to getting a lot of cheaply-made SW games as opposed to a few expensive quality ones.
Ah, to answer the question on the sky texture - just one of those things that we never really expected to see with our camera angle the way it was. When we realized we needed to see across a vista like that, our programmers were beating many many many other features, so we made do.