Force Absorb was used by Vader in ESB. It's how he absorbed Han's blaster shots. Those aren't Padawan braids, that's just part of the Consular's hair style. She has one on each side of her head, and Jedi didn't have padawan braids in this era. Explosions are fiery red, that's how they work in SW. Blasters use different gasses for the cartridges, thus different colors. Others are saying the grenade was a Cryoban grenade, which also explains the blue color. We know Troopers can tank in TOR, so that Trooper surviving with ease is no big deal. Plus the Trooper got some big scratches to his face and armor. Malgus was mostly already scarred from the Trooper using a flak cannon or something in the first wave of the assault. The grenade didn't do much more damage to him. You know why we didn't see any Storm/Clone Troopers in KotOR? Because we never saw any of the Republic's ground force armies. All we saw were Sith Troopers, so that's why.
The X-Wing was not that dramatically better than the ARC-170. It was just a matter of preference for the new hotness over the old stuff. The Y-Wing is 25 years old, but it's still one of the best damn bombers you can find. And what Republic Armor in KotOR and TSL? All you saw were Sith Troopers, not the Republic's main army like we're seeing in TOR.