People make it sound like that they just copied and pasted the movies into TOR. Yes, they're using a lot of the elements from the movie, it's a smart move in terms of an MMO that's trying to attract a very wide variety of Star Wars fans who are among the hardcore like us and who are just the casual ones who recognise things from the movies they watch occasionally but aren't crazy into it like we are.
That said, I still feel like a lot of the designs with all of the assets stand on their own as well. I've spent hundreds of hours on the game so I can see which styles are influenced by the OT and PT/Clone Wars and which aren't and you start to see a nice mix happening as you go through the game.
Added to that, 1.2 is adding a hell of a lot of new designs to the mix and I've gotten to see a lot of them while playing through the Public Test Server, the designs are moving away from the OT/PT/CW designs people keep bitching about and we're about to get some pretty interesting gear coming our way.
From the looks of it, they're trying to draw in the masses with the OT/PT/CW style but are slowly moving into more unique territory as the game progresses its ongoing development.