Maybe it's because I grew up on those films alongside the development and implementation of the home computer, the video game industry, and the dawn of wireless communications and the internet. I remember when all phones were analog and corded, when television was only what was broadcast over the airwaves, and when computer data was limited to what stack of floppy disks you had sitting in the library. I bought into the communications tech level of Star Wars as seemingly permanently stuck in the era the films came out in, and I was okay with that.
Even the prequels did little to counter what's come before. Information is still delivered in person, communications still very line-of-sight and broadcast based. Heroes have to walk around to find junk dealers, or visit specific people to uncover information about rare weapon technology.
But invariably, there's always someone in one of my games who tries to apply the technologies of today to Star Wars. They want to use computer skills to look up information about everything, applying tech like the internet and Google and Wikipedia as galactic sources of information. They are under the assumption that everything is networked, and every computer system can be accessed remotely. That vast amounts of information can be sent electronically.
There was a discussion over on the FFG boards titled The Google Effect and upon reading it the poster
[The] Star Wars setting is NOT an Information Society. They manage perfectly well without everyone broadcasting personal information everywhere or running blogs and creating Wiki encyclopedia. Indeed, they would probably respond to suggestions that they should with very good reasons why they don't want to.Most of his posts in the thread involve a discussion on the type of tech in Star Wars, that it's not electromagnetic-radiation based communication (or if it is, it's not like we have today). The Holonet is not the internet of today; it can share some things like the internet (news sites, government alerts) but it's not the be-all information source from anywhere in the galaxy. You're certainly not using it to hack a database from across the sector.
He presents an interesting argument that the level of holographic communication (that allows for real time conversation from light years away) could theoretically suffer from a limited bandwidth issue, which is why holo-communications are so "low tech".
In Star Wars, a droid the size of an office copy machine floating around a back-water world looking for evidence of Rebel Bases takes a grainy picture of a shield generator and sends it off to the Empire hundreds of light years away. Darth Maul's probe droids have to fly back to get him to show him where Qui-Gon and Padme are on Tatooine. Droids have to plug in to terminals directly to manipulate doors, schematics, and to issue commands. The biggest system Artoo is able to access on the Death Star is the garbage smasher schedule and reset it; the only reason he could do that was because the Death Star is probably the largest computer network ever, he was inside of it, and he could only access minor systems commands. He couldn't remotely deactivate the tractor beam, or let the Princess out of her cell, or turn off the alarms from Cell Block AA-23.
I wonder if the reason is generational. Or maybe it's simply that we've gotten so accustomed to having our smartphones and internet so close at hand that we can no longer imagine a universe with any sort of advanced technology not having that tech.
I'm kinda curious what "technological advancements" we see in Episode VII. Will there be an obvious internet-like system, or will the tech stay the same?
Guess we'll find out in 13 months.
May the dice be with you.