I do agree that the creative team, and Kathy in particular, have really used the "it's all practical" mantra specifically in an attempt to win back the prequel-bashing fandom. It was definitely overkill how much they'd talk about it, and it was disingenuous to suggest this was a production that would be made as if it were produced in the 80s. The BTS video in particular was eye-rolly in that regard. However, I do recall JJ repeatedly talking about how many thousands of VFX shots there are in TFA and how incredible ILM's work on the picture was. His commentary was basically "yes, we are using sets, locations and practical FX, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking this isn't a show largely run in a computer."
But can you really blame Disney for taking that PR line back in 2014-15? From a business perspective, saying "this isn't going to be like the PT" was a perfectly reasonable position to take. Outside the fandom, Star Wars didn't exactly leave the cinema landscape on the best possible terms (especially if you take the horrible CW movie into account) and the brand needed to reassert itself using nostalgia. LFL pushed the angle that this would be just like the OT because they needed the dialogue around Star Wars to become respectable again...and it worked. Put yourself back into pre-TLJ 2017: Star Wars just had back to back critical, fan and box office hits and it was never cooler to be a fan.
All of that said, I probably would have trusted the public a little more and leaned into the original cast coming back, continuing a story from thirty years ago and not really using the PT as the anti-Star Wars, but I'm already a day one ticket holder. Whatever.
All of that aside, and irrespective of how well-made the Disney-era films are (I'd argue they all generally are despite Solo having absolutely nothing to say or add), royalguard96 is right: this entire ST venture will all be creatively shallow if it doesn't provide a strong reason for why the Skywalker story had to continue post-ROTJ. I haven't read the reports and so I'm still hopeful that it will. I do think TLJ made JJ's task way, way harder than it needed to be because of how little Rian Johnson seemed to care about answering that question. I want JJ to stick the landing and I'll be rooting for him when the fanfare blasts this Thursday.