We're talking about a game based on a move that is almost 40 years old. I doubt that many "casual" fans exist. Either you're holding on to nostalgia, or your a newbie who fell in love with a classic. But I can promise you that very few, if any, people just happen to see Star Wars, kind of like it, but could take it or leave it, and then decide to do the game because "it's kinda neat."
Even for the few of these people who exist somewhere, they're unlikely to be turned off by ships that they're not familiar with being added to a universe that they're not that familiar with.
At least the current wave looks thematically like the original universe stuff. Es and Zs look a bit like X-wIngs. The ties look a bit like ties. What on earth does the Moldy Crow look in the rest of the film universe?
I'm betting that people will be able to stomach the newest wave more than they could the HWK. Purists will say no, but I think they are going to be a small minority.
But a question to the purists: Would you decline to play games against opponents who include EU ships in their lists? Would this lesson your participation in tournaments? Or does your purist aesthetic apply only, or mainly to your only your own squad?