The ground combat was utter shit. But yeah, both games had a different focus. Rebellion was a 4X game with crappy battles and EaW was a RTS wish a crappy 4X layer.
That said, all Petroglyph had to do was rip off the Rebellion 4X layer instead of trying to redo the whole thing.
Yeah, I tended to skip the ground combat part, but space combat was a ton of fun. I remember long defensive battles where my space station barely made it.
In Rebellion, I never did battles and I always played the Empire. I just wanted to build a massive fleet and conquer everyone.
Plus assassinating Luke was fun (though he wouldn't stay down).
I've played through the demo a few more times on the hardest difficulty available and I am really starting to dig the combat. The only thing I wish I could do was an air attack the instantly slashed down instead of going through some sort of combo. Coming up with fun ways to massacre everyone is great. Had to try something new to beat the AT-ST, but it's pretty cake when you make a few adjustments.