Sounds like they're doing what they can with it - making it a space-based game would eat up time and resources to develop it all from scratch. Shipbreakers has the art direction and much of the mood of Homeworld already in place (it even does the same bass drop noise when you switch to the map view) and it's a partly- or mostly-done game. It's a logical decision, and... I'm okay with it. Wouldn't be the first time a game franchise has made a drastic shift, though I would prefer a space-based Homeworld like the rest of you guys.
Hopefully it doesn't have HW2's Kobayashi Maru-esque penchant for arbitrarily pulling impossible odds out of nowhere.