And that's not counting the fact that
When you look at story telling from any other source, you ever notice how epic stories tend to be focused on small numbers of people? Epic stories, epic sequences in movies, even epic moments in games. None of them throw five thousand things at you and go "oh, now its epic!" There's a reason for that.
"Do the same thing, only with more stuff" is not epic. It never has been epic. It never will be epic.
Yeah nice try, except you're again over simplifying things:
Saving Private Ryan opening scene
Battle of The Bulge
Spartacus (old and new)
300 Spartans (old movie cast of a few hundred portrayed as thousands)
300 (modern movie)
Kingdom of Heaven
Lord of the Rings
Legend of Galactic Heroes
Space Battleship Yamato
The list goes on and on and on.
They all have a "core cast" yes but they all have scenes of vast armies/fleets/both engaged in huge battles though star wars tends to waste it in the prequels.
Let's go to games:
Call of Duty had scenes where they offer the illusion of vast things happening around you.
Homeworld had settings that allowed fleets of hundreds of ships on a good computer and Homeworld 2 had mods that allowed the same.
Clash of the Titans had epic scale though focusing on a small cast.
Sins of a Solar Empire (same company) has fleets of hundreds of ships possible.
Total War series: Armies of tens of thousands
Total Annihilation had hundreds of units (in the mid 90s)
StarCraft has epic stories where vast fleets fight it out though they never really take advantage of this in graphics.
Mass Effect final battle scenes of 1 and 3 and in the case of 3 several smaller scenes
And that's not counting the fact that this game isn't exactly the type where you are focused on a core cast during critical scenes...or any really.
Oh and literature:
The Foundation Series (Isaac Asimov) had fleets of MILLIONS of ships and wars across thousands of worlds.
The Honor Harrington series has a core cast but has climactic battles of hundreds or thousands of ships
(And the Elemental reference is just an amusing thing, because this literal exact conversation happened while that game was in development, by the same company. When you've been around long enough it's fun to watch how repetitive these things tend to get.)
See this just sounds like you going "Well I don't like the idea of things changing from what I think is appropriate."