Good point about the standards of 8 years ago being different from the standards of today. In previous years the SW figs carried megaphones since TLC insisted they wouldn't make guns (ignoring, of course, the fact that they'd already had six-shooters and rifles in the Wild West theme and muskets and pistols in the Pirates theme). The lack of realistic SW weapons was a big impetus behind the Little Armory, which (if I have my history right) led to Brick Forge and BrickArms. Perhaps it was the popularity of these fan efforts, or maybe more likely driven by the desires of theme licensees, now we not only have "realistic" SW weapons, but also real machine guns in the Batman theme. So there has definitely been a change in the view of violence.
The movies vs book question is also a good one. The Spider-Man theme, for instance, was completely tied to the movies. Batman, however, is (in my understanding) more global, covering the comics, movies, cartoons etc. The SW license was originally strictly about the 6 movies. Now we get TIE Crawlers, baby Hutts, figs I've never heard of etc from the various cartoons, books, video games etc. Anyway, it seems that there is now more of a recognition of broader theme licenses, at least in these two cases. So while a theme could be linked to the movies, there could be latitude to include other things from the book.
Of course, it's now 4+ years since the last movie hit the theaters, so I can't see why the movie studio would be making licenses any more. OTOH, we're still seeing new SW toys decades after the first movie came out, so what do I know?
I think the most important point, though, is Black Ranger's. Official themes kill the fun of coming up with your own stuff. IMO the only point of themes is to provide us with recognizable figs and new elements we wouldn't have otherwise. Yes, some people are master customizers, but I wouldn't have a Darth Vader, or Spidey, etc, without official licenses. Since we are getting elves, dwarves, orcs, wizards etc through the current lines, we're already set. It's not like I'm really crying out to have a fig that looks like Elijah Woods. Heck, my mental image is probably more shaped by the Bakshi and Rankin-Bass cartoons, since I saw those around the time that I first read the books. So, yes, in my mind Boromir looks like a Viking and Frodo has a horrible bowl-cut.