Character chatter in the Borderlands universe isn’t necessarily tied to lore. If New-U was canon, we’d have an endless cycle of respawns. Commandant Steele, General Knoxx, Roland, Handsome Jack, that Dahl guy we sent to Elpis, Colonel Zarpedon, Nisha, Wilhelm, Maya, Aurelia, Troy, Tyreen, Lilith, all of those people would still be alive.
Respawning is a game mechanic, and New-U is the checkpoint system in the Borderlands games. It is not canon, and could not possibly be, otherwise we’d be in a war against New-U stations to stop our enemies from respawning and half of the side missions would just be collecting New-U technology and building new stations.