Wacko idea combining both movies:
Why not let Rey go to training before the whole Starkiller thingy is even introduced. Make it a mellow entry to the story where the villain (Kylo) still stays mysterious. She arrives and starts her training after retrieving the lightsaber and having been confronted with Kylo once.
Fast forward 5 years. First order has built starkiller base. Rey is in full training mode. Now, somehow mix together the ship chase and the starkiller thing and the planet being destroyed and rey and kylo having their first lightsaber fight and things suddenly make much more sense. She now has had the training to justify holding up against Kylo a little.
Not sure about the details (would like to include Snoke etc. as well) but that can still be worked out. Lots of stuff would obviously fall away.
That’s an interesting idea. I wonder how well it’d work in practice.
I’m itching for TLJ blu ray to come out so I can see how well a lot of the concepts in this thread work.