It’s not a variation. Star Wars is fantasy adventure, and in fantasy adventure there are certain tropes and certain normative sequences of events that happen. The wise old man that trains the young pupil. The evil big-bad with whom there is a final climatic showdown at the close of the story. The proverbial countdown clock to destruction that gets deactivated at 1 second remaining. TLJ throws many of these ideas out the window.
Snoke is not the Final Boss. Finn did not disable the tracker. And Vice Admiral Holdo had her own personal Kobayashi Maru. The film hits you in so many ways that you don’t expect, and people hate it because they’re too narrow minded to accept a story that does a lightspeed jump right through their expected headcanon.