To subvert expectations, you must first establish those expectations. This is one of the things that bothers me about TLJ, since either way it’s looking to the past instead of finding a new way forward. There’s no rule that you have to have a planet-destroying superweapon, or an AT-AT battle on a white planet, or a confrontation in a throne room that mirrors ROTJ.
It reminds me of my first attempts at writing an alternate PT. Even after writing the synopses of dozens of concepts that I thought were unique and brilliant, it was only upon later reflection that I realized that my mind was still subconsciously following the OT plot. It took a lot of time and thought and writing to find something genuinely original to say about this universe, and there just wasn’t enough time for JJ or Rian to do this.