I think you’re giving JJ too much credit in suggesting that the decision was driven by anything but an inability to construct these movies without world-ending threats. If he were in charge of Episode 8, I’m certain we would have gotten Death Stars four movies in a row.
Oh, I agree completely actually. I do think that overall the story of The Force Awakens was structured in a way to make it aligned with the Original Trilogy after one watches the Prequels due to the backlash they got at the time.
“This will begin to make things right” is clearly directed at them.
The Sequels aren’t so much Sequels but responses to the criticisms of the Prequels. Ironically it failed miserably as there’s barely anything new and connective to them that makes it feel like a nine part saga. Only really The Last Jedi comes close to bridging the gap in a meaningful way, while misunderstanding important context in other aspects with things such as Rey being a Nobody. The Rise of Skywalker just doesn’t understand context at all and just added things because it fits a meme or whatever it’s trying to say.