I was indifferent to Darth Maul coming back at first but as I’ve thought more on it - I like it. I think he could work as the big bad as he’d be the connection to an era lost. He’d also know the history of the Clone Wars to be able to reveal the mystery of Sifo-Dyas and he’d have a natural rivalry with Luke as both were connected to Obi-Wan. He’d also know of the potential of the Skywalker family. In order to move on the galaxy has to move forward from the webs created by Palpatine and his successor who learned from him.
Where was he during the Galactic Civil War? Fair enough. He could’ve been imprisoned under Palpatine or hiding until the right time to bring forth the crime syndicates and gangs. The opportunity opened up with the death of Jabba and the fall of the Empire. A true power vacuum.
I think also as long as it’s Anakin’s grandchildren defeating him then it’s not necessarily a bad thing to sort of alter what happened as it would still be the family who at the end of the day defeated the last link.
Leia becoming Supreme Chancellor makes so much sense. In The Phantom Menace we see Padme give away democracy by voting for no confidence and for it to come full circle to it returning with her daughter as the Supreme Chancellor.
Luke restoring the Jedi Order with or without the 50 to 100 surviving Jedi from Order 66 truly feels like its connecting to threads established.
It’s hard to say what Han’s role would’ve been. All we know for certain is he died in George’s Episode VII too.
All and all I think George’s Sequels feel like a natural progression and like they took in account all of Star Wars instead of just three films as the Disney trilogy tried doing.
I also feel the Prequels don’t get their due respect with cinematography. George made it look so easy but they’re truly beautiful pictures to look at. They’re shot more like documentaries instead of typical cinema. The Sequels - The Force Awakens in particular is jarring how jumpy it is and how much it limits what we see. There’s no breathing room at all and any chance to feel atmosphere is quickly cut. Only Rey’s montage comes close to giving any sense of scale but Jakku feels like miles in the same location and not Tatooine that’s filled with scale. You have the Lars Homestead in one direction and in the other you have the Tusken Raiders Camp that took time to get to. Not just two minutes.