I love your dichotomic view that if the Empire isn’t shown in the movie as the dominant force by a substantial margin then it must be a bunch of weaklings who lose all the time.
You said you wanted the First Order to be replaced by a “fractional and marginalized Imperial remnant” and that they are “basically not worth ****”. It doesn’t even matter because having weak villains would be boring even if it doesn’t make sense logically. How can we fear for our heroes when there is nothing to fear? Moving on.
Here are the unanswered questions for Episode 8 :
- Why is there a map to Luke?
- Will Luke train Rey?
- How did Kylo Ren become seduced by Supreme Leader Snoke?
- Who are the Knights of Ren?
- Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?
- How will Captain Phasma have a bigger role?
- Will Finn and Rey fall in love?
- Why was Rey orphaned on Jakku?
- Who are Rey’s parents?
- How did R2D2 wake up when he did?
Now here’s my Episode 8. Before Ben Solo went evil, Luke found a map to an ancient Sith temple which he investigated and found the secret to immortality and mastery of life. That’s how Ben Solo became evil : Snoke wants to become immortal and master life like Plageus. Snoke tells Ben of the legend of the Knights of Ren who wanted immortality but failed(“ren” can mean life or immortal in an alien language). When Ben goes evil, he adopts their name and creates the new Knights of Ren with other immortality lusting bad guys to finish what Darth Vader started. Yes, Darth Vader was trying to master life and achieve immortality during the OT. Is it really that much of a stretch? He did try to stop his wife from dying in ROTS and although the Emperor may be wise to it due to seeing his master Plageus fail, Vader isn’t. It also explains why he still sticked with the Emperor after his wife died, because he still has hope for reviving his wife and reuniting with his family. It’s one hell of a retcon but really humanizes Vader even more!
Back to Luke, he rips the map into little pieces so that nobody will learn the secret to immortality and hid in on the planet of the temple in order to guard it. The Resistance and the First Order mistake the pieces for a map to just Luke and do everything Luke wants not to happen by trying to find him. That’s why Luke has such a puzzled look at the end of the movie because he’s not sure what to think of Rey. Maybe R2D2 was actually manipulated by Snoke to wake up and lead the First Order to Luke Skywalker.
OK, all that was backstory. Let’s get into the present. Snoke is training Kylo Ren harshly, and here we can meet the Knights of Ren, establish their character, and learn about their ultimate goal of immortality. They are all getting prepared to find Luke Skywalker. Cut back to Luke and Rey. “Why are you here?” Luke demands. “Because you called me.” Rey replies. “I didn’t-” Luke is interrupted by Kylo Ren’s ship landing. “Oh, no”.
TO BE CONTINUED
Cause this is seriously getting long