I would agree that the end-scene is a lure to go see the next movie, yes. Disney probably gave instructions to Lucasfilm to make the movie have that property, which made Arndt and the others design the movie to be that way from the beginning.
And yes, I also have a feeling of cheapness about it, but I have that about about the whole of Disney’s New Star Wars Empire. It appears to me that with a movie being released every year as if Disney are in it only to milk it as much as possible. What I am afraid of is that they would milk it so dry that the franchise and the fan-base would be spent after episode 9 …
To expand on the comments above about the movie being “a waste without Luke” (in decreasing importance):
- Finding Luke is the “end of the beginning” for Rey: an important waypoint in Rey’s journey. Rey’s journey is the focus of the movie: it is about how the Force awakens in her.
- Luke Skywalker is the MacGuffin of the movie. I would like to change the MacGuffin in my edit but I think it would be difficult. The mention of the Skywalker Map could be cut here and there except for the dialogue between Han, Rey and Finn on the Millenium Falcon – and I don’t (yet) see a way to rearrange or go around that dialogue.
- Luke is the classic character that I think most people wanted to see in TFA. (Personally I don’t care about this either even though Luke has always been my favourite character)
It is also difficult to predict how cutting the end-scene would work together with the next movie in the series. I anticipate that when we next first see her, some time will have passed during which she has undergone some Jedi training by Luke.