Just to add some more thoughts, maybe somebody can feel me on this:
To me, the main theme of the whole ST is Balance. While I honestly do think that the sequels are telling a story not worth telling, the lone justification for them (at least in my grown-up-with-the-prequels-eyes) might be that the “balance” of the force (between light and dark, good and evil, etc.) was not restored when Luke (a jedi) “killed” Palpatine (a sith), because that way the balance would be outweighed by the jedi again.
That is, of course, because “That Force does not belong to the Jedi”: Both Jedi and Sith are nothing but religions, with all their dogmatic rules and prophecies and you name it, while the force is something bigger (and I’m not saying midichlorians! After all, Star Wars is a mythological space-opera, which is why a metaphysical force-power is perfectly ok).
I don’t really think this is feasible, but I feel like the movie would’ve had better momentum if Rey didn’t stop and get a pep talk from Luke before going to Exegol. If Rey had her vision in the Death Star, almost killed Kylo and pushed Finn, then took Kylo’s ship and went straight to Exegol alone, I feel like the tension would be a lot higher. Rey throughout the whole film has slowly been tapping into that dark side more and more, so what if the Rey vs Kylo battle on the Death Star had been like a turning point where Kylo started on the path toward the light, and Rey started descending into darkness. Rey has slowly became more isolated and hopeless, and she feels like all is lost until she realizes Ben came for her on Exegol.
Obviously this would create some issues, like losing the only scene with Luke, creating a continuity issue with Rey flying a different ship to and from Exegol, as well as having no explanation for where Leia’s saber came from. I obviously like the message of the Luke scene, but I feel like we would’ve been more worried for Rey if she had went straight to Palpatine instead.
That said, I really like your idea there, RogueLeader, as it adds to the feeling that the tandem of Rey and Kylo kind of mirroring each other in their search for purpose as well as all the doubts that come along with that. Both of them are somehow bound to an illusion of good/evil, almost caricatured trying to fit in those predetermined jedi-/sith-roles (i.e. Kylos “MOOORE”-moment on Crait). Then again, they’re having feelings that are just not fitting in (or accidentally (not-)killing Chewie with darkside-forcepowers).
The balance lies in between all of that, with both characters representing the opposite side of an imaginary scale during most of the trilogy, going back and forth and then ultimately meet each other in the middle, in balance: Palpatine gets destroyed, bringing an (hopefully glancing at Disney) definite end to the sith-order, while Rey, choosing and understands to be a jedi in that very moment, is dying in doing so. The sith end. The jedi end. The force outlives both of them, as it always was there and always will be there. It belongs to no one and lives in every one.
Then, Kylo (redeemed from the dark, but tainted) brings his final sacrifice by saving Rey, who gets reborn as something new, the personification of balance (in that point, I really like her new yellow lightsaber, as it is something new, never seen before (outside the old EU). Plus, if you mix red (sith) and green (jedi), you get yellow. Of course, red and blue would be more picturesque, but that would give you: purple. Damn you, Samuel L. Jackson!). That’s also why I like the fact that Kylo dies: he continues to live in and through Rey: the duality of good and bad in one person
As one might already assumed, I am a rather big fan of TLJ (except stuff like spacewalk-Leia, which, eventually, got me into this forum (and edits in general) in the first place). I also (mostly) like Lukes new role there, because he seemed to grew out of that religion-thing and got the whole picture of the indifferent force now (his only mistake (and he makes up for it) was to think that just because you don’t believe in a certain moral system anymore, you don’t have to or should fight for what is right in your mind anymore).
He teaches Rey that the jedi must end (as stated above) in two lessons in TLJ (before getting teached himself by Yoda). The third lesson is never mentioned, though, and many theories about it have occurred since. I see the possibility of fixing that error by using the Luke-Rey-exchange on Ahch To in TROS: Luke says something like “if you don’t face Palpatine, the jedi will die and the war will end”. At first glance, it seems like a warning, similar to what Yoda says to Luke before his rescue-mission to Bespin. Something bad will happen. But what if we just somehow get rid of that “don’t”: “if you face Palpatine, the jedi will die and the war will end”. That way (admittedly with some interpretation) he kind of hints at her what has to be done: Face Palpatine, destroy him and the jedi all the same, and the ongoing war will finally be over, as balance is established.
Oh boy, I’m afraid that this whole thing is getting out of (my) hands. There are still so many question marks. Actually, I’m more the gentle-edit-kind-of-guy. But this movie is just so unbelievable disappointing and needs some serious work.