The weird thing about the new trilogy is that the state of the larger galaxy is just absolutely incomprehensible. While the prequels clearly show the might and fall of the Old Republic, the OT depicts the Rebel Alliance defeating Palpatine’s Empire. The obvious next step would probably be showing the struggles of the New Republic or something along those lines.
Instead we got what seems to be two fringe groups of fanatics and has-beens fighting it out in the Outer Rim while the larger galaxy doesn’t really care about any of that until like the last ten minutes of the story.
You kind of just described the OT. We never really see the effect of the Empire on the galaxy at large. Only how it relates to the rebellion and our main characters. The only reason we know of the Empire’s reach is because it’s called “the Empire”.
This is simply not true. We see the Empire terrorize the citizens of Tatooine and Bespin, having spies and mercenaries everywhere, shattering the residues of the old Republic with the dissolution of Senate and destruction of Alderaan, which itself is supposed to be a clear message towards potentially dissenting systems.
Sure, the First Order somehow built the SKB, but that was supposedly a one-off device with no clear follow-up and nobody really reacts to the obliteration of several systems. My point still stands.
Almost everything you mentioned has a 1:1 counterpart in the sequel trilogy.
Sure it does, because, well, pretty much everything that happens in the sequel trilogy has a counterpart in the OT.
Except in the OT the Empire was clearly the galactic government. The ST supposedly starts with the New Republic in power, but it just fizzles out right away and presumably the First Order takes over. Hard to tell for sure, since most of it just happens off-screen.
I know we don’t see much political development in the OT either, but the stage is well described by the title crawls and several characters (especially Obi-Wan, Leia, the imperials, and, if you count the novelization and/or deleted scenes, Biggs).