Is it possible to remove the ‘superweapon’ element to Starkiller Base? What if it’s just a snow planet with a First Order base on it? Of course VFX would be needed, but what are the plot ramifications of this?
How could you properly convey that the Republic is out of the picture? Maybe this whole First Order-Resistance conflict is much smaller, galactically, and the complacent Republic still exists out there somewhere? Maybe the First Order is only a problem in the Outer Rim, so they don’t care?
Starkiller being a super-weapon is really my only problem with Force Awakens.