There is more self-awareness shown in this single post than I generally see in a week's worth of browsing the Internet. We're good.
Right back at ya buddy. I do have a couple thoughts on how the film might have been improved, in my opinion, and it is partially these expectations that caused some of my issue with the film.
With the film as a whole it's mainly it's execution and the reasons behind the actions I just personally feel could have been better executed. Which could be easily fixed with some world building.
Establish that the New Republic has not done much since the collapse of Imperial Rule with a lot of anarchy and brush wars flaring up with central authority gone, this would help explain resentment to their cause and the relatively small number of Resistance fighters and the draw of the First Order initially, set up Snoke playing on Ben's fascination with Vader and how he should be viewed as a hero rather than villain, how Luke's new Jedi aren't doing enough for the Galaxy. This can set up ben's conflict with his morals growing up as opposed to what seems a quick and logical solution to current events. It would also fit more with his character arc of trying to force himself to be something new and killing his past.
Luke being worried at Ben's Dark Side potential is in character, the attempted murder consideration I felt was not. The same result could have been achieved with Luke doubting his Jedi teaching as possibly having a flaw that could create another Vader and after an argument that boils over with the other students some side with Ben and some with Luke on how to handle things, leading to the schism and violence when Ben threatens to leave and Luke says he can't allow that so ben draws his saber and the ensuring battle leads to the Academy's destruction. Luke at this point will feel even more self doubt and seek out the ancient Jedi temple to attempt to locate lost Jedi Lore to fix the situation, his guilt still drives him into an exile but it is due to him feeling there is an answer in the lost lore not just him feeling bad and leaving. This still allows things to progress with Kylo and the Fo up to TFA and TLJ.
With Finn, really deepening his character's motives on not wanting to fight but being given no choice as a Trooper would have made vast improvements to his arc as well as his interactions with Phasma and the other troopers. have him conflicted about the troopers he's killed, have him starting to feel like he's forced by circumstance to fight against his will for the Rebs. Then you can work in the love/friend interest to show it's about choice, not obligation, highlighting the fundamental difference between the FO and the Resistance. Have this choice have weight, instead of just touring the casino world, have them help create an actual uprising that overthrows the local government liberating those oppressed. You can work this into the code slicer aspect by having the slicer refuse to help them initially since they won't help his people while having Finn and co grow to care for the slaves they meet. in short have a pay off for Finn that leads him to decide to try and get the concept of choice to his former Stormtrooper comrades who then have to choose between him and Phasma. Make these confrontations mean something deeper.
With Leia, actually have her die when she's blown out to space, this could have had so much impact on Kylo's character development and world view. his guilt, his being forced into this position all leading to his decision that he needs to double down and go deeper by ultimately usurping Snoke.
In relation to Poe and the Vice Admiral, actually give a reason why Poe and the crew are not told the plan, maybe there is a traitor, possibly make that how the base was found int he first place thus making her decision to withhold that information on intended self sacrifice make sense.
With Rey, you can make her far more compelling while still making her a Force God. If she is so strong, have some side effects of her losing control with consequences, have her fear her own potential, but work to overcome that. The fact she's never been trained could be used to such effect in that her raw power could have badly killed or injured someone she cared about so she shies away from the Force and would make her on a psychological level opposed to kylo's assertion that more power is the answer to her problems.
With luke and Rey, focus more on the character building between them, you can have Luke refuse to teach her, and refuse the lightsaber, not by casually throwing it away but by pushing it away with far more emotional weight. have him say he can't give up on finding this 'answer' that he missed before in the old lore and he can't go back til he finds that to bring Ben back and fix things though he agrees to train her after hearing about Han's death(and no cut away from that! that scene of Luke's reaction needs to be seen and felt!). have Rey point out things have gotten this bad from his self doubt that led him to seek some ancient answer rather than try and create a new one, that maybe the old lore is forgotten because it's time for something new from THEM. This should make him think about what she said but not admit his focus is wrong(I.E play to Luke's stubbornness and absolute focus on what he thinks is right path) and while initially going back to the temple have the yoda scene after Rey heads out to help her frinds. This way luke goes back to help but arrives after Rey and Snoke thing.(also cut the Luke milking that...thing...scene)
Take out a lot of the tone shifts and don't be afraid to go darker.
Having Snoke take Rey's lightsaber was good, but then bonking her on the head made the scene comical and undercut it. Also...no hugh heffner robe for Snoke...that was just silly. Make it red or scarlett or something somber to contrast/match with his guard. Have Kylo blame Snoke for his mother's death, and remind Snoke of his own philosophy of killing the past to make the future tht HE is part of the past now too before betraying him with Rey. Again give the scene weight, have the guards actually wound Rey seriously, since she left before finishing training thus giving a cost to her actions, taking her out of events for the ground battle she planned to intervene in.
With the Finn and sidekick(I forget her name) on the battle have her die because she steals his ship, making the CHOICE to do so, highlighting that arc. Again give weight to it with the earlier buildup and don't contradict like the base film did with counter motivations. The dreadnought crash scene...eh leave as is. With Phasma and Finn's confrontation have Finn sow the seeds of doubt in his fellow troopers minds with his tale of experiences and highlighting how Phasma doesn't care for any of them. Phasma still dies but again this should come about as a result of her actions/path rather than randomness.
Luke's battle and death i would have done differently only slightly, ahev him projecting himself in the battle but also being there.(illusions as fighting basically) but ultimately sacrificing himself to allow the Rebs and wounded Rey to escape.