Ladies and gentlemen, take me to Lucas Films because I HAVE the answers. SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 7 obviously. My ideas on where I thought the latest addition to the "Skywalker Saga" could have gone, should have gone, and can still go. As well as the ample companion films that Disney will release, starting with Rogue One.
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    Rather than bring Finn and Rey's narrative together immediately, two separate storylines that finally converge in the final act would make for a really powerful ending? Imagine Finns story following him throughout Death Star 2.0 (3.0?) as we witness him struggle with carrying out the crimes of the First Order! πŸ™€
    Maybe a little dark, but bear with me now: Same intro with bloody palm to helmet, but after catching Po Dameron we see how he is forced into torturing him for information or standing by as a guard while Po is subjected to abuse by the First Order. We could see the conflict, however, still understand his duty and position - since I believe he is a type of "child soldier recruit" and not a clone. In the final act he is guarding Rey and releases her of his own accord (and is killed in the process?)
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    To extrapolate upon my "recruited soldier" interpretation of the new storm troopers:
    Maybe we can get a spin off movie showing the rise of the First Order and how they went from planet to planet recruiting children to join them in their quest for universal dominance. Beasts of No Nation style. Ohohohohoh and the main character is Finn, but younger, and he witnesses the FO attack/kill his parents. Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma can then be a motherly figure taking him under her wing, making his betrayal more poignant in Episode 7.
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    but this child soldier movie would probably be a little intense for younger viewers - you decide Disney
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    That whole scene with the tentacle creatures has gotta go. It was so unnecessary. It propelled the story further in no way. Maybe the men that invaded the ship will play a roll later in the series, but with out Han Solo they can't really be that important. Maybe they make the next pilot of the Falcon pay his debts? Either way it seems like FILLER.
    The scene maybe can be forgiven for giving audiences another scene where Rey is the hero and Finn is the damsel in distress, but it seems sloppy. It has no payoff later in the movie unless I'm remembering incorrectly. Let me know.
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    Instead of the creatures getting loose on the ship and chasing our heroes to the falcon some scenes could have been added to flesh out characters more. Maybe a scene of exposition from Han to FRey (coining it now), filling the audience in on some info between Episodes 6 to 7.
    Like how did the First Order form? What is the Resistance in relation to the Republic and how is it different than the Rebels from Episodes 4-6? AND I would have loved a heartfelt scene where Han explains how he let Leia down when he let Luke run away after Kylo attacked the Jedi. Leia's disappointment with him couldn't be hidden which took a toll on their relationship. Thus, causing Han to take on work away from home. It can't come out just through dialogue though, let's see Ford's chops πŸ’…
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    MORE GWEN! She is awesome and needs more screen-time as Captain Phasma. I think a side movie showing her before she became Captain Phasma could be really awesome. Maybe the First Order was something to idolize and that appealed to many after the events of Episode 6. It was a return to order after the honeymoon period following the Empire's fall?
    She joins up through recruitment and strives to be the top of her class (ie the captain). The FO in the mean time begins to resemble a more totalitarian regime as the movie progresses but Gwen figures it's what needs to be done to keep order in the galaxy. Her ascension happens when she rats out her acting captain for helping the Jedi, resulting in his execution. From there she leads the FO to Luke Skywalker training the younger generation. BOOM βœŒοΈπŸ’―
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    STILL MORE GWEN! In episode 8 Po Dameron and Finn are investigating a lead with info on how to infiltrate the First Order or something (working on itπŸ‘Œ) who turns out to be Captain Phasma, but with no suit or helmet of course. Gwen hasn't been SEEN yet, however, her voice has been unaltered so it's possible viewers would realize it right away...
    If viewers aren't as astute (nor is Finn) then we can follow Po and Finn as they follow Gwen towards what they feel is a solution to overthrowing the FO. The twist being that it leads them to a trap set by Phasma, to be revealed by an awesome mic drop of a scene where she calls out Finns trooper number and then seals their fate 😱😭😰 Ideally this scenario kills Finn and ends Episode 8 with a wtf moment. *Finn dying before he ever sees Rey again/cut to Rey feeling it in the force/cut to black ⬛️
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    clearly I believe Finn is doomed
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    *make 'em cry Nate, make 'em cry*
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    I understand that Captain Phasma taking Finn under her wing would probably backfire later because he'd recognize her voice in the later movie. But TECHNICALITIES. Make it happen Hollywood πŸ”₯