Well one’s a lie, and one’s true, and you want the lie.
The lie is “Star Wars fans didn’t like TLJ”. That’s a lie, or at least deeply disingenuous. The truth is “A subset of Star Wars fans, almost entirely male, and mostly aged 45-60, often disliked TLJ”.
You’re asking for dishonesty.
You’re asking for people to pretend to be blind, and to pretend they can’t see the obvious patterns, because it makes you uncomfortable that they exist. It makes you uncomfortable that a large number of people who share your views re: the quality of the movie are people you consider unpleasant or don’t want to be associated with. Especially as you share some of their characteristics, superficially (white, male).
Personally I think that’s silly. I love Dirty Harry, and The Dead Pool. Guess what? So do loads of fascists and assholes? Most of them white dudes. Does it make it make me uncomfortable that they do? Would I demand people don’t point this out? No. It’s fine. It’s true. I don’t have any views that make people think I’m a fascist so I’m not bothered.
Yeah there will always be exceptions, yeah even when the loud people have creepy reason to hate a movie, there will always be people who like or dislike films for other reasons, ranging from the highly personal to broad aesthetic trends - often they’re the majority - but TLJ’s most vocal critics were unarguably aging white men, most from the right of the political spectrum.
Pretending otherwise is a lie, and frankly, somewhat insulting.
Also the idea that it’s “the present day” where people are “lumped into groups” is the most “White Guys Think” thing to say ever. What the fuck do you think was happening in the 20th century? Or the 19th? Or 18th. Jesus lol. You think people weren’t being lumped into groups?
There’s no maybe, you clearly and in detail explained it. This is exactly the problem you had. You had ultra-specific expectations which were not, and would realistically, have been disappointed by the vast majority of potential “Star Wars 8” scripts. Even if JJ made the movie, that wasn’t ever going to be the movie. Even if Lucas made it.
The Extended Universe was killed off in what, 2013? Sometime around then. Official, openly, clearly, unarguably shot through the head in front of everyone. There was no question that literally everything about it was dead, until specifically brought back.
Further, the things you’re expecting there, none of them were remotely likely. Not even slightly. They were all basically eliminated by the Clone Wars TV series as possibilities, then further eliminated by Rebels (both of which are canon and you knew it), and absolutely nothing in TFA could have made those expectations reasonable - in fact everything about TFA made those expectations even more unreasonable.
So you had completely and totally unreasonable expectations. TLJ did not “turn TFA on its head”, in fact, most of it is a natural continuation (the only even arguable flip is from Rey’s parents being made clearly unimportant, but TFA never said anything else, only fans assumed). But TLJ made clear that those expectations would not be met. Closed the door on them, where TFA merely made them incredibly unlikely.
I will say this, most of the people who aren’t centre or right-wing white males aged 45-60, who dislike TLJ, are huge EU fans. I have friend who hates TLJ. He’s the biggest EU fan imaginable, like read practically every EU book and loved them (same guy who had bad taste re: Prometheus lol). He just can’t square TLJ with the EU stuff. He hates ROS for similar reasons. TFA was neutral enough, meaningless enough that he could fit it into his headcanon with the EU stuff.
As for the Emperor, didn’t he pretty much directly imply the old EU “Emperor clones himself” theories were true? I’m not sure why you’re saying “willed himself back into existence”, weren’t there a bunch of misshapen clones of him and everything? Not sure I want to re-watch ROS to check of course.
I am intrigued by one point:
Have you got a source for this? Nothing in TLJ implied this AFAIK. ROS does actually imply it a bit, sorta (and in fact the Trevorrow version pretty much outright states it, but that didn’t get made). But you can’t blame TLJ for stuff ROS fucked up. And it sounds like you are.
Also like, what plot holes does it create? The power increase wouldn’t have to be linear, it could be an extremely shallow curve (as it clearly is with Highlanders, I admit lol - Duncan after killing two immortals isn’t 200% more powerful, he’s like 2% more powerful, if that).
I can kind of see the issue with Terminator 3, but again, it’s because you built it up in your mind, and probably because you read a ton of Terminator Extended Universe stuff (or games or w/e). I know I had mild expectations of T3 that weren’t met - so my reaction wasn’t as strong as yours, but it definitely didn’t help the movie in my mind. T6 - Dark Fate was actually easily the best Terminator movie that isn’t T1/2 for me. I was surprised. It’s much more “Terminator-like” than any of others, and whilst it doesn’t really feel like it should have been a full-on sequel, it definitely feels like the same universe (as did Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, for my money).
On the other hand, Prometheus didn’t disappoint me for failing to stick to Alien EU stuff, in fact, it somehow managed to dredge up some of the most profoundly stupid oh god no so dumb Alien EU stuff, like moronic shit last seen in truly bad early '90s comics, which wasn’t even intentional, it was just stupid writers think like stupid writers so come up with the same stupid ideas. I hear there’s an Alien TV series on the way which basically sounds like the plot of one of absolute shittiest Aliens comics from back then, too (Aliens loose on Earth!!! Kill me now…).