JONATHAN LAST REVIEWS STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, with – WARNING! — plenty of big spoilers along the way, before concluding:

In my ongoing defense of the Empire I’ve always maintained that the Rebellion’s lack of a post-war plan suggested that they would plunge the galaxy into anarchy. In The Force Awakens we see that the actual result was worse: The galaxy is being taken over by hard-line elements of the First Order who, compared with the Empire, seem to be really bad.

The Empire tried to impose order on a messy and illiberal galaxy through the credible threat of force. The First Order seeks to use actual force. And they seem to want not order, but something like extermination.

We now have something like proof that life for the average citizen in the Star Wars universe would have been better off if the rebellion had failed.

Heh. Read the whole thing.