* SPOILERS *
Great minds, as usual Kyrroeth *smile*
Yes I had thought a good deal about both of your points as well. I get that we're probably witnessing Kylo's descent to fully embracing the dark side, but I don't find him to be that intimidating of a villain. Well, if you're one of the villagers from Force Awaken's opening scene, or the storm troopers that witness his outbursts he sure is. For the overall plot however he has already shown that he didn't pull the trigger on Leah and I doubt he would kill Rey as she is his only hope of having someone that understands him. I do really like the Kylo character and Adam Driver's portrayal, I'm just not sure he fits the role of really the ONLY bad guy to be afraid of now. We've reduced Hux to a joke and Phasma is potentially dead. I did feel that Vader lost much of his intimidation factor in Return of the Jedi, too, having nice little elevator chats with his son and all, but at least we had the Emperor to truly fear right until the end.
Your other point was also very good. I've never understood writing a long story, especially a trilogy, without an outline/plan first! Granted I am not at all educated as a writer, but don't you need to know where your story is going to plant the proper seeds at the beginning and have it be coherent throughout? It's scary when JJ Abrams is, to me, the good guy in this scenario considering he was a major influence on Lost! I really don't understand changing directors in things such as this. I can't imagine Lord of the Rings with different directors with different visions being allowed to rewrite the story for each movie, the Dark Knight trilogy without Nolan for the middle movie!