This might turn into a rant, but the sequence of events just seemed inconsistent to me.
Im not that knowledgable concerning lore, so im hoping someone here can bring up a relevant source.
Edit: In light of my rantiness, I'll cut it down to my biggest question:
How did the First Order come to power? (How: Sympathetic planets, rich donors, ignorant Republic, Imperial remnants? Etc.)
And heres the rest of the rant:
1) Why did they choose to fire/reveal the laser so early in the movie? Sure, it sets the stage, but why did they choose to fire it, in relation to the FO agenda? And how does it relate to their search for Luke? Judging by the fact that Snoak wanted the map destroyed, not intact, he didnt fear Luke; he just didnt want the Resistance finding him.
At the point that they fire the laser, hadnt they already been alerted of the BB-8's presence on D'qar? Why didnt they destroy DQar? Why was the Republic Fleet a clustered on a few planets? Was the firing of the battlestation their ultimate goal, and the whole map-ordeal was a minor diversion?
2) They had not a moon sized battlestation, but a planet sized battlestation. How does a remnant of the Empire get the resources, men, and power to do such a thing? The Empire was able to keep the Deathstar secret-ish through their government power, but the First Order must have been building it while the New Republic was in power and still very weary of Imperial remnants. It just makes no sense to me why the Resistance was so small, why the fabled General Solo and Organa were heading a handful of misfits and a "fleet" of Xwings. How was no one else in the government freaked out by the construction of a not too inconspicuous SUN-EATING WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION???
3) What can Luke actually do when found? Sure, he might bring moral back up, but he's a single man. Whats so important about him? He wasnt exactly a great general in the first movies. If anything, he was more like a posterboy? Does anyone know if there is any lore that alludes to his role, aside from the whole Jedi training/jedi temple part we get from the movie.