WARNING! This post will contain Spoilers for The Force Awakens. For my Spoiler Free initial reaction to the film click on this link.
This is not a full review or anything, I still need time to decide how I rank it with the others. Possibly a 2nd viewing. This post is just me speculating about how it ties into existing Lore and the possible future of the Saga.
The first Prequel reference was when Kylor Ren gave the order to kill all the villagers. It immediately made me think of Darth Sidous saying "Wipe them out, All of them" in The Phantom Menace.
They also name dropped the Sith, which EU wise was known before the PT but as far as film goes the PT is the only reason for Abrams to expect the general audience to recognize that word.
It seems that Planet that was destroyed was not Corusant, but it was definitely meant to feel reminiscent of Corusant same as Jakku is reminiscent of Tatooine.
But the big Prequel nod was the Clone Army reference. It's not just a casual Clone Wars reference from the one line in Episode IV. It specifically works based in the context of us knowing that the original Storm Troopers were a Clone Army.
And while the Rebels cartoons has technically made it canon that the Storm Troopers ceased being clones before the OT happened. Someone who wants to consider the Movies only their Canon can still following The Force Awakens interpret the OT era Storm Troopers to have still been Clones. In fact it kinda works better that way, I got the vibe that using these brainwashed soldiers over clones was some policy General Hux advocated, and that Finn's rebellion now threatens it.
And I like that. You see before The Prequels even entered production I had always from the OT alone gotten the impression that there was some kind of connection between Boba-Fett and the Storm Troopers, like he was a former Storm Trooper or something. I was never a big fan of Boba's character, this was the one thing I found notable about him. So what was revealed in Attack of The Clones to me was a perfect confirmation of what I already felt, though not exactly what I'd have guessed.
Because of that, Rebels saying "No the OT era Storm Troopers were not Clones, and chips are why the Clones betrayed the Jedi so Rex cans till be a good guy" really pissed me off. I felt personally insulted by that.
Now back to the Episode VII Clone Army reference. I've also been thinking what that could mean for the future.
Between Finn's rebellion and many of their forces being killed with Starkiller base. Perhaps the First Order will decide to use a Clone Army in the future. Perhaps the Kaminoans have advanced their technologically and no longer need a full 10 years to produce an army of full grown adults. And also perhaps an influential figure within the First Order who disagreed with Hux was already working on one.
What could make that route interesting to me is this. What if they use genetic material they have on record of Finn to make him the Template of the new Army? Or some of it at least? Imagine the drama that could create in future conflicts?
You may think "why use the one who rebelled as a Template?"
1. That could be ideal for testing the ability to control the Clone Army, see if clones of a person who on moral principle rebelled against them can be made to obey without question.
2. Finn is going to become an important Hero for the Resistance now. That could make a perfect psychological warfare tool and espionage asset.
3. They know Finn is a very capable at fighting, every time he fought another Storm Trooper he won. It took Kylo Ren to beat him. So really who better?
Supreme Leader Snoke
The theory of him possibly being Darth Plagueis was neither confirmed or refuted. But I feel it's increasingly likely.
Now Plagueis never needed to be the same species he was in the old Expanded Universe, plus his "resurrection" could have changed his species. Yet what we saw here does seem consistent with that species. He looks pretty much like what Plagueis theorists were anticipating, though not quite exactly.
And then there is that Scar across his face. It looks like more then just a scar like what we saw Kylo Ren receives by the end. It looks like it should have been fatal. It had me thinking Biblically of The Beast in Revelation who's Mortal Head Wound was healed. So it could very well be from when Darth Sidious killed him or at least thought he did.
And I've seen it observed his Theme in the score is virtually identical to the Music played discussing Plagueis in Episode III.
He is also called Wise by Kylo Ren. Snoke and Plagueis are the only Dark Side characters called Wise.
A specific idea I have on the Plagueis=Snoke theory is that maybe for some reason the death of Darth Sidious is what triggered Plagueis return from the Grave.
There were more Prequel references, I can't list them all. We saw a Pod Racer on Jakku.
But ya know what really takes the cake, Kylo Ren does have the traits people hated about Hayden's Anakin. And he kinda resembles Hayden with the mask off too.
Also in Reys' vision we do hear Ewan McGreggor as Obi-Wan's voice. And possibly the sounds of the Younglings killed in ROTS.
In the Present of the story we never see the other Knight of Ren. I think we could see them more in the sequels.
I still think Rey's Staff foreshadows her using a Double Bladed Lightsaber. And I really hope it's Purple.
In order to make full use of that, she'll have to be in a battle where she is outnumbered, two on one like Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon vs Darth Maul. And I think that could be why having up to 6 supporting Knights of Ren will be useful. I think she'll take some of them on, and in Episode VIII Luke will battle Kylo Ren.
I don't think we'll see Snoke use a Saber till Episode IX. But I do think we'll see more of him in VIII then we did in VII.