While I don’t agree that Snoke’s death was necessarily a plot hole in and of itself, I believe Snoke’s very presence ties into one of the biggest issues (not sure if I should use plot hole seeing as how definitions seem up to interpretation) of the new trilogy. The main factions.
Nearly everything involving the First Order forces you to basically suspend all disbelief. How have they become so powerful? How do they have production capabilities that exceed the Galactic Empire’s previous capabilities? Why use abducted children instead of clones or droids? Where are they getting the money to pay for their war machine?
Then the New Republic. Why do they have no military capabilities? Why is the Resistance separate from the New Republic? Why have they allowed the First Order to not only exist but have free reign to kidnap children by the millions? Why do they not come to the Resistance’s aid when they just watched 5 planets get destroyed by the Death Star 2.0? Why has what little military tech they have seemingly devolved from the Galactic Civil War despite being 30 years later?
You can go on and on but the point is they tell us that despite being shattered and crushed the Imperial remnants were able to create a military even more advanced than the Galactic Empire’s, while the Rebel Alliance decided to disarm and decomission the majority of their military and became either so incompetent or so uncaring that they completely ignore a militant force of ex-Imperials building a fighting force on their borders made up of kidnapped Republic children. All the while the First Order manages to create a planet sized super weapon, an entire naval force of top of the line new ships, a brand new Stormtrooper Corps with brand new weapons and armor, and a Star Destroyer so large it eclipsed the size of even Executor-class star dreadnoughts of the Empire, all in a span of 30 years.
The new trilogy wanted to give us the same feeling the original trilogy gave us. A story of underdogs who beat the odds and destroyed an immensely powerful regime who is supposed to be the poster child of oppressive governments. But the problem was the OT left us with the good guys in charge and the bad guys defeated. So they had to come up with a way to have the bad guys be a credible threat while making the good guys the underdogs. Which is fine and doable. Until you add the caveat that it has to be within a span of 40 years that this switch from being in charge to being the underdogs happens so you can have fan favorites like Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie still be there. While you could create a believable reason for this switch to happen in such a short period of time I’m sure, they chose to give us a half hearted reason for the switch that falls apart under scrutiny. The New Republics decisions defy logic as do the First Order’s capabilities and, frankly, existence.
I think the trilogy should have taken place a long time before or a long time after the previous trilogies. You have less chance of causing the amount of division this movie made in the community if you make your story in a time period far enough away from previously established canon and films that you can have an underdog story that makes more sense then what they gave us.
(Well that was longer then I expected it to be. Sorry about any rambling or points repeated. I have the flu so I don’t really feel like reading back and correcting it right now. Also, I hope I don’t sound like I’m just complaining about the movie for no reason. I’m trying to explain the issues I have with what I consider flaws in the film in a clear and concise way that makes sense. I’m not sure how well I’m doing, but I’m trying.)