Well, that makes alot more sense to me now...
I've been watching alot of videos about all of the questions and speculation created by The Force Awakens, and it's all quite interesting and entertaining, but earlier I caught one video on Youtube that points out and explains all of the easter eggs and hidden references in the movie, and I found it quite fascinating. But the most interesting thing this guy shed light on was the info behind some of the supposed deleted scenes that were cut because of time constraints. You have to take this stuff with a grain of salt until we all see the true behind-the-scenes material, but this guy was pretty spot-on with everything else, from what I know of the official details.
He alludes to some deleted scenes with Gen. Leia and how it kind-of explains the political climate in the galaxy that clarifies why there's a "Resistance" to begin with and why they seem like a carbon copy of the under-funded, scrappy underdog element that the Rebellion was. To me it just didn't make sense, that if there was indeed a New Republic, then why did the Resistance feel like these outsiders that were scrambling and cobbling together resources to fight against the First Order. According to the guy in the video I watched, he says that there's been a peace treaty or accord of some kind between the First Order and the Republic, and that the First Order was breaking that treaty left and right across the galaxy, that those involved in the Resistance, started of course by Leia's general distrust of and opposition to the First Order, were in some way perhaps disavowed by the Republic, because they didn't believe in her assertions that the First Order was bad news, that only bad things would happen if they were allowed to continue to operate. So it becomes much more clear to know that the Resistance is not affiliated with the Republic, but that they still fight for them in secret against the First Order. That's makes so much more sense, although I remember that similar things weren't explained in ANH either...it's just that the supposed deleted scenes explaining the situation would have made the film make alot more sense, although I enjoyed it regardless.
Another thing I found satisfactory in his video, and it was perhaps something I had personally arrived at on my own and forgotten along the way, was the notion that Starkiller Base technically wasn't a third Death Star, that it was components of a base and super-weapon built into an existing ice planet. It's alot easier for me to swallow and accept if that truly is the case. Incidentally, I don't know why they'd go through the trouble of constructing a new space station and add natural features like mountains, ice, snow, and rock formations...it's simply a modified planet. Perhaps it was cheaper also than building a space station from scratch... (lol)
If you guys are interested in the video, I'll try to find it for you and provide a link. I've not seen the entire video, but the tidbits of info he provides are very fascinating and quite enjoyable if you like background details.