The whole Starkiller thing was totally superfluous to the movie
When they destroyed multiple Republic planets, none of the characters in the movie seemed to care. Certainly not in the way Leia truly cared when they destroyed her home planet in the original. I think Starkiller was added for only two (bad) reasons.
One, they tried to parallel the original. Annoyingly so, and to the point it really detracted from the movie - it was like watching a remake, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised since JJ Abrams specializes in remakes. They should have called it "Star Wars: Into Darkness".
Two, because they needed to do something to show the First Order is "evil", since the substitute Vader is more like a petulant teenager who goes into fits of rage and destroys things because daddy won't let him borrow the car, and the substitute Emperor doesn't look or sound threatening (I still hold out a faint hope Snoke is Jar Jar, either via a Wizard of Oz type scenario or via injuries / surgery that altered his appearance)
The villains are pretty non-threatening, which is a problem they needed to solve. The only really evil thing they did was Kylo Ren ordering the killing of those villagers early on (which is bad but unfortunately that sort of thing happens daily in multiple places in our world, so its nowhere near Hitler standards of evil, let alone evil on a galactic scale) So they had to kill a few planets worth of people without warning, just to show us what evil really is (and of course made the uniforms have a bit of a Nazi look to them, which just looked like they were trying too hard) Problem is, since the characters in the movie didn't seem to care those multiple planets worth of people died, why should the audience?
I know I'll be downvoted to hell by fanboys, but the whole plot was pretty badly conceived and executed. Fans love it only because the movie fixed the major complaints people had about Lucas (no Ewoks or Jar Jar type characters, the dialogue wasn't stilted, and the jokes hit their mark versus the groaners that fell flat in the prequels) But it missed some things that Lucas did well - making you think the bad guys are really bad, and explaining the world in which they live. We don't even know what the nature of the relationship is of the rebels to the Republic. My guess is that the First Order is sort of an insurgency that controls a fast growing part of the galaxy and the rebels are sort of half secretly funded by the Republic to fight their battles for them - kind of like when the CIA funded Bin Laden to fight the Russians. But who knows? I think maybe an extra 30 seconds in the text crawl at the start of the movie to explain things better would have helped there a lot, but yeah yeah I know one of the Lucas complaints especially in the prequels was too much exposition. Unfortunately too little exposition is even worse.