As someone that read most, if not all of the Extended Universe books, I kinda thing they are doing a great thing here. It's like Superhero movies that have moved forward into other categories. I mean, I know Ant-man is an existing character...but the movie was a heist flick. Winter Soldier was a political action/drama...kinda spy thrillery.
I think it's a really good thing to take an existing universe and put new and interesting stories/characters into it. I mean really, isn't all new IP story ideas just wedging ideas into an already existing universe? Usually one based more-or-less on the universe we all live in. The Star Wars Universe (or Marvel or DC or the Potterverse etc.etc.) area really just settings. Sure, if you tell the same story over and over it's as boring as whale shit. But when you can adapt that location to tell either a fully new story or at least a new take on an old story...or mixing stories into new universes then you are really just opening up entirely new IP. I was OK with TFA being basically a newer re-telling of A New Hope as kind of a do-over. I just hope JJ doesn't stick to that theme going forward. At least this new movie looks like it's breaking from that.
I mean, what I considered the best two movies of last year out of the ones I watched...both are stories which have been told before, more or less. Straight Outta Compton is based on a known story that actually took place...not exactly original. Ex-Machina wasn't new in any real sense from a storytelling perspective. Especially for those that read Asimov, Dick et.al. I still really enjoyed the movie.