Originally, soldiers would abuse Luna, her health would deteriorate and we’d see her struggle. If done right, she would have been a more poignant, sympathetic character. But is there any evidence she’d be any different than in Kingsglaive? In Kingsglaive, she was a graceful damsel in distress. That’s a far cry from a strong, independent woman.
But for all we know, strong and independent for Square Enix meant her retaining her composure in the face of abuse. If we saw scenes of her torture in the game, we’d essentially just see torture porn of an imprisoned character. This might throw off the already Frankenstein-like creation of Final Fantasy XV.
If you for some reason didn’t care about her death all that much…
If you introduce a plot element in the first act, something better come of it by the second. In this case, if they abuse Luna in the game, you have to start explaining why. Simply wanting her tortured won’t make her deeper as a character. The argument “Luna’s suffering will make the game better” is non-sequitur at best, emotional at worst. We’re going to need a little bit more than just seeing her suffer to make the story better.
Tabata’s direction would have to make sure the abuser got an equal amount of screen time. This isn’t a problem in itself. And Tabata doesn’t shy away from making characters suffer, so it could’ve happened in Final Fantasy XV. Unfortunately, we see how the game turned out due to time constraints.
Tabata realizes that if he removes the empire, but includes scenes of an abused Luna, context will be missing. We’ll see the empire is bad, but never really get a full scope other than “they beat women”…which would just be trite and inconsistent with the story. And once they’d pull the old Final Fantasy bait-and-bad-guys-switch, her torture would have seemed fairly inconclusive. As incomplete as it looks, Final Fantasy’s internal story narrative flows.