Creating empty blocks vs creating full blocks

I’ve already read many different answers to this topic.

Is it correct that the miner decides on his own if he includes any transactions in his block and how many (as long as the block size is <1MB?)?

What is more beneficial for the miner and why: Creating an empty block, or creating either a block that contains all transactions of the pool/or <1MB? Or is there an optimum?

Isn’t it faster for a miner to not include any transactions in order to get the reward? Even more, if a large mining pool did that, isn’t there the danger of taking over the network?

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