The continuation of the Star Wars saga in the Disney era went through a lot of changes from concept to screen. JJ Abrams revealed his original storyboards for The Force Awakens, which had a different opening scene. No, it wasn't Luke's hand falling through space, but a more expository look at Jakku.
Animator Tim Gray made the above video, based on J.J. Abrams’ own unused storyboards, which mirrors the opening of A New Hope to satisfying effect. The familiar scene has smaller ships being tailed by a looming Star Destroyer, but then it flips the script: They’re actually tugging the decrepit ship along to its final resting place on Jakku, where scavengers like Rey will inevitably harvest it for parts.
They did the right thing in going with a real battle to open the film. As the prequels taught us, action always trumps explanation.