I was thinking the night before seeing TROS about a more radical version of this edit where I cut out the opening scene entirely and maybe a few other little scenes in an attempt to have a more gradual, atmospheric opening. It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since making the mockup of the false starfield open but the first scene feels very important for a lot of characters. It is the introduction of Poe, Tekka, Kylo, and Finn. However, most of these character introductions are problematic in this scene and create slightly or mostly false impressions of future character arcs:
Poe - He’s fairly one-note throughout the film, so cutting his scene here doesn’t feel too destructive except that it removes even more of his character minutes.
Tekka - He dies in this scene and isn’t mentioned afterwards, so cutting this character doesn’t really hurt the film.
Finn - This is important stuff for him, but I’d argue that beginning his journey with shock at the death of a comrade paints a picture of a trooper now driven by conscience and compassion and refusing to take any life, especially those of his brothers and sisters in arms. This is proven false again and again throughout the film so taking out this moment might do more good than bad. I think the moment of him refusing to fire on the civilians is necessary to keep, but I have an idea about that.
Kylo - This edit paints Kylo in a more conflicted light. As such his cutting down of an unarmed civilian and ordering the murder of the whole village makes him far too villainous, especially considering later events in the saga. Other than Tekka’s murder, Kylo doesn’t kill anyone onscreen until Han so it’s more plausible that he will turn.
Removing this scene allows the edit to open on Rey and her life. BB-8 is a total mystery to the audience when Rey finds him, and only in the following interrogation do we learn of his importance. Cut from Rey and BB-8 walking home to the house at night, where BB-8 looks into the sky and bring in the opening shot of the film of the destroyer eclipsing the moon, sans transports. The interrogation could be expanded to include some voiceover from Tekka establishing the map and its importance. Cutting back to BB-8 at the house after the interrogation wouldn’t feel so out of place if it merely bookends the interrogation, then we move into the rescue and our first image of Finn.
As for Finn’s moment on the firing line, it could be placed after Finn’s big confession in Rey’s Force vision after the image of Luke and R2. Using the footage from the trailer without the added rain, move from that orange and firey scene to the burning village and Finn refusing to fire on the villagers. This would segue more cleanly into Rey’s past in the desert.