JJ Abrams has been talking here and there about Star Wars: The Force Awakens to promote the recent release of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD. As part of that he revealed a hint on who Rey's parents are not, reworking the key characters' relationship, and re-doing a familiar story.
On Rey's parents:
"Rey's parents are not in Episode VII. So I can't possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too. Obviously it’s not for me to talk about in this moment because this is [Episode VIII director] Rian [Johnson]’s story to continue now. The last thing I’m going to do is reveal something that he would be upset about. I want to make sure that Rian gets the courtesy that he showed me."
Finn/Rey relationship reworked due to Ford's leg injury:
"It didn't work at all. They were much more contentious. I didn't direct it right. It was set up all wrong. [I] was able to look at everything we'd done and rethink it and rewrite quite a bit of that relationship. So when we came back to work we actually just reshot, from the ground up, those scenes, and it was an amazingly powerful thing to get these two characters to where they needed to be."
Copying A New Hope:
“The weird thing about that movie is that it had been so long since the last one. Obviously the prequels had existed in between and we wanted to, sort of, reclaim the story. So we very consciously—and I know it is derided for this—we very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats, so the rest of the movie could hang on something that we knew was Star Wars. This movie was a bridge and a kind of reminder. The audience needed to be reminded what Star Wars is, but it needed to be established with something familiar, with a sense of where we are going to new lands, which is very much what 8 and 9 do.”