Indeed my good friend, the SW franchise is still linked to some late 70s proper fad, when heroes were supposed to go thru' epic and heroic death and not dying miserably (or too realistically) -even when underdoing stupid and silly, but so casual, things; they were considered as immortal in most ways... some recollection of the Western movie genre (a genre Sam Peckinpah "killed" or "rejuvenated" with his awesome The Wild Bunch) or the War film genre both filled with flaws like Deus ex-machinae and clichés (like the perpetual "Good Guys always prevail and Bad ones always lose in the end"... or "they got married and lived happily ever after").
The death of Han Solo was so .. very predictable at best but de facto so meaningless and cliché.
And what about the Last Jedi most tragicomic moment; when Luke, using the rediscovered long-lost Fallanassi Similifuturus* (or Force projection) technique (a technique noone ever heard about nor use it... like Obiwan, Yoda or even Palpatine by the way) after warning Rey about dangers related to ("No do not use it, it would kill you"), just appeared from out of the blue to challenge his nephew, becoming New Order forces main target... in order to buy time for the Rebels to escape Hoth.. er.. Crait.. to fight another day...
(*Similifuturus ? Was I the sole person wondering about the very Harry Potter-esque origin of such a term? Was it an intentional way to get to Millenials, former HP readers and now the main audience of the new trilogy?)
"Exhausted, Luke dies peacefully on Ahch-To, becoming one with the Force" ...
Good or bad death? A logical and realistic death (since he used a technique well aware he was going to die thereafter)? Or one of the various hissy fits from a clearly jaded and blatant numpty director? Or just another intentional way to surf over nostalgia? Or to add a Games of Thrones ambiance?
To my mind, to respect the 70s fad, an epic and heroic death should have been Luke (and Leia?) facing Palpatine and Ben one last time... sacrifying himself to bring his nephew back to the good side of Force so he can side with Rey to fight Palpatine opening a new era.
Now back to Rogue One, an interesting twist within the franchise, too grim ad mature for some since heroes did undergo real epic and heroic death, every single one of them..
A pity Disney did not see potential over here: a trilogy would have been a better option than a fast & furious-like standalone. Rogue One fails to define its liveliest characters in ways that would make them popular. This is one area in which The Force Awakens is a better movie. Rogue One is so devoted to its multilayered, faster-than-light-moving plot that it cannot afford enough time to give its characters the breathing space they need to come across as a great team (à la Guardians of the Galaxy but more grim), as opposed to a bunch of strangers who work pretty well together despite ungodly pressure.
The sense of all these unsung heroes struggling to assert their values in a cruel universe comes through loud and clear. That so many characters have been pushed to the margins of galactic life or banished themselves there after a soul-crushing disappointment gives their decisions a grave, poignant quality that is lacking in other SW movies, even the good ones. "We've all done terrible things in the name of the rebellion," as Cassian said. The film adds much-needed shading to the Rebel Alliance, which has both moderate and "militant" elements that don't trust each other and often work at cross-purposes. This is the first time in the saga that convinces us that characters do live in an actual civilization, with rules and traditions and a sense of history and religion that they measure themselves against.
With Rogue One, SW moved from the casual and family friendly Space Opera to a more adult and grim War film genre: warfare is dirty, murky and gung-ho battle scenes do evoke iconic images of the chaos of Normandy and Vietnam mixed with visuals reminding me of "A Bridge too far", "Battle of Britain"... or "Enemy mine"
That's why I do really hope Andor is going to set again the cat amongst the pigeons, especially after the atrocious last instalment of the SW franchise, but I am still doubtful about.