how will space legs handle deaths

Because not all of the player base wants to use VR, or can afford this gaming technology, or are immune from health issues using said technology to play the game.
You have it all backwards.

Think about it: we have SLFs that have an android that you control piloting them. With combat legs, the same thing happens, its you jacking into a combat body and roving about, Arnie style. For other non dangerous things (trading, bowel movements etc) its 'you'. It might be that its a mix of menus and legs for civ stuff.

So Space Feet = Being John Malcovich in space.
If first person shooting is a large part of the 2020 update that will be the end of the road for me. The last thing I want is to turn Elite into another stupid gore-fest of an FPS game. There are many others to choose from if that is what I wanted. I am actually extremely worried that this is going to be a large part of the focus of the 2020 update and that this will end my time with Elite Dangerous because I don't like ultra-violent games.
Bruh'... FPS doesn't have to be gory.

Take Halo as an example. A shooter with success that other shooters can only dream of.

And there's basically no gore other than a little splatter.
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