One of the main differences between the first and second editions of the Star Wars D6 Role Playing Game is the combat damage system. I won't go into a lot of detail, but suffice it to say that the combat system in 2nd edition is a good deal more lethal than in 1st. The 2nd edition rulebook says this: "Combat in the Star Wars game is fairly lethal. The key to survival is not to get hit." It goes on to stress the importance of defensive skills, like dodge and parry, and concludes with: "Just like in the movies, most characters that get shot are seriously injured or killed. You've been warned!".
This was a large step from the rather forgiving system found in the earlier edition, and one I never agreed with. I also do not agree with the observation that spawned this change. While I agree that NPCs in the Star Wars movies do indeed seem to get dropped, the heroes themselves can and do take a beating- and don't die from it.
Below is a list of the times the various 'Player Characters' of the Original trilogy get injured. Note, this only covers the six 'main' characters of the movies (Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Artoo and Threepio).
STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE:
1) Leia is Stunned (Incapacitated) by Stormtroopers
2) Artoo is Stunned (Incapacitated) by Jawas
3) Luke is Knocked out (Incapacitated) by Tusken Raiders in melee combat
4) Threepio is Incapacitated by Tusken Raiders (and loses an arm) in melee combat.
5) Artoo is nearly destroyed (Incapacitated/Mortally wounded) by a laser blast from Darth Vader's TIE fighter during the final battle of the Death Star.
STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK:
1) Luke is Incapacitated by a Wampa then mortally injured by exposure to cold
2) Artoo is attacked and swallowed (and then spit out) by a Dragonsnake on Dagobah
3) Threepio is blasted to bits (mortally wounded?) by Stormtroopers on Bespin
4) Han is beaten down (Stunned) by Lando's guards after attacking Lando
5) Luke is Wounded by Vader's telekinetic attacks
6) Luke's hand is chopped off by Vader
STAR WARS: THE RETURN OF THE JEDI
1) Luke is shot in the hand by one of Jabba's henchmen during the battle at the Sarlacc pit.
2) Chewbacca is shot in the leg by one of Jabba's henchmen, again at the battle of the Sarlacc pit.
3) Threepio has his eye ripped out by one of Jabba's henchmen (and yes again, at the battle of the Sarlacc pit.
4) Han is clobbered by a Biker Scout on Endor after he fails in sneaking up on him.
5) Leia is knocked unconscious after falling off her speeder bike during the chase with the Biker Scouts.
6) Luke is severely injured by the Emperor's Force Lightning.
7) Artoo is shot as he tries to open the Bunker door on Endor.
8) Leia is shot as she covers Han at the Bunker door on Endor.
Each of these Episodes constitutes what I would consider a typical Star Wars 'Adventure' in a Roleplaying Game- encompassing one or two play sessions. The numbers of injuries sustained by the player characters are…well, very much in line with my own experience. Heroes in Star Wars DO get beat up, rather regularly, and are able to come back from it relatively quickly. This is one of the reasons I have kept with the 'less lethal' version of combat presented in the first edition. To me, it better reflects the 'cinematic' realism of the movies. I simply can't envision playing (or running) a Star Wars game in which the heroes are constantly getting killed by unlucky rolls. That may be the norm in many other systems and settings (D&D comes to mind) but to me, it just doesn't reflect what we see in the movies- and THAT is what I want from a Star Wars experience.
Anyway, it was just an observation.