Re: 38 minutes of the film in Brasil - SPOILERS!
It's like the writers saying let's just kill off a secondary character..why? It's more of a bold move to kill one of the main ones but that won't happen.
Abrams Trek is all about tropes that have to be in movies and it wouldn't surprise me if Abrams and cohorts had a list of tropes and were ticking each one off as they incorporate it into their movies. And a common trope of sequels is to kill off a character from the previous movie that resonates with the audience. I'm sure if they had their way they'd love to kill off one of the principals, problem is Paramount won't allow that, meaning Pike is the only one who can be killed.
"Internet message boards aren't as funny today as they were ten years ago. I've stopped reading new posts." -The Simpsons 20th anniversary special.