In Return of the Jedi, Palpatine tries to turn Luke to the Dark Side. He fails, and decides to kill him, but instead Vader intervenes and the rest is history.

But, while all of this is happening, the Rebels manage to destroy the shield generator on Endor (with unexpected help from the Ewoks), therefore allowing Rebel space forces to destroy Death Star 2 itself.

My question is, what would happen if Vader didn't kill Palpatine (for one reason or another)? Events in the throne room seemingly didn't affect battle that was going on. EU Legends mention that Palpatine used Battle meditation, but as far as I know there is no confirmation for this in canon.

Without that, I don't see any reason why the Rebels would not destroy Death Star 2 anyway, even if Luke failed in his personal quest to confront Emperor.

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    There doesn't seem to be any direct connection, within the main canon, that the Emperor's death somehow lead to the Falcon being more or less successful in its assault on the Death Star II. Where the difference lies is that had the Emperor not died, he would have evacuated back to his fleet.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 11:06
  • The Emperor used the Force to direct and influence the Imperial forces, and had been doing so since his days as Supreme Chancellor. His death had a large impact on the Imperial fleet.
    – jonbaldie
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 11:21
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    @jonbaldie - And while that may or may not be the case in canon, his involvement in the final assault on the Death Star II seems peripheral at best.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 11:26
  • Still though whenever we saw the dark side getting an advantage in the clone wars series........suddenly the clones started dropping left and right. While when the light side became superior the droids started dropping left and right (I think 2 or 3 episodes had that shown). so could be the same there
    – Thomas
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 12:03
  • Theoretically, Emperor would have few minutes between destruction of shield generator and final assault on reactor to evacuate. But still, with loss of DS2 and Executor, there would be significant drive to leave Empire and join Rebellion. Is it possible to win conventional war against Sith is whole another question and topic.
    – rs.29
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


I have always thought so yes. But there is a good chance Vader and Palpatine would have escaped (maybe with Luke). And the Empire live on under their rule.

The only thing I can think of is the death star had a plan to stop the chain reaction or to intercept the attacking party which was not activated due to them being dead or turned. But this seems unlikely at best. If the order of events was different maybe one of them would have sensed the ewok attack and redirect forces to prevent them capturing the shield generator.

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