In Legends, in the Truce of Bakura, it is mentioned that people were intitially awed and dumbfounded as to how Luke was able to kill both Palpatine and Vader. Luke, while not revealing that Vader was his father, asserted that Vader killed Palpatine. Gradually, it is mentioned in Legends, many people in the empire viewed Vader as the epitome of betrayal.

But what of this in Canon. Is there no data on this. Or is it simply assumed that the Alliance killed Palpatine when destroying the Death Star. We all know that even if they destroyed the Death Star II, this was not like the destruction of Death Star I. All at once. It gradually destablised. Hence, Luke was able to escape (and possibly, many Imperials as well). If Vader had not killed Palpatine, he too would have been able to fly out, regardless if the battle station was destroyed or not.

Or did people not know this or think so far? When Leia is exposed as Vader (Anakin Skywalker's) daughter, she does not mention that Vader killed Palpatine, as that would her seem like an apologist, which would find her even less sympathy. (Bloodlines)

So what did people think? In the new Canon.

  • 1
    The Alliance published footage of the destruction of the Death Star and the Emperor's death (hence the celebrations)
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:10
  • Yes, I know. But how did they explain he died? That's my question. In, Legends, the galaxy knows Vader killed him. In Canon, was it just the destruction of the Death Star? Which as we know was not a garuantee for his death, if people were to think deeply.
    – Neel Dayal
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:55
  • Sorry, if my, 'How' is little complicated. I mean to ask, what was the galaxy's perception of the nature and cause of the Emperor's death.
    – Neel Dayal
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:56
  • My question, is Who do they think killed Palpatine? Not how the galay knew.
    – Neel Dayal
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:55
  • Is "He died when the Death Star blew up" sufficient? Or are you asking whether they credit it to one person, such as Vader, Luke, or Lando?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


Holo-vids of the destruction of the Death Star and a message from Princess Leia were extensively shared via a hack to the Holo-news network. Those that couldn't see it live would have heard about it or seen a bootleg copy of the announcement.

In short, the majority of the Galaxy's population are aware that the Emperor is dead almost immediately after it happened.

Princess Leia Organa. Once of Alderaan. Now: one of the heroes and leaders of the Rebel Alliance.

The recorded image of the princess speaks:

“This is Leia Organa, last princess of Alderaan, former member of the Galactic Senate, and a leader in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. I have a message for the galaxy. The grip of the Galactic Empire on our galaxy and its citizens is relinquished. The Death Star outside the forest moon of Endor is gone, and with it the Imperial leadership.”

Here the hologram changes to a sight all too familiar to Sinjir:

The Death Star exploding in the sky above Endor.

He knows because he was there. He saw the great flash, the pulse of fire, the bulging clouds like brains knocked out of some fool’s cracked head. All the bits of it up there, still, floating like so much detritus. The image flickers. Then it’s back to Leia.

“The tyrant Palpatine is dead. But the fight isn’t over. The war goes on even as the Empire’s power diminishes. But we are here for you. Know that wherever you are, no matter how far out into the Outer Rim you dwell, the New Republic is coming to help. Already we’ve captured dozens of Imperial capital ships and Destroyers—” Now the image becomes three-dimensional footage of Imperials being led off a ship’s ramp in cuffs. “And in the months since the destruction of the Empire’s dread battle station, we have already liberated countless planets in the name of the Alliance.” A new image: rebels being greeted as saviors and liberators by a cheering crowd of—where is that? Naboo? Could be Naboo. Back to Leia: “Be patient. Be strong. Fight back where you can. The Imperial war machine falls apart one gear, one gun, one stormtrooper at a time. The New Republic is coming. And we want your help to finish the fight.”

Star Wars: Aftermath

On the opposite side of things, the Empire tries to use body-doubles and faked footage to counter persistent rumours of Palpatine's death. Even his own side don't believe it, for the most part.

Jintar kneels. “Bor,” he says. “Listen to me. We’ve been lied to. Adelhard has sealed off the whole sector. Massive blockades with a ragtag Imperial remnant. But that’s not how they keep control. They keep control by lying to us.” He takes a deep breath. “The Emperor is dead, Bor. It’s been confirmed.”

“Lies,” Borgin hisses. “Of course, that’s what his type would have you believe!” He gestures with his chin toward the rebel, Kars. The scruffy pirate in the patchwork armor does nothing but scowl and shake his head. “I’ve seen the holovids. You have, too. Palpatine is alive and well on Coruscant and—”

“He’s just a stand-in. A proxy. An actor.”

“No. More rebel lies.”

“We’ve done the comparison. The vids don’t match. This…person in the dark robes isn’t Palpatine. Different chin, different gestures. A poor facsimile.”

Star Wars: Aftermath

  • 1
    Pursuant to the other part of the question, who do they think killed him? Luke? Vader? Lando?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 14:36
  • 2
    @Fuzzyboots - "Rebels"
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 15:12
  • So this is very very different from Legends. Unlike Legends, no one knows in particular Vader's role, or even Luke's role. And they don't seem to want to know either.
    – Neel Dayal
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 16:26
  • I still think that Vader's sacrifice to kill was essential. He would not have died another way. Whether Anakin was the Chosen One or not, only he could have killed Palpatine (aside from maybe Luke). No one knows he has done this, in canon, unlike Legends, which makes his sacrifice even more selfless and noble.
    – Neel Dayal
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 16:27
  • In Legends some people know the truth but throughout the galaxy as a whole the accepted view is that Luke the hero of the rebellion killed them both. As with all these things in the back waters and the far corners but also in the galactic core there will have been many many people who refused to accept the idea of Vader’s redemption and therefore would refuse to accept, or had just never heard the story, of how Vader killed the emperor.
    – Richard C
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 22:46

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