I always thought that Galactic Empire was dissolved after death of Emperor Palpatine, but this has surprised me:

The New Republic (5 ABY - 25 ABY)

Having defeated the Empire at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance must now transform itself from a militant resistance force into a functioning galactic government. As Imperial territory is reclaimed, the New Republic suffers growing pains, having to fend off insurrections, Imperial loyalists, and wayward warlords. Also, Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi, begins training apprentices, rebuilding the Jedi order.

The New Jedi Order (25 ABY - 36 ABY)

The Jedi Knights are now a hundred strong. The New Republic has signed a peace treaty with what little remains of the Empire. The galaxy is finally enjoying a peaceful respite from decades of war.

If Empire remain in existence after death of Palpatine, who became emperor (or, in-charge of remains of Galactic Empire)?


4 Answers 4


This depends... The answer could be "Sate Pestage", "Palpatine's v2.0", "Xandel Carivus" or "Jagged Fel", with varying degrees of validity.

Here are details of Imperial succession history, 5 ABY through 138 ABY

Immediately after Palpatine's "first" death (at Endor) Empire fractured into many competing Warlords.

Immediately following the Imperial defeat at the Battle of Endor, Grand Vizier Sate Pestage seized control of the Empire. However, he lacked the charisma, Force powers, and terrifying presence that both Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader used to keep the Empire together. Admiral Blitzer Harrsk was the first Imperial to declare himself a warlord and set up his own mini-Empire, but he would not be the last. Others included Admiral Treuten Teradoc, Admiral Zsinj, and General Sander Delvardus, to name a few. (Wookieepedia; with detailed references to canon appearances in this article).

  • Then, Empire was ruled by Imperial Council for a while, with a bunch of warlords thrown in for fun (see detailed list on same Wookieepedia).

  • Then Palpatine himself returned (10/11ABY).

  • Then when Palpatine died again, Xandel Carivus proclaimed himself the Emperor (sources here).

  • After that, there were no emperors till much later - Under the Imperial Remnant, the role of Imperial Head of State was assumed by Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet.

  • The next person to actually hold the title of Emperor was Jagged Fel, who started the Fel dynasty (44ABY or slightly later, till 130ABY Crayt's coup when Darth Krayt became the Emperor).

  • The latest Emperor mentioned in canon so far is Marasiah Fel, following death of Darth Krayt. (no date given but ~137-138 ABY by my calculations)

    When the One Sith took over, Darth Krayt abolished the hereditary system and claimed the title of Galactic Emperor Empire. Roan Fel still claimed the title from his Empire-in-exile during the Second Imperial Civil War, and upon the conclusion of the war the deaths of both Krayt and Roan Fel resulted in Princess Marasiah Fel rising to become Empress of a now reunited Empire.

  • one caveat to remember: Anything that falls post-ROTJ is subject to revision given the new ownership... So when Ep 7 launches, this excellent answer could very well become invalid.
    – aramis
    Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 7:20
  • @aramis - I asked a question couple weeks ago re: rules for new canon. We'll see how it changes. Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 20:57
  • @aramis - while true, given the large body of work already out there, I'd say any answers (like this one) subject to revision are still good answers, just need to add a disclaimer that this applies to the older, George Lucas universe, if contradictory material is released
    – The Fallen
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 0:18
  • Why no mention of Thrawn?
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 19:54
  • @Mazura - was he actually "Emperor"? I seem to recall that he never took that title? Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 22:47

In canon, this is a complicated question. Officially, Palpatine's Vizier Mas Amedda is the new Emperor, but he has no real power in the position:

[E]verything else is out of [Amedda's] hands. Everything but minor administrative details.

It is lonely being the head of a dying Empire.

He is a figurehead. Or worse than one. They don't even trot him out for appearances.

Aftermath: Life Debt Chapter 10

It's not immediately clear who actually does have any power after Palpatine's death; it's clear that there's a great deal of squabbling amongst factions, and Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is said to control the Imperial Navy, which gives her a great deal of influence:

"Grand Admiral Sloane," [Amedda] says.

She stands up.

Here, before him, is the leader of one of those Imperial fragments — a rather considerable one. Perhaps the fragment of note. She controls what remains of the Imperial Navy, and their navy is dominant, so it is clear that whoever controls the navy controls the Empire. More or less. Still, it leaves her without the bulk of the ground forces, but rumor already has it that she's begun to bridge that gap and complete the deficit in her military presence.

Aftermath: Life Debt Chapter 10

The most influential is presumably Gallius Rax, an Imperial Fleet Admiral who assembles a Shadow Council to rule what remains of the Empire; Sloane herself, an astute political mind, notes his influence (emphasis mine):

Sloane bristles at being interrupted. Hux1 undercuts her because he thinks she's not important. It is vital she make a show of countermanding that — honestly, her greatest desire right now is to slam her fork through the back of his hand and chastise him for the intrusion. But that would defy Rax, and she's aware suddenly of the keen and delicate balance of power.

Aftermath: Life Debt Chapter 12

Rax eventually sets Sloane up as a puppet leader, with himself pulling her strings:

Sloane narrows her eyes. "You're pulling strings, Admiral. I don't know what they're connected to or why you're pulling them. I don't even know who you are or where you come from. You are little more than a shadow — and yet you lead the Empire."

"Secretly. You're the grand admiral here, I'll remind you."

Aftermath: Life Debt Chapter 18

And, after Sloane disappears, Rax himself assumes (theoretically temporary) control of the remaining Empire, though under a different title:

"Are you claiming the mantle of Emperor?" Borrum asks.

Rax hms. "I think not. I am not worthy."

"Grand Admiral, then."

"No. I am far too humble for such mighty titles. As I am the adviser to this group and to the Empire at large, I shall take for myself the title of Counselor to the Empire, serving as an interstitial leader only until Grand Admiral Sloane returns to us."

Aftermath: Life Debt Chapter 40

Rax's Empire would eventually disintegrate, and the most successful of the resultant factions would become the First Order, under the command of Supreme Leader Snoke.

1 No, not that one


It may be a little too late and you may have your answer but in case you didn't...

As mentioned Sate Pestage took control being Palpatine's political number two. He didn't last long (two years I believe) that long and was replaced by Madame Director Ysanne Isard. She was head of Imperial intelligence. She was Palpatine's lover and the closet thing the Empire had to an empress so they rallied around her. Eventually she was forced to flee Courucant when the New Republic (successor state of the alliance) came to liberate the planet. She would eventually be killed by general Wedge Antilles (the legality of her death is debatable since she wasn't doing anything illegal at the time of her death and Wedge disobeyed orders to kill her). This was about from 6ABY - 9ABY

Next was Grand Admiral Thrawn a Chiss, and only non-human grand Admiral. He rallied the remaining Imperial forces in a campaign against the New Republic. He almost succeed in reestablishing Imperial order but was killed by his own assistant at the height of a crucial battle. He lasted from 9ABY-10ABY

Next Palatine came back from the dead by moving his soul from the after life to a before hand readied cloned body (I know it's stupid but go with it). The rebirth of the true Emperor naturally crushed any claims that others had to the throne and thus the entire Imperial Remnant rallied to him. Palpatine with Luke acting as the new Darth Vader. He was able to actually retake the galaxy, however Luke returned to the light side of the force and over threw him. 10ABY - 11ABY

After Palpatine's final death (he ran out of clones, long story) this saw the decline of the Empire as a whole. The Empire would no longer be ruled by an Emperor but by whom ever was in charge of the navy at the time. The next Imperial leader was Admiral Daala, a female admiral and lover of the now deceased Grand Moff Tarkin. She single handily united what was left of the splintered Empire and prepared its forces to attack Luke Skywalker's Jedi academy on Yavin Four. Ultimately she failed at committing an order 66 in wiping out the Jedi and passed the reigns of the Empire to... (12ABY - 17ABY btw)

Grand admiral Paelleon (17ABY - 19ABY). This dude is the one of the most badass characters in star wars. He fought in the Clone Wars, Galactic Civil War, and served under all the aforementioned imperial leaders. Daala gave him control of the empire while she worked happily as his second in command. Paelleon and the Empire mustered their strength for one final attack at the heart of the New Republic in a campaign dubbed as the Final Imperial push. However the tables were now turned, the Empire was now the underdog fighting a desperate struggle against a superiorly powerful force.

The New Republic was as strong as the old one was with a working senate and the Jedi order back to being a prominent force in the galaxy. The campaign cost the remnant nearly 75% of it's territories lost to the Republic. Seeing if he didn't make peace with the Republic they would put every Imperial to execution by blaster point he sued for peace. A peace treaty with the Republic was signed in 19 ABY that assured remaining peace between the two governments, the two would be able to coincide in the same Galaxy peacefully. This marked the death of the Empire as it was known. R.I.P Galactic Empire 19BBY - 19ABY


There was no new emperor after the battle of endor because the Empire turned into more of a democracy. Grand Admiral Thrawn was however the new leader of the imperial remnant after his return from the unknown regions. It explains this in the book Vision Of The Future.

  • 1
    Do you have any sources to back up your points? You reference Vision of the Future, can you quote any lines from it to back up your points?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 18:53

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