Hello, my fellows Star Wars enthusiasts. I'm a big fan of the Empire, if not of Palpatine. In my opinion, barring the despots that were allowed to get into high places, the Empire was one of the best things to happen to the Galaxy, if only because I found it more interesting than the Galactic Alliance/New Republic/Old Republic ever could be. And much more stable, looking at the EU after RotJ. Most of all, I wonder what could have been. How would the EU have changed if the Empire had still existed? Most of all, how would the Vong invasion have changed, when met with a very powerful and organised standing army, led my Admirals such as Thrawn, and Vader himself? My view, written up in concept atm. Instead of picking up and flinging a lightning throwing nut-job, Vader uses Luke's fallen lightsaber, cutting him down where he stands... and changing the shape of the galaxy forever. Vader lives, returned to being Anakin Skywalker, he and Luke fleeing together in a Lambda shuttle. But, Vader does not return to Endor with Luke, as much as he wishes to 'meet' his daughter. He is ashamed, but beyond that, he is heir to the Empire, and there is precious little time to seize control. With 'Darth' Vader at the helm of the Empire, the harsher practices of the Empire will lessen. He will always have a dark streak, but Anakin Skywalker is no longer a Sith in anything but title. He stays Darth Vader out of immense guilt over his choices. Luke is free to re-form the Jedi Order, though the Rebellion still continues to grow, until in time its is supressed as 'gently' as possible. With Vader's more moderate rule, they have less ammo to use to grow. Luke is not popular, seen as a traitor who abandons the cause, especially when he notes that Vader is different. They form their own alliance in the areas of the Galaxy that the Imperial Remnant would have. Mara Jade pretends to be loyal to the new Emperor, even as she uses her position to try and fulfil her last command. She still ends up with Luke, in fact, a little earlier than in the books. A suspicious, but yielding to his son, Vader allows her to stay his agent but also liaison between the Empire and Jedi academy. The Empire begins to gain reports of strange things out on the fringes of the Galaxy, and is much more prepared to deal with the Yuhzan Vong invasion - and a bored and aging Anakin Skywalker is suddenly in his element again. And also a proud father, as just in the NJO, Luke is a powerful Jedi Master in his own right, potentially one that overshadows his crippled father in power and ability. Mara, once trained, will have formed the Imperial Knights a centuary early. Kyp will have joined this order. Vader keeps out of this. Leia and Han's children trained with Luke, more due to (suprisingly) Han's influence, as Leia had never forgiven her father, and her relationship with Luke was strained and frosty. 'Anakin' was named in defiance, as opposed to in an effort to forgive. Perhaps Leia would be the one in danger of becoming the next true Sith in line? If she even trained her force abilities at all. Its still just thoughts, but I thought I'd bounce it around, and see what other suggestions others have. Its actually inspired by the Infinities comics, which I feel handle the subject terribly, in all three stories. I don't think a reformed Vader would ever really return to the brash young man of the Clone Wars again in life, or side with the Rebellion. Even as a Jedi, Anakin felt a firmer handed 'goverment' was need, and that the system didn't work. Nor do I think they would have accepted him. Executed? sure. But not accepted. I also think his journey would have been interesting. He was fourty-five, I believe, when he died. Fairly young for a human in general, in the GFFA, let alone a force user. Nor do I think it would be as asimple as "ooo, i'm light now" like a few of the EU characters ended up. I think Vader would have struggled with his darker impulses just as much as Anakin Skywalker ever did, if not more. I think if it came to light that Vader survived, Luke would have supported him as 'redeemed', and stood with him, and note that its much easier to support a dead 'reformed Jedi' than a living 'new Emperor'. there was a reason Luke burned his fathers pyre alone, after all. I really don't think Leia and the Rebellion would have understood, not really. His crimes still stood, and the redeeming was very much force-centric. Has anyone else got any thoughts? Events of the post-RotJ EU that would be different? And how? And which would just outright not happen, or happen the same? Depending what we can come up with, I'm doing this as set-up for a story. But i'd like a clear mental mapping of this new galaxy and timeline.