Did Palpatine ever even need Anakin or Luke? In ROTS, I can't think of anything he needed Anakin for. Nor was the presence of Vader key to the Empire continuing. In ROTJ, Palpatine wouldn't lose anything if both Vader and Luke both died, as long as he survived. And neither influenced the outcome of the battle. As for a successor... the Old EU (Legends), Palpatine never planned on dying. In the New EU (Canon), Palpatine planned on burning the whole Empire down if he died, no matter the cause. For all Palpatine thought, he won. Why would he need an apprentice at all? Did Palpatine ever even need Anakin or Luke?