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1. It worked for the galaxy
After Palpatine supposedly died, the Rebellion formed the New Republic and the galaxy celebrated the demise of the evil Emperor. While it wasn’t a long-lived celebration, it did give the Rebels time to establish their own order. Mon Mothma took over, the Empire collapses, and the galaxy was born anew.
That was the key right? Defeating the Empire? If so, Anakin did that. All on his own. He sacrificed himself that the Empire would fall, and fall it did.
Now, granted, it didn’t last long. The First Order rose up, Snoke (AKA Palpatine from the shadows) took over as Supreme Leader, all under the dead Emperor’s orders, but the failure came down to the New Republic’s inability to keep control of the galaxy, Luke Skywalker’s failure with Ben Solo.
Had Anakin not did what he did, the Empire would never have fallen, the New Republic would have never had it’s chance to succeed and while it did fail soon after, that chance to establish a better galaxy is what Anakin died for.
So no, his sacrifice wasn’t in vein. But I want to hear what you think—does Palpatine’s survival cheapen the Vader turnaround?