Would the Empire even fall after the Emperor died or would it just evolve, and why would the Rebel Forces gain more traction?
There are two facts that that must be considered when attempting to solve those questions.
- The Emperor’s body was destroyed by Vader when the body was thrown down that really deep hole.
- Luke, with the help of Ewoks, cremates Vader.
There is now no proof the Rebels can provide that show’s the Empire’s Chain of Command has suffered any setbacks.
The lack of proof means the rebellion stays the same size, as they can’t use Vader and the Emperor dying as propaganda. However, the death of the two Force users leaves a vacuum of power that ambitious Admirals and Generals of the Empire seek to occupy. To keep their power from crumbling, the Admirals and Generals form a quorum; and since the Sith aren’t force choking them at every turn, the Quorum begins to crush rebellion hot spots all across the Empire.
The Quorum, learn valuable lessons from the foolish Emperor. Instead of wasting time and money on a massive weapon that keeps getting blown up, they put all their money and engineering resources into making smaller, faster, more heavily armed spaceships. Within ten years, the spaceships they create far outpace the Rebels engineering efforts; so much so that the Rebels’ ships, after a decade, look like a sling shot against the .50 sniper rifle Empire ships.
Five more years pass, these new ships are crushing rebellions before they get larger than ten people and a fight in a super market, when the last of the Rebels and the leadership in hiding are located and rounded up. The Quorum understands that a public death would turn the last Rebels into martyrs. The Quorum, acting smarter leaders of the Empire than the former Emperor and Vader, smarter because they have to think without falling back on the Force as a crutch, put the last of the Rebels on a derelict Star Destroyer. The Star Destroyer, which has every ounce of tech removed, and every single opening welded shut, is put out for sail. The Rebel leaders starve to death, no one knows, and the rebellion passes into memory.
Five years pass and the Quorum has no one to focus their power hungry ambitions on. The leaders of the Empire begin squabbling. Hot spots of activity flare up as forces loyal to one officer or another clash. The hot spots get larger, turning into battles over entire planets.
Two years after the first squabble, the Quorum splits along two sides. The new sides of the Quorum splitting down Navy and Army lines. Some older people who remember the rebellion, decide to test the waters. Each separate side of the Quorum crushes them, because neither side wants the Rebels forming up and taking what is their Empire from them.
A war of epic proportions begins. Worlds and moons are destroyed. People live in fear that their world or moon is next. The Navy starts to win ground on the Army because they have more Star Destroyers. A name begins to emerge around the Empire.
First Order of the Empire, as the first order is to crush those who go against the Empire’s wishes. First Order for short.
Eight more years and the Army is destroyed but the war took spy efforts away from worlds, which allowed a new Rebel Force to take root; this one smarter and more nimble. A Rebel Force that has access to the newer, faster, more heavily armed spaceships, because the Rebel Force was started with renegade Army officers who wanted to fight using guerrilla tactics, tactics that helped the first Rebel Force ultimately kill the Emperor.