A big deal has been made about how the Emperor must have been in control through the force of the Imperial Fleet around Endor’s moon, due to the fact that they seem to fall apart when he dies; I think this retcon goes back to Kevin Anderson’s writings. When you actually watch the original film (RotJ), ignoring the EU explanations for this, what you see is a series of fortuitous events all happen at once: Emperor dies, and a lone pilot slams into the flagship of the fleet (The Executioner) and downs it in one fell swoop….the Executioner falls into the Death Star II’s gravity well and blows up real good; also, ewoks and an exploding shield generator. Things suddenly go horribly south for the Imperial Fleet, and they are rapidly routed.
So using Occam’s razor for our fictional process, what’s the simplest solution: that the Emperor was able to mind-control thousands of Imperial ships into an effective cooperative organizational structure, and that when he died they suddenly all got stupid….or that they were already basically a highly autocratic military organization built on a regimented approach to using straight up overwhelming force, and when they simultaneously lose their coordinating flagship and also have said ship plow into their partially completed space station the regimented military structure suffers a complete and total breakdown?
Seriously….this is a no-brainer. It also explains why the original Death Star had such a glaring design flaw; anyone who’s worked on design by committee or in a bureaucracy heavy environment knows how this works. Even introducing the notion of “force tactics mind control” into the mix was basically denying all the evidence of gross incompetence with the Empire in the prior two films.
The Empire are the English Red Coats, you see; being mercilessly gunned down as they operate on their strict and time-honored drill habits while the Rebels pick them off from the treeline. Case closed.
Also: watch Troops. It explains everything.