Pfft. Whoever you're talking to doesn't know their Star Wars all that well. Were there Palpatine clones? Sure. Maybe. Thankfully that was retconned after Disney bought the property. The Empire didn't topple right away either and there were generals and politicians to fill in the power vacume. It took the rebel alliance another five years or so before they could capture Coruscant and even then there will still remnants of the Empire to deal with. That said, the EU was an utter mess between the novels and the comics, so it's kind of nice the universe is getting started with a clean slate (though I hear the Marvel comics are quickly making a mess of things again).
That said, the universe is HUGE. It would be so easy to create a story that never even comes within smelling distance of any of the main characters. Anyone who doesn't probably wasn't trying too hard in the first place.
As for the thread? You're fine on bailing. You gotta see to life first. It'll still be there if you ever want to pick it back up. :)