I don’t know. I think it’d be fairly easy to disguise yourself around the galaxy. Wear Mandalorian or Booush armor. In Kylo’s case, grow a beard and cut your hair. In Vader’s, no one knew what he looked like under the helmet. This would be helped with Luke/Rey claiming they are dead.
The problem with immediate death is it isn’t very interesting. Vader and Kylo never confront what they have done. Love should be used as the tipping point back over, but once on the light, it would have been nice to feel some remorse for their actions.
And I think all of this is well and good, but it’s also going back to that fundamental question of what “Star Wars is about” as if there’s a central unifying thesis behind all the storytelling decisions being made (I don’t think there really should be) as opposed to Star Wars being defined by its look and sound (which I think is the most unifying aspect, and probably should be)
All that to say: I understand the desire and I get why you’d want to pursue the stories of Vader and Kylo into a better ending for both of them, I don’t think it’s wrong to do so and I agree there’s a TON of interesting avenues to go down and I’d even love to see those ideas - I spitballed one of them myself upthread! But then you have to ask why Star Wars needs to be primarily a story about misunderstood genocidal dictators making good on their ruined lives. Why are THOSE figures now THE CENTRAL figures of Star Wars, and why is forgiving them and making their forgiveness the primary focus, the overall goal of this story?
What is it about Star Wars that makes Star Wars fans think the best use of time and energy from a storytelling POV is in pursuing rehabilitation narratives for literally THE WORST people? There are other ways to tell stories of forgiveness and love than to lean as hard as possible into a path where eventually the only acceptable end point is “You’ve only really told a successful story in this fictional universe if you’ve figured out a way to make Herrman Goering or Richard Spencer loveable again.”
But even allowing for that story to be THE primary story of Star Wars - I don’t think it’s “applying realism” to Star Wars to suggest that Kylo or Vader wandering the galaxy to try and atone is sort of a bad call, for multiple reasons.
It makes our heroes liars. Especially in a scenario where they just… let Vader or Kylo go and tell everyone else “Oh, he died.” That’s a HUGE betrayal of trust and responsibility on the part of our hero. “You told me he died” is a pretty big hurdle to have to clear, and even BROACHING the subject shifts the texture of the storytelling you’re working with. They tried to have Obi-Wan reckon with it in Jedi and it… didn’t really work. It’s maybe one of the biggest bits of bullshit IN that movie. Now imagine turning EVERY hero we have that’s in on this story INTO that, but on a larger, galaxy-wide scale. And even then, it’s not “I lied about him dying because I thought you’d have to kill him for the sake of the galaxy,” but “I lied to everyone about him dying because I want him to get as many karma points as he can before he kicks the bucket”
It sends a weird message, in that you can duck responsibility for being a genocidal maniac by simply growing a beard and fighting off farm raiders in the outer rim, or wearing a helmet for the rest of your life. But even that’s likely not going to stop word from spreading about who you REALLY are. And once that word is out - you’re basically on a countdown clock to assassination attempts. But the big contradiction here is that you can’t REALLY atone for what you’ve done while you’re in hiding and denying who you are. That’s not really atonement. You have to be you, and take responsibility for what you did. If you’re “atoning” under an alias and denying who you are (and making good people complicit in that deception) it’s kind of a bullshit “atonement.”
It again, tilts this storytelling towards enabling and making… not excuses, but ALLOWANCES for flat out EVIL behavior. Because there’s no way on these adventures that this bad guy turned good doesn’t get in fights and/or kill good guys who aren’t trying to hear about this atonement world tour. And then you have to step back and ask why THIS is your primary storytelling focus? What is it about Star Wars that has led you to the point where in order to craft a SUCCESSFUL story that embodies THE THEMES of Star Wars, you have to grapple with character choices like “how do I get Kylo Ren out of this jam where a farmer figures out who he is and tries to put a knife in his eye?”