Grand Moff Tarkin

Grand Moff Tarkin

SW Character
name=Grand Moff Tarkin
position=Regional Governor of Oversector Outer, commander of the Death Star
affiliation=Galactic Empire
portrayer=Wayne Pygram (Episode ')
Peter Cushing (Episode

Grand Moff Governor Wilhuff Tarkin is a fictional character in the "Star Wars" universe andwas one of the two main antagonists in ', the other being Darth Vader. He was portrayed by British actor Peter Cushing in the same movie. A younger Tarkin had a brief cameo in the prequel film ', where he was portrayed by Wayne Pygram. Tarkin is also the only person apart from Palpatine who is seen to exert any kind of command over Vader.



Tarkin appears very briefly at the end of "Revenge of the Sith". However, he neither speaks nor is addressed in this role, and is only seen walking away from Emperor Palpatine to make way for Darth Vader on the bridge of a command ship.

In "A New Hope", Tarkin is the Imperial governor of the Outer Rim and commander of the Death Star. He is charged, along with Vader, with pursuing and destroying the Rebel Alliance spies who have stolen the battle station's plans. To that end, he threatens Princess Leia Organa with the destruction of her home planet of Alderaan if she does not reveal the location of the Rebels' base. When she reluctantly confesses, he has the planet destroyed anyway. Tarkin later discovers Leia lied to him. The base is later discovered to be on the fourth moon of Yavin, where he famously states, "Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances." He is killed when the Rebels destroy the Death Star in the film's climactic battle scene.

Prior to his casting in the film, Peter Cushing was known primarily for his roles in Hammer Horror movies. He was also a close friend (and Hammer co-star) of Christopher Lee, who would become a part of the "Star Wars" universe 25 years later as the Sith Lord Count Dooku.

Expanded Universe

In the timeline of the "Star Wars" universe, Wilhuff Tarkin first appears in "", in which he meets then-Senator Palpatine as an obscure sector chief on the planet Naboo. The two find that they share a basic philosophy on government: might makes right. Tarkin helps Palpatine engineer the murder of the Trade Federation Directorate, which are on Tarkin's homeworld, Eriadu, for a trade summit. The pirate raids on the Trade Federation that lead to the summit are also been orchestrated by Palpatine in his Sith identity of Darth Sidious, as is Nute Gunray's rise to power as Trade Federation viceroy. From then on, he and Tarkin are close allies, using each other to advance their own careers.

In "", set just after "Revenge of the Sith", Tarkin first forms a partnership with Darth Vader, hoping that an alliance with Palpatine's Sith apprentice will cement his position in the newly-created Empire.

Tarkin earns a reputation as a brutal, cold, and ruthless officer during the earliest days of the Empire. In an incident that became known as the "Ghorman Massacre" (referred to in the story "Betrayal" in "") Tarkin orders his ship to land on a platform where a large group of people are protesting the Imperial taxation on the distant planet Ghorman. Hundreds of Imperial subjects are crushed by Tarkin's transport in the landing. This event is the first manifestation of what becomes known as the Tarkin Doctrine, also known as the "doctrine of fear." Tarkin explains it simply in "A New Hope": "Rule through the "fear" of force, rather than force itself."

The Expanded Universe novel "Jedi Search" reveals that Tarkin takes on a young woman named Daala as a protegé during the height of his Imperial career. He whisks her away from her home planet of Carida and makes her part of his staff. The two eventually become lovers. Soon after, Tarkin makes her an Admiral in secret, and prepares to give her a mission.

One day, an officer is overheard saying that Daala only achieved her position because she was sleeping with Tarkin. Tarkin flushes him out of the air lock, in a spacesuit, with the comm channel locked open so the rest of the crew could listen to the man's screams and cries for mercy. He then gives Daala four "Imperial" class Star Destroyers, the "Gorgon", the "Basilisk", the "Manticore" and the "Hydra". He then sends her to the secret weapons facility in the Maw cluster of black holes near Kessel, where he tells her to wait for more orders. Daala remains there for 11 years, eventually resurfacing to threaten the New Republic.

Media appearances

Tarkin is a playable character in ' and '. First seen in a cutscene from "A New Hope", Grand Moff Tarkin is available for purchase at the Mos Eisley Cantina.

In the TV series "Family Guy", Grand Moff Tarkin is played by Mayor Adam West in the "Blue Harvest" episode.

In the TV series "Pinky and the Brain", Grand Moff Tarkin is played by Dr. Scratchansniff in the "Star Warners" episode.

A song titled "Komandor Tarkin" appears on Kazik's 2000 album Melassa, however, the lyrics are full of factual errors regarding Grand Moff Tarkin.

In comics

Wilhuff Tarkin also appears in comics, created by Roy Thomas.Superherobox|

character_name=The Grand Moff
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut=Star Wars Marvel #1 (July 1977)
creators=Roy Thomas
Howard Chaykin
alter_ego=Wilhuff Tarkin
species = Human
homeworld = Eriadu
alliances = Galactic Empire
aliases = Grand Moff
powers =


*"Cloak of Deception"
*"Rogue Planet"
*"Death Star"
*"Empire: Betrayal"

External links

*sww|Wilhuff Tarkin
* [ More information on Tarkin]
* [ Tarkin Facts]

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