A battle took place over an unidentified moon near the Gulf of Tatooine. Berch Teller's chose this location for his rebel cell to ambush an Imperial convoy, transporting the hyperdrive for the secret Death Star project from Desolation Station to Sentinel Base. However, Moff Wilhuff Tarkin learned about their plan and led Imperial Navy reinforcements which defeated the dissidents. However, Teller managed to escape into hiding.
Berch Teller was a Republic Intelligence officer stationed on Antar 4 during the last year of the Clone Wars. He helped trained Koorivar and Gotal loyalists to resist the Separatist. Following the transformation of the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire, Imperial forces under Wilhuff Tarkin indiscriminately massacred many Koorivar and Gotals including loyalists during the Antar Atrocity. Tarkin's actions attracted considerable outrage and the Emperor Palpatine reassigned him to overseeing pacification operations in the Western Reaches.
The Antar Atrocity turned Teller against the new Empire. He formed a rebel cell consisting of survivors of the Antar Atrocity as well as the journalist Anora Fair and the Zygerrian film director Hask Taff, who had helped raise public awareness of the events on Antar 4. Teller had a special animus for the now Moff Tarkin, who was in charge of the Empire's secret Death Star project. In 14 BBY, Teller's dissidents launched an insurgency against the Empire. They stole Tarkin's personal corvette Carrion Spike on the planet Murkhana. Intending to turn it into a symbol of resistance, the insurgents used the Carrion Spike to raid Imperial facilities across the Perlemian Trade Route.
Teller was secretly aided by Vice Admiral Dodd Rancit, a rival of Tarkin who served as Director of the Naval Intelligence Agency. Teller used his intelligence connections to divert former Separatist weapons, communications equipment, and intelligence to Teller's dissidents. After leading Tarkin and Darth Vader on a pursuit throughout the galaxy, Teller and his insurgents abandoned the Carrion Spike following a failed attack on the Imperial facility in the Nouane system. Having realized that Rancit had betrayed them to save himself, the insurgents transferred to Berch Teller's warship, a modified Providence-class carrier. The diversion of Imperial forces to safeguard Imperial installations left the Death Star convoys undefended; something that played into the insurgents' hands.
Teller's rebel cell received intelligence from Rancit that an Imperial convoy would be exiting hyperspace over a barren moon in a star system Coreward of the Gulf of Tatooine. This convoy would then travel by sublight to the Imperial marshaling station at Pii. From there, the convoy would be escorted to Sentinel Base, which led to Geonosis, the site of the Death Star construction site. Teller's forces included a modified Providence-class carrier, a EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate, multiple droid tri-fighters, and four starfighters—two Z-95 Headhunters and two Tikiars. While Teller was not privy to the Empire's secret Death Star project, he suspected that the Empire was building something in Geonosis and was determined to impede it.
When the convoy exited hyperspace, Teller's dissidents jammed their HoloNet and communications relays. Despite being ambushed, the convoy's escort gunboats and frigates formed a defensive perimeter around the boxy cargo ships and transports. However, the insurgents used their laser cannons to blast the escorts while nimble former Separatist droid starfighters were able to dart through openings and inflict damage on the transports. As a result, two Imperial tugs, two escort gunboats, and several Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighters were destroyed.
After executing Rancit for his treason, Moff Tarkin traveled on the Imperial Star Destroyer Executrix to the Gulf of Tatooine to deal with Teller's insurgents. Having assessed the situation, Tarkin deployed V-wing starfighters to engaged the frigate and carrier while leaving the droid fighters to the convoy escorts. In response, Teller's carrier repositioned itself in an attempt to block the Executrix from assisting the convoy.
With the convoy sustaining damage, Tarkin ordered the crew of the Executrix to move the Star Destroyer forward and to refrain from firing until he had given the command. As the Executrix lumbered through the congestion of starfighters, he ordered the forward batteries to destroy the insurgents' Nebulon-B escort frigate, destroying the ship and several droid starfighters. With the Imperial V-wings sustaining damage from the enemy droid fighters, Tarkin ordered the Imperial fighters to withdraw into their wake and to protect the convoy at all costs. With the enemy carrier changing course, Tarkin ordered the crew to shift the Star Destroyer ten degrees port and to fire the starboard ion cannons.
With the battle turning against the insurgents, Teller ordered the Gotal engineer Salikk to jump into hyperspace. However, Salikk and Anora Fair convinced Teller to escape on a Z-95 Headhunter so that he could live to fight another day. Anora and Salikk decided to stay behind and face martyrdom. Meanwhile, the Executrix continued pummeling Teller's carrier, inflicting heavy damage on the ship and disabling its sublight engines. These attacks disabled the droid starfighter's master control computer and HoloNet jammers. Having crippled the carrier, Tarkin ordered the Executrix to cease fire.
Shortly later, Imperial reinforcements arrived from Pii station in the form of the Star Destroyers Compliant and Enforcer. Tarkin then led a boarding party aboard the carrier. A search of the carrier's extant module yielded 13 dead crew members and 26 captured insurgents of various species including humans, Koorivar, and Gotals. Among the captives were Anora Fair, Hask Taff, the Lantillies broker Knotts, and the former Mon Calamari Knight Dr Artoz. Though the mastermind Teller had escaped, a jubilant Tarkin ordered that the captives be brought to Coruscant for interrogation.
The battle near the Gulf of Tatooine marked the effective defeat and collapse of Berch Teller's cell. Over the next three weeks, Tarkin oversaw the interrogation of the captured insurgents with the assistance of Lord Vader and the Imperial Security Bureau. Per the Emperor Palpatine's orders, the insurgents were secretly executed to deny them martyrdom. The Empire also targeted the insurgents' collaborators for retribution including warehouse workers and salvages who had supplied them with equipment, scientists who had furnished them with intelligence, and the Tenloss and Crymorah syndicate members who had outfitted the insurgents' carrier.
Due to his efforts in quelling the insurgency, Tarkin was promoted to Grand Moff and Governor of the Outer Rim Territories. Tarkin also tightened security at the Death Star construction site to prevent any enemies of the Empire from learning about the secret project. Tarkin also developed the Tarkin Doctrine which advocated a strong Imperial military presence. While the Imperials were unable to track down Teller after he had abandoned his starfighter on Christophsis, Teller was able to track Tarkin down to his homeworld of Eriadu. There, Teller attempted to ambush Tarkin at the Carrion Spike nature reserve. However, he fell into a trap and Tarkin abandoned his nemesis to the elements.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Tarkin (First appearance)