- "This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it."
- ―Conan Antonio Motti
Conan Antonio Motti was the Chief of the Imperial Navy who held the rank of admiral aboard the Death Star during the Galactic Civil War. Motti was extremely confident in his viewpoint that the Death Star was invulnerable, believing that the Rebel Alliance posed no threat to the battle station. He was even bold and arrogant enough to openly question Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader for his failure to discover the location of the Rebellion's secret base during one meeting in the Death Star. For this, Vader Force choked him. Despite Motti's unshakable faith in the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance—which had obtained a copy of the Death Star blueprints—managed to find a weak spot in the station's defenses, and succeeded in destroying it during a battle above the Death Star, killing Motti.
Early life and careerEdit
- "Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel's hidden fort…"
- ―Motti, before being Force choked by Darth Vader
Conan Antonio Motti was a human male who hailed from a wealthy and powerful family in the Outer Rim. A native of Seswenna, Motti became an officer in the Imperial Navy, eventually rising to the rank of Rear Admiral, commanding the Star Destroyer Steel Talon. In 14 BBY, he was a member of the Joint Chiefs. By this time, he was considered by Emperor Sheev Palpatine to be a potential candidate for the newly-created position of Grand Moff. However, this position eventually went to Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, who played a major part in a plot to destroy several Imperial space stations. However, Motti was involved in the campaign, being a part of several meetings of the Joint Chiefs at Imperial Center. Due to this, he received a promotion from the Emperor.
Death Star commandEdit
- "Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they've obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it."
By 0 BBY, he was aboard the Death Star, a planet-destroying battle station, and served as not only an Admiral, but the Chief of the Imperial Navy, as well remaining a Joint Chief. When the Alliance to Restore the Republic managed to obtain a copy of the technical readouts of the Death Star, the Rebel corvette carrying the stolen plans was captured by Darth Vader, but the plans themselves eluded the Dark Lord. During a meeting of high ranking Imperial staff aboard the station, he argued with General Cassio Tagge of the Imperial Army over the effectiveness of the Death Star and the threat of the Rebellion in the Galactic Civil War. Tagge felt that the Rebel Alliance posed a threat to the battle station, whereas Motti was confident that the superweapon was invincible. Tagge also feared that the growing Rebel movement would gain sympathy in the Imperial Senate. However, the two were interrupted by Grand Moff Tarkin, who informed the officers present that the Senate had been recently dissolved by the Emperor himself.
The regional governors would now have direct control over systems, and the planets would not dare step out of line due to fear of the Death Star. However, Tagge continued to insist that the Rebellion was dangerous, especially if they had obtained a copy of the Death Star plans. Though Darth Vader—who had recently arrived to interrogate Princess Leia Organa—admitted that the plans were in the hands of the Rebellion, he proclaimed that soon the Empire would have them. Motti then boasted of the Death Star's power, claiming that it was the preeminent power in the galaxy. However, Vader rebutted this claim, warning Motti not to underestimate the power of the Force. Arrogance clouding his judgment, Motti mocked Vader, insulting his devotion to the Force, alleging that it had not helped him recover the stolen Death Star plans or locate the Rebels' hidden base. In response, Vader simply Force choked him while rebuking him for his disturbing lack of faith, relenting only when ordered to do so by Tarkin but only at the very last moment. Motti slumped across the conference table, gasping for breath and considerably unnerved.
Motti later submitted a sharply worded incident report regarding the matter in which he stated that he would submit to discipline if necessary, but objected to Vader's attempt to proselytize him in his religion and stressing that it was important to take pride in this project that had taken so much of the Empire's time and effort.
When the Death Star arrived near Organa's home planet of Alderaan, Motti informed Tarkin prior to Vader's return with the Princess in his possession. Tarkin threatened to destroy the planet if she did not reveal the location of the Alliance's base, and Organa informed them that the base was on Dantooine. Tarkin then ordered the Death Star's superlaser to fire when ready, shocking the princess. He felt that this would be a demonstration that would terrify the rest of the galaxy—fear would keep dissidents in line. A group of Rebels managed to make it aboard the Death Star, and succeeded in freeing Organa from her cell. They then fled in their ship, the Millennium Falcon. Imperial stormtroopers had placed a tracking device aboard the starship earlier, however, and the Empire was able to track the freighter to the Rebel base on a moon of the planet Yavin, which was located in in the Outer Rim.
A battle began between the Imperial and Rebel forces above the Death Star. When several X-wing fighters proved adept at evading the station's defenses, Vader manned his personal TIE fighter and attacked them. He began picking off the surviving fighters one by one, but some officers nevertheless began to worry that the Rebel attack posed a danger. However, the Alliance was aware of a flaw in the Death Star—a small, uncovered thermal exhaust port leading directly to the station's main reactor. Against all odds, and much to Tarkin's surprise, a Rebel X-wing piloted by Luke Skywalker succeeded in flying through the trench where the exhaust port was located, and successfully fired a pair of proton torpedoes into the shaft, causing the Death Star to explode, instantly killing all those on board, Motti included.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Whatever conclusions you ultimately draw about the incident taking place between myself and Lord Vader during yesterday morning's briefing, he was wrong, and trying to crush someone else's windpipe doesn't make you any less wrong, if you're wrong to begin with. Which he was. I do not concede the argument."
- ―An unrepentant Motti after being telekinetically choked by Dath Vader.
Motti was loyal to Grand Moff Tarkin and held a rivalry against Vader. The admiral believed in the infallibility of the Death Star, feeling that any attack made by the Rebellion against the station would be a useless gesture doomed to fail. According to Leia Organa, Motti enjoyed one of the largest egos in the galaxy. He was extremely arrogant and condescending to everyone around him, including fellow high-ranking officers like the more pragmatic General Tagge. He was also dismissive of the Force and doubted its very existence, calling Darth Vader a mere sorcerer with a "sad devotion to an ancient religion." This nearly resulted in his death when Vader Force-choked him for his insolence.
Motti's arrogance led him to submit a lengthy incident report on the strangulation incident between him and Darth Vader in the Death Star conference room. Despite being on the receiving end of the Sith Lord's displeasure, Motti remained unrepentant, insisting that Vader was the one at fault for using violence, which Motti interpreted as meaning that he had won the argument. He further insinuated that Vader and Tagge were disloyal to the Empire, the former for putting his faith in the Force over the Death Star and the latter for being overly-concerned with the strength of the Rebellion. Though Motti was more humble after his encounter with Vader, he nonetheless remained convinced of the Death Star's infallibility up until it blew up around him.
Behind the scenesEdit
Motti first appeared in the film Star Wars, released in 1977. He was played by Richard LeParmentier, who was credited as "General Motti." Richard LeParmentier has stated that he is pleased to be remembered as Motti, and that he considers it an honor to have been part of Star Wars. LeParmentier was producing an animated fan film called Motti Now, in which Motti survives the Battle of Yavin and abandons the Empire.
Motti's full name was revealed by George Lucas on an episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien on May 1, 2007. When Lucas was asked the name of the officer choked by Vader in A New Hope, he replied "Conan Antonio Motti", which was confirmed in-universe in Star Wars Legends novels and later in the canon novel Tarkin.
- Tarkin (First identified as Antonio Motti)
- Bounty Hunt
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
- Star Wars: A New Hope junior novelization
- Star Wars: Heroes Path
- Star Wars: The Original Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- "Fully Operational"—From a Certain Point of View
- "An Incident Report"—From a Certain Point of View
- "Change of Heart"—From a Certain Point of View
- "Verge of Greatness"—From a Certain Point of View
- Darth Vader 1: Vader (Appears in flashback(s))
- (Picture only)
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 152
- Ultimate Star Wars (First identified as Conan)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know (As Antonio Motti)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ultimate Star Wars
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ 5.0 5.1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- ↑ Tarkin
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "An Incident Report"—From a Certain Point of View
- ↑ A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
- ↑ LeParmentier's site