During the Battle of Yavin
| Chronological and political information
- "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
- ―Leia Organa
Wilhuff Tarkin was a Human male who served the Galactic Republic and, later, the Galactic Empire. During the Clone Wars, Tarkin served as a Republic captain and was taken prisoner by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, before escaping with the help of a Jedi and clone trooper strike team. He was later promoted to Admiral and presided over the trial of Ahsoka Tano, who was framed for the bombing of the Jedi Temple Hangar.
After Supreme Chancellor Palpatine transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire, Tarkin became the regional Governor of the Outer Rim and commanded the Death Star. He believed that fear of the battle station would keep the local systems loyal to the Empire, and used it to destroy Alderaan to showcase the station's power. The Rebel Alliance, however, stole plans to the Death Star and was able to destroy it during the Battle of Yavin, killing all those on board—including Tarkin.
Wilhuff Tarkin was born on the planet Eriadu into the wealthy Tarkin family. He lived with his family in the family compound, where the Tarkin's had lived for over a millennium. Wilhuff's father and mother taught him that Eriadu hadn't always been the tame wilderness that it seemed—the entire planet had once been an untamed wilderness, the jungle and predators had been more of a threat than pirates and marauders. The early Tarkin's had helped settle Eriadu, they had been their own police force. And later a militia had been formed—under Tarkin leadership. Wilhuff took these history lessons to heart. Wilhuff's parents made sure that he knew that respect, discipline and obedience were of the utmost importance. Because of this Wilhuff thought of himself as a product of a military upbringing. One night while at supper Tarkin's father ordered a servant to take Wilhuff's plate before he could eat—teaching him how easy it is to lose something.
The Clone WarsEdit
Battle of MurkhanaEdit
Captured by the ConfederacyEdit
Sometime after the Battle of Murkhana Tarkin served under Jedi Master Even Piell. Tarkin and Piell undertook a Mission to Secure the Nexus Route. The Nexus Route was a strategically important hyperspace route that led both into the heart of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Republic. Before Tarkin and Piell were able to return to Republic Space securing the information to the Republic they were attacked by the Confederacy Navy. Before they were boarded Piell and Tarkin each memorized half of the information regarding the Nexus Route, they then erased it from the ship's computer. Shortly after they and several clone troopers were captured and taken to the Seperatist controlled planet Lola Sayu, a volcanic world home to the Citadel, a prison built hundreds of years before that was designed to hold renegade Jedi if any had lost their way.
Later Piell was rescued by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker his Padawan Ahsoka Tano and several clone troopers that made up the rest of the rescue team. Piell informed Skywalker that Tarkin posessed the other half of the Nexus Route and that he and several clone troopers were being held in a seperate cell. Skywalker and his team made their way to Tarkin's cell destroying several battle droids along the way. They then freed the Republic officers and began their escape from the Citadel.
To the shuttleEdit
- "You lack faith in the Jedi."
"I find their tactics ineffective. The Jedi Code prevents them from going far enough to achieve victory, to do whatever it takes to win, the very reason why peacekeepers should not be leading a war. Have I…offended you?"
"No. I've also found that we sometimes fall short of victory because of our methods."
"Well, I see we agree on something."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and Tarkin discuss the Jedi Order's place in the war.
Tarkin was at first suprised to see Piell again, and elated to be freed from capture. Tarkin was feeling despaired about their current situation for they were still deep in enemy territory. General Kenobi worked out a plan to ecape, Tarkin disagreed with Kenobi's plan stating it would be better to stay together to bring strength in numbers, providing the already small group with better protection to escape the Citadel and protect the Nexus Route information. Piell and the others rejected Captain Tarkin's plan, they then split up into two groups, Tarkin still tried to convince them greater strength would be found in greater numbers compared to splitting up, Piell agreed with Kenobi and ordered Tarkin to accompany Skywalker's group. Tarkin was annoyed that his seemingly superior plan was rejected, but still did as commanded and followed Skywalker into the old tunnels under the Citadel.
They began moving through the tunnels, Skywalker noted that everything was going according to Kenobi's plan so far, Tarkin again voiced his opinion of the matter, asking what would happen if Kenobi's plan began to fail. Skywalker stated Jedi worked at their best when they had to improvise, Tarkin informed Skywalker he only respected those who took action, Skywalker retorted that he only respected those who understood gratitude, reminding Tarkin he would have still been a prisoner if not for the efforts of the Jedi.
Skywalker's Padawan learner Ahsoka took lead of the group, Tarkin lacked faith in the young girl, clone captain Rex attempted to persuade Tarkin otherwise, telling him he had served under her many times before and never failed him. Tarkin was unconvinced and and dismissed the clone's thoughts with silence. While the group made their way throught the old tunnel system towards the rendevous point, Tarkin became increasingly impressed with the layout and structure of the Citadel, Tano was annoyed asking Tarkin how he could admire such a monstrosity. Tarkin then explained to Tano there entire ordeal proved his claim, he then explained that he wished the Citadel had been claimed by the Republic and not the Seperatists. Tano still disagreed with Tarkin while Skywalker agreed with him.
Tarkin then admitted to Anakin that he had earned his trust but not the rest of the Jedi Order, for in Tarkin's experience the Jedi's tactics had proved ineffective. The Jedi Code prevented the them from going far enough to defeat the Confederacy and end the Clone War. Anakin, rather than being offended by Tarkin's opinion, agreed with him, stating that their tactics did keep they from going far enough achieve victory at times. Tarkin and Skywalker came to a mutual respect for one another.
They soon reached the shuttle's location, but before they could board the were attacked by a Seperatist droid garrison and several laser cannons. Tarkin reached the conclusion that to take the shuttle and escape they would have to attack in a full forward assault, but before a decision could be made the shuttle was destroyed by the droids. The group was then forced to retreat from the superior numbers of their enemies.
Escape from Lola SayuEdit
Soon they were provided a set of coordinates where they would be picked up by a Jedi led rescue team. Tarkin questioned what would become of them if the Jedi failed to rescue them, much to Piell's annoyance. Skywalker warned Tarkin that arguing with Piell was ill fated, Tarkin stated he stood by his principles without compromise no matter what. Tarkin did not feel threatened by Piell for his career was sound, he had found favor with the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic Sheev Palpatine. Anakin retorted that he had also fallen into favor with the Chancellor, causing the pair to grow a further sense of respect for one another.
Soon the group was attacked by more droids and several anoobas, the group reached a cliff face, unable to climb down they locked in their ascension gun cables, Tarkin climbed onto Skywalker's back and repelled down the cliff. Tarkin then engaged the droids in combat, shooting down at least one STAP and several commando droids, Tarkin was saved by a clone navy trooper who sacrificed himself by pushing Tarkin out of a blaster bolt's path by taking it himself. After the battle Tarkin informed the group that more squads would soon be on their way. General Piell fell in battle, slain by an anooba, but before he died he passed on his half of the information to Ahsoka Tano, much to Tarkin's annoyance. The Jedi held a short funeral for Master Piell before moving on. Soon the group made their way to the coordinates and were attacked by more battle droids and the Citadel's sadistic caretaker Osi Sobeck. After a brief battle Sobeck was all that remained, he was unarmed and at Tarkin's mercy, Tarkin fired his blaster rifle, wounding Sobeck. Sobeck charged Tarkin, lifting him over his head. Sobeck was about to throw Tarkin into a river of lava when Ahoska Tano stabbed Sobeck through the back with her lightsaber. Captain Tarkin recovered, thanked Tano and then stated that Skywalker had trained his Padawan well. They were then picked up by the rescue team and were taken to the safety of Coruscant.
- "We're scanning large amounts of rhydonium on that ship!"
- ―Wilhuff Tarkin, during the Carida incident
In the latter stages of the Clone Wars Tarkin and many other members of the Republic Navy and Jedi Order convened to discuss their ongoing efforts to defeat the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Shortly before the conference was set to begin a Venator-class Star Destroyer, the Renown which had been hijacked and loaded with highly explosive ryhdonium by the Seperatists, came out of hyperspace near the space station Valor, the location of the conference. Tarkin's Astromech droid Z9 notified Tarkin he was unable to contact anyone on board the Renown. Moments later Renown exploded. The shockwave shook Valor while debris crashed into the hull. Luckily D-squad a squadron of droids led by Colonel Meebur Gascon sent on a secret mission was able to stop Renown and detonate the bomb before it reached the station, saving Tarkin and everyone else on board. Tarkin later wrote a request to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine blaming the Jedi for the incident, for they had been incompetent in preventing the attack in the first place, and requesting he retire the Jedi from leading the Clone War.
Bombing of the Jedi Temple hangarEdit
Shortly after the Carida Incident Tarkin was promoted to the rank of admiral. During this time the Jedi Temple was bombed. Several Jedi and clone troopers were killed in the blast. Tarkin attended a funeral for the victims of the bombing. Afterwards he informed Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano and Barris Offee that the accused perpatrator of the bombing, Letta Turmond, had been transferred from the Jedi Temple to Republic custody. Much to the dismay of Tano who insisted this was a Jedi matter, not the Republic military's buisness. Tarkin explained to her since clones were killed in the explosion and Turmond was not a Jedi, the Republic Military had juridstiction. Anakin scolded Ahsoka for becoming angry. After Ahsoka left Anakin admitted to Tarkin that in many ways Ahsoka was still very young. Later Admiral Tarkin contacted Ahsoka and informed her Turmond wished to speak with her. Ahsoka met with Turmond in her prison cell where she appeared to have been choked to death by ways of the Force. It was assumed that since Ahsoka was a Jedi and she was alone with Turmond when she was killed, that Tano was the killer. Ahsoka was then arrested for Turmond's murder. Later Tarkin visited Ahsoka in her cell showing her a holorecording of the incident. Curiously the sound was missing from the recording, which made it seem as though Ahsoka was reaching up to strangle Turmond. Admiral Tarkin ordered no one be allowed to visit Ahsoka, which angered her Jedi Master, Anakin Skywalker. Ahsoka soon escaped from the Coruscant military base where she had been imprisoned.
Trial of Ahsoka TanoEdit
- "I will prove that none other than Ahsoka Tano is the mastermind behind both the Jedi Temple hangar bombing and the murder of her cohorts!"
- ―Wilhuff Tarkin, presiding over the trial
Soon after, Ahsoka Tano was recaptured. Tarkin came before the Jedi Council via hologram on behalf of the senate to request that Ahsoka Tano be expelled from the Jedi Order so that she could be tried by a Republic tribunal court. The senate and Tarkin feared that if Ahsoka were tried soley by the Jedi the verdict would be biased, as Ahsoka was a Jedi. The council gave in and Ahsoka was tried before a jury of senators. Admiral Tarkin headed the prosecution while senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo headed the defense. Admiral Tarkin stated he would prove Ahsoka Tano guilty of the Jedi Temple bombing and the murder of her cohorts. Tarkin requested the death penalty be used if Tano were found guilty. Padme Amidala argued that if Ahsoka Tano were truly guilty she would not have made the evidence against herself so blaitanlty obvious. Tarkin doubted this claim, he mentioned that Ahsoka had been seen with the known Seperatist terrorist Asajj Ventress after she had escaped Republic custody. Soon the arguments were concluded and the jury reached a verdict. But before Chancellor Palpatine could read the verdict aloud to the court room, Anakin Skywalker and several Jedi Temple Guards arrived in the court room with Jedi Padawan Barris Offee. Offee confessed to the bombing and the murder of Letta Turmond, she then delivered a speech protesting against what the Jedi Order has become during the Clone Wars. Tarkin looked on with much interest. The charges Ahsoka Tano was accused of were soon dropped, she was then invited to return to the Jedi Order. But Tano refused to rejoin the Jedi as a result of feeling betrayed by them during the escapade.
Rise of The Empire Edit
Tarkin had a hand in the Antar Atrocity.
Fully operational battle stationEdit
Just before the Battle of Yavin rebel spies had stolen the plans to the Emperor's Death Star. Darth Vader had been sent to locate the plans and bring the traitors to justice. Soon Vader found the Tantive IV— the ship that the plans had been transmitted to— near the planet Tatooine. The blockade runner belonged to Senator Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. The Princess claimed to be on a diplomatic mission. However the plans were missing, in reality they had been placed into the astromech droid R2-D2's memory banks, who had escaped the battle aboard an escape pod. Vader brought the Princess to the Death Star for interrogation, intending to learn where the Alliance to Restore the Republic's hidden base was located. Grand Moff Tarkin signed an execution order for the Alderaanian Princess as soon as she was captured, ready to kill her as soon as she proved no longer useful. Later Vader, speaking for the Emperor announced to Tarkin that the Imperial Senate had been abolished, Tarkin was not suprised he knew Sheev would do as much when he deemed the time was right. The galaxy would now be ruled solely by the Emperor and the Imperial Governors who would rule over their own local star systems. Tarkin announced the news to a meeting of the Death Star's leaders when he and Vader entered the chamber.
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Citadel"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Counterattack"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Citadel Rescue"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Point of No Return"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "To Catch a Jedi" (Appears in hologram)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Wrong Jedi"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Tarkin (First identified as Wilhuff Tarkin)
- Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)