Grand Moff Tarkin

played by Peter Cushing

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  Grand Moff Tarkin is Governor of the Imperial Outland Regions, and a dreaded servant of Emperor Palpatine. Tarkin formulated the infamous Imperial doctrine of rule through fear, and has been the primary force behind the construction of the galaxy's ultimate weapon, the planet-destroying Death Star. It is his determination and management that built the Death Star, and it is his military genius that makes him the best person to command it. Led by Admiral Motti and General Tagge, Tarkin's tactical brain-trust aboard the Death Star is unmatched anywhere in the Empire, constituting a formidable power to match the capabilities of the Death Star itself.

Tarkin's conception of the battle station's use is as a grand weapon of intimidation and fear: "Rule through the fear of the force," he observed, "rather than through force itself." The mere existence of the Death Star would cow into submission the widely-scattered star systems too disparate to police effectively with armed presence. Tarkin wastes no time in committing his evil creation to this mission, as he selects Princess Leia's home planet Alderaan to be destroyed by the Death Star as a horrific example of absolute Imperial might.

Tarkin is an interesting individual, a kind of person who appears untouchable, both in the heat of battle and on the Senate floor. His charisma and personal presence are capable of swaying even Darth Vader's iron resolve, saving some of his closest commanders from Vader's deadly mind-projected wrath.