The second most evil person in A New Hope, Tarkin represents the face of the Evil Empire that Leia is rebelling against.
And for also being called out by Princess Leia for having a foul stench about him…
Grand Moff Tarkin Quotes From Star Wars: A New Hope
Governor Tarkin: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away forever.
Governor Tarkin: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.
This next conversation became a classic Star Wars moment. It showed that even though Darth Vader appears to be the bad guy, Tarkin appears to be able to control Vader, so he must be pretty powerful himself.
General Tagge: What of the Rebellion? If the Rebels have obtained a complete technical reading of this station, it is possible, however unlikely, they might find a weakness and exploit it.
Darth Vader: The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.
Admiral Motti: Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it!
Darth Vader: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Admiral Motti: 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 rebels' hidden fort-…
[Vader makes a pinching motion as he uses the Force and Motti starts choking]
Darth Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Governor Tarkin: Enough of this! Vader, release him!
Darth Vader: As you wish.
Princess Leia served Tarkin some handy words
Governor Tarkin: Perhaps she would respond to an alternative form of persuasion.
Darth Vader: What do you mean?
Governor Tarkin: I think it is time we demonstrated the full power of this station. Set your course for Alderaan.
Princess Leia Organa: Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader's leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.
More banter with Princess Leia
Governor Tarkin: Charming to the last. You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life.
Princess Leia Organa: I'm surprised that you had the courage to take the responsibility yourself.
Governor Tarkin: Princess Leia, before your execution, I'd like you to join me for a ceremony that will make this battle station operational. No star system will dare oppose the Emperor now.
Princess Leia Organa: The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.
Governor Tarkin: Not after we demonstrate the capabilities of this station.
Tarkin demonstrates to Leia that he means business
Princess Leia Organa: No! Alderaan is peaceful! We have no weapons, you can't possibly…
Governor Tarkin: You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system! I grow tired of asking this so it will be the last time: Where is the rebel base?
Princess Leia Organa: …Dantooine. They're on Dantooine.
Governor Tarkin: There. You see, Lord Vader, she can be reasonable. Continue with the operation; you may fire when ready.
Princess Leia Organa: WHAT?
Governor Tarkin: You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration – but don't worry; we will deal with your rebel friends soon enough.
Tarkin was not afraid to kill millions or innocent people or a political figure
Officer Cass: Our scout ships have reached Dantooine. They found the remains of a Rebel base, but they estimate that it has been deserted for some time. They are now conducting an extensive search of the surrounding systems.
Governor Tarkin: [referring to Leia] She lied. She lied to us!
Darth Vader: I told you she would never consciously betray the Rebellion.
Governor Tarkin: Terminate her… immediately!
A chat about Obi-Wan Kenobi with Darth
Darth Vader: He is here.
Governor Tarkin: Obi-Wan Kenobi? What makes you think so?
Darth Vader: A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.
Governor Tarkin: Surely he must be dead by now.
Darth Vader: Don't underestimate the Force.
Governor Tarkin: The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that's left of their religion.
Governor Tarkin: Yes?
Voice over comm: We have an emergency alert in detention block AA-23.
Governor Tarkin: The Princess? Put all sections on alert.
Darth Vader: Obi-wan *is* here. The Force is with him.
Governor Tarkin: If you're right, he must not be allowed to escape.
Darth Vader: Escape is not his plan. I must face him, alone.
That moment Tarkin's plan came into play
Governor Tarkin: Are they away?
Darth Vader: They've just made the jump into hyperspace.
Governor Tarkin: You're sure the homing beacon is secure aboard their ship? I'm taking an awful risk, Vader. This had better work.
This was a key plot point that many people miss – Tarkin had ordered the Stormtroopers that Leia and her rescuers NOT be shot – so they could escape and thus be followed to the hereabouts of the elusive Rebel Base could be discovered. It's a myth that Storm Troopers couldn't shoot anything in A New Hope!
That moment when Tarkin's arrogance cost him his life:
Commander #1: We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?
Governor Tarkin: Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.
|Original on the left, CGI on the right.|
Rogue One Quotes by Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin: Failure will find you explaining why to a far less patient audience.
Orson Krennic: I will not fail.
Grand Moff Tarkin: Lord Vader will handle the fleet. Target the base of Scarif. Single reactor ignition… You may fire when ready. [Yes, he said the same line he uttered in ANH]
Grand Moff Tarkin: We need a statement, not a manifesto. The Holy City will be enough for today.
It is the long-lasting legacy of Tarkin that his character was used in Star Wars: Rebels and had a book dedicated to his back story.
Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.