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Why Grand Moff Tarkin Could Give Darth Vader Orders

Why Grand Moff Tarkin Could Give Darth Vader Orders

Darth Vader, a fearsome Sith Lord, was known for his unwavering obedience to only one master: Emperor Palpatine. 

Yet, there was one exception to this rule Grand Moff Tarkin, an Imperial Officer who commanded Vader’s respect and compliance without question. 

How did Tarkin earn this rare privilege to command Vader, and why did Vader comply without hesitation? I’ve delved deep into the Empire’s archives to bring you an answer that may surprise you. 

So, without further ado.

Palpatine’s Realization of Moff Tarkin’s Strategic Genius

Tarkin became part of the Outland Regions Security Force, which aimed to keep Eriadu and its surrounding areas safe, especially since there was no military support from the Republic. 

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Tarkin quickly gained a reputation for his clever tactics and harsh actions against a pirate group called Q’anah’s Marauders during the Greater Seswenna raids.

Specifically, in 46 BBY, Tarkin figured out the pattern of attacks by the pirate leader Q’anah and captured her ship.

By the age of 19, Tarkin was even designing ships for the Outland Security Force.

Later, Tarkin went to the Sullust Sector Spacefarers Academy with plans to join the Judicial Department

There, he met Senator Sheev Palpatine from Naboo, who suggested he consider a political career and offered help getting into the Judicial Academy. 

Although Tarkin didn’t take up politics right away, he accepted Palpatine’s help with the academy admission. 

During a mission on Halcyon with some Jedi, Tarkin showed his leadership skills. When their commanding officer ignored Jedi orders and took a risky path, Tarkin led his team through the wilderness to safety and to their mission goal, just as the Jedi completed it. 

This act of leadership earned him respect within the Judicial Department. As he became more well-known, Tarkin noticed that galaxy-wide conflicts were on the rise. 

In 36 BBY, he decided to leave his position in the Judicial Forces to start a political career, remembering Palpatine’s earlier advice.

Tarkin’s Unshakable Loyalty to the Emperor

During the time when many star systems were leaving the Galactic Republic to join the Separatists, Count Dooku tried to get Tarkin to support the Separatist cause for his home planet, Eriadu. 

However, Tarkin stayed true to Palpatine and kept Eriadu as part of the Republic. In reality, Palpatine, who was secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, had sent Dooku to test Tarkin’s loyalty.

The Separatist Crisis, from 24 to 22 BBY, was a time of major political unrest. 

It happened after the Invasion of Naboo and led to thousands of star systems breaking away from the Republic. 

They pledged their support to Count Dooku and his Confederacy of Independent Systems. Dooku and his Sith master, Darth Sidious planned this to start a galactic war. 

They wanted to take over the Republic, turn it into the Galactic Empire, and destroy the Jedi Order. 

To prepare for this war, they secretly arranged for an army of clone troopers to be made on Kamino, which would serve as the Republic’s army.

By turning down Dooku’s proposals, Tarkin became one of the key figures who prevented Dooku from getting the economic control he needed to defeat the Republic. 

During their last meal before the war, Dooku once more tried to persuade Tarkin to side with the Separatists, saying it would be good for Eriadu. 

He hinted that a war was inevitable and suggested that the Republic would manage to create an army in time.

The Impact of Moff Tarkin in the Galactic Empire

With the fallen of the Jedi Order, the Galactic Empire was then declared, supposedly to restore order.

But in truth, Palpatine, who was secretly a Sith Lord, had planned all this to take control of the galaxy.

For Wilhuff Tarkin, this turmoil was a chance to rise in power. He quickly supported the new Empire without hesitation. 

Even though he kept his title as an admiral in the Imperial Navy, he was also appointed as Moff of the Greater Seswenna sector by Emperor Palpatine. 

This gave him a high position in the Imperial High Command early in the Empire’s history.

Tarkin’s Exclusive Right to Command Vader

Darth Vader, a Sith Lord, typically received orders only from Emperor Palpatine.

However, Grand Moff Tarkin was the exception, being the only Imperial officer allowed to command Vader. 

Their relationship was tense at times, with Vader occasionally reacting with anger towards Tarkin. Yet, the Emperor always intervened, reminding Vader of Tarkin’s authority over him.

Palpatine even told Vader that while he could eliminate any officer he chose, Tarkin was off-limits because of his importance.

Despite their strained interactions, there was a deep mutual respect between them. This was particularly evident when Vader, impressed by Tarkin’s renowned hunting skills, asked Tarkin to put together a team and hunt him down. 

The reasons behind this request were unclear—whether it was a test of survival, a desire for combat, or simply a quest for excitement. Regardless of his motives, Tarkin agreed to the hunt.

During the hunt, Vader eliminated each member of Tarkin’s team one by one, until only Tarkin and Vader were left. 

They both showcased their strategic brilliance and combat skills, deepening their mutual respect. Vader followed Tarkin’s commands not only because the Emperor ordered it, but also because he saw Tarkin as a strong and worthy ally.


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