Tarkin oversaw the construction and operation of the first Death Star, and did so with cold authority. To test the battle station's destructive power and to coax information out of Princess Leia, Tarkin decides to destroy her home planet of Alderaan.
FALL OF THE REPUBLIC
The Core World of Alderaan was one of the Republic’s oldest, most prestigious planets, known for its art and culture and a tradition of helping other worlds. In the last years of the Republic, the peaceful planet was represented by Bail Organa, a Loyalist Senator who supported Supreme Chancellor Palpatine while seeking to aid refugees of the Clone Wars.
Despite his support for Palpatine, Organa became alarmed as the war ground on and the Supreme Chancellor amassed more and more powers. As the Clone Wars wound down, he met in secret with like-minded Senators and prepared to resist Palpatine’s rule if such a step was necessary.
GALACTIC CIVIL WAR
Alderaan remained part of the Empire, but Organa secretly helped knit separate resistance cells into the Rebel Alliance and groomed his adopted daughter Leia to take his place in the Senate. To cow rebellious systems and demonstrate the Death Star’s power, Grand Moff Tarkin turned the battle station’s superlaser on Alderaan, destroying the planet and killing its inhabitants.
Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. Daughter of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, sister of Luke Skywalker, and with a soft spot for scoundrels, Leia ranks among the galaxy’s great heroes.
Bail Organa, a member of Alderaan's royal family and the planet's representative to the Republic Senate, earned respect on Coruscant for his honesty and his commitment to justice. Prior to the Clone Wars, Bail served alongside Senator Padmé Amidala as a member of Chancellor Palpatine's Loyalist Committee. The two became close friends, and recruited like-minded allies to prevent Palpatine's alarming grabs for power. At the end of the war, Bail Organa adopted Padmé's daughter Leia and raised her as an Alderaanian princess. While representing Alderaan in the Imperial Senate, he worked secretly with allies such as Mon Mothma and Ahsoka Tano to assist rebel cells scattered across the galaxy, working towards the day that a unified Rebellion could emerge. Bail died when the Death Star destroyed his homeworld.
An ambitious, ruthless proponent of military power, Wilhuff Tarkin became a favorite of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and rose rapidly through the Imperial ranks. Shortly after the Empire's creation, he was put in charge of the construction of the Death Star. Tarkin saw the Death Star as a way to crush all dissent to the Empire's rule -- fear of the station's planet-killing superlaser would keep the galaxy's star systems in line. He demonstrated the station's power by destroying Alderaan, but died soon afterwards when the Death Star itself was destroyed.
Both Bail Organa and his adoptive daughter, Princess Leia, used their position in the Senate to benefit their heartfelt causes of freedom and to aid those that desperately needed it in war-weary times. Their consular vessels were afforded diplomatic immunity due to their ambassadorial status, and frequently ran mercy missions into dangerous territory. Bail's vessels of choice ranged from a streamlined diplomatic cruiser to the more rugged, war-ready Tantive IV that served as his transport to Toydaria during the Clone Wars. Alderaan cruisers were a key part of the rebel task force that rescued Kanan Jarrus from Mustafar, marking an escalation of anti-Imperial activities in the Outer Rim.
The Death Star was the Empire’s ultimate weapon: a moon-sized space station with the ability to destroy an entire planet. But the Emperor and Imperial officers like Grand Moff Tarkin underestimated the tenacity of the Rebel Alliance, who refused to bow to this technological terror…
The Rebel Alliance stood bravely against the evil of the Galactic Empire, never backing down despite overwhelming odds. Formed from resistance movements that arose during the Clone Wars, the Rebellion worked in secret for decades to overthrow the Emperor and restore democracy to the galaxy. Eventually, armed with the firepower of ships like the X-wing and A-wing, and the leadership of figures including Princess Leia and Admiral Ackbar, the Rebel Alliance triumphed over the Empire at the Battle of Endor.