View Full Version : Tarkin above Vader?

02-24-2003, 10:02 PM
In Ep4 it seems that Grand Moff Tarkin outranks Darth Vader. Its shown many times. In the Death Star meeting Tarkin is the one who sits in the head chair and Vader stands to his side like a henchman. Tarkin gives him small orders like, "Vader, release him." Vader replies, "As you wish." Leia also says, "Govenor Tarkin, I expected to find you holding Vaders leash." Why? I dont know much about the the ranks in the Imperial Government, then again Im not sure anyone does. There is nothing in the movies or anything Ive read that goes into great detail on this matter. This has troubled me for some time but I keep forgeting to post it here, I dont know why, my mind is wierd like that. But anyway, why would any Imperial Officer outrank a Sith Lord who is second in command of the galaxy??? :confused: Btw what is a Moff and Grand Moff?

02-25-2003, 02:54 AM
Now, I'm not sure about this, this is just a theory...

Darth Vadar was sort of like a apprentice/son to the Emperor. He was like the top soldier/weapon in the Emperor's arsenal of weaponary. However, Tarkin was sort of like a commander/polictian guy that had more experience in dealing with threats and such. So, Tarkin is the commander (the top one), and tells the soldiers what to do, while Vader is the soldier (the best one) that actually goes out and does it. Thus, who has more power, (1)a high-ranking commander or (2)a high-ranking soldier? I'm thinking (1)...

Also, Tarkin I think is like on a council of Moffs that bascially controlled the political aspects of the government, and being Grand Moff, he was like a leader of the council, which reported to the Emperor himself about political stuff and such.

*Note* This is just a crazy theory of mine, if anyone has a definite answer (I know someone does), plz feel free to correct me

Wraith 8
02-25-2003, 07:53 AM
well i agree wassup... i think Tarkin is one of the first trustees of the Emperor and back then when he becomes emperor Anakin isnt a dark jedi (yet)

03-02-2003, 08:29 PM
yeah, I wonder that too. Its weird, don't you think? Maybe in episode III we get our answer.

03-02-2003, 08:47 PM
uh I'm not sure we will even see Tarkin in Ep. III...

03-02-2003, 08:54 PM
It could happen, wassup. The future hard to see is, umm

03-02-2003, 10:24 PM
someone , somewhere , said something about 'Spike' from the Buffy TV show making a good Tarkin. when i read that that i thought, " cool "

03-02-2003, 11:38 PM
I think it's because of 2 things:
1. Vader doesn't actually show a Rank in the Imperial Navy. He's the apprentice to the big guy. I think Vader was really on the death star as an overseer more than anything. It was Tarkin's show... vader was just making sure it went well.

2. Tarkin, who does rank as the top dog in the Imp Navy, is very arrogant. So, although he knows that Vader is there to be the Emperor's eyes and ears, he's also thinking, "I'm in charge here, and Vader better know that."

In the Novel to ANH, Vader at one point is thinking about how tarkin is one of the men always plotting to get ahead, and how his arrogance will ultimately be his undoing.

By ESB, though, there's no question about vader's 'rank.' He had taken over the Imperial Fleet personally and was running it himself. (enter Imperial March)

Anyway, that's my probably wrong opinion.

03-03-2003, 05:51 AM
Carbon, I tend to agree with your summary there, along with any others who have said similar things.

It appears that in ANH Vader has no real military rank, other than being the apprentice of the Emperor, who is trained in the ways of the Force. A kind of tough guy to oversee the construction of the Death Star, with Tarkin not taking too kindly to having someone look over his shoulder all of the time.

By TESB we definitely see Vader in control of the Imperial Navy, which no doubt lost many valuable leaders in the destruction of the Death Star. This would've made it easy for Vader to be installed high in the ranks to fill the power void. It would also allow the Emperor to have someone he could trust a lot more than just pure military...

dark jedi 8
03-03-2003, 06:32 PM
being the apprentice to the emperor would make vader the second highest person in command next to the emperor. wouldn't it? i think i read somewhere that if the emperor was killed then vader would take over the empire. so wouldn't it explain that vader was higher up than tarkin? just a theory.

03-03-2003, 09:26 PM
Anyways, I sent a JediNyt's question to the Lucasfilms Jedi Council (http://www.starwars.com/community/askjc/).

Also, heres what I got from official SW site on what a Grand Moff is:

When Palpatine restructured the galactic government, Tarkin was granted command of the Seswenna sector. This came on the heels of an outrage orchestrated by Tarkin on the distant world of Ghorman. Tarkin landed his vessel on a platform filled with activists protesting Imperial taxation. Rather than be reprimanded for the murder of hundreds, Tarkin was rewarded for orchestrating the Ghorman Massacre, as it later became labeled by the Rebellion.

From the start, resistance forces fought against the New Order. They took advantage of the bureaucratic borders that separated sectors, knowing that they could elude Imperial sector forces by jumping out of their spheres of influence.

To counter this tactic, Tarkin proposed a new organizational scheme to the Emperor. In addition to the sectors defined by astrographic and political boundaries, there'd be overlapping 'priority sectors' defined by the amount of treasonous activity therein. A single official would command these territories -- a Grand Moff -- who would oversee the allotment of resources personally. Palpatine was pleased with Tarkin's proposal, and granted Tarkin with the title and an enormous area of operations in the Outer Rim Territories.

03-25-2003, 10:31 PM
And as far as Tarkin's seeming to outrank Vader, I think I also read somewhere in a Tarkin character profile that "Tarkin was one of the few men who Palpatine considered 'friend'".

So I believe that Tarkin and Vader were at the top, but friendship has its perks.

03-25-2003, 11:03 PM
Stupid SW.com....still didn't respond...gayness...:mad:

03-30-2003, 02:42 AM
So I believe that Tarkin and Vader were at the top, but friendship has its perks.
In Return of the jedi, Palpatine always seem to say "my friend" to Vader, though.


03-30-2003, 02:55 AM
Does he also say my friend to Luke too in ROTJ...damn Palpy he has more friends than I do. :D

03-30-2003, 04:20 AM
:D Yeah, I think he called Luke my friend as well. Must be that smile he had when he was just a senator. That smile he gave to obi-wan and anakin when congratualating them. A nice smile always attract friends.

Ah, Sidious is not palpatine because he didn't call the Viceroy 'my friend'. :)


dark jedi 8
03-30-2003, 10:41 AM
but he did say welcome home lord tyrannus in a friendly tone?:confused: :D , and he did congratulate him and maul when they did something he liked.:)

so he was one hell of a nice guy then, right?.:)

03-31-2003, 03:55 AM
Yeah. A very friendly man ideed.

Just noticed yet another line, this time as a Supreme Chancellor.

Palpatine: I don't know how much further I can hold them off, my friends.

Palpy, the friendly* Sith.

*Terms and conditions apply.


dark jedi 8
03-31-2003, 05:54 PM
GL really reuses dialogue a lot! you can tell he was over trying when he wanted to connect the OT and PT characters.:)

04-04-2003, 04:12 AM
It seems to me that it isn't a clearcut case of one outranking the other. Generally, the people at the highest levels of an organisation cannot just give orders to each other based on marginal rank differences, they have to be more subtle. Vader and Tarkin were working together without one necessarily taking precedence over the other. Vader did not stop choking the guy because he was ordered to, but because his point had been made. Tarkin could not have stopped him otherwise. Leia's remark seems to have been more insulting than informative. There are other examples, such as Tarkin and Vader debating which planet to destroy first, and Tarkin accepting Vader dealing with Kenobi alone.

I'm not sure my argument is as clear as I'd like, but it's as clear as it's going to get. Oh well.

04-04-2003, 09:25 AM
Read about the ESB lightsaber battle in Star Wars Insider #62. It's all in there

04-04-2003, 10:53 AM
I always thought it was Grand Moff Tarkin....but who knows. *shrugs*

He didn't last very long anyways...so it doesn't really matter.

Lynk Former
04-04-2003, 10:58 AM
I think they are of equal rank but in different fields *nods*

04-08-2003, 12:01 AM
Vader was the emperors sith enforcer an tarkin being a grand moff had control over most of the imperial forces although after the destruction of the 1st death star vader i think was given probarly direct control over stormies,officers etc , just a thought may not be the real deal ;)

04-13-2003, 10:00 AM
i'm not sure how that worked but i think it is messed up vader should only have had to take orders from the emperor not tarkin

04-16-2003, 02:33 PM
I think it just boils down to military etiquette.

I mean, Tarkin is basically the Captain of his Ship...and because the vessel is under his command, he calls all the shots on board, and his word is law. Vader is little more than a visitor, really, and has no military rank in ANH. So technically, I would say that aboard the Death Star, Tarkin outranks Vader.

Off the Death Star of course...well, I wouldn't want to be in Tarkin's shoes. :D

04-17-2003, 06:18 AM
I read somewhere apparently GL explanation of that situation was that Vader was second only to the Emporer but the Tarkin was in charge of the Death Star and Vader was instructed to do as he said while on it, so Vader was sort of humouring him i suppose.

Also apparently GL makes all this stuff up as he is going along so in ANH maybe origionally vader was a henchman of Tarkin (as the Emporer is only mentioned for a second and not really a part in the film) but then in the ESB & ROTJ he decided to develop the Emporer more and also make Vaders character a more powerful and important figure. GL only expected to make one Star Wars film due to the fact it was expected to be a complete failiure, hmm which idiot said that!!

Jan Gaarni
04-17-2003, 06:26 AM
GL did, didn't he? :D

Atleast he had never dreamed about it taking off this much. :)

04-17-2003, 06:43 AM
Oh no i have called the great man an idiot!! Please forgive me!!:eek:

Yeah i don't think anyone would have anticipated the Star Wars movies having an impact like they did, the sad thing is GL has sadi that there will be NO more Star Wars movies in his lifetime. :confused:

04-27-2003, 12:10 PM
ok...im not sure if this's been said already (this thread IS real long :p), but basically, at the time of ANH, TARKIN DID OUTRANK VADER in almost every respect. vader was merely one of palpatine's several pawns whom the emperor was shaping up to be his right hand...but he wasn't his right hand yet. more like an apperentice to whom others (eg. tarkin) were superior.
by the time of the ESB, vader had secured his position as the Emperor's right hand. this was facilitated by a combination of factors- among which is the loss of imperial talent thanx to skywalker's twin torpedoes (there were a LOT of imperial geniuses-grand admirals & moffs alike- onboard the Death Star at that particular moment. their death created a power vacuum which vader filled). the chief factor was, of course, vader's advancement thru the Force. he was a much more capable force practiotioner and leader during ESB than he was at ANH. none of the admirals in ESB had the ballz to confront vader as that guy did with the Force issue on the death star.

04-27-2003, 09:00 PM
I've always thought of Vader's role in the empire as similar to the Jedi's role in the Repbulic. They hold no official office and therefore no rank, everyone outranks them. But they are official embassidors. They're given authority over the military in the scope of their particular mission.

If you want to, check out the first 4 issues of Dark Horse's Star Wars Empire comic, and you'll see what I mean. The Emperor gives Vader a mission and authority over a Star Destroyer and its crew to fulfill it. The ship still has its captain who is in control of the ship, but he goes where Vader tells him to go. All his underlings obay the Captains orders, not Vaders (except they usually come from Vader).

So yah, when Vader is messing with one of Tarkin's men, he has every right to tell him to knock it off.

dark jedi 8
04-28-2003, 08:02 PM
so he can have power over tarkin when the emperor wants him to. so it depends on the situation whether vader is held in higher regard as far as rank goes, compared to tarkin. it makes sense.:)