The Definitive Ranking of All the Villains in the Star Wars Saga Films

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5. Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin

It’s Tarkin’s battle station, everyone else just lives in it.

In 1977, when Star Wars first debuted, Grand Moff Tarkin seemed like a really terrible guy. If we look at A New Hope as a singular film (especially since it’s the only one he’s in), he commanded a lot of power. Emperor Palpatine granted Tarkin the position of Grand Moff on his most prized possession, the Death Star, so Palpatine clearly held Tarkin in high esteem.

Further, as Princess Leia shrewdly pointed out, Darth Vader even took orders from Grand Moff Tarkin. While Darth Vader loved to Force choke people left and right, Tarkin commanded him to release Admiral Motti from his hold, to which Vader responded, “As you wish.”


Then, to demonstrate the power of the Death Star, Tarkin decided to blow up Princess Leia’s home planet, Alderaan. He gave her the opportunity to save the planet by giving up the location of the rebel base. Once she named Dantooine, he changed his mind and blew up Alderaan anyway.

Considering that it was Leia’s homeworld and a peaceful planet, it was a really ruthless move that proved just how cutthroat Tarkin could be. Ultimately, there were no rebels on Dantooine either, so Tarkin called for Princess Leia’s execution. Later, the execution was suspended when the Death Star caught the Millenium Falcon and plans were made to follow the rebels back to Yavin IV.

At this point, Tarkin gave the orders to blow up the rebel base, which would’ve been a huge blow to the rebellion… but you know what happened.