- "I've seen the holo-thrillers, and those directors should admit they're paid to tell New Republic lies. They make those things—those Ewoks—look cute, like stuffed toys. I was there, Miss Towani. They weren't anything close to cute."
- ―Hume Tarl, to Cindel Towani
Hume Tarl was a Human male from the planet Corellia, who served in the Galactic Empire's Stormtrooper Corps after graduating from the Academy on the world Corulag. Tarl joined the stormtrooper unit Tempest Force around 2 BBY, and later participated in the assault on the Rebel CR90 corvette Tantive IV as a part of the Galactic Civil War, a conflict between the Rebels and the Empire. Sometime after 0 BBY, Tarl, now a sergeant, was posted in Corellia's Coronet City, where he was helped by a spacer who captured Dina Whisper, one of Tarl's informants whom he suspected of betraying him, and disabled a small black market. After six years in Tempest Force, Tarl took part in the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, where he fought against both native Ewoks and Rebels seeking to destroy the Empire's Death Star II. Tarl survived the battle, and years later, he was interviewed by the journalist Cindel Towani for her work Portraits of the Galactic Civil War, released in 41 ABY.
- "I served six years in Tempest Force, rising to sergeant. We were one of the finest legions in the New Order."
- ―Hume Tarl
A Human male native of the planet Corellia, Hume Tarl trained to be a stormtrooper of the Galactic Empire's Stormtrooper Corps in the Academy on the world of Corulag. Tarl later joined the Stormtrooper Corps's Tempest Force unit in 2 BBY, at the time of the Galactic Civil War, fought between the Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Around two years later, in 0 BBY, Tarl participated in a raid alongside members of the Imperial 501st Legion on the Rebel CR90 corvette Tantive IV when the corvette was in the Tatoo system, which resulted in the capture of key Rebel leader Leia Organa.
Service on Corellia
- "So you want to serve the Empire and prove yourself, eh? I might have just the task for you."
- ―Hume Tarl
Sometime after 0 BBY, Tarl, now a sergeant, was stationed on his homeworld in the city of Coronet. During his work in Coronet City, Tarl came to suspect that Dina Whisper, a female informant of his, was selling sensitive information to the Rebels.
As Tarl was unable to trust the informant, he commissioned the help of a spacer affiliated with the Empire. Though the spacer asked about the details of Whisper's betrayal, Tarl remained vague. Faithfully fulfilling the contract, the spacer apprehended Whisper outside the city, with Whisper later being taken into Imperial custody. With the contract complete, Tarl paid the spacer 100.
Tarl discovered the existence of a small black market outside of Coronet due to the interrogation of Whisper. Once again enlisting the help of the spacer, Tarl charged the individual with shutting down the illegal operation. However, the sergeant also threatened the spacer that the individual would be imposed with charges of treason if the mission were not done exactly to his expectations.
Eventually, the spacer agreed to take out the outpost. During the spacer's disabling of the black market, the spacer encountered the person who ran the place, a profiteer who adamantly opposed Imperial authority. During the ensuing fight, the spacer killed the individual. After the destruction of the black market, Tarl congratulated the spacer for completing the assignment in the service of the Empire. The sergeant then directed the spacer to seek further work with Imperial Captain Gilad Pellaeon.
Deployment and fighting on Endor
- "And then it happened—the indigenes attacked…They knew every tree and rock, and they picked us off one by one."
- ―Hume Tarl
During the course of six years with Tempest Force, Tarl saw action on the worlds of Kashyyyk, Marcelan Prime, Sarko, and Aurimaus, as well as other obscure locations. Due to the Empire's construction of the massive Death Star II above the Forest Moon of Endor, Tarl and Tempest Force were deployed on the moon for nine months, during which Tarl was occasionally on leave at the world of Annaj. Besides the Imperial presence on Endor, the moon was also inhabited by Ewoks, short hairy bipeds, which Tempest Force's survey teams had discovered during their thorough surveys. To Tarl, the Ewoks seemed to be afraid of the shield generator bunker Tempest Force was posted to defend, and they did not bother the Imperials.
In 4 ABY, Tarl and Tempest Force shined up their plastoid Stormtrooper armor and were deployed aboard a hangar in the Death Star for the arrival of Emperor Palpatine, who was the supreme leader of the Empire. Shortly after returning to Endor, the whole of Tempest Force was put on high alert due to both the disappearance of a speeder bike patrol, and the knowledge that Rebel agents were on the moon. Tarl was later present when one of the Rebels turned himself in to the Empire, and watched as the Rebel—who was actually important Rebel member Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker—was taken by the Imperial Sith Lord Darth Vader before being transported to the Death Star aboard a shuttle.
A day after the Rebel was captured, Rebels forces attacked, with a Rebel ground force attempting to knock out the Endor shield generator bunker, which protected the Death Star via a deflector shield. This would then enable the Rebel fleet in orbit to destroy the now unprotected Death Star. Tarl and Tempest Force captured the Rebel ground force members after they had infiltrated the back entrance of the shield generator, and Tarl himself exited the shield generator while guarding the captured Rebels. The Ewoks then attacked, and Tarl watched as the Rebel–allied Ewoks cut down Imperials one by one with arrows, knives and axes. Stormtroopers chasing Ewoks ended up in pitfall traps filled with spikes while Ewoks wielding blasters obtained from fallen Imperials killed other stormtroopers. Sergeant Tarl managed to survive the fighting, though the battle ended in a Rebel victory, with the Death Star destroyed and Emperor Palpatine and Vader both killed.
Years later, Tarl was interviewed by the journalist Cindel Towani and told her of the events that happened on Endor. In the interview, Tarl expressed his disgust at how the Rebels, who had by then formed the New Republic, did not count the Ewoks' massacring of Tempest Force as an atrocity. Tarl's interview was included in Towani's work Portraits of the Galactic Civil War, released in 41 ABY.
Personality and traits
- "The historians love to talk about alleged Imperial atrocities, but what about what I saw on the Forest moon? They slaughtered us like animals, Miss Towani. Shouldn't that be counted as an atrocity?"
- ―Hume Tarl
Tarl remained vague when the spacer asked him about the specific details regarding Whisper, and was later strict with the spacer, threatening the individual with charges of treason if the black market assignment did not go according to plan. Tarl also considered Tempest Force as one of the finest legions in the New Order, and thought Annaj was only interesting for those who had been stationed on the boring moon of Endor. Tarl thought he and Tempest Force were protecting their Emperor during his stay on the Death Star, and during the arrival of Palpatine, his eyes were drawn to the Emperor even across the hangar.
When Tarl saw Skywalker, whom he thought was short, the sergeant did not recognize that the Rebel Jedi was Luke Skywalker. Tarl also figured that even though Skywalker informed Vader he was alone, there had to be more Rebels on the moon as one Jedi could not take out an entire biker patrol. After capturing the Rebels in the shield generator and hearing that the Rebel fleet was failing in their attack, Tarl and Tempest Force believed that the Rebellion was doomed.
The stormtrooper considered most natives beggars or thieves. However, initially Tarl reckoned that the Ewok natives were not like most natives, and as they were not causing problems, would not have to be excised from around the generator. He also thought that the Ewoks were afraid of the shield generator. Tarl did not find the Ewoks who slaughtered his legion cute as the rest of the New Republic did, and had not thought they would be a problem until the Ewoks attacked the Imperials. He also thought the directors of the holo-thrillers depicting Ewoks should admit that they were paid to tell New Republic lies as they made the Ewoks look cute in their works. Tarl questioned why historians loved to talk about Imperial atrocities, but did not count the slaughtering of Tempest Force as one. As an Imperial stormtrooper, Tarl wore a set of white stormtrooper armor and wielded an E-11 blaster rifle.
Behind the scenes
Hume Tarl first appeared as an unnamed stormtrooper in 1983's film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. He was finally identified as Tarl in Endor Limited, a 1999 expansion for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. The sergeant appeared as a non-player character in 2003's massively multiplayer online role-playing video game Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts. On December 15 2011, the game was shut down. Players who performed a series of quests for Sergeant Tarl had to apprehend Dina Whisper and bring her to Coronet, as well as kill the profiteer of the black market outside of the city. Although the player could choose not to do Tarl's quests, this article assumes 100% game completion.
Tarl's history was later expanded in 2012's The Essential Guide to Warfare, written by Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart, which featured an interview of Tarl by Towani. The guide also gave Tarl his first name of Hume. Fry later wrote in his endnotes about writing Tarl's interview. He mixed in certain elements of quotes from the entire Star Wars movie saga into the interview and tried to make the interview a nastier version of Return of the Jedi. Fry also mentioned that he considered Tarl an unreliable narrator, though the stormtrooper does state facts that are the truth.
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi PhotoComic
- Return of the Jedi Storybook
- Return of the Jedi 4
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook (Picture only)
- Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi, Second Edition (Picture only)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Endor Limited (Card: Combat Readiness) (Picture only)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Endor Limited (Card: Imperial Arrest Order) (Picture only)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Endor Limited (Card: Sergeant Tarl) (First identified as Tarl)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 30 (REB11, Rebel Troops) (Picture only)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First identified as Hume Tarl)
Notes and references
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Endor Limited (Card: Sergeant Tarl)
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- From facts presented in The Essential Guide to Warfare, a date of 2 BBY can be found by simply subtracting Hume Tarl's six years serving with Tempest Force by the time of the Battle of Endor from 4 ABY, the date of the battle.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Return of the Jedi 4