- "We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?"
"Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances!"
- ―Moradmin Bast and Wilhuff Tarkin
Moradmin Bast was a Human male from the planet Dura-Kahn. An Imperial general, Bast was stationed on the first Death Star, the Galactic Empire's planet-destroying superweapon, where he served as the chief personal aide to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and the subordinate to High General Cassio Tagge. In 0 BBY, Bast was present for a meeting in the battlestation's conference room, discussing the lost Death Star plans, which had been stolen by the Rebel Alliance. After the Battle of Yavin began, Bast received information that the Rebels had found a small vulnerable thermal exhaust port in the Death Star's superstructure. Since the exhaust port was a danger to the battlestation, Bast wanted Tarkin to evacuate the Death Star, although the Grand Moff believed that the Imperial forces would thwart the Rebels' attack. However, after the Rebel Luke Skywalker successfully launched a proton torpedo into the Death Star's thermal exhaust port, the Death Star exploded, killing Bast and everyone else on board.
Service aboard the Death StarEdit
Moradmin Bast, a Human male, hailed from the planet Dura-Kahn. At a young age, Bast learned patience and cunning abilities by hunting big-game on his homeworld. Bast also saw the Rebel Alliance as a threat while growing up and believed that it should not be underestimated.
At some point, Bast enlisted in the Imperial Army and eventually attained the rank of general. Prior to the start of the Galactic Civil War, which began in 2 BBY, the general was assigned to serve as the subordinate to High General Cassio Tagge, the head of Army Operations aboard the first Death Star battlestation. In this capacity, Bast frequently acted as the chief personal aide to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, the battlestation's lead commander. Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, the head of Navy Operations aboard the Death Star, feared Bast and Tagge, due to their loyalty and respect toward Tarkin.
Shortly before the destruction of Alderaan in 0 BBY, Bast attended a staff conference on the battlestation. The Death Star's command staff—which included Tarkin, Tagge, and Motti—discussed the Rebel Alliance and its possession of the Death Star's technical schematics, which had been stolen by the Rebels during the Battle of Toprawa. Believing that the Death Star was "the ultimate power in the universe," Motti wanted to use the station to threaten the Rebels, although the Dark Lord Darth Vader reassured Motti that the Death Star's destructive capability was insignificant next to the power of the Force. Throughout the conference, Bast sat in silence and witnessed Motti's near death as Vader Force choked him for his lack of faith in the Force.
Death at YavinEdit
Following the rescue of Alderaanian Princess Leia Organa aboard the Death Star, Tarkin was able to locate the Rebels' secret headquarters after having a homing beacon attached to the princess's getaway freighter. Tracking the starship to the Yavin system, the Death Star approached its target—Yavin 4, home of the Rebel base. Before the Death Star could fire on Yavin 4, the station had to orbit around the planet Yavin Prime. The battlestation's presence triggered the Battle of Yavin as the Rebels attempted to exploit a weakness in the battlestation's superstructure by launching proton torpedoes into a small thermal exhaust port that led directly to the Death Star's main reactor.
However, the Rebels were not the only ones to discover this flaw. As the battle raged, military analysts informed Bast that the vulnerability of the thermal exhaust port in the face of the Rebel starfighter attack posed a real danger to everyone aboard the battlestation. Wary of the Rebels' cunning, Bast immediately brought this information to Tarkin in the Death Star's overbridge and inquired whether the Grand Moff wished to have his ship ready for evacuation, but Tarkin contemptuously brushed his recommendations aside. Despite his reservations, Bast remained with his superior officer and watched as the battlestation approached Yavin 4.
Once the Death Star cleared the planet, Tarkin, without hesitation, ordered a nearby engineer to fire the superlaser on Yavin 4 to end the Rebel Alliance. However, Tenn Graneet, the master chief petty officer responsible for firing the superlaser, momentarily hesitated. Graneet's delay allowed Rebel pilot Luke Skywalker to successfully fire a pair of proton torpedoes into the thermal exhaust port before the superlaser was fired. Bast, as well as everyone stationed on the Death Star, was killed when the massive battlestation exploded near Yavin 4.
Personality and traitsEdit
Moradmin Bast had no personal aspirations beyond serving the Empire and was loyal to Tarkin and Tagge aboard the Death Star. Some officers believed that Vader was a subordinate to Tarkin; however, Bast respected the Dark Lord, since he witnessed how Vader dealt with foolish officers. A confident man who rarely underestimated his enemies, Bast often praised the work that Tarkin had done on the Death Star. During the meeting aboard the Death Star prior to the Battle of Yavin, Bast remained quiet throughout. As Tarkin's chief personal aide, Bast became concerned for Tarkin's well being during the ensuing battle and delivered the Grand Moff information regarding the Rebel attack on the battlestation, including an offer to evacuate. However, Tarkin dismissed Bast's report as an overestimation of the Rebels' chances at victory, which ultimately cost the Grand Moff his life, as the Death Star was soon obliterated.
Behind the scenesEdit
Moradmin Bast was portrayed by Leslie Schofield in George Lucas' 1977 film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, originally credited as "Commander #1." In the final version of A New Hope, Schofield played the character in two scenes. However, cut footage and dialogue of the character that was omitted from the final version of A New Hope was later included in the 1978 television program The Star Wars Holiday Special. The footage was also made accessible in the bonus features of the Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray set, which was released in 2011.
The unnamed officer later received the name "Bast" in the 1991 West End Games sourcebook Death Star Technical Companion. In 1995, Bast was first identified as "Chief Bast" in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game Premiere Limited expansion set. The 2006 novel Death Star provided the Bast character the rank of general, while the article The Empire's Finest: Who's Who in the Imperial Military from Star Wars Insider 96 first identified Bast by first name—Moradmin.
The Star Wars Holiday SpecialEdit
The inclusion of Bast's deleted scene from A New Hope in The Star Wars Holiday Special originally suggested that the character survived the Battle of Yavin. However, Bast's presence with Tarkin during the final moments before the Death Star's destruction in A New Hope shows that this is not the same officer. Lucasfilm continuity manager Leland Chee officially declared Bast a casualty of the battle through the StarWars.com Message Boards. The identity of the Bast lookalike from the Holiday Special was never officially explained.
Hasbro's 2006 "Death Star Briefing" action figure multipack from the Star Wars: The Saga Collection line included a Chief Bast figure. The packaging noted that Bast was one of a handful of Imperial officers to evacuate the Death Star before its destruction. However, Leland Chee noted that the text was written before Lucasfilm had seen film evidence confirming Bast's death.
In both the A New Hope novelization and junior novelization, the officer who delivers Tarkin news of the Rebels' attack strategy during the Battle of Yavin is described as running from the room rather than remaining by Tarkin's side, as shown in the film. Despite elsewhere being mentioned by name and rank in the novel Death Star, Bast’s name is not mentioned during the Battle of Yavin. Instead, an operations lieutenant is described informing Tarkin of the thermal exhaust port danger.
Cassio Tagge's biography from the 1998 PC program Star Wars: Behind the Magic mistakenly states that Tagge was the one who suggested Tarkin evacuate the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin, instead of Bast. However, in another section of the multimedia guide, Bast's character is correctly identified, including details of his biography from the character's SWCCG card.
An Imperial officer corresponding to Bast's role appears in the 1977 Marvel comic Star Wars 6: Is This the Final Chapter?. The comic alternatively depicts Tarkin as giving the officer the order to analyze the Rebel attack and report back to him. After doing so, the officer then speaks Bast's line from the film, although the dialogue is significantly altered.
Bast does not appear in the Star Wars radio drama. Instead, his role is combined with Admiral Motti, voiced by David Clennon, who orders Tarkin to leave the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin due to the Rebel attack. The 2006 video game Star Wars: Empire at War shows an Imperial officer contacting Tarkin via hologram during the battle and speaking Bast's line from the film.
- Death Star
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novelization (First appearance)
- Star Wars 2: Six Against the Galaxy
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope junior novelization
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope PhotoComic
- Star Wars: A New Hope - The Special Edition 4
- Star Wars Droids 8: Star Wars According to the Droids, Book III
- Star Wars 6: Is This the Final Chapter?