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Riff Tamson was a Karkarodon male who served as a commander for the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars. A ruthless warlord, Tamson acted as an envoy on behalf of the Separatists, heralding their arrival while perturbing political stability in various star systems. In 21 BBY, Tamson was sent by his master, Count Dooku, to the planet Mon Cala, assassinating their Mon Cala King, Yos Kolina, in an effort to dampen race relations between the Mon Cala and Quarren populations sharing the planet.

Tamson rallied the Quarren, leading them in battle against the Mon Cala. Dooku gave him the task of hunting the wayward prince, Lee-Char, who was in line to succeed his deceased father as king.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Around 21 BBY, Tamson was sent as an envoy to the system, which was slowly falling to an advance by the Confederate Navy. There, he secretly assassinated King Yos Kolina of Mon Cala and the subsequent Mon Calamari, causing Quarren tensions to rise in the Calamari system. The Galactic Republic responded by sending Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and Senator Padmé Amidala in an attempt to quell the tensions, but Tamson led a pre-emptive strike against the Mon Cals, and personally went after Prince Lee-Char. Though the attack was temporarily driven off by Republic reinforcements, Tamson soon brought in Hydroid Medusa into the battle, driving the Republic forces deep into the underwater caves. He then turned to his Quarren allies, angry that they chose not to join the battle during his second strike. He personally warned Nossor Ri not to disobey Count Dooku's orders again, or he would kill him on the spot.

Tamson leading his forces during the Battle of Mon Calamari.

As Tamson's forces gained control of the Calamari cities, Dooku ordered him to locate and kill the prince in order to crush the morale of the Mon Cals. Tamson predicted that his quarry would attempt to reach the waiting Consular-class cruiser on the surface and had it destroyed just before they could reach it. He later received word that the long-range sensors had been destroyed, rendering the Separatists blind if any Republic reinforcements arrived. Shortly after, Gungans were deployed from a Republic cruiser.[3]

When Tamson was informed that the prince was spotted attempting to rally the hopes of his people, he decided to hunt the prince down personally. He deployed Trident-class assault ships to create whirlpools in order to confuse his enemies. Tamson then attempted to kill Lee-Char, but Jedi Kit Fisto and Ahsoka Tano stood in his defense. Eventually, Tamson had all the Jedi but Tano and Senators Amidala and Meena Tills captured, though the prince still eluded him.[3]

Lee-Char avenges his father's death by killing his assassin.

Tamson attempted to kill Lee-Char as he killed Yos Kolina. After killing off many of Lee-Char's soldiers, Tamson attempted to fight Char with explosive knives. Lee-Char managed to throw one of the explosive knives into Tamson's arm and, as Tamson swam toward the Prince, Lee-Char detonated the bomb, killing Tamson. His head drifted through the water after Lee-Char killed him.

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"There's plenty of suffering to go around."
―Riff Tamson reveals his sadistic nature[src]

An ambitious warlord, Tamson acted as an envoy for the Separatists on the aquatic planet Dac, perturbing political stability between the native Quarren and the Mon Calamari following the assassination of King Yos Kolina, an assassination that he had been personally responsible for.[4] He was extremely vicious, mercilessly killing anyone who got in his way and was not above threatening his allies when he was enraged or frustrated. Tamson was loyal to Count Dooku and never disobeyed his orders and would threaten anyone who even considered disobeying the Sith Lord.[3] By being loyal to Dooku's cause, he hoped that his homeworld would become a galactic power because of its ties to the Separatists.[5] He was also sadistic and enjoyed watching his prisoners suffer, commenting that whether the Jedi told him the whereabouts of Lee-Char or not, he would torture them either way.[4]

Skills and abilities[edit | edit source]

Riff Tamson was shown to be a deadly opponent in battle, even managing to defeat Jedi Master Kit Fisto in hand to hand combat.[3] He appeared to have a preference for hand to hand combat, normally attacking his opponents with his powerful jaws or his bare hands, but also used explosive knives when he attempted to kill Prince Lee-Char. Ironically, it was one of his own knives that was responsible for his demise.[4]

In addition to being a formidable warrior, Tamson was a skilled commander and strategist and was well suited to underwater warfare. Tamson was also a very powerful swimmer, being able to match a Republic OMS Devilfish sub in speed underwater. He was also able to break through a thick glass tube by repeatedly ramming it with his head when he was pursuing Prince Lee-Char, who had taken shelter in the tube.[3][2]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Riff Tamson was voiced by actor Gary Anthony Williams.[2]

Riff Tamson features several homages to the title character in Jaws. Aside from being clearly based on a great white shark, the scene in which Tamson shatters a glass tube with his head is likely a reference to a similar (and imfamous) scene from Jaws 3, and more notably his death is a reference to the death of the shark in the original film (the shark from Jaws was killed when the movie's protagonist Martin Brody shot an air tank the shark had in its mouth, blowing it into bloodied pieces that splattered into the water.)

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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