The Tantive IV (pronounced /ˈtæntɪˌvi 'fɔ:r/) was a CR90 corvette in the service of the Royal House of Alderaan. The ship was a central player in the events following the end of the Clone Wars and the beginning of the Galactic Civil War.
It started life as a CR90 corvette named Star of Alderaan, but was renamed in honor of diplomats from Tantive IV who visited Alderaan. The ship sported twin turbolaser turrets and a massive drive block of eleven ion turbine engines.
The Tantive IV housed living quarters, formal dining rooms, conference rooms, and an engine room.
Princess Leia Organa also had a luxurious stateroom on the highest level of the ship to serve dignitaries and official guests. It was appointed with fine art and expensive furniture, and comprised many rooms. The stateroom acted as a living room with a small round coffee table and two large, red sofas, and was connected to two advanced escape pods.
The blockade runner held eight tiny escape pods that could seat up to three people and four laser-armed ones that could hold 12 passengers. but eventually the ship was outfitted with weaponry.
The decks were numbered in descending order. There were storage holds above the first deck and below the fourth. Engineering decks were numbered similarly and were abaft the main decks, with sensor suites above and below the highest and lowest decks. Sensor Suite A was above and Sensor Suite B was below. There was access to the Sensor Suites from any level through the engineering decks. The main reactor core stretched across all decks and was abaft the engineering decks. Turbolaser turrets were situated towards the bow. Two were placed above and below the first and fourth decks, respectively, and they could be reached from any deck. The forward gunnery deck was forward of Deck 4, which ended further aft than Decks 2 or 3 and with Deck 1. The aft ends of Decks 1 and 4 ended further forward than the other two as well. Smuggling compartments were further towards the bow, situated in the hammerhead neck and above the computer control deck, which was above the bridge. The forward hold was under Princess Leia's suite, which was on Deck 3 and under the bridge.
- Computer control deck (not contiguous)
- smuggling compartment (not contiguous)
- Power systems (Engineering)
- Heavy and light equipment storage spaces
- Maximum capacity escape pods
- Turbolaser systems monitoring
- Turbolaser power generators
- Stateroom suite
- Hyperdrive System Controls (Engineering)
- Sublight System Controls (Engineering)
- Engine Level B Monitoring
- Sickbay Suite
- Meeting Room
- Shields and Screen Systems
- Science and Medical Lab
- Sensors and Communications systems
- Emergency Repair Facilities
- Weapon System Control
- Environmental Control
- Forward Power Distribution Control
- Officers' common room
- Formal state conference chamber
- Formal dining room
- Escape pod access tunnel (circumnavigates entire deck)
- Airlocks port and starboard
- Auxiliary Override Control (Engineering)
- Heat and Energy Output Control (Engineering)
- Engine Levels A-C Power Distribition (Engineering)
- Engineering Crew quarters
- Officer's quarters
- Captain's quarters
- Passenger quarters
- Princess' Suite
- Princess' secret chamber
- Private observation deck (adjacent to suite)
- Computer power substation
- Tech station
- Main computer room
- Main sensor room
- Sensor power substation
- Engine room
- Crew quarters
- Droid maintenance room
- Smuggling compartment (not contiguous)
- Auxiliary systems (Engineering)
- Engine Level C Monitoring (Engineering)
- Security Hold/Bridge
- Equipment Storage
- Droid storage
- Droid Maintenance
- General Maintenance
- Speeder/Skiff debarkation ramp; Airlock
- Speeder/Skiff garage and repair facility
- Equipment storage
- Forward airlocks
- "Commander, tear this ship apart until you've found those plans and bring me the passengers. I want them alive!"
- ―Darth Vader
The Tantive IV was built by the Corellian Engineering Corporation, sometime before the end of the Clone Wars. Originally called the Star of Alderaan, it was renamed to honor the Tantive system's diplomats. During the time of the Clone Wars, the ship was the consular ship of Alderaan's senator in the Galactic Republic, Bail Organa.
During the galaxywide conflict of the Clone Wars, the planet Ryloth was blockaded by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and therefore the people of Ryloth were unable to receive food or medical supplies, and were in need of relief from the Republic. As previous support missions had failed to puncture the blockade, Senator Organa took the Tantive IV to Toydaria. There, he requested that the ruler of the system, King Katuunko, allow the Republic to use Toydaria as a jumping off point for small Republic relief vessels that, while more likely to get past the blockade due to their size, required a planet for refueling before reaching Ryloth.
Initial requests were denied due to the interference of Lott Dod of the Trade Federation, who claimed that any relief action would ally neutral Toydaria with the Republic and force the Federation to break off trade with Toydaria, else the Trade Federation attract interest from and be attacked by the Separatists. However, the King decided to allow Bail Organa to covertly send all the ships he had brought with him for aid and, with the help of a distraction provided by Jar Jar Binks, was successful in assisting the Twi'lek people.
Around 21 BBY, the Tantive IV was present on the neutral planet Mandalore where Bail Organa attended a peace conference between representatives of the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
It was during an exercise testing the launch of escape pods that Tantive IV was attacked by a pirate gang from the Karthakk system. The corvette successfully evaded the attack, though lost its jettisoned escape pods in the process. It was soon discovered that R2-D2 and C-3PO were aboard one of the pods. Chief Petty Officer Corla Metonae, supervisor of the exercise, was blamed for the loss of the droids. Bail Organa placed high importance on retrieving the droids, and eventually succeeded in returning them to Tantive IV.
During the days of the Empire, Princess Leia Organa used the ship and her position in the Imperial Senate to help the struggling Rebel Alliance, often undertaking secret missions under the guise of Humanitarian work.
While the plans from Toprawa were by far the largest part of the plans, two other supplemental sets were also delivered to the Tantive IV from AX-235 by the shuttle Maria—one set acquired from Danuta and another set stolen during the Death Star Uprising. The original plan was to deliver them to the Star Cruiser Liberty, but the sudden appearance of the Star Destroyer Immortal halted the transfer, and Tantive IV was forced to flee to Tatooine.
There was a spy on board which helped the Empire track the vessel.
The second part of the mission was to reach the planet Tatooine, find Obi-Wan Kenobi, and escort him to Alderaan, along with the plans for the Death Star. However, the ship was intercepted by the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Devastator while in orbit over the planet. After Imperial troops boarded the ship with a TIE/br boarding shuttle, the Tantive IV was quickly disabled and captured.
Despite the valiant efforts of the Alderaanian soldiers on board, the stormtroopers of the 501st Legion quickly overran the ship. In a critical move, Leia Organa was able to pass the Death Star plans to R2-D2 and instruct him to make contact with Obi-Wan Kenobi on the surface of Tatooine, before being captured herself.
Vader personally interrogated Captain Raymus Antilles to find the stolen plans with no success. Before Senator Organa was on the row, she had seen the portable accessway attached to the Tantive IV. Unable to find the plans on board the Tantive IV, Darth Vader ordered a team of stormtroopers to sweep the planet below to find them. Afterward, the corvette was destroyed and the entire crew was killed. Imperial propaganda, including a falsified report by the survey vessel Wide-Eyed, would later proclaim that an asteroid storm caused the destruction of the Tantive IV.
Behind the scenes
The Tantive IV first appeared in the novelization of the Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, where a hit on the "principal solar fin" damaged the ship. In the film the final shot went to the sensor array, but was diverted and hit the engine section. The Incredible Cross-Sections explained that the shot overloaded the starboard shield projector, causing damage in the power generator system, which led to shutting down the reactor. According to The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology, the Tantive IV was disabled by ion cannons.
Star Wars Insider 90 states that the ship was built under the name Star of Alderaan by order of Queen Mazicia Organa for senator Agrippa Aldrete as a consular vessel. Since Agrippa Aldrete was senator of Alderaan before the time of The Phantom Menace, this statement contradicts the former statement, that the ship was built some time before the end of the Clone Wars.
In Star Wars Insider 93's article "May the Facts Be With You: Part One: #1-50", the Tantive IV was noted as being built with a single white-walled hallway and turn, alongside a redressed Millennium Falcon hold, filmed from several angles to save money. In addition, the production model for the Tantive IV was also twice as long as the production model of the Devastator. It was also originally intended to be the Millennium Falcon, although after it was made its own separate ship, it still retained some design cues from the Millennium Falcon, in particular the kidder rungs right below the primary sensor array. The explosion effect was achieved by doing pyrotechnic event filming while the shooting model was held upside down.
The Tantive IV was originally portrayed using a plastic model for the filming of A New Hope. The creators of the model placed a miniature pin-up girl poster in the cockpit as a joke. It is not visible in the final film. Later, during the filming of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a computer-generated model was used, but the two models have many differences in appearance, which ultimately led to identifying the new design as a different ship.
Retconned appearance in the Revenge of the Sith
Until 2010, official sources stated that the ship in A New Hope and in Revenge of the Sith are the same. At the official Star Wars website, the Rebel blockade runner is specifically shown to appear in Episode III, Episode IV, and Episode VI. Many sources supported this, including The Art of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which states:
- "...Lucas reveals that [the] first ship seen in the 1977 Star Wars—the Rebel blockade runner (aka the Tantive IV)—will reappear in Revenge of the Sith. Within the ship, in addition to reconstructing the familiar corridor through which Darth Vader strides, Lucas requests a new meeting room. He also approves of an idea whereby the ship could be reverse-engineered from its Episode IV Rebel version to an earlier peacetime version of itself."—The Art of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, page 104
- "One of the most fun things about this show was linking the first trilogy to this one, introducing designs that make more of an appearance in A New Hope." The cruiser flown by Bail Organa, for example, is a predecessor to the Rebel blockade runner featured in the first shot of the original Star Wars. "It looks a little bit different, but you can tell it comes from the same factory."—Cinefex #102, page 68
The profile for the CR70 corvette in Star Wars Insider 90 explained the differences of the two ships to fit in with Coleman's comment by stating that the Revenge of the Sith version is a CR70 model and the A New Hope version is the Tantive IV after an extensive refitting, as a CR90 model.
Another retcon appeared in Star Wars Blueprints: Rebel Edition, in which the Corellian Corvette seen in Episode III was actually the Sundered Heart, from the game Star Wars: Empire at War. In August 2010, continuity referee Leland Chee confirmed that the ships in the two films are not the same.
- Tag & Bink Are Dead
- Tantive IV
- Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- LEGO Star Wars: Bombad Bounty
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game — Ultimate Sith Edition
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars (radio)
- The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
- The Tantive IV's interior layout can be fairly well mapped using the cutaway of the ship in Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections and Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections.
- There exist some differences between the The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook and the more recent sources, such as features being on differnet decks. This article errs with the original deckplan as that was made to be cogent as a roleplaying set piece.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Supply Lines"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Friend in Need"
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novelization
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology, page 79
- Leland Chee confirms the ship in Episode III is the Sundered Heart
- KnollVision panorama of the ship's hallway set -
- - KnollVision panorama of the ship's conference room set