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For other uses, see Tarkin (disambiguation).

"This bold vision of the future requires not only the service of those of immaculate reputation and consummate skill in the just exercise of power, but also the service of a vast military dedicated to upholding the laws necessary to ensure galactic harmony. "
―An excerpt from the Tarkin Doctrine[src]

The Tarkin Doctrine was the name that the media gave to a statement made by Wilhuff Tarkin during an interview following his promotion from Moff to the first Grand Moff by the Emperor, Sheev Palpatine, five years after the formation of the Empire. It outlined his beliefs about why the Republic had needed to be unified into the Empire, and praised Palpatine for his leadership. In the doctrine he asked each Imperial citizen to do their part, especially the vast military which he justified as being necessary to defend the Empire and keep the peace.[1]

The doctrine was rooted in Tarkin's theory of "Rule by Fear"—the contention that overwhelming displays of force, rather than force itself, were the most effective means of maintaining internal security and the loyalty of vassal worlds.[3] The Emperor's adoption of the "rule by fear" concept indirectly lead to the accelerated development of the Death Star.[4]

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Full text[]

Source: TarkinAttribution: Wilhuff Tarkin

The factor that contributed most to the demise of the Republic was not, in fact, the war, but rampant self-interest. Endemic to the political process our ancestors engineered, the insidious pursuit of self-enrichment grew only more pervasive through the long centuries, and in the end left the body politic feckless and corrupt. Consider the self-interest of the Core Worlds, unwavering in their exploitation of the Outer Systems for resources; the Outer Systems themselves, undermined by their permissive disregard of smuggling and slavery; those ambitious members of the Senate who sought only status and opportunity.

The reason our Emperor was able to negotiate the dark waters that characterized the terminal years of the Republic and remain at the helm through a catastrophic war that spanned the galaxy is that he has never been interested in status or self-glorification. On the contrary, he has been tireless in his devotion to unify the galaxy and assure the well-being of its myriad populations. Now, with the institution of sector and oversector governance, we are in the unique position to repay our debt to the Emperor for his decades of selfless service, by lifting some of the burden of quotidian rulership from his shoulders. By partitioning the galaxy into regions, we actually achieve a unity previously absent; where once our loyalties and allegiances were divided, they now serve one being, with one goal: a cohesive galaxy in which everyone prospers. For the first time in one thousand generations our sector governors will not be working solely to enrich Coruscant and the Core Worlds, but to advance the quality of life in the star systems that make up each sector-keeping the spaceways safe, maintaining open and accessible communications, assuring that tax revenues are properly levied and allocated to improving the infrastructure. The Senate will likewise be made up of beings devoted not to their own enrichment, but to the enrichment of the worlds they represent.

This bold vision of the future requires not only the service of those of immaculate reputation and consummate skill in the just exercise of power, but also the service of a vast military dedicated to upholding the laws necessary to ensure galactic harmony. It may appear to some that the enactment of universal laws and the widespread deployment of a heavily armed military are steps toward galactic domination, but these actions are taken merely to protect us from those who would invade, enslave, exploit, or foment political dissent, and to punish accordingly any who engage in such acts. Look on our new military not as trespassers or interlopers, but as gatekeepers, here to shore up the Emperor's vision of a pacified and prosperous galaxy.

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Behind the scenes[]

The Tarkin Doctrine was introduced in the Star Wars Legends Imperial Sourcebook, which was authored by Greg Gorden and produced by West End Games in 1989 as a supplement to Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. The doctrine was made canon by the novel Tarkin, which was written by James Luceno and published in 2014. The canon version of the doctrine differed in its wording and format to the original, which was a message sent by Tarkin to the Emperor, not a statement made in an interview.



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tarkin
  2. The events of Tarkin take place five years after the rise of the Galactic Empire, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Therefore, Tarkin must be set in 14 BBY. The Tarkin Doctrine must have been released in this year as well.
  3. Dawn of Rebellion
  4. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know