The Tarkin Initiative was a secret think tank within the Imperial Military Department of Advanced Weapons Research, an organization that belonged to Imperial Intelligence and the Imperial Security Bureau.[3] Founded by Governor Wilhuff Tarkin,[1] it gave birth to both the first and second Death Star battle stations.[10] Officers within the Initiative, like Director Orson Krennic, were guarded by Imperial Intelligence's death troopers.[3] Tarkin Initiative canisters were used as part of a mining operation on the planet Ilum.[8]

At some point, the Tarkin Initiative also constructed the assassin droid BT-1 in one of their bases. The droid, however, was revealed to be homicidal, wiping out everyone at the base and then self-destructing the base itself. At some point before the secret mission to Geonosis, it was found by Doctor Aphra, who, after adjusting the droid's behavior and activating it, put it under the service of Darth Vader.[1] The initiative developed the Hutt clone trooper, though they did not see wide scale deployment and were instead stored aboard Hivebase-1.[5]

The logo of the Tarkin Initiative was a hexagon representing a stylized faceted kyber crystal.[3] Scientists of the Grand Moff Tarkin Initiative worked to unlock the secrets of the crystal on the planet Eadu, aiming to develop a superweapon.[11]

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