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Why was the Tantive IV at Tatooine?

 
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Why was the Tantive IV at Tatooine?
 PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:16 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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While reading the ANH novelization, I ran across something that didn't make sense. At the beginning of ANH, the Tantive IV is carrying the Death Star plans to Alderaan. I'm not sure why the Tantive IV would make a pit stop at Tatooine before going to Alderaan. Wouldn't they just go there directly? It appears that Leia knows that Obi-Wan lives on Tatooine (which makes sense, especially in light of RotS), because Bail Organa could easily pass that information on to his daughter. Once the Tantive IV is captured, Leia sends her famous distress signal, along with the Death Star plans, down to Tatooine in hopes that it will reach Obi-Wan... but before the Tantive IV was captured there was no reason to be near Tatooine. Or was there? Am I missing something?
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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Alan Skywalker V
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Keep in mind that the novelization was published at least six months before the film came out.

That said, this question can probably only be answered by looking at the EU.

The plans to the Death Star were obtained by the Alliance in an engagement against the Imperial forces at the planet Toprawa, which is also in the Outer Rim territories - according to the Wook this engagment is the "first victory against the evil Galactic Empire" mentioned in A New Heope's opening crawl. The Tantive jumped out of the system with the ISD Devastator in pursuit.

Alderaan is in the Core. With the Devastator closing in Leia could have realized that there was only a very slim chance that the Tantive would reach Alderaan and had Antilles set course for Tatooine. Besides, in the message she had clearly intended to contact Kenobi at some point. Perhaps she was able to confer with Bail after the battle and he thought the time had come for Obi-Wan and Yoda to reveal their survival to the galaxy. Remember what Yoda said in ROTS? "Until the time is right, disappear we will."

Does that make any sense?

(I've looked at several of the galaxy maps online to try to pinpoint Toprawa and work out what major trade route the Tantive could have used to reach Alderaan without a Tatooine stop, but I can't locate it.)


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 PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:49 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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In the video game "Empire at War", the Rebels chose to intercept the Death Star plans at the satellite relay station in the Tatooine system. The Empire learned of this plan, and so deployed a small fleet to intercept it (keeping most of it hidden, including an Interdictor).

Of course, things like fleet size are game mechanics and so are non-canon, but the level ends when you use an Imperial Star Destroyer to take the Tantive IV in a tractor beam.

But yea, in that version, the Rebels chose Tatooine as a site for receiving the plans (for whatever reason; I'm thinking they thought the relay station there was less secure, though this might have been part of the Imperial trap).
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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Alan Skywalker V wrote:
Besides, in the message she had clearly intended to contact Kenobi at some point.

Didn't Leia make that message when the Tantive IV was already being boarded though? She mentions that the Death Star plans are being carried by R2. There are ways of explaining why the Tantive IV is at Tatooine, but it just seems really convenient. Some clarification would have been nice.

On the other hand, from a story-telling standpoint, it makes sense that the details are vague. One of the great things about the opening of ANH is that you're not sure what's going on the first time you see it. You're thrown into the story and are immediately along for the ride.
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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:26 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Reepicheep wrote:
Alan Skywalker V wrote:
Besides, in the message she had clearly intended to contact Kenobi at some point.

Didn't Leia make that message when the Tantive IV was already being boarded though?


She does. But her message seems to imply that, had an ISD not been there, she intended to deliver her father's request in person ("I regret that I am unable to..."). I always assumed that she was there because she was tasked not only with delivery the Death Star plans but also with requesting help from Obi-Wan and, if he agreed, transporting him to Alderaan as well.

Another theory would be that, assuming she knew there was an ISD in pursuit, they had made several jumps in an attempt to loose the ISD (rather than take the direct route back). Once it became clear that they would be unable to loose the ISD they laid in a course for Tatooine as she knew Obi-Wan was the only hope of keeping the plans safe and eventually getting them to the Alliance. (If they had gone to an Alliance base/stronghold an Imperial Fleet would be there in short order leading to something like the Battle of Hoth at best. Nor could she risk seeking out Alliance spies as only the most reliable agents could probably be trusted with such sensitive information and even if they managed to get the plans to the Alliance it would probably be at the cost of blowing their cover.).

So she may not have intended to "kill two birds with one stone" by going to Tatooine in the first place but after it became obvious that capture was unavoidable seeking out Obi-Wan became her only option. A Hail Mary pass if you will.
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