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Tantive IV
Tantive IV.JPG
First appearance A New Hope (1977)
Affiliation Galactic Republic
Rebel Alliance
General characteristics
Class Corellian corvette
Armaments Turbolasers
Defenses Shield generators
Length 150 meters

The Tantive IV (also referred to as the Rebel blockade runner) is a fictional Corellian corvette used by Bail Organa and Leia Organa in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It was the first vessel audiences saw when Star Wars premiered in 1977. Other Corellian corvettes, which share the Tantive IV's design, appear in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and in the Star Wars Expanded Universe's books, comics, and games.


Origin and design

The ship's design stems from initial concepts for the Millennium Falcon.[1] When Space: 1999, which first broadcast in 1975, featured a ship called an Eagle Transporter with an appearance similar to the Industrial Light & Magic's Falcon design, the modelmakers redesigned the Falcon and adapted the initial Falcon design for the Tantive IV by scaling down the model, replacing any outsized components, and replacing the cockpit.[1][2] This also explains the 194-centimeter model's intricacy, which would have been necessary for depicting the prominent Falcon.[1] Although not visible in the first Star Wars film, modelmakers hung a miniature Playboy centerfold on the cockpit's starboard bulkhead.[1] The ship was generally referred to as the "Rebel blockade runner"; National Public Radio's radio adaptation of A New Hope revealed the name "Tantive IV".[2]

The model was altered slightly for Return of the Jedi, with the addition of windows along the ship's spine and larger weapons.[2] These modifications were removed in the 1990s.[2] The Republic cruiser in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was designed to be reminiscent of the blockade runner's shape.[1][3]


The Star Destroyer Devastator chases the Tantive IV over Tatooine

The Tantive IV is Bail Organa's (Jimmy Smits) consular ship in Revenge of the Sith. After the Great Jedi Purge, both Yoda (Frank Oz) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) travel aboard Organa's ship to the Jedi Temple to send a warning urging surviving Jedi to hide. Organa and Yoda leave Coruscant aboard the Tantive IV, which later transports newborn Leia to live with her adoptive parents, while leaving care of the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO to the ship's captain, Raymus Antilles.

Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) in A New Hope uses the Tantive IV for humanitarian and mercy missions. Leia uses this as a cover to travel to the restricted world of Raaltiir to obtain stolen plans to the Empire's Death Star battle station, intending then to travel to Tatooine to ask Kenobi (Alec Guinness) to join the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Empire. Although the Tantive IV successfully intercepts the plans, an Imperial Star Destroyer chases them to Tatooine. Unable to find Kenobi herself, Leia gives the plans and a message to R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), and then orders the droid to deliver them to Kenobi. Shortly thereafter, Imperial stormtroopers led by Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) board and capture the ship and crew, including Leia. Vader himself chokes to death Captain Antilles.

Corellian corvettes are part of the Rebel fleet that attacks the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi. They also appear in LucasArts products, such as the X-Wing Flight Simulator series and the Empire at War real-time strategy game.


Both Decipher, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast published Tantive IV and Corellian corvette cards for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and Star Wars Trading Card Game, respectively.[4][5][6] Lego's 1,700-piece blockade runner model was the first to include dark red bricks.[7] A small Lego model of the Tantive IV is included with the Ultimate Collector series 3,000-piece Star Destroyer, which at the time of its 2002 release was Lego's largest set.[8] Two Micro Machines three-packs included a Corellian corvette toy, and Hasbro's Collector Fleet line included an electronic blockade runner.[9][10][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Tantive IV (Rebel blockade runners) (Behind the Scenes)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d Peterson, Lorne (2006). Sculpting A Galaxy - Inside the Star Wars Model Shop (1st ed. ed.). San Rafael, California: Insight Editions. pp. 2–3. ISBN 1-933784-03-2. 
  3. ^ "Republic Cruiser (Behind the Scenes)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  4. ^ "Star Wars Customizable Card Game Complete Card List" (PDF). Decipher, Inc.. 2001-08-23. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  5. ^ "Tantive IV (A)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  6. ^ "Corellian Corvette". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  7. ^ "LEGO Store - Product (Rebel Blockade Runner)". Lego. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  8. ^ "LEGO Ultimate Collector Star Destroyer". Star Wars Collecting. Lucasfilm. 2002-09-23. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  9. ^ "#4: Blockade Runner, Sandcrawler, Y-wing (1994)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  10. ^ "#I: TIE Interceptor, Star Destroyer, Blockade Runner (1995)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  11. ^ "Rebel Blockade Runner". Retrieved 2007-08-23. 

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