'Star Wars: The Clone Wars': Grand Moff Tarkin makes his debut! -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Clone-Wars-CitadelDo we detect a foul stench? This Friday on Star Wars: The Clone Wars (read our recaps here!), Tarkin — future Imperial Grand Moff, Death Star commander, and the only man other than the Emperor himself capable of “holding Vader’s leash” — will make his highly anticipated debut. Portrayed by Hammer Films veteran Peter Cushing in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, Tarkin became the template for all of the saga’s stuffy, Queen’s English-speaking Imperial officers, sort of the cold, militarist yang to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s warm, grandfatherly yin. At the time of The Clone Wars, 20 years before A New Hope, Tarkin (voiced by Stephen Stanton) is just a captain in the Republic navy. And in Friday’s episode, “The Citadel,” the first of a three-part arc, he meets his future colleague and rival, Anakin Skywalker. 

“I think there’s a bit of an ego trip happening,” Matt Lanter, Anakin’s vocal performer, tells EW. “Anakin and Tarkin are testing each other out a little bit. On a bigger scale, though, we keep giving fans more tie-ins on the Clone Wars to the original trilogy.” Supervising director Dave Filoni, to whom in the fall I suggested — nay, demanded! — that Tarkin make an appearance, agrees. “There are a lot of references [to the original trilogy] packed into these episodes,” he says. Such as how Anakin and Obi-Wan have themselves encased in carbonite in order to sneak past Separatist lines and free a captive Jedi general. “This whole arc allowed us some fun opportunities to pay homage to the Star Wars that we all fell in love with when we, the older fans, were kids,” says Filoni. Take a look at an exclusive clip from Lucasfilm of “The Citadel,” in which Anakin and Tarkin have one of their first verbal sparring matches. Excited yet?

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  • harry

    RRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

    • Color Me Impressed

      I’ll admit, I’ve never actually seen this show, but the mere notion of seeing a young(er) Tarkin, is kindof cool

      • Original Jedi

        I watched the show last night…and I’m with you. Seeing a younger Tarkin was too cool. Not only did they capture the younger, physical persona of Tarkin, but Stephen Stanton, the actor playing him, sounded spot on as Peter Cushing! I always wanted to know more about Tarkin but since he only appeared in two of the movies, and briefly at that, I thought it was sheer brilliance for the creators to re-introduce him in Clone Wars and fill out his back story. So two thumbs up for this episode! Can’t wait for more.

  • Trenton

    I hope they give some insight as to why Vader was below that d-bag in ep 4. Or was palpatine just that much of a tool?

    • tim

      I also want to know why Vader was under Tarkin in “A New Hope.” It doesn’t really make sense, but we can probably chalk it up to Lucas not having the entire story of the saga planned out before writing “A New Hope.”

  • JWill

    YEEEEAAAAAAHHHH BOYEEEEE! Put that beyotch in his place Vader! :-)

  • stickittotheman

    Why is there always a Clone Wars review/update on this site? It is a F***ing kids show. Why not a Spongebob update also? There are plenty of better shows out there to spend this much time on. Stop giving George Lucas more free publicity.

    • Rush

      Have you *seen* the show. It’s gotten quite adult in many of its themes. It’s also on at 8:30, right before the Adult Swim block and past many youngling’s bedtimes.

      • kal-el

        EW should review Big Time Rush, Victorious, and iCarly

    • Niix Starkyller

      Yes, why cover popular shows set in intensely popular milieus, and in a popular entertainment magazine? How preposterous! What EW should be covering is one of the many, critically-acclaimed yet obscure Moroccan TV dramas. Or maybe a South African mini-series. Or, at least, only the shows YOU like.

  • sauron598

    @sickittotheman

    If you have been watching TCW you would not have made such a crude statement. It is basically the A-Team cartoonized for the 21st century but with tons more violence. By your comment I am thinking you based that judgement solely on the CW movie or the 1st season since the show has evolved since then. No other show on air has the epic scale and drama that some episodes of the CW possess, given the last six episodes. Jedi being tortured to death, neck snapping, grilling, decapitations, and some gruesome scenes do NOT make it a kiddie flick at all. Please see the show from the 2nd season and then make a statement.

  • wow…. this really suxxx

    The acting is as wooden as the look of these characters. Lucas really has ruined anything that Gary Kurtz and Joseph Campbell has brought to this story. This boring, derivative ego fest simply suxxxxxx. Total garbage… the death of Star Wars… or it’s rotten corpse. lol

    • M&M

      Dude, take your meds.

    • JediSmart

      Wow, you are a complete and total ass. Star Wars is forever and you can suck it!

  • hoganbcmj

    I’m watching season one and it’s actually quite good. It’s a little heavy on the action and light on character development, but it seems to be evolving as the season goes on. I look forward to watching season two. And by the way, I’m a pretty intense skeptic when it comes to TV shows and movies in general. I don’t hand out praise lightly.

  • Jeff Hallnan

    I can say that as a fan of SciFi for over 20 years that Clone Wars is the best of the genre since the original Star Trek.

  • Kim Rath

    The “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” cartoon series, especially in the current third season, are crucial for one’s understanding of the saga. I am expecting to learn much from the upcoming three-episode arc.

  • Gandalf the White

    The Clone Wars is the best TV Series since the Original Battlestar Galactica.

  • dee123

    Can’t top Batman The Animated Series but probably my runner up.

  • Trenton

    This show is a reinvention of the cartoon series format. Instead of literally allllll stand-alone episodes, they write it like a season long show made up of mini movies in-between. It is unique.

  • Mart

    Yeah – get off the Lucas bashing bandwagon! Phantom Menace was over a decade ago! Clone Wars is simply brilliant! If you want the ‘good ol days’ go watch ‘Ewoks’ and ‘Droids’. Clone Wars is excellent family watching! Parents can watch with their kids and still enjoy it. It also carries the spirit of Joseph Campbell, introducing young children to concepts of wisdom. The moral of each episode is stated at the start of the show. I’ve been a Star Wars fan since 1977 – I love this!!!

  • Grumpster

    Seriously…I liked Star Wars (except the 1st two prequels and only mildly the last prequel)…but this stuff is for little kids. Lucas has been lame lame lame since the early 80’s…he lost me with Ewoks.

    • JediSmart

      Ah, shut up you nostalgic freak! Stop living in the 70’s! I bet you never watched the show. If you did, you would see that the since the 2nd season, the series has become more darker, political, adult-like. So I suggest that you bashing stuff you never seen. Also, the prequels were great. Star wars is forever and you can suck it!

      • JRB

        I like how a person with the name “Jedi” and espousing all this pro-“Star Wars” stuff immediately starts calling people names and slinging insults. How does that saying go? “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” You’re doing nothing to defend this show, only making its fans look a bit unstable.

  • Eglomaniac

    Why can’t any Star Wars characters be named Fred, Frank, Beth, or some regular name? Why always stupid sounding names like Palpatine or Jar Jar? Just wondering. I guess that the names have to be interesting, since the storyline is infantile.

    • Zebediah

      You mean like “Luke”? Or perhaps “Owen”? There was also a “Ben”, but that was a nickname, so maybe that doesn’t count in your book.

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