|Star Wars vehicle|
|First appearance||'Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (novel) (1976)|
|Launched||By 22 BBY|
|Decommissioned||36 ABY, resistance base|
|Combat vehicles||3 fighters (external mounting)|
|Registry||Corellian Engineering Corporation|
Ceramic hull plating
|Maximum speed||950 km/h (atmosphere)|
|Length||126 metres (413 ft)|
|Height||49 metres (161 ft)|
The Tantive IV Alderaan Diplomatic Envoy / / (also referred to by its model as the CR90 Corellian corvette or simply as the Rebel Blockade Runner) is a fictional spaceship in the Star Wars film series. Designed by the Corellian Engineering Corporation (CEC), the highly modified CR90 corvette is designed to be utilitarian, durable, modular, with its simplistic interiors featuring subtle luxury for Alderaan officials. It was used by Leia Organa in the original Star Wars film[a] and was the first vessel audiences saw when Star Wars premiered in 1977. Other CR90 Corellian corvettes, which share the Tantive IV's design, appear in Return of the Jedi and in the Star Wars expanded universe's books, comics, TV series, and games.
Origin and design
The ship's design stems from initial concepts for the Millennium Falcon. When Space: 1999 featured a ship called an Eagle Transporter with an appearance similar to the Industrial Light & Magic's Falcon design, the model makers redesigned the Falcon and adapted the initial design for the Tantive IV. The revised model was scaled down, with replacements for outsized components and a different cockpit. This also explains the 194-centimeter model's intricacy, which would have been necessary for depicting the prominent Falcon. Although not visible in the first Star Wars film, modelmakers hung a miniature Playboy centerfold on the cockpit's starboard bulkhead. The Tantive IV was the last model completed for the film. A smaller 16-inch model was also made for the shot of the craft receding into the distance. A separate model was needed for this because of the limited length of the Dykstraflex track used. That model has lights for the eleven engines to give the illusion of exhausts. The miniature model was in the collection of Grant McCune until he died in 2010 and it was then sold at auction in 2015 for a record sum of $450,000.
The model was altered slightly for Return of the Jedi, with the addition of windows along the ship's spine and larger weapons. These modifications were removed in the 1990s. The Republic cruiser in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was designed to be reminiscent of the Tantive IV's shape.
The Tantive IV first appears in the opening of Star Wars as it is captured by the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Devastator over Tatooine. The ship was carrying Princess Leia and the plans for the Empire's Death Star battle station. Leia had taken the ship to Tatooine to recruit the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to join the rebellion. Unable to find Kenobi herself, Leia gives the plans and a message to R2-D2, who escapes with C-3PO in an escape pod and lands on Tatooine. According to the Star Wars Encyclopedia, the ship was subsequently destroyed by Darth Vader; this plotline is now part of the non-canon Legends timeline.
The vessel appears at the end of Rogue One (2016), with the film's final scenes depicting how the Death Star plans reached the ship and Leia beginning their journey to Tatooine. The film's novelization further states that the ship was meant to take part in the Battle of Scarif, but had been docked for repairs aboard Admiral Raddus' ship, the MC75 Star Cruiser Profundity. Once the battle was finished, the ship would head to Tatooine to deliver Bail Organa's request for help to Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, Tantive IV was forced to launch before repairs were completed due to the capture of the Profundity and in order to protect the newly stolen Death Star plans from Darth Vader. Although they were able to elude Vader initially, damage sustained during the escape and the still-unrepaired malfunctions allowed Vader's ship to disable and catch them above Tatooine.
The ship makes a return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as the center of the Resistance's base and during the final battle on Exegol as part of the Resistance's initial attack fleet. It was one of the ships hit by Palpatine's Force lightning assault, and although the fate of the ship and its pilot, Nien Nunb, are not mentioned in the movie, it is presumed to be destroyed and Nunb lost. This supposition was confirmed by the novelization's author, Rae Carson.
The ship was initially referred to as the "Rebel blockade runner", and National Public Radio's radio adaptation of A New Hope in 1981 reveals the name "Tantive IV" (pronounced 'Tan-tiv-ee four'). Star Wars Expanded Universe material initially referred to the class of ships as "Corellian corvettes", but Lucasfilm later identified them as Alderaan Cruisers. The name Tantive IV was used in various merchandise as well as the official Rogue One novelization.
Games and models
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. In 2019, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of such models, Lego released a large model of the Tantive IV with 1,768 pieces. This model was the first to include dark red bricks.
Kenner's Die Cast Star Destroyer from 1979 includes a miniature Tantive IV that can be inserted into a docking bay under the Star Destroyer.
The Tantive IV also appears as a ship model in both the X-Wing miniatures game and Star Wars Armada produced by Fantasy Flight Games. A 16-inch (410 mm) miniature of the Tantive IV sold at auction for $450,000, making it the most expensive Star Wars item sold at auction.
- Later titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
- "Lego Star Wars celebrates 20th anniversary with Tantive IV special edition set", Metro, April 12, 2019
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- Peterson, Lorne (2006). Sculpting A Galaxy - Inside the Star Wars Model Shop (1st ed.). San Rafael, California: Insight Editions. pp. 2–3. ISBN 1-933784-03-2.
- Taylor, Chris (2014). How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise. New York: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-465-05693-4.
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- Tantive IV in the StarWars.com Databank