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Star Wars 9: How Leia Got Back The Tantive IV In Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars tie-ins have explained how Leia got the Tantive IV back in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Tantive IV served as the consular vessel of Senator Leia Organa back during the time of the Empire. It’s one of the most famous starships in the entire franchise, appearing in the opening shots of the very first Star Wars movie.

The Disney era canon has fleshed out the Tantive IV’s story. A CR90 Corvette – sometimes called a Blockade Runner – it served as the consular vessel of Leia Organa back during the time of the Empire. It was present at the Battle of Scarif in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the Rebels managed to get the Death Star plans on board. They’d bargained on Leia’s being able to escape with the plans due to her diplomatic immunity, but they’d not reckoned on Darth Vader’s dogged persistence. The Empire tracked the Tantive IV to Tatooine due to a malfunction in the hyperdrive unit that made it trackable – possibly an act of sabotage – and there captured the ship. Darth Vader ordered it destroyed. But it turns out his orders were not obeyed.

According to the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary, the Tantive IV was towed away to an Imperial shipyard in order to be scuttled. That, however, was the day of the Death Star’s destruction, and the Empire suddenly had a lot more pressing matters than breaking apart a captured Rebel ship. The Tantive IV was shoved into a storage container, and was forgotten for decades. Years later, sometime between the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the Resistance stumbled upon it. A delighted Leia reclaimed the Tantive IV as the flagship of the Resistance fleet.

This corresponds perfectly with Rebecca Roanhorse’s novel Resistance Reborn. In that book, Resistance agents led a mission to the shipyards of Corellia, aiming to steal vessels being constructed for the First Order and to free political prisoners. Their mission was a success, but some Resistance operatives wound up stranded in an older part of the shipyard. They stumbled upon an old Corellian Corvette, and used it to get the escaped prisoners off Corellia. Presumably this was indeed the Tantive IV.

Sadly, the Tantive IV did not survive the final battle in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Resistance flagship was one of the vessels worst affected by Palpatine’s Force Storm; indeed, he may have specifically targeted it in order to demoralize the Resistance. The Tantive IV’s destruction shook the Resistance leadership to the core, and for a brief moment even Poe Dameron lost hope – until reinforcements arrived.

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