Grand Moff Tarkin, commander of the Death Star, didn't seem to give Alderaan much (if any) warning before ordering the destruction of the planet using the Death Star's superlaser. Were there any Imperial troops or authorities on Alderaan that Tarkin failed to warn before destroying the planet?

Although Alderaan claimed to be a peaceful world, this post quotes the Star Wars Databank entry on Alderaan and notes that the Empire knew Alderaan supported the Rebel Alliance:

A peaceful world, Alderaan was bereft of weaponry in an era of galactic strife. It was not without spirit, however. Alderaan was one of the earliest supporters of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, though its officials prudently kept all ties to the Rebellion secret. Despite such discretion, the Empire knew it to be a haven of Rebel activity, and Grand Moff Tarkin targeted the beautiful world for reprisal as soon as the Death Star was operational.

If that was the case, then the Empire might have stationed a garrison of troops, military intelligence agents, etc. to keep an eye on the Rebel sympathizers on Alderaan. After all, Vader was willing to station a garrison of stormtroopers on the similarly peaceful Cloud City.

Additionally, the Empire might have had high-ranking government authorities (such as a planetary governor) stationed on or visiting Alderaan.

Were there any such Imperial authorities or troops on Alderaan when it was destroyed? Or, were any such Imperials stationed on Alderaan warned beforehand and given a chance to escape the planet?

For the purposes of defining which Imperials count, use the following criteria:

  • Any member of any branch of the Imperial military (Stormtrooper Corps, Army, Navy, etc.) of any rank, not necessarily serving in a combat role (e.g. a cook in the Imperial Army would count).
  • Any Imperial official with the authority of a planetary governor or higher, or otherwise of similar significance.

Do not count any members of Alderaan's local government (such as Queen Breha) or local law enforcement, who would be considered Alderaanian rather than Imperial.

  • 2
    Not on the planet, but a Star Destroyer was destroyed in orbit; starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Wars:_Empire_at_War
    – Valorum
    May 17, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    @Richard I don't see the reference to a destroyed Star Destroyer at that link.
    – Null
    May 17, 2016 at 15:25
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    It occurs during the mission called "The Destruction of Alderaan". If memory serves, you command a Star Destroyer trying to prevent Rebel ships from escaping. You get ambushed by the Mon Calamari
    – Valorum
    May 17, 2016 at 15:28
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    @Richard Interesting. I played that game a long time ago but I don't remember that.
    – Null
    May 17, 2016 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


(Note: this question is answered using information from the Expanded Universe) In short: no. If any Imperial military personnel were on Alderaan at the time, no sources I have ever seen nor heard of covered this. Clearly, important Imperial officials were killed (Senator Bail Organa was killed during the destruction). The closest example I can think of is how Tycho Celchu basically saw his family get killed in the destruction, as mentioned in the X-wing series (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/X-Wing_(novels), http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tycho_Celchu).

Admittedly, very few Alderaanians were in the Imperial military to begin with. The planet's population was naturally against war and violence unless absolutely necessary. But, as pointed out previously, Tycho Celchu was an exception. So unless you count police due to them technically serving the Imperial government by enforcing its laws.

As for a planetary governor, it clearly would have one, as well as a Moff would actually rule over the system itself. No sources exist, however, as to who would have been in these roles. These officials were rarely from the planet they governed, so they would not have any pre-existing sympathies to any potential groups on the planet, so there is a possibility that they would have been spared the destruction of Alderaan. Then again, perhaps they were killed as well due to them believing that they were partially responsible for the "rebellion" of Alderaan. Again, there are no sources to further explain, so this is the best answer I can give.

  • 2
    Maybe not responsible but not able to prevent the rebellious behaviour (the empire has time and again killed governors, ministers and militaries for that)
    – Thomas
    Nov 3, 2016 at 17:50

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