This question already has an answer here:

I know it was chasing the Tantive IV, but had it already been there before the Tantive IV arrived or did it chase the Tantive IV to Tatooine? Did it have something to do with Vader ordering the execution of Owen and Beru Lars? Does anyone think that this question will be answered in Rogue One?

marked as duplicate by neilfein, Ward, KharoBangdo, Chenmunka, Mithrandir Dec 7 '16 at 14:10

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @Politank-Z - The answers to that question doesn't address the question of whether they were chased there, or simply found a Star Destroyer in orbit when they turned up. – Valorum Nov 27 '16 at 21:01
  • Vader ordered the execution of Beru and Lars because he (or his troopers) tracked the droids to that farm after interrogating - and killing - the Jawas. That's related to the Tantive IV only in the sense that the droids originally escaped from that ship. – Steve-O Nov 28 '16 at 2:48
  • This may be answered in Rogue One I think. – Neow Nov 28 '16 at 8:27
  • Possibly just for gunboat diplomacy. I can see the Empire keeping a star destroyer on semi-permanent station around Tatooine as a gentle reminder to the Huts where the real power lies. – Joe L. Nov 28 '16 at 16:50
  • Sagierian - technically the star Destroyer was not flying over Tatooine it was space travelling by Tatooine. People often say we went from Kitty Hawk to the first moon landing in 66 years. Bu there is really no connection between the first airplane and space travel. Actually we went from Robert Goddard's launch of the first liquid fueled rocket on March 16, 1926 to the first moon landing in 43 years. Since Goddard was interested in ultimately achieving space flight - and was ridiculed for it - his first rocket launch can be considered the beginning of space travel experimentation. – M. A. Golding Mar 10 '17 at 17:51

The Star Destroyer was evidently able to track them from the system where they stole the Death Star plans, Scarrif, to Tatooine.

But the system had been swarming with Imperials. They’d caught on to Leia’s bogus tale about her ship’s breaking down, but the cover had helped her stall long enough to download the technical plans for something code-named “Death Star.” Despite the Rebels’ efforts to lose the Imperials in the jump to hyperspace, the hulking Star Destroyer had caught up to them. And Leia knew, the moment the ship identified itself as the Devastator, there would be no escape.
It was Darth Vader’s ship.

A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy

You may wish to note that tailing a ship at lightspeed should be an extremely tricky affair that relies on guessing which route the ship follows and how fast it can travel, however in the novel Tarkin, we see that Vader has shown a deep ability to use the Force to trail his prey, even through Hyperspace.

  • The system was probably Scarrif, actually. – scott.korin Nov 29 '16 at 20:33
  • @scott.korin - We shan't find out until Rogue One opens. The details of Operation Skyhook are notorious for being contradictory – Valorum Nov 29 '16 at 20:40
  • Quick question- why Geonosis? Did you mean Jedha? – Sagierian Nov 29 '16 at 22:46
  • @Sagierian - The Death Star itself was in an 'unnamed system', according to Tarkin - "For those in the know, then, it seemed inexplicable that Wilhuff Tarkin should be assigned to a desolate moon in a nameless system in a remote region of the Outer Rim.". Leia doesn't appear to have actually seen the Death Star during her escapades, which rather suggests that she was near it, but not at it. – Valorum Nov 29 '16 at 22:56
  • @Sagierian The Death Star was originally designed and developed on Geonosis - we saw a schematic of it on Geonosis at the end of Episode II, and in Rebels we learned that construction of the Death Star had started there, but then been moved elsewhere. It's a logical place to imagine the plans being stolen from. – Werrf Nov 30 '16 at 2:46

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.