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The Tantive IV /ˈtæntɪˌvi fɔːr/ (also referred to as the Rebel blockade runner) is a fictional spaceship in the Star Wars film series. It was used by Leia Organa in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 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.

Tantive IV
Star Wars vehicle
Tantive IV.JPG
CR90 Corellian Tantive IV Alderaan Diplomatic Envoy utilized by Bail and Leia Organa as their Rebel Alliance mobile command center.
First appearance'Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (novel) (1976)
LaunchedBy 22 BBY
Decommissioned0 BBY, Tatooine (captured)
CaptainRaymus Antilles
Combat vehicles3 fighters (external mounting)
Auxiliary vehicles
  • 1 shuttle (ventral bay)
  • 4 12-passenger escape pods
  • 8 4-passenger escape pods
General characteristics
ClassCR90 corvette (modified)
RegistryCorellian Engineering Corporation
  • 6 Taim & Bak H9 turbolasers
    • 2 dual anti-ship turbolasers
    • 4 single anti-fighter turbolasers
DefensesShield generators
Ceramic hull plating
Maximum speed950 kph (atmosphere)
PropulsionClass 2-CEC Subspace Hyperdrive
Overcharged sublight drive assembly
Length150 metres (490 ft)
Height49 metres (161 ft)
Population volume165 (standard configuration)
  • 46 crew
  • 39 diplomats


Origin and designEdit

The ship's design stems from initial concepts for the Millennium Falcon.[1] 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.[1][2] This also explains the 194-centimeter model's intricacy, which would have been necessary for depicting the prominent Falcon.[1] Although not visible in the first Star Wars film, modelmakers hung a miniature Playboy centerfold on the cockpit's starboard bulkhead.[1] The Tantive IV was the last model completed for the film.[3]

The model was altered slightly for Return of the Jedi, with the addition of windows along the ship's spine and larger weapons.[2] These modifications were removed in the 1990s.[2] The Republic cruiser in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was designed to be reminiscent of the Tantive IV's shape.[1][4]


The Star Destroyer Devastator chases the Tantive IV over Tatooine.

The Tantive IV first appears in the opening of Star Wars as it is captured by an Imperial Star Destroyer over Tatooine. The ship was carrying Princess Leia and the plans for the Empire's Death Star battlestation. 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. 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 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".[2] Star Wars Expanded Universe material initially referred to the class of ships as "Corellian corvettes," but Lucasfilm later identified them as Alderaan Cruisers.[5]

The name was officially confirmed as canon with the release of the Rogue One novelization. It further stated that the ship was meant to take part in the Battle of Scarif, but had been docked for repairs aboard Admiral Raddus' ship, the Profundity. Once the battle was finished, the ship would head to Tatooine to deliver Bail Organa's request for help to former Jedi Knight 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.

Merchandise and receptionEdit

Both Decipher, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast published Tantive IV and Corellian corvette cards for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and Star Wars Trading Card Game, respectively.[6][7][8] Lego's 1,700-piece blockade runner model was the first to include dark red bricks.[9] 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.[10] Two Micro Machines three-packs included a Corellian corvette toy, and Hasbro's Collector Fleet line included an electronic blockade runner.[11][12][13] 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.[14] 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.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Tantive IV (Rebel blockade runners) (Behind the Scenes)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  2. ^ a b c d 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.
  3. ^ Taylor, Chris (2014). How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise. Basic Books. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-465-05693-4.
  4. ^ "Republic Cruiser (Behind the Scenes)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  5. ^ "Alderaan Cruiser". Lucasfilm. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  6. ^ "Star Wars Customizable Card Game Complete Card List" (PDF). Decipher, Inc. 2001-08-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  7. ^ "Tantive IV (A)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  8. ^ "Corellian Corvette". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  9. ^ "LEGO Store - Product (Rebel Blockade Runner)". Lego. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  10. ^ "LEGO Ultimate Collector Star Destroyer". Star Wars Collecting. Lucasfilm. 2002-09-23. Archived from the original on 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  11. ^ "#4: Blockade Runner, Sandcrawler, Y-wing (1994)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  12. ^ "#I: TIE Interceptor, Star Destroyer, Blocade Runner (1995)". Star Wars Cargo Bay. Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  13. ^ "Rebel Blockade Runner". Retrieved 2007-08-23.
  14. ^ "Vintage 1979 Kenner Star Wars Die Cast : Imperial Star Destroyer 100% Complete and Original With Mini Tantive IV Blockade Runner". Etsy. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  15. ^ Serjeant, Jill (Oct 2, 2015). "Star Wars spaceship model sets auction record". Reuters. Retrieved Oct 4, 2015.

External linksEdit