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He then retired and entered politics, becoming lieutenant governor of Eriadu and the Seswenna sector, before returning to the military in order to serve Supreme Chancellor Palpatine as an agent of the secret Sith Lord's New Order movement.
Tarkin authorized Eriaduan security forces to take any necessary measures to ensure the Supreme Chancellor's safety, instructing them to put efficacy over legality.
As Grand Moff, Tarkin ruled with the same unyielding ruthlessness he had helped enshrine in Imperial doctrine, often cooperating with Darth Vader.
As the long-delayed construction of the Death Star stalled, Tarkin created the secret Maw Installation to refine the design, placing it under the control of his mistress and protégée, Admiral Natasi Daala.
A rising politician, Tarkin was acquainted with Senator Palpatine of Naboo, himself an influential member of the Galactic Senate—and secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, in which guise he appealed to Tarkin's speciesism and convinced Tarkin to serve his agenda.
When, in 33 BBY, Palpatine saw profit in manipulating the competition between Lommite Limited and Inter Galactic Ore, two rival lommite companies from nearby Dorvalla, Lieutenant Governor Tarkin arranged a contract with each company to deliver lommite to Eriadu on short notice, casting it as a competition for a long-term supply contract that could provide one company with dominance over the other.