Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel's hidden fort…
Vader: "I find your lack of faith disturbing.."
~ Motti, talking his way into a Force Choking by Darth Vader. One of the most famous quotes in cinema history.

Admiral Conan Antonio "Zi" Motti is a major antagonist in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Motti is the chief of the Imperial Navy. Zi was a nickname used affectionately by some of Motti's friends and mentors.

He was portrayed by the late Richard LeParmentier.

Biography

A member of the Galactic Empire's Imperial Navy, Motti was an ambitious man who rose quickly through the ranks after the Clone Wars. A mere six years after the end of the Clone Wars Motti already held the rank of Admiral. Emperor Palpatine considered naming Motti as Grand Moff, a position that instead went to Wilhuf Tarkin.

Motti eventually became one of the Joint Chiefs assigned to the Death Star, leading the Naval forces on the station. With Chief Bast of the Imperial Army and Tarkin he formed the command triumvirate on the Death Star.

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A very arrogant man, Motti believed in the technical superiority of the Death Star, to the point that he felt he and Tarkin could challenge the Emperor for power. Motti saw the Force as an ancient religion, and despised the Sith Lord Darth Vader as a sorcerer. During a meeting when Vader warned that the Death Star's power was insignificant compared to the power of the Force, Motti challenged Vader. Even though Motti knew it was a bad idea to bait the man in black, he felt safe doing so in the presence of witnesses. Motti's tirade was cut short when Vader used the Force to choke Motti, with the cyborg telling Motti that his lack of faith was disturbing. Grand Moff Tarkin ordered Vader to release Motti, which he did.

After the meeting Motti remained convinced that the station was invincible, but was a bit more restrained about making that opinion known. Motti continued to serve on the Death Star, and passed the order to fire the superlaser on Alderann from Tarkin on to the gunnery crew. Motti was on the Death Star when torpedoes fired by Luke Skywalker down an exhaust shaft caused the station's reactor to explode, killing him and everyone else on the Death Star.

Trivia

  • Motti's first name was established by George Lucas when Conan O'Brien asked him what Motti's first name was during an interview on O'Brien's show. Lucas came up with the Conan Antonio name on the fly, which was soon written into the Legends continuity, and later into the new canon continuity.
  • Motti's scene when he was choked by Vader via Force Choke is one of the more famous scenes in the franchise at it is the first time we see Vader choke somebody with the Force.
  • At the time of his death, Motti's actor Richard LeParmentier was working on an animated fan film called Motti Now in which Motti survived the Battle of Yavin and left the Empire.

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See Also
Star Wars Legends Villains | Star Wars The Old Republic Villains

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