Leia’s Home of Alderaan is Destroyed (A New Hope)

Wilhuff Tarkin gives Princess Leia the choice of telling him the location of the rebel base or else he will destroy her home planet of Alderaan. Now Leia is faced with the choice of allowing Alderaan to be destroyed or disclosing the rebel base. This, of course, relies on Wilhuff Tarkin’s threat to be a non-credible threat or one that a rational player would typically not carry out; however, since Willhuff Tarkin has nothing to lose from destroying Alderaan, he allows the order to stand, meaning his threat is credible. A rational player in Economics and Game Theory will choose the option that gives them the highest utility – hopefully most people do not receive utility from destroying entire plants. Credible threats are threats that are likely to be carried out by a player; since Wilhuff was willing to destroy Alderaan, it is a credible threat. Learn more about Rationality and Credible Threats in this clip!

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