Category Archives: Starfighters

The Evolution of the TIE Fighter

Sienar Fleet Systems is one of the most successful starfighter engineering companies, rivaling Kuat Drive Yards (Slave 1, Jedi Starfighter, most star destroyers) and the Correllian Engineering Corps (Millennium Falcon, other freighters and civilian ships). But despite the company’s success, it was never well-known, largely thanks to Palps and his Empire. The company was Imperialized and ordered to build only one line of fighters: the TIEs. The result is a long line of models and variants used by the Empire and later the First Order. This is list every one of those in the official canon universe.

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Imperial TIE Fighter: The ship that started it all, the TIE/ln space superiority starfighter. It has powerful, agile twin ion engines, and it’s the standard fighter in the Imperial fleet. It has no one speciality, and it’s used for just about anything from recon and routine patrol to dogfights and skirmishes to all-out fleet battles.

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TIE Bomber: The TIE/sa bomber is a modified version of the galactic standard TIE fighter, specialized for areal bombardment and general destruction. It’s heavy armor and bulkiness cost speed and maneuverability, so it usually requires an escort squadron, but its firepower and bombing capabilities rival that of a republic Y-wing.

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TIE Advanced Prototype: The Grand Inquisitor’s personal fighter has speed and firepower beyond that of ordinary TIEs. It also has life support and air circulation for flying without a suit, and basic shields to replace heavy armoring. It was the first prototype in a line of improved TIEs that were not mass produced, and reserved exclusively for the Imperial elite.

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TIE Advanced X1: Other than the prototype, this is the first non-mass produced TIE fighter. A combination of heavy firepower, strong shields, powerful sublights, and a capable hyperdrive make it an ideal choice for high ranking Imperials–or even Sith lords. Darth Vader made it his chosen ride and jumped in to hunt some rebels during the Battle of Yavin.

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TIE Interceptor: The TIE/IN is a real force to be reckoned with. It is reserved for Imperial pilots who have survived twenty or more combat missions. While the fighter has no hyperdrive or shields, its outstanding speed and maneuverability compensate the disadvantages. This variant has one simple purpose: to engage and destroy rebel starfighters. It has four laser canons on its wingtips like that allow it to match an X-wing and two more on the sides, speed to rival an A-wing, and firepower capable of taking out a Y-wing with shields up.

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TIE Defender: This was the first mass-produced fighter in the TIE line that was engineered for quality. Its development was ordered by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who saw the error in the standard TIEs. The Defenders are equipped with shield generators, and have three wings instead of two to provide space for six laser canons and missile launchers. Had they replaced standard TIEs, the rebellion would have been stomped out before it could be created.

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TIE Striker: This new Imperial variant, the TIE/sk x1 experimental superiority fighter, is a sleek, fast ship designed for in-atmosphere missions. Needless to say it has no hyperdrive, though it is capable of operation in vacuum. Its large central pod is also useful for cargo transport, and its missile launchers are designed for bombardment.

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TIE Reaper: An upgrade to the Striker, the Reaper is a large in-atmosphere troop transport. Director Orson Krennic used one of these to take him and his death troopers to the surface of Scarif during the rebel invasion. This is one of the only known appearances of the ship.

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First Order TIE Fighter: After the Empire’s fall and the rise of the New Republic, Thrawn’s ideas began to resurface. The First Order manufactured a new line of TIEs, equipped with shields and improved laser canons. They are flown by two troopers: a pilot and a gunner. Being more expensive, stronger, and faster than previous fighters, this is the first truly formidable ship in the TIE line.

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First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter: The standard TIE/fo was the first step to making pilots into valuable assets instead of disposable resources, something not even the Republic considered. This is a level up even from that. The Special Forces version is outfitted with a strong hyperdrive, improved lasers and shields, and a warhead launcher. Like the Imperial TIE Interceptor, only the most experienced and successful pilots can fly one of these ships.

 

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TIE Silencer: This is Kylo Ren’s personal starfighter. While there is only one official picture of the ship, one picture says a lot. It looks like a cross between an upgraded Interceptor and an Advanced. It looks big enough for a hyperdrive and shields, and maybe missile launchers. It has four laser canons on its wings, which gives it the versatility to rival an X-wing. The tinted cockpit has no apparent function, but it looks cool. The question remains: will it live up to its looks? Is this the best personal starfighter in nine movies and nine seasons?

Starfighters V2

T-70 X-wing:

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The next step in evolution, the T-70, takes the best starfighter ever, and makes it even better. That’s enough for the best pilot in the resistance to make it his chosen ride.

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Unlike Imperial fighters, First Order TIEs have deflector shields to protect them from enemy fire, or at least not be destroyed by the first shot. They are operated two troopers, a pilot and a gunner.

Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle:kylo-ren_s-command-shuttle_0b43b874

We don’t know a whole lot about this shuttle, but we do know that it’s awesome.

Resistance Troop Transport:

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Although seen in the movie, we don’t know anything about them except from the Lego set.

The Finalizer:pj0010_a0ab2179

Shared by Kylo Ren and General Hux, The Finalizer is the first star destroyer built in violation of the New Republic’s treaties. It’s almost twice as long as Imperial-era destroyers.

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The First Order uses this transport for troop deployment, transport, and even ground assault. Extra: those awesome flametroopers wouldn’t be anywhere without these.

The Slave 1

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The Slave 1 is a highly modified Kuat Systems Engineering Firespray-class patrol and attack craft. It was used originally for Republic law enforcement before it came into possession of Jango Fett, who outfitted it with weapons of all sorts. His son/unaltered clone, Boba Fett, inherited the Slave 1 from his father Jango. Since then the ship has been improved and customized for the needs of the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy.Pursuit_over_Geonosis

The most famous scene with Jango in the pilot seat was the dogfight with Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter (delta-7 aether-sprite class light interceptor) in the asteroid field over Geonosis. Jango exhausted every resource in his grasp to capture Obi-Wan: first lasers, then charges, and finally a heat-seeking missile.

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The most famous bounty Boba achieved with the Slave 1 was tracking and capturing the Millennium Falcon, and bringing Han Solo to Cloud City (Bespin). Possibly the most iconic scene in The Empire Strikes Back was the carbon-freeze chamber, where Han got frozen into a block of carbonite. (I couldn’t get a proper picture of that scene, so I chose this one instead).

Here are the weapons that brought this ship to victory so many times.

Laser cannons: the Slave 1 has two rotating twin laser cannons on the end of the nose. Interestingly, although it’s a fact that they are laser cannons, they were never fired in the films or the Clone Wars TV series.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 10.20.13 AM.pngProton torpedoes: the Slave 1 has two torpedo launchers on the very tip of the nose (a concealed turret). Proton torpedoes are heavier firepower than standard laser cannons.

Tractor beam: tractor beams pull in ships or floating objects. Boba’s ship has one on the bottom of the nose, right under the lasers and torpedoes.

Ion cannons: Boba replaced the hidden laser cannons seen in the very first picture with hidden ion cannons simply for weapons diversity. Ion cannons shoot highly charged plasma to disable enemy ships without destroying them. He replaced it at about the time he painted it red and green, (before that it was blue and gray).

Heat-seeking missile: heat-seekers are a type of homing missile that follows enemy ships and detonates on impact. The Slave 1 has two of them.

Seismic charges: seen in Attack of the Clones, Jango used seismic charge to detonate Obi-Wan’s ship in Geonosis’s asteroid field. Had the bright blue shockwave hit the ship, it would have sliced it cleanly in half, as demonstrated by several asteroids it hit.

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A seismic charge
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The shockwave

I have no idea why the images won’t work the way they should.

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“Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.” – Boba Fett

Starfighters

These are the most famous starfighters from Star Wars movies 1-6, with brief descriptions of them.

X-Wing Starfighter

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X-Wings may be the most obvious starfighter in all of Star Wars, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t the best. A laser cannon on each wing, a proton torpedo launcher, hyperdrive, life support, and an astromech socket, it is the true classic. If we could step into one starfighter’s cockpit, it would be this one.

Y-Wing Starfighter

Perfect for everything from bombing runs to scouting missions, Y-wings are the workhorses of the rebel fleet. Earlier models were fully armored, however some of the armor plating was removed for enhanced maneuverability.

TIE Fighter

The chilling whine. The menacing design. Twin Ion Engine Fighters are the main force of the Imperial Navy in episodes 4-6, and they earn their keep double.

TIE Advanced X1

The Chosen ride of Darth Vader, the TIE X1 is a heavily armored version of the TIE reserved for the Imperial Elite.

Millenium Falcon

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Han Solo’s smuggling starship is a scoundrel’s paradise. With two quad-laser cannons, smuggling compartments, an array of concussion missles, it is truly the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy.

Slave 1

Boba Fett’s flagship has everything a bounty hunter could need: two twin-laser canons, two proton torpedo launchers, ion canons, seismic charges, heat seekera, and an amazing hyperdrive. Much like it’s pilot, it never runs out of surprises.

A-Wing Starfighter

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The fastest fighter in the rebel fleet. Take a lesson from Yoda: judge it by it’s size do not.

B-Wing Starfighter

3 words: gyroscopic rotating cockpit.

Naboo N1 starfighter

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An elegant starfighter for a more civilized age, used exclusively by the Naboo Royal Fleet.

Jedi Starfighter

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The Delta 7-b Aethersprite-class Light Interceptor has seen it all; no wonder the galaxy’s protecters make it their fighter of choice.

V-Wing Starfighter

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The Alpha-3 Nimbus-class Interceptor was used by both the Republic and the Empire.

Vulture Droid

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It walks. It talks. It’s the creepiest Seperatist starfigher ever.

ARC-170 Starfighter

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It takes 3 clone troopers and an astromech to operate, and the result is amazing.