Best TIE Fighters Weren’t In The Star Wars Movies.
For decades, the Star Wars franchise has been known for its iconic ship designs. Star Wars’ iconic ships have been immortalized in comics and on the big screen for decades, from the iconic Millennium Falcon to the legions X-Wings. Therefore, it is a tragedy that Star Wars’ best TIE Fighter designs and spin-offs are not yet in the films.
Star Wars Legends shows the TIE Fighter as the starship that served as the base for the tyrannical Galactic Empire, its many successors, and the Empire of the Hand. The TIE fighter was used as the base for various small craft of the Imperial Armada during Palpatine’s reign and subsequent wars, such as the New Republic’s founding. It was also modified to perform different roles like bombing, ship-to-ship interception, and scouting. The iconic TIE fighter was a staple in all incarnations, but every variant had its style, resources and goals.
Under Emperor Palpatine, the practice of creating variations of the original TIE Fighter started. Contracts with Imperial shipbuilders enabled the construction of prototype TIE fighters such as Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The Empire’s Sith Intelligitors used other prototypes of the TIE Fighters before this. These prototypes were equipped with features that made them stand out from the standard TIE Fighter. These prototypes had some of the most cost-effective and best features that led to the TIE Bomber, TIE Interceptor and TIE Bomber seen in the second half of the original trilogy. Expanded media would see more variations, including the TIE Interceptors of the Emperor’s Royal Guard and the Cloaking-capable TIE Ghost. These ships had unique capabilities and played specialized roles in the Imperial Armada, such as scouts and escorts. In Star Wars Legends, Palpatine’s Empire was destroyed. The tradition of altering the versatile TIE fighter design has continued in its many despotic successors.
The films show Imperial staples like the TIE fighter, bomber and interceptor. However, Palpatine’s reign saw other TIE variants being used in the conflict against the Rebel Alliance. TIE-Scout broke nearly every rule of TIE Fighter design, focusing instead on its ability to be a great scout vessel. The TIE-Scout could accommodate three crew members and a year’s worth of supplies. It was designed for recon and survey missions. It had a powerful hyperdrive and a life support system (a feature that is often lacking in TIE Fighters). The ship also had robust scanning and communications equipment comparable to those used on Star Destroyer ships. Although the ship was equipped with weapons, it was not fast nor well-armored for its purpose as a survey vessel. The TIE-Scout was a favorite of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who used it to explore and pacify Unknown Regions for the Emperor.
Shadow Squadron TIE Version
Legends revealed that Darth Vader had his apprentice in Legends. He was better known as Starkiller. Darth Vader sent an elite task force to capture Starkiller’s rogue apprentice after a Starkiller clone rebelled against the Empire. Shadow Squadron was a part of the task force. This elite group of pilots flew TIE Fighters that could double as fighter craft and missile-boats. Shadow Squadron’s unique TIE Fighters and Shadow Squadron successfully fight the Rebel’s fighter escort. They also deploy boarding torpedoes and immobilize their ship. These TIE fighters, unnamed, were deadly and fast. They also had shields and a short-range hyperdrive.
His soul was cloned and returned to the New Republic to lead a dissected Empire against Darth Vader shortly after Palpatine’s murder at the hands. Many of his warlords joined the Emperor’s rebirth and brought their projects and secret weapons research to the Empire. The Dark Empire deployed ships like the planet-dealing Eclipse-class Super Star Destroyers. The Dark Empire used TIE-D fighters to attack the new republic’s smaller ships.
Related: Star Wars Reveals how the Empire turned against the Sith Between Movies
The TIE-D was functionally identical to the TIE Fighter, but it did not have a pilot. Instead, an AI-controlled the TIE Fighter. Starfighters are smaller and faster than the original TIE Fighter. They were also cheaper and quicker to produce. This meant that the Dark Empire preferred to launch large raids manned by factory ships which could make TIE-D’s at the same time as the New Republic could. After Palpatine’s second defeat on Onderron with Luke Skywalker, the TIE-D was made the most famous fighter in Palpatine’s Second Empire. It quickly fell out of use, and Palpatine died.
The Federal Galactic Republic was the galaxy’s new state after the Galactic Empire and the New Republic. A group allied to imperial interests created a new galactic empire called the Fel Empire during this period. After a while of peaceful coexistence with the Federal Galactic Republic, hostilities broke out, and the war was declared. While the TIE-Fighter was a Fel Empire design, the TIE Interceptor was a new design. The TIE Predator was a redesigned version of the TIE Interceptor. The Predator was a terrifying weapon on the battlefield, with its shield capacitor and hyperdrive. The ship was a costly maintenance nightmare and was reserved for only the deftest pilots (and the Imperial Knights), loyal to the Empire (but not Sith nor Jedi).