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The TIE/LN starfighter (also known simply as the TIE Fighter) was a twin ion engine starfighter, manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems. They were fairly common throughout the galaxy, due to their speed, small size and low price.

Used by the Galactic Empire, the TIE fighters served as the Imperial Navy's primary attack forces. Small and quick, they could easily take out a single fighter or overpower a small vessel. However since they lacked shielding and life support systems, they were made vulnerable targets against the enemy.


TIE Fighters were short range ships, whose most distinguishing feature was the pair of dominant solar array wings mounted on either side of a small, spherical command pod. The TIE Fighter presented a small target from the front and back, and its incredible maneuverability made it difficult to hit in combat. One TIE Fighter may have been vulnerable to attack and may have been easily destroyed, but for every TIE that is defeated, thousands more would rise. In battle, an Imperial cruiser could arrive near an enemy ship, and launch all its TIEs before rebels had a chance to respond. TIE Fighters were used for planetary and cruiser defense, as well as in assaults against rebel forces.

TIE Fighters had only sublight drives. This saved weight and increased speed and maneuverability, but it made TIEs dependent on a home base, such as a nearby planet or an Imperial Cruiser. The TIE's maneuverability and speed came at a great practical cost to the pilot inside. TIE Pilots had to wear fully sealed flight suits with self-contained atmosphere converters as they lacked life support systems. By eliminating all these systems, the TIE saved mass and made room for large generators, engines, and weapons inside the compact hull. The TIE had a pair of forward-mounted, fire-linked laser cannons. The laser generators were located in the undercarriage of the central pod and fed off the power generators and batteries. The TIE Fighter also drew much of its energy from solar radiation absorbed by the Hexagonal array wings.

The pilot was strapped into a simple high-gee shock couch and protected by crash webbing and a repulsorlight anti-gravity field. The pilot's feet slipped into control yokes, which pressing or pulling on controlled speed and maneuvering. The hand-control yoke affected precise maneuvering, targeting, navigation, and fire control. Auxiliary speed and maneuver controls were also located in the hand-controlled yoke, but attempting both flight and fire control through the hand-control unit was difficult.


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  • The roaring engine sound for TIE Fighters was created by combining an elephant's scream, with the noise of a car driving on a wet road.
  • The word TIE stands for Twin Ion Engine.
    • LN stands for "Line."
  • According to Dave Filoni, the design of the TIE Fighter was influenced by the original concept art made by Ralph McQuarrie as well possibly based on the original Kenner Toys that were in stores during the early 1980s. For instance, the wing proportion is shorter, enabling the wings to double as landing gear, and the command pod is larger in comparison to the TIEs seen in the Original Trilogy.

See Also