The TIE/in Space Superiority Starfighter (also known as the TIE/LN Starfighter and commonly called the TIE Fighter) are a series of Imperial combat starfighters that appear in the Star Wars universe.
Used by the Galactic Empire, and later by the First Order, TIE fighters served as the Imperial Navy's primary attack forces and space patrol. Small and quick, they can easily take out a single fighter or overpower a small vessel. However, since Imperial TIE fighters lack shielding and life support systems, they can become easy vulnerable targets against the enemy.
After the Imperial Navy approved the designs for the TIE Fighter, Sienar Fleet Systems began mass production of the craft in factories across the galaxy. The Empire's official name for the craft was the Twin Ion Engine line edition space superiority starfighter, which Sienar abberviated as TIE/in. It is estimate that Sienar manufactured a minimum of approximately 4.6 million Imperial TIE Fighters for Star Destroyers, other Imperial Naval vessels, and Imperial garrisons and defense stations.
Sienar manufactured the TIE/in so that every fighter was identical, inside and out. Imperial technicians and mechanics followed strict procedures to ensure that each TIE was fully operational before leaving the hanger. The TIE Fighter's lack of deflector shields reduced manufacturing costs and incresed maneuverability, but the deficiency left the fighter vulnerable to direct hits from military lasers or heavy blasters. However, this very vulnerability motivated Imperial pilots to compensate by shooting first, making each shot count, and attacking in large numbers. Rebel pilots rountinelly used the sland term "eyeballs" in reference to TIE Fighters, as each TIE cockpit pods and viewports resembled a large eye.
Solar-Collector wings: The standard TIE Fighter had two hexagonal solar energy-collecting wings. Both sides of each wing had six trapenzoidal solar arrays, which converted that energy into power for the fighter's ion engines. Rigid quadanium steel foil braces framed the solar arrays. Besides collecting solar energy, the wings also served as physical shields, offering limited leteral protection against enemy laserfire.
Cockpit: The TIE Fighter's spherical command module housed a cockpit for a single pilot and easily accessible control for flight and armaments. The interiors were designed and engineered without any variation, so all cockpits were entierly identical. But since pilots did not all share identical physical proportions, flight controls, seating, foot pedals, and targeting computers were engineered to be adjustable to automatically fit any given pilot. The cockpit's hull was enveloped with the same quadanium steel armor used for the wings to compensate for the fighter's lack of energy shields. The viewport provided limited visibility, but motivated pilots to focus on flying straight toward their targets.
Pressurization: Although the cockpit featured miniaturized oxygen scrubbers to prevent corrosion, and a presssurized atmospheric seal to contain the air within the cokcpit, pilots had to wear a pressurized helmets and flight suits equipped with life-support systems to remain alive while operating the fighter during space combat missions.
Flight Controls: As the engines generated and released charged ion particles through aft vents to propel the craft, pilots used the flight controls to direct the particals in almost any direction, giving the craft excellent maneuverability.
Targeting Computer: The advanced tactical targeting computer was superior to anything available to Rebel starfighters. To compenstate for an enemy fighter moving quick out of firing range, and to reduce trigger delays to microseconds, the TIE's targeting computer could chart the speed and course of a target, and enable the pilot to fire just slightly ahead of the point at which the pilot aimed. When in combat, the TIE Fighter's large viewpoint enabled TIE Pilots to survey combat areas as they selected targets that posed the most immediate threat. As the pilot engaged and closed in on an enemy craft, an illuminated rendering of the target would appear on the targeting computer's central screen. After the targeting computer locked onto an enemy craft, the pilot would trigger the fighter's laser cannons to deisable or destroy the craft.
Ion engine: Developed specifically for the Imperial TIE Fighters, the ion engines had a maximum acceleration of 4'100G, and a maximum atmospheric speed of 1,200 kph. The propulsion system accelerated ionized gases to a substantial fraction of lightspeed in microparticle accelerators. Emitted from the fighter's aft vents, the fast-moving particles streamed away from the fighter as they propelled the craft forward. Because TIE Fighters used their propulsion mass extremely efficiently, they carried limited fuel supplies. At full power, the twin ion engines made the Imperial TIE Fighter faster than most commercial spacecraft, and more than a match for most Rebel starfighters.
Laser cannons: TIE Fighters were awemed two SFS L-s1 laser cannons, which were mounted inside the craft's spherical hull. They fired bolts of concentrated energy, projectiles that were capable of destroying enemy starfighters with a signle shot. Operating under the same principles as blaster weaponry, laser cannons converted energy-rich gas to a glowing particle beam that could pierce, melt through, and even disintegrate targets. TIE Fighter cannons used expensive gases that yielded green particle beams, which enabled TIE Pilots to track their own laserfire, and easily distinguish their allies from their foes during combat.
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.
According to Dave Filoni, The look of the TIE Fighters in Star Wars Rebels was influenced by the original concept art made by Ralph McQuarrie as well possibly based on the original Kenner Toys during the early 1980s. For instance, the wing proportion is shorter and the command pod is larger comparing to the Fighters seen in the original trilogy.
In the Star Wars Rebels episode "The Call", modified TIE Fighters are also used by the Mining Guild to protect their refineries.
Throughout the franchise, The TIEs have been known to have inaccurate window alighnments. Their windows are point aligned on the exterior, but on the interior they are edge aligned. Despite being a continuity error, filmmakers never tried to correct this in current Star Wars projects, and has been inshrined in Canon. From the Sequel Trilogy, the Anthology films, to video games the TIEs maintain this error, point aligned exteriors and edge aligned interiors.
In Star Wars Rebels, the point aligned windows both match inside and outside. In Star Wars: Squadrons the windows are edge aligned inside and outside.