The pilots served piloting the TIE series starfighters in the Imperial Navy. At the height of the Galactic Empire, the Imperial Navy had countless Academy graduates and clones at its disposal.
They were referred as "Bucketheads" by Rebel pilots, due to their bulky, fully enclosed helmets. Within the Imperial forces they were often referred to as "coffin jockeys", due to the high mortality rate of those manning the vulnerable TIE Fighters.
TIE pilots were equipped with black jumpsuit, a black helmet, and a life support chest piece with breather tubes to provide necessary gases.
The helmet design was reminiscent of stormtrooper armor, with a few notable distinctions. Additional modifications enabled the pilot to survive in the cockpit's vacuum. Breather tubes extended from the helmet to the front of the chest plate, where controls for the suit's portable life support system were located. The actual supply of oxygen was built into the rectangular back plate of the armor.
A New Hope
TIE Pilots were stationed aboard the Empire's moon-sized battle station, the Death Star where they were involved in patrolling and scouting the station's surroundings. When the crew of the Millennium Falcon attempted to escape, four pilots were sent out to stop them from getting away. Piloting their fast fighters, they engaged the Falcon in a dogfight as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker manning two turrets, returning fire. One by one the four pilots were killed and the Falcon and her crew escaped to Yavin 4.
When the Rebels committed an attack on the Death Star, the Pilots were called in to engage the Rebel fighters and stop them from succeeding their mission with Darth Vader joining the fight in a more Advanced TIE Fighter. Despite their efforts, the battle was lost to the Rebels and the Death Star destroyed.
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- Valen Rudor - A TIE pilot in the Imperial Navy, stationed on the outer rim planet Lothal to test out TIE Fighter products built by one of the Sienar Fleet Systems located on Lothal.