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Star Wars: That Time Disney Thought They Could Get Away With Changing Some Colors And Calling It a New Ship- The TIE Fighter /FO Breakdown

3 Minute Read
Dec 19 2021

Rather than create a new TIE fighter model for the Force Awakens, Disney decided just to change some colors. It didn’t work well.

There are many contentious ship designs in Star Wars. And a surprising number of them come from the Sienar systems line of fighters, including today’s starfighter, the Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems TIE/fo space superiority fighter. More commonly known as the First Order TIE fighter, or “the TIE fighter but palette-swapped” the TIE/fo was almost indistinguishable from the Imperial TIE/ln space superiority fighter–at least from the outside.

Much of this has to do with the fact that the First Order are, shall we say, fervent fans of the old Galactic Empire. Which means that the First Order kept the image of the TIE/ln fighter, without keeping any of the things that made it the terror of the Empire. Because where the TIE/ln was cheap, disposable, and all of its cost went into its firepower, the TIE/fo was expensive, complex, and still managed to be less versatile than the Resistance’s T-70 X-wing Starfighter.

TIE/fo Design

The First Order engineers who designed the fighter gave it deflector shields, improved solar cells, and higher-capacity converters which allowed the TIE/fo to engage in longer-ranged missions–though they did not boost the maneuverability of the fighter. Its twin SJFS P-s6 ion engines kept pace with the old TIE/ln, weighing in with a maximum speed of 1,200 kph in atmosphere.

2 sensor arrays linked o a T-sj1a targeting computer allowed First Order pilots to land more accurate shots, and the improved dual SJFS L-s9.6 laser cannons meant it could pack a punch.

However the TIE/fo was also designed to house a flight computer, subspace communications antenna, and sensor array in addition to the pilot. These TIE fighters were state of the art versions of a starfighter that was one of the cheapest, mass-produced starfighters the galaxy has known.

In the interest of preserving the image of the old Empire, they undercut the one thing that the TIE had going for it–its cost. These TIE/fo superiority fighters had none of the advancements developed for sturdier or swifter TIE craft like the Interceptor or TIE Advance, which, if Grand Admiral Thrawn had had his way, would have led the Imperial Navy to victory against many a Rebel squadron.


Famous Actions

When the Resistance launched an Battle of Starkiller Base in 34ABY, TIE/fo fighters were deployed by the First Order’s General Armitage Hux to engage the T-70 X-wing starfighters of the Resistance. However, they were unable to prevent Poe Dameron’s Black One from  firing critical proton torpedo volleys which destroyed Starkiller Base, destroying many TIE/fos in the process, along with it’s home planet.


Instead, the First Order floundered, devoting themselves to an evil long past, misunderstanding its reasons, adopting only its methods.


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