BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Who Says a Droid Can’t Also Be a Spaceship? – The ‘Star Wars’ Droid Tri-Fighter Breakdown

3 Minute Read
Jan 12 2024

Look up in the sky, its a ship, its a droid, it’s a Tri-Fighter! Today is the droid tri-fighter breakdown!

The starfighters of the Confederacy of Independent Systems are in a class all their own. Mostly because the vast majority of them were droids. And among the deadliest ships in the CIS’s armada were the droid tri-fighters. Heavily armed and equipped with an advanced brain, the tri-fighters were among the fiercest fighters in the Confederacy.

What made them so deadly? Why were these tri-fighters such a difficult opponent for their organic counterparts? The answers lie in their design. Let’s take a look.

Droid Tri-Fighter Design

Droid Tri-Fighter

One of the chief weapons in the tri-fighters arsenal was its size. At a scant 5.4 meters in length, the droid tri-fighter was the smallest starship in either Separatist or Republic navies. Manufactured by Phlac-Arphocc Automata Industries, droid tri-fighters brought the heavy firepower of a droideka with all the cunning the engineers could muster.


Without having to worry about things like “life-support” or “droid slots” the engineers could focus entirely on destruction. And the tri-fighter, to that end, is dedicated entirely to combat. They were designed with intense dogfighting in mind.

Tri-fighters possessed more advanced brains than the standard Separatist droid fighters. In fact, Phlac-Arphocc designed a specialized heuristic processor that drew upon the predatory instinct of Colicoids to give them a dangerous edge in combat. A tri-fighter could analyze, anticipate, and mimic an opponent’s attack. And this knowledge could be passed on to other fighters.

Droid Tri-Fighter

Phlac-Arphocc engineers packed a ton of weaponry into the droid tri-fighter’s compact frame. Its primary armament consisted of four laser cannons, discord missiles, proton torpedos, and pistoeka sabotage droids.

With repulsorlifes situated on its wings, and three different drivethrusters, the tri-fighter was fearsome and fast.

In the Clone Wars

Droid Tri-Fighter

And nowhere was the droid tri-fighter so heavily employed as in the latter days of the Clone Wars. These starfighter droids were the stars of the Separatist navy. In 20 BBY, during the Battle of Sullust, the tri-fighters debuted. Two groups were given to Asajj Ventress to assist in an attack on a Venator-class Star Destroyer.


Both teams proved to be incredibly capable, and quickly disabled the Resolute, allowing Ventress a rare successful objective.

Tri-fighters also helped swing the Battle of Lola Sayu. The Separatists tried to prevent an escape, and though they were ultimately unsuccessful, the droid tri-fighters shot down a number of craft. Tri-fighters played a big role in General Grievous’s operation to destroy the Nightsisters as well, escorting two Hyena-class Droid Bombers to Dathomir.

Wherever the Separatists needed heavy firepower, the tri-fighters were there to supplement their forces. But ultimately, the tri-fighters were decomissioned with the rise of the Galactic Empire. As Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, one of his first actions was to shut down all Separatist droid units – and many were finished then. Though a scant few survived all the way to the Age of the New Republic.

May the Force be with you!

Author: J.R. Zambrano
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR 2024! Star Wars Open Thread