Tuesday, January 15, 2013

TIE Fighter (SW)

This comes a while after the post on the TIE pilot because it was listed as "Imperial" TIE Fighter Pilot, so that was back in the I's. Although the Fighter came before the pilot, one movie before to be exact. So I guess the egg came before the chicken – or something like that.

The TIE fighter came in all three boxes, SW, ESB, and ROTJ. However, it initially (and I’m sure many of you can attest to this) came in white. By the time of the ROTJ release, though, the color was changed to more of a navy blue, in keeping with the real color of the ship in the movies. The ROTJ release also came with “battle damage” decals, just like the ROTJ release of the X-Wing. Other changes:
-SW release said “TIE Fighter
-ESB release said “Imperial TIE Fighter” (is there any other kind?)
-ROTJ release said “ ‘Battle-Damaged’ Imperial TIE Fighter Vehicle” (got all that?)

The cockpit opened at the top for one figure. Unfortunately, if you turned it upside-down that figure often fell out (It’s outerspace! Make a locking hatch!). A little light on the front lit up red when you pressed the back panel, which also housed the battery for the light and sound. Two buttons on either side of the cockpit made the wings pop off. Wear it down enough and the wings were pretty hard to keep on. The black stripes of the solar panels had to be applied with decals.

Why should you own this vehicle? Five reasons:

1. Frickin’ pop-off wings! No longer do you have to manually destroy your toys!

2. Promotes eco-friendliness with those big solar panels.

3. You can have some nice dogfights – even solo – against an X-Wing.

4. Starting with the first wave of figures, this and the X-Wing were the only vehicles you could fight with. Not like that pacifist landspeeder!

5. The Empire is really pushing toward these over the X-Wings. What could go wrong?

Technically called a TIE/IN Starfighter, they were built by Sienar Fleet Systems, and became a symbol of the Empire’s effectiveness. TIE actually stands for Twin Ion Engine, it means of propulsion (although this explanation never appears on a box from the original Kenner line). It had two powerful lasers below the front of the cockpit.

To increase speed and efficiency, the TIE lacks a hyperdrive and life-support, so pilots had to wear space suits and TIEs had to be in some sort of carrier ship from system to system. It did have an ejection seat, but was not often used to the likelihood of getting destroyed in the craft, and the little time a pilot could survive in their suit alone. The TIE evolved from earlier starfighter designs, some seen in Revenge of the Sith.

For the movies, the TIE fighter was actually inspired by the bow tie shape. They were mainly white in the first movie because blue screen techniques couldn’t have them too blue. This is also why R2’s blue panels always appeared black when in space. By ESB and ROTJ technology had caught up so the FX teams could make them a more navy blue.

Want more? Its Wookieepedia article

159th in alphabetical order

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