In the past we’ve talked about the hanger where the TIE fighters are stored. Star Wars Rebels showed us that TIE pilots get in their ships just like our old Kenner toys did. There is a top hatch that opens and the pilots get in. Well, that’s practical and impractical at the same time. This Star Wars: The Force Awakens concept art seeks to answer how they get in the ships from a Star Destroyer hanger.
As the TMZ photos showed us, the walls of the Star Destroyer hanger is slanted like a steep slide. TIEs stack on this slide, four fighters high. Well, two new pieces (to me) show exactly the way this works. TheTIES are stacked into the wall and they slide down. But they slide down into the floor with about half the TIE under the floor and the other half above it. The pilots then are able to use a small ladder and jump in the top. With the pilot inside, the pilot then flies the ship up just a little and takes off. Then the next TIE slides down into the floor, the pilot jumps in and so on.
This artwork consists of two panels showing a two frame animation of the sequence moving the ships into position. TIE pilots run through the frame getting to their ships. The TIE pilots in this art are really shiny and reflective. I’ve heard the shiny under costume is used in the film but the outer armor is a dull black. In this concept the pilots are almost like black Stormtroopers with tubes running from the mouth piece mics on the front of the face that run over the tops of the pilot’s shoulders into a backpack with an air supply.
We can’t say for certain what ended up on screen, if any of this. But its a good solution to showing us how the pilots board their crafts of oppression and doom!