Sequel TrilogyThe Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Concepts of the TIE Starfighter

One of my favorite pieces of concept art I have seen is the “TIE Starfighter.” I have my doubts this piece ended up in the final film as I haven’t seen it anywhere else. The teaser has shown us it didn’t end up as the standard TIE, that’s for sure.  Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t in a lot of other places I haven’t seen. Based on the evidence before me, it seems like this was a TIE that was pitched and not used. I have seen this piece from the front and the back.

The TIE Starfighter (a name I’ve given it for descriptive purposes) is entirely black. The hull of the TIE isn’t a ball. Instead its sort of grenade shaped with the circular TIE window on one end. Imagine a huge boxy grenade made in Mine Craft, now put a TIE’s face on it and make it black. The wings are shaped like Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced. However, each wing has thrusters in the rear center of the wings. The thrusters are shaped like an oval race track and fire of red in this depiction.

The ship is very angular. There’s no roundness to the wings. The plating or solar panel looking areas on the wings are almost patterned like Velcro hooks (the non-fuzzy side of a piece of Velcro). The wings arc up really high and seem to offer the hull a little protection on the top. The bottom of the wings do not offer an protection to the underbelly as there are two laser guns there that are thin and pointy.

The underside of the wings feature no “solar panel” at all but the wire-frame of the wing is still there. It appears the cover added by the top wings in this design compensate for it. To me the design read as if they removed the excess panels for speed. The connectors that connect the wings to the body have holes in them, which I also assume are for speed and to reduce drag, design-wise.

The ship looks really cool. I have wondered if it was intended for Kylo Ren or for Finn’s crash. It seems too special to have been intended as a standard TIE in the film or as a transport, as the extended fuselage would allow for a passenger. The ship is more in line with a classic starfighter design than the abstract average TIE fighter. It looks really great. If its not in the film, I hope it ends up as something special in a future film or visual medium. My fingers are crossed that Kylo Ren has a TIE and this is it. A source of ours also saw this piece at Pinewood so it served some referential purpose at least.



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Jason Ward (EIC)

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