Star Wars Makes TIE Fighters Far More Terrifying Than George Lucas Did

Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: Andor episode 5.

Using only a single ship, Andor has made the iconic Imperial TIE Fighter fare more intimidating than it ever was in George Lucas’ original trilogy of films. As seen in the new series, set five years before the events of A New Hope and the Battle of Yavin, the TIE was the Empire’s original tool of terror. Despite being the most common ship in the Imperial Navy, the appearance of just one TIE in Andor is enough, having the potential to undo an entire Rebel plot in a matter of seconds and instilling great fear.

In Andor episode 5, Cassian (played by Diego Luna) is adjusting to his new role among a crew of Rebels who intend to rob an Imperial garrison on the planet Aldhani. Going through the plan and practicing various marching maneuvers they’ll need to blend in when they infiltrate the facility, the crew springs to action to hide their gear and weapons the moment a TIE Fighter is seen on the horizon. However, the true terror is that the TIE Fighter was first heard (even from miles away).

Constructed by Sienar Fleet Systems, the TIE Fighter is named for its twin ion engines, which are responsible for the classic screaming sound made by the starfighters. Being incredibly cheap to manufacture due to the TIE Fighter’s lack of deflector shields, life support, hyperdrive, or traditional landing gear, massive legions of the ships were built and deployed to overwhelm those who would dare oppose the Empire. However, Andor proves that just one TIE can serve as an effective tool of fear on its own, as a TIE Fighter is shown cresting over mountains before flying right overhead the crew of rebels, its screaming engines becoming nearly deafening before continuing its patrol.

Given its cheap cost and increased maneuverability thanks to the lack of shields and life-support, the TIE Fighter quickly became a symbol of Imperial might, considering the sheer number of fighters the Empire had in its service. Before the construction of the technological terror that was the Death Star, seeing a TIE Fighter screaming overhead could cause extreme fear and dread, a sign that the Empire had come to impose its will on a planet (just like with Aldhani). As such, Andor does a great job showing viewers that the TIE is not terrifying simply because of the quantity of them.

If the TIE Fighter’s pilot wanted to in Andor episode 5, he could have easily wiped the rebels out with the ship’s laser cannons had he known who they were and what they plan to do in the episodes to come. Regardless, simply flying overhead with the TIE’s screaming engines was enough to instill genuine fear and intimidation. While there are several other ships and resources the Empire has at its disposal, Andor proves its most-used fighter truly is one of the most terrifying in the Star Wars galaxy.

New episodes of Andor release on Wednesdays on Disney+.

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