Why the Tie Interceptor was SO differentnoviembre 22, 2022
The TIE/IN starfighter, simply known as the TIE Interceptor or T/I, was a TIE Series starfighter used by the Galactic Empire. The TIE Interceptor was identifiable by its arrow-shaped solar collection panels, a distinct difference from the hexagonal solar arrays of its predecessor, the TIE Fighter. The Interceptor was one of the fastest starfighters in the galaxy at its prime, nearly rivaling the Alliance’s RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.
Due to their speed, distinct shape, and narrow profile in comparison to the TIE/ln starfighter (which was nicknamed “eyeball“), TIE Interceptors came to be referred to occasionally as “squints” by enemy pilots.
Several sources state that the TIE/IN was the main reason behind the development of the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor by the Rebel Alliance (as a countermeasure) and that the Interceptor was deployed after Yavin.
However, the existence of the TIE Interceptor around the Battle of Yavin was well established in the timeline. Interceptors made appearances in Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith video game, LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (though the Lego Star Wars games are non-canon), and Star Wars: Lethal Alliance, all of which take place before, during, or shortly after the Battle of Yavin. West End Games The Star Wars Sourcebook stated that at the time of Yavin, standard Imperial Star Destroyers carried one squadron of Interceptors (12 craft), one Bomber squadron, and four TIE/LN starfighter squadrons. By the time of the Battle of Endor, an additional Interceptor squadron has replaced that of the TIE/ln.
Numerous sources depict the TIE Interceptor as having only four wingtip cannons, but their very first appearance, in Return of the Jedi, shows them firing their chin-mounted fifth and sixth cannons, in addition to their wingtip cannons throughout the Battle of Endor. It has since been established that each TIE Interceptor comes equipped with cannon mountings on the chin, like the preceding TIE Fighter, allowing for the addition of two more cannons.
The post-production speed/maneuverability chart for Return of the Jedi lists the TIE Interceptor as being able to go up to 125 MGLTs and having a maneuverability rating of High.
Many of the models of the TIE Interceptor used in Return of the Jedi have four laser cannons on their wingtips; however, the main model used in the “Return of the Jedi collection” section of the Blu-ray special edition only has two laser cannons total, on the top two wingtips. That may be due to the fragility of the model kit parts used to create the cannons, as publicity photos taken around the time of Return of the Jedi show the miniatures with four wingtip cannons.