TIE interceptor Star Wars craft TIE Interceptor Manufacturer Sienar Fleet Systems
Specification T/I starfighter Type Space Superiority Assault Fighter Length 6.22 meters Weapons 4 SFS LS-9.3 Cannons Shield none Hull 15 RU Crew 1 Top Speed 111 MGLT Troop Capacity none Affiliation Galactic Empire
Cargo Capacity 75 kilograms Passengers N/A
The TIE interceptor, or T/I, a fictional starfighter in the Star Wars universe, is an improved version of the TIE fighter that is identifiable by its bent-wing and arrow-shaped side wing panels, as distinct from the hexagonal ones on its predecessor craft. The interceptor is also blue while the older TIE fighter is grey. Otherwise both fighters play the same roles of "space superiority" and share many of the same attributes, including a similar (if not completely identical) spherical command pod. TIE interceptors are seen in the massive fleet battle in Return of the Jedi. Rebel Alliance and New Republic pilots refer to TIE interceptors as "squints", due to their narrow profiles (as compared to TIE fighters). The design is a development of the TIE Advanced Fighter and TIE Avenger craft.
Like its predecessor, the TIE fighter, the TIE interceptor carries no shielding but has superb acceleration and maneuverability. Improved avionics have been implemented and the radiator-panels have a cut-out notch to improve lateral visibility. The official materials place one laser cannon mounted on each of the four wingtips for a total of four cannons, but some fans (including notably Dr. Curtis Saxton in his Star Wars Technical Commentaries) have claimed the TIE interceptor has ten cannons, including an additional cannon mounted at the end of each wingtip and two more in the command pod hardpoints, based on the appearance of the model used for the movie.
Although the interceptor only made its appearance in Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars Sourcebook (for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game) has stated that the interceptor existed at the time of the Battle of Yavin, where an Imperial Star Destroyer's six TIE squadrons consisted of four squadrons of standard TIE fighters, one squadron of TIE bombers, and one of TIE interceptors. By the Battle of Endor, an additional squadron of interceptors replaced one of the TIE fighter squadrons. The interceptor's absence from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back was perhaps due to design limitations. Emperor Palpatine, knowing the superior abilities of the TIE interceptor, planned to replace all standard TIE fighters with interceptors. By the Battle of Endor, TIE interceptors filled twenty percent of the total Imperial starfighter force. In the X-wing and TIE Fighter computer game series, the interceptor's speed and multiple cannons make it an effective craft against most Rebel craft, provided there are superior numbers of Imperials to prevent concentration of fire. Ironically, in TIE Fighter, the player has the fewest chances to fly a TIE interceptor, only once per tour of duty and never after the fifth tour. Interceptors are often outfitted with a small load of warheads in the games.
After Grand Admiral Thrawn took control of the Imperial Remnant, many of his TIE interceptors were shielded to minimize casualties due to limited pilot supplies, and a new imbalance of ship numbers compared to trained pilots.