TIE fighters are fictional starfighters in the ‘Star Wars’ universe and the acronym stands for the "Twin Ion Engines" by which these machines are propelled. TIE fighters' solar panels power the twin ion engine system that accelerates gases at a high speed along almost any vector, affording the ships tremendous speed and maneuverability.
They are depicted as fast, fragile starfighters produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the Galactic Empire. These machines feature in the original Star Wars trilogy. The models created for the movie are grey for better filming against a bluescreen background. Combat scenes between TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon resemble dogfights in World War II air combat.
Ben Burtt created the distinctive sound effect of the TIE fighters by combining an elephant call with a car driving on wet pavement. A TIE fighter model used in filming the climax of A New Hope sold at auction for $350,000. In 1994, LucasArts released the TIE Fighter flight simulator, which casts the player as an Imperial pilot flying a variety of TIE starfighters. Several TIE fighter replicas and toys have also been manufactured and sold.
Fans of ‘Star Wars’ built a 16-foot-by-20-foot, 1,000-pound TIE fighter float to commemorate the epic’s thirtieth anniversary as part of the 2007 Crystal Lake Gala Parade.