There are many staples that make up Star Wars in the collective mind of pop culture, none more so iconic than the lightsaber and the Jedi Knights who wield them. But let's not forget the namesake of the films. This is Star Wars.
The starships, the starfighters, and the many other spacefaring vehicles prevalent throughout the movies are truly exemplary of the franchise title
My favorite ship, and definitely one of the most iconic elements from the films, is the TIE Fighter. I love the whining roar of its engines and the sterile but strong looking industrial design; it's all so very badass in a "villainous totalitarian" kind of way.
Imagine my excitement when I came across leaked concept art of a new TIE Fighter design in The Force Awakens.
Gaze upon its malevolent magnificence! From this leaked concept, we can ascertain a few things. 30 years later, there hasn't been much deviation in the design of the TIE Fighter. Which makes sense! If it's not broke don't fix it right? There have been some slight modifications though, from what I can see: the obvious hot rod red accents, the extra engines near the more vertically elongated wings, and what appears to be a much roomier cockpit area.
Much Like Darth Vader in the Original Trilogy, who had his own unique fighter (the TIE Advanced x1), I'd think a villain of importance in The Force Awakens would have their own personal fighter as well. The Imperial Royal Guards at the loading ramp gives this away. Is this TIE Fighter Kylo Ren's personal ship? Possibly. Or maybe it belongs to Gwendoline Christie's character, the often rumored Special Forces "Chrometrooper" Commander? Who knows!
Either way, as a lover of all the ship designs in the films, I think this new TIE design definitely stays true to the essence of Star Wars. The nerd me also thinks it's a great addition to the line of TIE Fighters. For those of you who don't know, in addition to the vanilla TIE Fighter and Vader's Advanced x1 variant, there's the TIE Bomber, TIE Interceptor, TIE Defender, and the relatively new model, the TIE Advanced v1 (introduced in Star Wars: Rebels).