Having already done a “Top 5 Star Wars Rebel Alliance Fighters From the Original Trilogy,” I thought I would take this time to join in on the dark side. The Rebel Alliance had many ships that were memorable from the original trilogy but so did the Empire. No Empire would be operational without its firepower. So let’s jump right into it as we count down my “Top 5 Star Wars Imperial Fighters From the Original Trilogy.”
5. Lambda-Class T-4 Shuttle
While this ship may not be considered a fighter, its usefulness cannot be overstated. Often labeled as the Imperial Shuttle, this ship was heavily used to transport not only imperial troops but also crucial cargo as well. Though this ship is not heavily protected, it does however make up for its hyperdrive. This becomes extremely useful for the Empire if they are being chased by the Rebel Alliance. The shuttle also has duel laser cannons attached to the front as well as along its wings. A rear laser cannon is also manned by a soldier (or clone) in case of any unexpected attacks. The wings also fold in when headed for landing as well as for takeoff.
A very overlooked ship, this vessel has helped make the Empire even more dangerous as they can send scouts out well before they bring in their heavy artillery. The ship was also made useful for Han and the gang as they were able to steal one of these from the Empire and use it to land on the forest moon of Endor in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Like the Rebel Alliance’s Y-Wing, the Imperial TIE-Bomber is a slow moving vessel but what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in weapons. The TIE-Bomber as you would expect is used heavily for bombing runs. Along with plenty of bombs, a TIE-Bomber also carries concussion missiles, proton torpedoes, proton rockets, space mines, as well as thermal detonators. These ships would either be the first to go into a battle or the last. They would either create massive damage first then allow other fighters to finish the job or would have the fighters go in first then become part of the cleanup crew and wipe out the remaining forces. These ships were shown only a handful of times in the original trilogy. They made their presence felt however when trying to find the Millennium Falcon by bombing the inside of an asteroid in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
The TIE-Fighter is of course the most heavily used ship for the Galactic Empire. It was clearly the symbol of the entire Empire. These vessels only allowed one pilot and were designed to be one of the fastest ships in the galaxy. The ship lacks in shields and armor but makes up for it with its speed. The TIE-Fighters have played a major role in all three of the original films. It’s famous sound as it flew by would strike terror into the hearts of the Rebel Alliance and everyone else throughout the galaxy. These fighters are usually seen in groups while in combat and have a pair of laser cannons attached right underneath of the cockpit.
2. TIE-Advance x1
The ship most famous for being labeled as “Vader’s Ship,” the TIE-Advance x1 is heavily armored when compared to the standard TIE-Fighter. While having the same structure similar to a TIE-Bomber, this vessel does maneuver at a much faster rate. This ship uses a “bent wing” approach which allows it to move much quicker than the average fighter. The TIE-Advance x1 has a deflector shield along with twin heavy laser cannons and a cluster missile launcher. This ship was very formidable in a battle.
As I had mentioned, Vader made great use of one of these in the very first Star Wars film. Vader was able to take out the majority of the Rebel Fleet before being subdued by Han Solo while giving Luke just enough time to fire his proton torpedoes right into the exhaust port of the Death Star.
My favorite Imperial fighter is most certainly the TIE-Interceptor. A much later addition to the Galactic fleet, the TIE-Interceptor is the fastest ship the Empire has to offer. Much like the Rebel Alliance’s A-Wing, the TIE-Interceptor is not known for its shield but rather its quick versatility. It can move at incredible speeds and can take down any Rebel fighter with ease. The TIE-Interceptor also has a more “dagger” like appearance and this new sleek design helps the pilot see much easier. This ship also has twin laser cannons attached between both of the outside wings. This is a major difference when comparing it to a standard TIE-Fighter. You can watch these fighters soar into battle against the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
So there your have it! Those are my top five Imperial fighters from the original Star Wars trilogy. Did YOU agree with my list? What other fighters that I may have missed are your favorite? Please share and comment below!