List of Star Wars starfighters
The Kuat RZ-1 A-wing Interceptor is a class of starfighter, depicted as fast but fragile interceptors of the Rebel Alliance, conceived for high-speed surgical strikes, deep reconnaissance and escort fighter duty. A-wings first appear in Return of the Jedi (1983) during the climactic Battle of Endor. It gained popularity through its depiction in several video games, such as Battlefront II and 2015 Battlefront, and has been merchandised by several companies.
The ARC-170 starfighter or Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter were flown by clone pilots of the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. They first appear in the opening battle sequence of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) and have featured in the 2008 Clone Wars television series. The fighter's name stems from "ART 170", the file name of the art that established the ship's appearance; during scripting it was simply referred to as the "Clone Fighter."
According to background material, the ARC-170 was a favorite for clone pilots attacking Separatist capital ships, being well-armed with wingtip heavy laser cannons, proton torpedo launchers, and rear-facing laser cannons. It had a crew of three: a pilot, a co-pilot who handled the forward-facing weapons, and a tail gunner. An astromech droid would make minor repairs and manage the starfighter's hyperdrive, which allowed it to travel faster-than-light. Incom Corporation built the ARC-170 starfighter, and would use the design as inspiration for the X-wing. Like the X-wing, the ARC-170 featured S-foils, which were opened during combat to shed waste heat, enlarge the starfigther's deflector shield, and function as stabilizer surfaces during atmospheric flight.
|A/SF-01 B-wing starfighter|
|Star Wars vehicle|
|First appearance||Return of the Jedi (1983)|
|Created by||Slayne & Korpil|
|Class||Heavy assault starfighter|
|Length||16.9 meters (55 ft 5 in)|
|Width||2.9 meters (9 ft 6 in)|
The B-wing starfighter is a fictional Rebel Alliance and New Republic starfighter. They first appear in Return of the Jedi (1983) and subsequently in the Star Wars expanded universe's books, comics, and games. A variety of B-wing merchandise has been released by toy companies.
- Origin and design
Although initial plans called for B-wings to appear in several scenes, its narrow appearance from some angles made it difficult to see against the backdrop of space. The ship's rotating cockpit stems from an initial design for the Millennium Falcon.
The B-wing's canonical origin (as the Blade Wing), as-designed by the Mon Calamari engineer Quarrie, is depicted in the Star Wars Rebels, second season episode "Wings of the Master". Quarrie designed the Blade Wing to be a blockade buster for the Rebel Alliance, combining aspects of previous ships built by the Verpine Slayne & Korpil corporation including the V-19 Torrent starfighter, H-60 Tempest bomber and T-6 shuttle. While Quarrie's Blade Wing helped the crew of the Ghost escape an Imperial blockade, the prototype was plagued with a number of technical challenges. Senator Bail Organa was responsible for convincing Slayne & Korpil to work with Quarrie to fix these issues and create a production model, the A/SF-01, for the Rebel Alliance.
Expanded universe material states the A/SF-01 was the most well-armed starfighter in the Star Wars galaxy at the time it was introduced; a single B-wing was capable of attacking and destroying enemy capital ships. However it was also slower and less maneuverable than any other Rebel starfighter and required the most maintenance. The B-wing's gyrostabilized cockpit allowed the pilot to maintain a consistent horizon while the craft's body rotated around it, minimizing g-stresses on the pilot and letting them concentrate on flying and targeting. However, if the gyro-stabilization system was not kept in prime condition, it could fail under the tremendous pressure and lock up. The B-wing featured S-foils similar in function to those of the X-wing fighter.
Both Kenner and Hasbro released B-wing toys, the B-wing is part of two Micro Machines three-packs, and Lego has made several B-wing sets. A Micro Machines Alpha Fleet package includes models both of the B-wing's film appearance and of an initial production design. Decipher and Wizards of the Coast published B-wing cards for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and Star Wars Trading Card Game, respectively. The second expansion pack for the X-Wing flight simulator, B-Wing, introduces the B-wing as a playable starfighter; several other LucasArts products also depict B-wings.
Droid Tri-fighters are droid starfighters used by Separatist forces during the Clone Wars. They made their first theatrical appearance in the opening battle of Revenge of the Sith (2003). Original plans to equip the fighters with boosters were abandoned when Lucas decided they were an unnecessary distraction in the already chaotic scene. Its curved braces are deliberately reminiscent of the Trade Federation's circular battleship. Droid Tri-fighters are compact and heavily armed starfighters with three arms surrounding a rotating gyroscopic core. Four laser cannons, one on each arm and one centrally located on the fighter, can be supplemented with a variety of missile weapons, including proton torpedoes, concussion missiles and buzz droids.
An improved successor to the X-wing, the E-wing first appeared in Dark Horse Comics' Dark Empire series. They are one of few Expanded Universe vehicles to be a part of Micro Machines' Action Fleet line. Armed with three Taim & Bak IX9 Medium Laser Cannons and two proton torpedo launchers, the E-wing's aerodynamic frame made the fighter highly maneuverable and exceptional in atmospheric flight. Its Class 1 Hyperdrive allowed for extended reconnaissance missions and rapid strategic redeployment. As part of a larger force, the E-wing filled a versatile mid-range multirole combat aircraft or light torpedo bomber.
A Gauntlet Fighter, or Kom'rk-class fighter, is a Mandalorian class of ship. Larger than most starfighters, it can carry a larger crew and accommodate passengers. They were introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars being used by the Mandalorian splinter group Deathwatch. Another one known as the Nightbrother later served as Darth Maul's personal craft in Star Wars Rebels. Kom'rk-class fighter/transports are equipped with four laser cannons, a Class 1 hyperdrive, and space to carry up to 24 soldiers. Two versions of the starfighter model exist, one 68 m (223 ft) long and a smaller variant 52.3 m (172 ft) long.
Geonosian Starfighters appear in the climactic Battle of Geonosis in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones when they chase after a Republic attack gunship carrying Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman). The craft was also set to appear in an air battle during which Republic attack gunships attack a Geonosian airstrip but the scenes were ultimately cut. The starfighter technically made its first appearance in the video game Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter which was released prior to the movie. Within the Star Wars universe these craft were considered nimble fighters, working equally well in space or in an atmosphere, and afforded the pilot a 360° field of view.
Asajj Ventress flies the fanblade in the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars series. Just as Ventress' appearance was inspired by a Samurai stance, the ship itself has Asian influences: its design is based on a sensu folding fan. Background literature refers to these as Ginivex-class fanblade starfighters, with only six built for Asajj's personal use. 13.1 m (43 ft) long, the starfighters' retractable solar sail helps make the ship extremely fast with a powerful deflector shield but also makes it easier to spot. It is also equipped with a Class 1 hyperdrive and a rotating laser cannon mounted on either end of the solar sail.
The Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptors (better known as "Jedi starfighters") appear in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2003), when Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) travels via Jedi starfighter to Kamino to investigate the attempted assassination of Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman); he also flies a Jedi starfighter to Geonosis in an attempt to track down the bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). Later, Plo Koon (Matt Sloan) flies a Jedi starfighter when he is shot down by clone troopers carrying out Emperor Palpatine's (Ian McDiarmid) Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith (2005). In the 2003 Clone Wars animated series, Anakin Skywalker is seen flying a customized Delta-7, called the Azure Angel, of which a Lego model was later made.
The Jedi starfighter's triangular shape stems from the shape of Imperial Star Destroyers in the original Star Wars trilogy. Industrial Light & Magic designer Doug Chiang identified the Jedi starfighter as one of the first designs that bridges the aesthetic between the prequel and original trilogies. Chiang noted that viewers' familiarity with the Star Destroyer's appearance and Imperial affiliation gives added symbolism to the Jedi craft's appearance and foreshadows the Empire's rise to power. A full-scale model of the starfighter was also created for filming purposes. During scenes taking place on the rain-swept landing pads of Kamino, the model had to be painted and specially prepared in order to resist any water damage.
Star Wars expanded material states that the Delta-7 was designed specifically with the Jedi's Force-aided reflexes in mind by stripping them down and making their controls as responsive as possible. Lacking an internal hyperdrive, the Jedi starfighter used an external hyperspace transport wing to which it could attach for faster-than-light travel. Its two Novaldex J-44 "Jetforce" sublight engines were equipped with electromagnetic thrust nozzles that focused and timed engine bursts to match the Jedi's abilities. This also made the starfighter overwhelmingly difficult for a non-Jedi to pilot. When the Jedi were destroyed after Order 66, the Delta-7's manufacturer, Kuat Systems Engineering, designed a new starfighter that would be more manageable for non-Jedi to pilot, creating the A-wing.
The Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptors, also known as "Jedi interceptors", made their first theatrical in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). In the opening space battle, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) pilot Jedi interceptors on a mission to rescue Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) from General Grievous. The craft's design was purposefully meant to echo the earlier Jedi starfighter and the TIE Fighter, while its opening wing panels were influenced by a feature on Hasbro's toy model of the Jedi starfighter. For filming close-ups of the actors, a single full-scale model of the Jedi interceptor was created. Since Obi-wan and Anakin's interceptors were individualized with their own color schemes, each actor would perform their scenes separately and switch out, allowing the model to be redressed in between.
In-universe material states that this new starfighter was meant to expand the Jedi's arsenal as they found themselves on the front lines of the Clone Wars, being smaller but possessing greater firepower than the earlier Delta-7 with both laser and ion cannons. The Eta-2 had no deflector shields or bulky flight controls in order to save weight and maximize speed and agility, instead relying on the Jedi's Force abilities to compensate. After the Jedi were destroyed during Order 66, the Eta-2 would serve as the inspiration for the Galactic Empire's TIE Fighter.
Naboo N-1 starfighter
The Naboo N-1 Starfighter made its theatrical appearance in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. During the climatic Battle of Naboo, a squadron of the fighters attacked the orbiting Trade Federation Droid Control Ship Saak'ak. Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) accidentally steals a Naboo N-1 starfighter and pilots it into the Droid Control Ship's docking bay, destroying the vessel from the inside. N-1 Starfighters also appear in the beginning of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones escorting senator Padmé Amidala's (Natalie Portman) Naboo Royal Cruiser upon its arrival to Coruscant. The N-1 also appears at the end of the edited and remastered 2004 "Special Edition" DVD version of Return of the Jedi. The fighter technically first appeared as an unlockable vehicle in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, which was released approximately six months before The Phantom Menace, and was available as a playable vehicle in the video games Star Wars: Battle for Naboo and Star Wars: Starfighter.
The N-1 initially had the same angular design as craft in the original Star Wars trilogy; only in later designs did it take on a streamlined appearance. A life-size model of a Naboo Starfighter hangs suspended from the ceiling of the Blue Wing at the Boston Museum of Science, in Boston, Massachusetts. This 1:1 scale model was unveiled at the museum in April 2004, as a prelude to the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit. The model was previously used as a prop during the filming of The Phantom Menace.
Based on in-universe background material, the N-1's sleek design exemplified the philosophy of art and function in Naboo technology. It was armed with two laser cannons, two proton torpedo launchers, and a capable automatic pilot feature. The starfighter's front was clad in chromium for decorative purposes, but its sleek shape was equal parts artistic expression and aerodynamic function. Its long tail served as a high-voltage charge collector, while the engine tails acted as heat sinks.
In a 2018 a test was conducted using the Autodesk Flow Design virtual wind tunnel program to look at the aerodynamic properties of several Star Wars starfighter models. Of those models which were tested, the N-1 was found to be the most aerodynamic of all with a drag coefficient of .1, which while somewhat poor compared to the real-life .02 rating of the F-4E Phantom was significantly better than all other starfighters tested.
The Porax-38 appears in Revenge of the Sith as a starfighter piloted by the native Utapauns during the Battle of Utapau. Although featured in a full two-page spread in the Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections book, the fighter's role was significantly reduced in the final film. This was due to the fact that the P-38's digital model, being a late addition to the film, was not completed to the level originally planned, and so was relegated to a background craft.
The Soulless One was General Grievous' personal starfighter, a customized version of a Belbullab-22 starfighter, which made its first theatrical appearance in Revenge of the Sith (2005). After Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) defeated General Grievous on Utapau, he used Grievous' starfighter to escape from his clone troopers attempting to carry out Order 66 and rendezvoused with Yoda and Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits).
TIE fighter (and variants)
TIE fighters—and variants such as TIE interceptors and TIE bombers—appear throughout the original trilogy. They are usually not equipped with shields or a hyperdrive, which makes them mass-producible and allows for considerable weapon payloads, or alternatively, for high speed and agility. The pilot has to wear a pressurized suit, as TIE fighters also lack life support systems.
|UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft|
|Star Wars vehicle|
|First appearance||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)|
|Created by||Incom Corporation|
|Length||23.99 meters (78 ft 8 in)(S-foils forward)|
|Width||8.54 meters (28 ft) (S-foils forward)|
|Height||3.51 meters (11 ft 6 in)|
The UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft is a Rebel troop transport/gunship model manufactured by Incom Corporation for the purpose of supporting special operations forces insertion and extraction into denied areas from strategic distances. Used to penetrate enemy zones to drop off Rebel infantry, provide close air support, and extract them upon mission completion. U-wings first appeared in the movie Rogue One, where they were pivotal in the transport and protection of the Rebel Alliance's ground forces during the Battle of Scarif.
- Origin and design
Director Gareth Edwards wanted Rogue One to be grounded in the aesthetics of the Korean or Vietnam War in order to contrast it with the more World War II look of the original Star Wars film. Thus when it came time to design a unique ship for the film's heroes to travel around in, he wanted it to be akin to a "Huey" version of the X-wing. While experimenting with different models and names ("Z-wing, R-wing, Q-wing, etc."), the final design picked was in part because it looked like an inverted X-wing. For filming interior scenes, a full-size U-wing cockpit was built and mounted on a manually controlled gimbal in front of a wall of LED panels. The panels were used instead of traditional film lighting so that more natural lighting could be simulated.
In-universe material states that the UT-60 was the last starfighter design created by Incom Corporation before the company was nationalized by the Galactic Empire. Originally intended as a transport ship for couriers and planetary defense forces, the last of the UT-60D starfighters to be built were secured for the Rebel Alliance thanks to the efforts of Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits). Rebel mechanics and technicians transformed their U-wings into sturdy gunships and troop transports for Rebel Alliance Special Forces (SpecForces) making dangerous insertions into Imperial territory. The U-wing's engine configuration was inspired in part by the X-wing, and like the X-wing featured S-foils but in a variable-sweep wing format, opening them to improve atmospheric maneuverability and enlarge its deflector shield. However the ship was not designed for the tight turns necessary for dogfights, and while the U-wing did feature a hyperdrive for faster-than-light travel, extended operations with a full passenger compliment would quickly deplete the vessel's life support systems. The U-wing's two laser cannons could be supplemented by a pair of infantry heavy weapons handled by dedicated door gunners.
The V-19 Torrent starfighter first appeared in the 2003 Clone Wars animated series and have appeared in other media related to the Clone Wars. Background material states the V-19 had impressive speed and maneuverability, making it a tricky starfighter to fly. It had three S-foils that functioned like those on the X-wing and was equipped with two laser cannons and twin concussion missile launchers. At the beginning of the Clone Wars, V-19 starfighters did not have hyperdrives for faster-than-light travel, instead relying on external hyperspace transport rings to which they would attached. Later models were modified to be equipped with an internal hyperdrive.
The V-wing Fighter or Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-Wing made its theatrical appearance in the Revenge of the Sith (2005), as the Galactic Republic is formally transformed into the Galactic Empire. Originally, animation director Rob Coleman proposed that TIE Fighters be featured to signify this transition, but George Lucas pointed out that (in the film's chronology) there were nineteen years between the events of Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars. Allowing additional time for the TIE fighter to be introduced, a new starfighter was created instead, purposefully similar in both design and sound to the TIE fighter while also resembling the Jedi's Delta-7 starfighter.
According to Star Wars cannon, the V-wing's design combined elements of the ARC-170, V-19 and Delta-7, making it an ideal escort fighter. It was equipped with folding radiator wings, two ion engines and two laser cannons, but did not feature a hyperdrive or pressurized cockpit in order to save on weight and make the fighter faster and more maneuverable.
The Vulture Droid or Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid is a droid starfighter that made its theatrical appearance in The Phantom Menace (1999) and appeared again in Revenge of the Sith (2005). Original designs depicted the droid starfighter not as a droid itself, but instead piloted by a battle droid. In order to demonstrate that it was both a robotic being as well as vehicle, it was decide to give the vulture droid a transformative element, allowing its wings to fold down and serve as legs. Two 18" maquettes of the vulture droid were built - one in ship mode and one in walking mode - to help create the digital model. In order to represent the idea of three vulture droids sharing one "brain," animators purposefully linked the motion of each three-ship flight when creating the climatic battle of The Phantom Menace.
The vulture droid was a mainstay of Separatist starfighter squadrons during the Clone Wars. Equipped with four blaster cannons and two proton torpedo launchers, the vulture droid would transform into a four-legged walking configuration when not in flight. To overcome their lack of cunning and resourcefulness, vulture droids were used to attack en masse; originally controlled by a central command ship, these droids were later given a limited degree of independence.
A variant of the vulture droid is the Hyena Bomber Droid, with a larger, sturdier hull and larger wings. It also has a second hull with downward-facing photoreceptors for precision bomb dropping. The Hyena Bomber Droid made its first appearance in the 2008 Clone Wars television series.
The X-wing starfighter, named for the distinctive shape made when its S-Foils are in attack position, was a class of starfighter used by the Rebel Alliance in their conflict with the Galactic Empire. It made its theatrical debut, as the T-65B model, in Star Wars (1977) as the spacecraft piloted by Luke Skywalker and the Red Squadron when Luke destroyed the Death Star. The starfighter featured extensively in the Star Wars original trilogy and in the Expanded Universe that followed, and has been merchandised as a variety of toys and models.
The Y-wing assault starfighter/bomber are depicted as the primary fighter-bombers of the Galactic Republic, Rebel Alliance, New Republic, and the Resistance; being ideally suited for anti-shipping, close air support, and ground attack missions. They made their theatrical appearance in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and have featured in movies, television shows, and the Star Wars expanded universe's books, comics, and games.
The Z-95 Headhunter is a class of starfighter which was first described in the Brian Daley's 1979 novel Han Solo at Stars' End as having swing-wings and a bubble cockpit. The 1988 Tatooine Manhunt adventure book for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game depicts the Z-95 as a precursor to the X-wing, but with only two wings, based on an early Joe Johnston production sketch. The Z-95 is featured variously in the Expanded Universe, including the Star Wars: X-wing Rogue Squadron comic series, as well as in 2008's The Clone Wars television series, in which it is used by the Galactic Republic.
The Z-95 Headhunter is described in the Star Wars Databank as "the forerunner of the ... X-wing", a versatile snub-fighter despite being outdated at the time of the Clone Wars. Incom Corporation originally designed the Z-95 for planetary defense forces, and while lacking many features like a hyperdrive or astromech droid it was appreciated for its armaments and internal environmental controls. The Republic commissioned upgraded models of the Z-95 for their clone pilots which featured more powerful weaponry and deflector shields, as well as superior endurance and adaptability.
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