CT Should the Empire have equipped TIE Fighters with hyperspace capabilities?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by geniusofmozart, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. geniusofmozart Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2014
    I think this is the right thread to post this in.

    During the Galactic Civil War, X-Wing fighters had Type 1.0 hyper-drives, while the Imperial TIE Fighters did not. Of course, we know why X-wings were equipped with hyper-drives: it allowed them to perform hit and run attacks on Imperial outposts and destroy – or steal – much needed resources. This worsened the Imperial economy, making the Empire less able to fund specialist fighters such as the TIE Defender. Interestingly, the TIE Defender, which was developed later than the standard TIE Fighter, did have hyperspace capabilities. The reason for this is simple: the Rebel fighters, which had hyper-drives, therefore had a clear tactical advantage over the Empire. But, because resources were being destroyed, the Empire should have found a way to get around that and prevent it from occurring. One way, in my view, would have been to equip the TIE Fighters with hyperspace rings, as were seen in the prequels with Obi-Wan's spacecraft, for example. We already know that the Empire realised the importance of the hyper-drive, as evidenced by the TIE Defender, but they were stuck in a vicious cycle because the TIE Defender was far too costly to maintain with the attacks on undefended Imperial resources. However, a TIE Fighter with a hyperspace ring would have easily been able to defend these Imperial resources: standard TIE Fighters relied on Star Destroyers to travel far distances – and Star Destroyers were usually too valuable to divert to remote outposts which had strategic resources. But, a TIE Fighter with a hyperspace ring could fend for itself, escape via hyperspace if necessary and indeed quickly respond to any incursion at a major area if needed.




    The point about the Star Destroyers is especially important: when Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan escaped from Tatooine aboard the Millennium Falcon, three Star Destroyers were in pursuit. A TIE Fighter, which was given the go-ahead to fend for itself due to its hyperspace ring, would have been much more suited to chase down the Millennium Falcon.
  2. JABoomer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2009
    I've never seen any material which states the Empire was feeling any economic pressure from the attacks of the Rebel Alliance. Certainty that wasn't the reason the TIE/ln was never equipped with a hyderprive, nor did it delay the development of the TIE Defender.

    The TIE/ln was a short range fighter, it didn't NEED a hyperdrive. Also, because it lacked a hyperdrive, the Empire was able to produce them in such quantity that it's inability to travel between systems was not an issue. In fact I would argue that a particle shield would have been much more of an advantage then a hyperdrive unit.

    A hyperspace ring would be a bad idea. It's not practical for tactical engagement, you'd get cut to pieces while you were trying to dock into the ring during a retreat as you suggest. It's also not needed, the Empire had hyperdrive equipped fighters for the missions where it was required. The TIE/ln served it's purpose as a short range fighter attached to fleet units and planetary garrisons quite well given that the Empire was willing to make them cheap and expendable as they had both the resources to manufacture more and pilots to spare.
    Last edited by JABoomer, Mar 31, 2014
  3. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I could see a reactor powerful enough to power a hyperdrive, also being powerful enough to power decent shields.

    Which may be why the X-Wing's consistently portrayed in the EU as being well shielded (and in the movies, are seen to sometimes survive laser cannon hits).

    In the EU - the first TIE fighter prototypes did have hyperdrives - but the production ones didn't- possibly because they were deemed surplus to requirements. And people are seen to jury-rig hyperdrives to TIE fighters now and again.

    In the recent comic series The Shadow Of Yavin, the TIE Interceptors used in it have shields and hyperdrives.
  4. Mr. K Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    TIE's are so numerous due to cheap, fast production. TIE pilots are trained to regard shields as tools of cowards. Ship & pilot are very much expendable, as already pointed out.
    Darth Dominikkus and Iron_lord like this.
  5. purplerain Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2013
    star 4
    This. TIE Fighters are combat vehicles, not travel vehicles. When traveling, one wants speed, hence hyperdrives. When in battle, one wants safety, hence shields.
    Embodies Imperial fascism perfectly. Firepower is prioritized over combatant safety.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  6. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Thing is - what shields and hyperdrives both need, is power.

    If you've got a powerful reactor to power your shields - that reactor can also power a hyperdrive.

    Which is probably why nearly all shielded ships in the EU also have hyperdrives.
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  7. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    I think the problem is it would have cost way too much. Those funds were most likely sent to the Death Star and Executor projects I'd imagine.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  8. Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2013
    star 2
    My understanding is that the Empire isn't a big fan of giving its people, especially front line combatants like the TIE pilots, too much autonomy/responsibility. So it would make sense that when it came to skimping on cost, the fighter force would be the one to suffer. No shields, no hyperspace, no life support. It encourages a mentality of total dependence on The System, and Palpatine likes that.
    Iron_lord, Sarge and Mr. K like this.
  9. JABoomer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2009

    Ya but there's a few out there. The I-7 Howlrunner, Aleph-class interceptor, standard production Z-95 Headhunters.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  10. SithHorseman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2002
    star 1
    I was not aware of this, but I'm guessing you're drawing this from the EU.

    It would hardly have been a chase anyway. Remember, when the Millenium Falcon was hiding in the asteroid field and it was felt it had made the jump to hyperspace.

    Admiral Piett: Lord Vader, our ships have completed their scan of the area and found nothing. If the Millennium Falcon went into light-speed, it'll be on the other side of the galaxy by now.
    Darth Vader: Alert all commands. Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory.

    It takes a bit of work to figure out where a ship has gone or is going. You can't just follow it blindly.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    True. The K-Wing is one of the most heavily shielded hyperdriveless ships.
  12. thejeditraitor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 4
    no. they were made cheap and fast and they didn't care about the pilots safety. they also didn't want the pilots going far from their main ships. it's a form of mind control.
    Last edited by thejeditraitor, Apr 2, 2014
  13. Beezer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2013
    star 4
    No. They are short range fighters. They are meant to either defend bases and capital ships, or be transported on capital ships and deploy into an engagement.

    +1 +1 +1. After all, this is not Star Trek. :D
  14. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Which is kind of the point of the question - is "short-ranged fighter" an overspecialization - giving up too much in return for cheapness?
  15. The Star Wars Archivist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2013
    star 3
    X-Wings, were far superior vehicles to TIE-Fighters. TIEs were short ranged fighters built for attacking in swarms, with weak armour and not much firepower, I can't see why the Empire would ever provide the weakest vehicles in their fleet with a both time consuming and expensive asset.
  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Vader's ship had a hyperdrive - but then, it was also a bit larger and tougher than the standard TIE.
  17. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Even if TIE Fighters had hyperdrives, could they have responded quickly enough to a Rebel attack in a local sector as opposed to having fighters already stationed in the area? If it's true that TIE Defenders cost 9 times as much as a TIE Fighter, then you'd be substantially reducing your strength by replacing the latter with the former. That said though, I think hyperspace rings would make plenty of sense if you needed to surge reinforcements from one area to another...or just have a couple of escort carrier type vessels on patrol.

    I also think that the idea of the Empire throwing away expendable pilots is something that ought to be retconned. There is no way the Empire can treat its military personnel as being expendable and not have it completely degrade morale. Moreover, fighter pilots are a considerable investment of resources to train, and it simply doesn't make sense to allow them to be continually killed off even if you don't care about lives being thrown away. Lastly, the design philosophy of the TIE Fighter is seen in the Old Republic as well in the form of the V-wing and Eta-2, the latter of which was flown by the Jedi and clearly shown not to be a death trap.
  18. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    TIEs were meant to be carried into battle by a Star Destroyer or other large vessel. Making them utterly dependent on their mother ship was a way of ensuring loyalty.
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  19. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The Defender benefits from extra speed, manueverability, and weaponry though - a hyperdrive-equipped TIE Fighter or Interceptor would probably be a lot cheaper than a Defender.

    Having hyperdrives doesn't eliminate carriers - (fighters still need to be fuelled, maintained, repaired) - what they would do is allow the carrier greater force projection.

    A carrier could go to a sector - send a squadron of fighters to each of the systems in that sector to investigate - then the fighters return to the carrier for refuelling and the carrier moves on.

    As it currently stands - the carrier has to go to each system in the sector, then send its fighters out on patrol while it's in the system.
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  20. SeinEwigerSchatten Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2013
    star 1
    TIE fighters needed support vessels with hangars. So it makes no sense to put hyperdrives into them.

    Dont forget the pilot. He needs to eat, go to the toilet, walk around.

    It is also a matter of cost. Star Wars was a capitalistic system
  21. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    X-wings benefited considerably from support vessels with hangers, like Home One.

    The idea is to extend the striking power of said support vessel - so it can have fighters cover an entire sector, without the vessel itself having to travel to every star in the sector.