Friday 10 March 2023

'STAR WARS' AT 45: THE TIE FIGHTERS ATTACK!

Terrific model reference image of the TIE fighter. Note the intriguing red marking to the left top cockpit side.

The fast-moving and agile TIE fighters have launched from the Death Star and are soon swooping down to attack and annihilate as many Rebel ships as they can. Despite early victories, the better trained and more daring Rebel X-wing starfighter pilots of Red squadron ultimately prove victorious against the TIEs, whilst their fellow Y-wing bombers continue on in their mission to the space station's main reactor trench.

The TIE squadron attacks the X-wings.

A TIE quickly destroys Red Four (John 'D').

Another attacks Red Three (Biggs) but is destroyed by Red Five (Luke Skywalker).

Another TIE bears to down to attack Red Five...

... and continues its dogged pursuit until ultimately surprise-destroyed by Red Two (Wedge Antilles).

Originally created in prototype form by Colin Cantwell from the most basic of visual motifs provided by George Lucas, artistic geniuses Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston, like they would also do with the Rebels' X-wing fighter and other specific models, would refine the enemy ship design into the iconic classic it is today...


The TIE fighter model filming would be accomplished by ILM over January and February 1977, whilst the distinctive sound cry of the vehicle created in post production would be the combining of an elephant call with a car driving on a wet pavement- another unique entry for the film from legendary sound designer Ben Burtt.


Colin Cantwell's prototype model for the TIE.

Early sketch for Colin Cantwell TIE fighter concept.


TIE fighter completed blueprints for revised design by Joe Johnston.


Creating the TIE wings.

Lorne Peterson with in-development TIEs in the model shop at ILM.



Several models awaiting additional paint scheme work.

Paul Huston at work on the wing structure support for a model.

A completed model in the ILM model shop.

Steve Gawley and colleague inspect a finished model at ILM.

Byron Weaver with a completed TIE fighter.

Two final model reference images.




Cockpit close-up!


Test filming for the craft's final colour scheme in blue screen filming.



Unknown ILM crew member with a model for blue screen filming.

Classic image of John Dyskstra with model on the ILM blue screen stage.

Close-in movement filming.

Image by Mark West/Strange Tales.

Unused TIE detonation scene.

Miniature TIE on rod.

Presumably an early optical composition test shot.



No comments: