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Why TIE Fighters are rubbish: the engineering of Star Wars



• TIE ‘Fighter’ so poorly designed it would fall out of the sky
• Millennium Falcon not merely piloted by space cowboy, but designed by one too
• X-Wing costs as much as Aston Martin Vantage, but has a major fault…

New research from Fircroft reveals major design and construction flaws in several leading brands of Star Wars spacecraft. The flaws include faulty engines, inadequate dynamics, poor manoeuvrability and insufficient power to escape the gravitational pull of many planets (including Alderaan)!

Fircroft conducted the research following the release of the seventh instalment of the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens, in which several of the faulty craft played a prominent part in the action. With the ending of the Skywalker saga fast approaching, we are making one last attempt to bring the technical flaws to the attention of the Rebel Alliance, the First Order, the Empire and, well, everyone else in the galaxy.

Our investigations revealed that three craft in particular should be recalled and repaired before the franchise awakens once again. 

TIE Fighter

The TIE Fighter, whose name is a reference to ‘Twin Ion Engines’ (and not, apparently, due to its resemblance of a bow-tie - the existence of which has yet to be debuted in the Star Wars universe), is a common ship used by the Galactic Empire and the First Order respectively.

However, despite its reputation as a formidable dog-fighting spacecraft, our research reveals that the ion engines fitted to the TIE Fighter are notoriously low thrust. Whilst these engines would be able to thrust indefinitely; making them ideal for long term high travel speed with few changes in direction, they are in fact the complete opposite to what the TIE Fighter requires to operate effectively!

Engines aside, the design of the TIE Fighter leaves much to be desired from a combat point of view. The pilot can only see directly in front, as his or her peripheral vision is completely obscured by the two solar panel wings on the side. Hardly ideal for a fighter craft!

Another flaw in the design concerns the speed to manoeuvrability ratio. With an atmospheric speed of 1,200 kph, thrusters situated at the rear of the ship in the centre and large bulky solar panels far from the source of thrust, our research indicates that the ship would be impossible to control and would spin wildly out of control in most situations. Not the sort of thing to inspire confidence when you’re going up against a confident gang of rebel fighters…

Millennium Falcon

Piloted by a space cowboy, it seems that the Millennium Falcon has been design by a space cowboy too!

The Millennium Falcon may have a legendary reputation in the Star Wars Universe but here’s the question that everyone wants to know the answer to: how did the Millennium Falcon do the Kessel Run* in 12 parsecs? A parsec is a unit of distance, not time, so was Han Solo simply attempting to catch people out? Or was it a just a bare-faced boast? It’s a good theory to explore if you want to know how fast the Millennium Falcon can actually travel.

Here’s the maths: 

1 parsec = 3.26 lightyears. A lightyear is the distance light travels in 1 year, which works out to be 9.4 trillion km. Therefore 1 parsec = 30.8 trillion km or 19 trillion miles.

So is this scruffy looking nerf herder claiming to have traveled 228 trillion miles in one trip? Even travelling at lightspeed that would mean the Millenium Falcon would take around 39 years to get to Kessel.

Clearly Han Solo either needs to get someone to take a look at his propulsion system or he needs to stop making claims about the Kessel Run…


Another of the most iconic ships in the Star Wars universe, Fircroft’s research reveals that in real world terms an X-Wing would you set back about the same amount as an Aston Martin Vantage, which at first glance doesn’t appear to be bad value. But our research also shows that you’d be wasting your money….

The specs indicate that the X-Wing would be unable to travel fast enough to escape the Earth’s gravity (let alone some of the more exotic planets these craft have been to). A space shuttle must reach speeds of 17,500mph to orbit the Earth and 25,000mph to escape Earth’s gravity. So the X-Wing wouldn’t even be good enough to chase down and bulls eye womp rats on Tatooine!

Commenting on the shocking findings, Andrew Yarwood, Group Head of Marketing at Fircroft, said:

“Here at Fircroft we take pride in ensuring that we secure the best talent for some of the biggest names in the global technical engineering industries. But it’s clear from our research that whoever was commissioned to build the Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighter and X-Wing was clearly not suited to the job! Quite frankly these spacecraft look like they’ve been designed on the back of a beer mat in a Mos Eisley cantina bar. We’d recommend the withdrawal, redesign and rebuild of these craft in time for the next instalment of the Star Wars saga.”

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Fircroft have been recruiting engineering and technical professionals since 1970 - long before Luke Skywalker gazed out at a twin sunset. If you're the sort of engineer who can recognise the danger of a leaving a wide-open thermal exhaust port on a space station the size of a small moon, but are looking for a job closer to home, register with Fircroft today to find out about all the latest engineering and technical opportunities on this planet.


*This particular feat may have been demonstrated in the 2018 spin-off "Solo: A Star Wars Story", but no-one remembers what happened in that film.
Why TIE Fighters are rubbish: the engineering of Star Wars - Time to read 5 min
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