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Star Wars TIE Fighter Owners’ Workshop Manual by Ryder Windham, Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas (book review).

May 7, 2019 | By | Reply More

If you’ve been keeping track of the ‘Star Wars’ books released by Haynes, then you’ll be glad that they are now back with those nice people from the Empire with this book, ‘Star Wars TIE Fighter Owners’ Workshop Manual by written by Ryder Windham and illustrated by Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas. Oddly, the book has fewer photos from the films but when you consider they focus on those dastardly Rebels, that’s hardly surprising.

In case you didn’t know, ‘TIE’ stands for Twin Ionic Engines’. The TIE fighters were hardly designed for comfort and it wasn’t until a later model that it was considered allowable for them to even land on a planet. The Empire also limited them to a 2 day spaceflight and not even hyperspace and thus ensured that they didn’t have any deserters. As if they would?! What greater honour than regularly giving your life and eradicating planets for your leader? More elaborate models that carried VIPs and so forth were equipped to go for 5 days and allowed their pilots not to wear spacesuits.

(c) Disney 2019

Reading this book, it’s hardly surprising that this shape was chosen. The central pod is attached to two solar arrays and attacks were done by line of sight. Although it’s not said in the text, one would quickly surmise that these vessels were seen as expendable as their pilots. Variants were made, especially a more sophisticated one for the Emperor’s lieutenant, Darth Vader.

The new First Order, 28 years later, have changed tact and decided that their pilots are no longer expendable, having taken so long to train, and have taken steps with the new TIE fighters to be ejected if they are damaged. The First Order have learnt from all the mistakes made by the original Empire and also more conscious of how much it costs to train their pilots and not to lose them so easily. I suspect, behind the scenes, there’s a greater problem with recruitment.

Interestingly, they still prefer to fight by line of sight rather than rely on instrumentation. The TIE fighters being in black are supposed to be harder to spot against a space background. Clearly, the galaxy far, far away hasn’t got as many colours in space as our telescopes can see. There is an explanation in ‘Combat Tactics’ that their sensory equipment can be compromised and jammed. You would think both sides would have equipment to counter each other’s counter-measures over the decades.

This is a useful book about one of the Empire and First Order’s greatest fighting spaceships but please keep it away from the Rebels as they will surely learn from it to defeat you.

GF Willmetts

May 2019

(pub: Haynes. 124 page illustrated large hardback. Price: £18.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78521-223-9)

check out website: www.haynes.co.uk

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Category: Books, Star Wars

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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