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In the pre-Force Awakens Glactic Empire, TIE fighters did not have hyperdrives and thus depended on carrier ships to jump to lightspeed.

Now in The Force Awakens

after Finn and Poe escape the Finalizer, Finn is yelling at Poe to get them out of the system. To do this at sublight speeds would be futile as the Finalizer or its TIEs could chase them down. So Finn must have wanted Poe to jump away at lightspeed.

Does this mean that First Order TIEs have lightspeed capabilities? Or is Finn just ignorant of the TIE fighters' lack of hyperdrives?

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It wasn't just any TIE fighter. It was a Special Forces TIE Fighter (TIE/sf) which was hyperdrive equipped. They are detailed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections

  • Regular TIE fighters were quite upgraded (they got shields!!), but the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections page for them does NOT include hyperdrive (and the text explicitly says they lack hyperdrive)

    Like their Imperial ancestors, First Order TIEs lack hyperdrives...

  • SF TIE are two-seaters equipped with a hyperdrive

    Special Forces TIEs are two-person fighters, that carry a hyperdrive and deflector shields...

    enter image description here

You can tell it was a TIE/sf both by two-seater configuration and by (Why????) red hull of the fighter.

  • 2
    Good answer as always. Talk about a much needed, and obvious, improvement! This sort of changes the nature of TIE then, doesnt it? They always used swarm tactics to make up for the lack of shields, but now they have numbers and have shields. The X-Wings are in trouble! – Hatandboots Dec 24 '15 at 1:19
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    The shields didn't seem to be protecting them too well. Poe Dameron took out about 4 with 4 shots at one point. – razethestray Dec 24 '15 at 1:22
  • @razethestray I noticed that, that's why i didn't suspect these TIEs were upgraded special versions. – Hatandboots Dec 24 '15 at 1:27
  • @Hatandboots - new canon makes it a pretty big strees on how First Order military hardware is way way better now in general. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 24 '15 at 2:04
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The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels points out that there were actually almost half a dozen varieties of TIE fighter used by the Empire. The majority did not have hyperdrives due to cost, but also distrust of pilots able to navigate space without being reliant on a Star Destroyer mothership. However Vader's TIE fighter and escorts had hyperdrives, and some of the TIE-D and TIE Interceptor variants did have them. So, while not entirely new, this has always been more of an elite ship option item.

  • 1
    I'm a little confused... do you mean that Finn's TIE fighter did not have hyperdrive because of these reasons? – Adele C Jan 3 '16 at 21:40

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