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I've searched on Google and this site, but haven't found an answer.

When Rey and Finn were running towards the first ship, the TIE fighters blew it up before they got to it. Rey exclaims the "The garbage will do!" and they both make a bee line for the Falcon. The TIE's don't shoot it.

They spend another minute or so getting used to the guns and pilot seat, and again the TIE's don't shoot. It's stationary at that point and one of the larger ships in the area so it was an easy target.

Only when they finally (clumsily) start taking off do the TIE's shoot, and somehow completely miss, despite their pin-point accuracy on the first ship they blew up.

Why (1) did they not shoot while Rey and Finn were running towards it and warming it up and (2) did they miss while it was getting off the ground?

  • 1
    They must attend the same academy as those stormtroopers.... – Adamant May 9 '16 at 2:21
  • @Jonah In defense of the new stormtroopers, one thing I noticed in several re-watchings is that their aim has become a lot better. The night-time ground assault was pretty precise. Even shooting to disable Poe's X-Wing. – Marakai May 9 '16 at 3:51
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    They took one look at the Falcon and thought "what a piece of junk!" and figured no one would be brave enough to fly that thing! – RedCaio May 9 '16 at 8:02
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It looks like the TIE-fighters weren't targeting Finn and Rey specifically, they were simply targeting people they saw running toward a ship. Having destroyed their means of transport (and what they thought was the only spaceworthy ship in the spaceport) they then turned to attack the town.

It was only when the tarpaulin came off of the Falcon that they seem to have realised that there was a second ship in the parking lot.

She pulled back on the yoke. The freighter rose into the sky, roaring with new life.
In the town below, she saw Unkar Plutt crouch out of his ruined booth and shake his fist at the ship.
But he was the least of her concerns. The two TIEs banked away from Niima Outpost and pursued them. - The Force Awakens: Junior Novelisation

and

Below, the puffy-faced figure of Unkar Plutt emerged from a collapsed structure to scream at the sky. “Hey! That’s miiiiine!”
Finding the oddly named craft surprisingly responsive to manual control, an increasingly optimistic Rey spun it around and accelerated, blasting away from the port. The pair of TIE fighters that had been shooting up the town immediately gave chase. - Force Awakens: Official Novelisation

  • Good answer, thank you. I had assumed they were specifically targeting Rey and Finn because BB8 was with them. But if they were just indiscriminately shooting up the outpost, that makes sense. – Kimberly W May 9 '16 at 21:32

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