So here I am, a rank-and-file TIE fighter pilot, in a dogfight for my life! Unfortunately, because I'm not a main character, my fighter is very quickly hit. By sheer luck, however, the shot only clips me, leaving me spinning through space!

  • With only seconds before my ship explodes, do I have any way to bail out and survive?
  • Does this differ between different models of fighter on both the Rebel and Imperial sides?
  • Would it make a difference if I'm fighting in an atmosphere or space?
  • Or am I just dead?

    Thanks for the help! I'd really like to survive this...

  • Does The Force Awakens count?
    – Adamant
    Jun 4, 2016 at 1:48
  • @Jonah it would be acceptable as supporting evidence, but I'd like to have more original trilogy if possible.
    – Timpanus
    Jun 4, 2016 at 1:53
  • Fortunately I have quotes from Aftermath. There's also Porkins.
    – Adamant
    Jun 4, 2016 at 1:56
  • 2
    Not a duplicate, since this also asks about Imperial fighters.
    – Adamant
    Jun 4, 2016 at 2:18
  • You seem to be presuming that the Star Wars universe had a restriction on firing upon a pilot who had abandoned her war machine. Rash assumption for a galaxy that was not a fan of hand railings.. Jun 4, 2016 at 3:57

2 Answers 2


The original TIEs had ejection seats

Some believed that they did not:

Of course, the trade-off is this: The TIE is a suicide ship, isn’t it? To get the speed and maneuverability, the Empire sacrificed safety and sanity in the rest of the design. The whole thing is brittle like a bird skeleton. Doesn’t even have an ejector seat. It’s not just a fighter.

Star Wars: Aftermath

But apparently they actually did:

“You…crashed,” Jas says. Norra shrugs. “Turns out, TIE fighters have an ejector seat after all.”

Star Wars: Aftermath

Her palm mashed buttons. One of those buttons was the ejector.

Star Wars: Aftermath

As did First Order TIEs

In The Force Awakens, Finn ejects himself from a TIE fighter:

He looked around and began calling the name he remembered.

“Finn! Finn!”

Then he recalled that the renegade stormtrooper who had helped him escape had ejected from their stolen TIE fighter as it had plunged out of control toward the surface of…Jakku. That was it. He was on Jakku. As for the absent Finn, there was no response to the pilot’s anxious shouts. Depending on the angle and speed of ejection, his new friend could have come down anywhere, Poe knew.

The Force Awakens (novelization)

Some Rebel fighters apparently had ejectors as well

Porkins: I got a problem here.

Biggs: Eject!

Porkins: I can hold it.

Biggs: Pull up!

Porkins: No, I'm all right... ahhh!

Star Wars

Not all of them necessarily did, though.

According to this answer, the Y-Wing did, as seen in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. It also claims that the X-Wing doesn't have space for an ejection mechanism, but Biggs's quote suggests otherwise.

  • 1
    As an aside, the late Clone War clone pilot uniform (which may be a predecessor of the Rebel pilot uniform), according to a RotS visual dictionary, is a pressurised suit that allows clone pilots a chance to survive their fighter's destruction and stay alive in the vacuum of space for a limited time to be recovered and rescued. It's possible clone fighters lack ejection systems in general as a result. Jun 4, 2016 at 13:01

Well your survival depends on what Startfighter your Evil Overlord has een fit to give you...Lets start with the TIE-fighters!

TIE Fighters

  • TIE/LN Starfighter

It would appear that this model has ejector seats (lucky you! You evil master must care for your life!) Wookieepedia States that -

TIEs were also outfitted with an ejection seat and twin low-temperature laser cannons mounted to the 'chin' section of the cockpit module. The fighter could also feature a single proton torpedo launcher.

However to save on power output they have left out important things like Deflector Shields and Hyper-drives -

A TIE fighter's twin ion engines provided thrust and boosters capable of quickly adjusting the ship's direction, however in order to minimize power drain, the TIE lacked key systems such as deflector shields and hyperdrives.

It also lacks a very important system - Life support -

The lack of combat shields, hyperdrive, and life-support systems, in concert with the advanced engine design, reduced the mass of the fighter and conferred exceptional maneuverability.

So I would avoid all heavy fire and battles...

source for TIE/LN

  • TIE Advanced X1 and TIE Advanced V1

Sorry, your evil overlord does not care for your life at all... The X1 didn't even have life support -

(Referring to the X1) In addition to its shields, it had a modest Class 4.0 hyperdrive but no life support systems.

But on the up side you would be flying a ship that Vader himself has flown on many missions... if that is a up side, Vader never seemed that sane!

Several years before the Battle of Yavin, the Sith Lord Darth Vader piloted a TIE Advanced without any backup into the midst of a rebel fleet in a daring attack that resulted in the destruction of the rebels' flagship, Phoenix Home. Later, during the Battle of Yavin, Vader again piloted a TIE Advanced x1 to pursue and eliminate the Rebel fighters attacking the first Death Star. In this, he was almost entirely successful, until his fighter was unexpectedly knocked out of the battle when a TIE/LN starfighter collided with it after a surprise attack by the Millennium Falcon. After the collision, Vader spun out of control into space, and thereby escaped the destruction of the Death Star.

Although you had a better chance surviving a hit in the V1 -

(Referring to the V1) Unusually for a TIE model, it had solar panels only on the inside surface of the wings, instead armor-plating the outside surfaces in order to make it more resistant to enemy fire from the sides.

source TIE Advanced X1

source TIE Advanced V1

  • TIE/sa Bomber

Yay! You are one lucky pilot indeed! Not only Do you get ejector seats but you also get lots of things to shoot with -

The TIE/sa bomber had two hulls next to each other; one carried the pilot and the other carried a pair of general purpose warhead launchers, enabling them to carry a variety of weapons tailored for the mission.

The TIE bomber was capable of carrying at least one of the following payloads, for a total of 15 metric tons: sixteen concussion missiles, twelve proton torpedoes, eight proton rockets, six space mines, four proton bombs, sixty-four thermal detonators, or thousands of propaganda pamphlets. Guided concussion missiles/proton torpedoes were generally carried nearing the inside of the second hull, orbital mines were placed in a rack above the missile rack, while proton bombs and orbital mines were generally near the exterior of the hull, near the bomb-drop chute. In addition, the second hull also possessed an ordnance maneuvering arm that retrieves and loads armaments. Its fixed armament was two wing-mounted laser cannons.

However! There is a downside to all this, you are now sitting in a sitting duck. With the heavy armor it was slower than some of the other TIE's and it also lacked the very important shields that would keep you alive -

Nonetheless, the bomber was slower and less maneuverable than the TIE/LN starfighter. Like most mass-produced TIEs, it lacked shields, though it did partly compensate by having a stronger hull. This was largely the reason why one of its nicknames by Rebel pilots was "sitting duck," as they were considered easy prey. Standard Imperial doctrine required that bombers be escorted to target by other starfighters.

It in fact advised that the TIE Bomber be used at a distance and not in any close range work due to it's lack of shields and maneuverability -

While not expected to engage enemy fighters in dogfights due to their slower speed and agility, TIE Bombers could target them from a standoff distance with their large magazines of concussion missiles. During the conflict at Mylok IV, a squadron of Demetrius Zaarin's bombers held off large numbers of Nharwaak and Rebel Y-wings, allowing the Imperials to aid the Habeen in evacuating their base.

source for TIE Bomber

  • TIE/D Defender

If I was on the flight deck with you this it the fighter that I would want to get into, not only does it it have deflector shields but it also has a hyper-drive, high maneuverability, ejector seats and the ability to take on more then one foe at a time!

The TIE/D Defender, commonly known as the TIE Defender or T/D, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems shortly before the Battle of Endor. Representing a shift in starfighter design from previous TIE models, the ship featured a hyperdrive as well as deflector shields to allow it to operate independently of Imperial capital ships. The ship's speed and agility, combined with its firepower, made it arguably the most advanced starfighter available at the time.

The TIE Defender was one of the fastest starfighters in use during the Galactic Civil War. Although it was based on the standard twin ion engine design, it was upgraded to the entirely new, powerful P-sz9.7 twin ion engine, which allowed it a maximum acceleration of 4,220 G or 21 MGLT/s and a top speed of 144 MGLT or 1,680 km/h in an atmosphere—almost 40 percent faster than a standard TIE Fighter.

The TIE Defender's weapons systems were designed to allow it to engage multiple enemy fighters as well as the armed freighters frequently used by the Alliance. It carried a formidable array of weaponry; in standard configuration it had four L-s9.3 laser cannons mounted on the two lower wings and two NK-3 ion cannons mounted on the upper wing. The laser and ion cannons could be set to fire separately or, if concentrated power was required, to fire-linked in either pairs or quartets. The ion cannons could even be fired simultaneously with the laser cannons. Two targeting sensors were located between each pair of cannons to provide the pilot with a constant stream of targeting information. The ship also featured two M-g-2 general-purpose warhead launchers on the bottom of the pilot module, each of which could be equipped with a standard load of four proton torpedoes or concussion missiles. Depending on the mission profile, the ship could be fitted with alternative warheads such as proton rockets, proton bombs, or magnetic pulse warheads. The inclusion of warhead launchers in the design was considered audacious by some members of the design team.

It was also the best ship of it's time although rare because of it's cost -

The TIE Defender was in many ways far superior to any other starfighter of the time, capable of outperforming the majority of Rebel starfighters with its combination of firepower, speed, and maneuverability. However, the sophisticated features of the TIE Defender had two major implications. The inclusion of the hyperdrive, shields, and reinforced armor made the ship heavier than any of its predecessors—a fact which made its speed and maneuverability all the more impressive. More importantly, the ship was very expensive, with each unit costing 300,000 credits—more than five times the cost of a standard TIE fighter—or 80,000 credits used. High maintenance and training costs added further to the expense of the fighters.

However with every up there is also a down -

One disadvantage of the design was an aft blind spot which could potentially be exploited by enemy fighters maneuverable enough to get behind the Defender[20] and which was the cause of some frustration among pilots

So don't let the get behind you!!!

Like previous TIE models, the TIE Defender lacked life support systems and pilots were required to wear the standard sealed TIE pilot flight suit.

So don't get hit!

source for TIE/D Defender

  • TIE Interceptor

While it does not have shields, life support or a hyper-drive it makes up for this by being super fast and hard to hit and it has ejector seats!

Lacking both shields and a hyperdrive, it made up for its lack of defensive capabilities with a top speed of 1,250 kph[4] owing to upgraded engines providing considerably improved maneuverability and speed. In addition, four laser canons on its wingtips allowed for far more firepower to overload the shields on an enemy craft. With the Empire placing its elite pilots into Interceptor cockpits to maximize the craft's effectiveness, Interceptors were ideally suited for their main function: chasing down and eliminating rebel starfighters.

and you really are harder to hit in the Interceptor -

This new solar array design gave the Interceptor its unmistakable dagger-like appearance, while providing the pilot with increased visibility and shrinking its profile to make targeting more frustrating for enemy gunners.

It also could be upgraded to include all sorts of goodies -

Further upgrades, including hyperdrives, proton torpedo launchers, and advanced shielding made them equal to the Rebellion's X-wing starfighters.

source for TIE Interceptor

  • TIE Striker

No info as yet at it is only set to appear in Rogue One the upcoming Star Wars movie.

Now that we have turned to the light side of the Force let us see what awaits you!

X-Wings StarFighters

The options are a lot less if you are looking at the X-Wing line, you only have the T-65B, T-70 and the T-85 models.

  • T-65B X-wing starfighter

These are good and you chances of survival are good! With Shields, long range hyper-drive and Ejector seats you are well set up.

Those highly maneuverable fighters measured 12.5 meters in length, with a mass of 10 metric tons. They were equipped with a long-range hyperdrive system and shields which could be adjusted around the craft.

It was a good all- rounder

The T-65B was considered an excellent all-round starfighter requiring very little adjustment for most mission profiles. The craft supported many advanced technologies including modest shields, heavy weaponry, and a hyperdrive unit. In spite of this, the X-wing was still very easy to fly.

and you get your very own druid!

Each T-65B was equipped with an astromech droid. The droid was used in place of a navicomputer for calculating hyperspace jumps. In addition to its primary function, the droid could also be used for inflight repairs, enhancing the durability of an already rugged design.

source for T-65B X-Wing

  • T-70 X-Wing

Things are looking up for you! While it does not seem to be fitted with ejector seats it does have life support and more advanced everything -

More expensive and complex than the former T-65B, the T-70 featured advanced weaponry and proved more versatile than its predecessor, and was essential in both dogfights and capital-ship scale combat operations. Appropriated S-foils designs allowed a greater range of fire, while four KX12 laser cannons offered single, dual, and quad firing modes. A built in dual proton torpedo launcher with quick-change magazines permitted the utilization of alternative armaments.

source for T-70 X-wing

  • T-85 X-Wing

Unfortunately there is not a long of information about this model either, it's only appearance has been in Before the Awakening with focus's on Finn's, Rey's and Poe's lives before the Forces Awakens.

source on the T-85 X-Wing

I hope that all of that helps you!

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