This question

What is the in-universe cost of a TIE fighter?

Establishes that there's a second-hand market for military ships.

Where are these ships available for sale? Who sells them, what's the main route-to-market (i.e from "in-service" to "out-service")?

Are there any cases in SW literature where a character owns a second-hand fighter (of either denomination)?

I know there are a few questions here, but I assume a good answer will cover the route to market with an example.

  • 6
    Why, have you grown tired of your Podracer? :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 15:20
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    The Starships of the Galaxy sourcebook indicates that they're only available to Imperial-aligned planetary defence forces and corporations. So step one would be to set up a very large company that supplies to the Empire and then ask to buy some TIEs for defending your supply lines.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 15:29
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    Even if it's an obsolete model, I'd be surprised if the empire allowed the selling of old TIE fighters. However unlikely, it might help someone find a flaw that wasn't fixed in newer models.
    – user107907
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 15:31
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    @Kozaky I guess that's why there's no second-hand Death Stars on the market...
    – user71418
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 15:33
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    @Snow "Used, requires repairs..." It might be easier hiring someone to steal a TIE rather than buy one from somewhere. I can't recall anyone buying one, but there's at least one occasion in Rebels when a TIE was stolen.
    – user107907
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 15:42

6 Answers 6


In The Bacta War, book 4 of the X-Wing series, Rogue Squadron resigns from the Alliance in order to fight against Ysanne Isard who has taken control of Thyferra. They get their hands on their old ships after Incom offer the Alliance a brand new squadron's worth of X-wings

"Someone in the military probably General Cracken, but maybe even Admiral Ackbar decided accepting Incom's gift was appropriate, so all the equipment in Rogue Squadron was inspected, listed as missing parts, and surplussed out. Winter found out about it before anyone else, and we scooped up the lot, including Emtrey and our astromech droids."
Wedge blinked. "Surplussed out? Our stuff was sold as surplus?"
"Broken surplus. It was missing parts."
"Such as?"
"PL-Is" Wedge frowned. "PL-Is? I've never heard of them." Tycho shook his head. "That's the designation for pilot." Wedge immediately began laughing. Someone back on Coruscant favors what we're doing or perhaps just wants to give us the tools to destroy ourselves.

So apparently you can just buy x-wings for cash from military surplus sales.

  • 7
    Of course, an average person probably can't count on this sort of wink-wink-nudge-nudge arrangement to obtain one.
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 20:57
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    @ceejayoz An average person wouldn't be in the market for a military fighter anyway. Leaving aside any regulations regarding usage of such a vehicle by civilians, I would assume that, as with real-world military aircraft, the maintenance costs would be much higher than for more typical commercial vehicles. They'd be the toys of (relatively) rich people or the tools of paramilitary forces, not something your everyday Kenobi is going to buy as their daily flyer.
    – JAB
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 21:15
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    Not to mention how, at the end of the book, Booster Terrik walks away with a (partially disarmed) surplus Imperial Star Destroyer. Although that was a rather convoluted case; his justification was based largely on salvage law. It was legal for private ownership though.
    – Cadence
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 22:23
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    @fraglord More likely it's a case of weapons being more readily available in-universe. Based on legends source material, it was pretty typical for private civilian craft to have at least light weapons for self defense. X-Wings and TIEs are a bit special thought because they're really high-end craft (think F-35's in the real world), so civilian availability of them was not great, but stuff like Z-95's and Cloakshape fighters were common enough and inexpensive enough to be seen regularly in civilian and paramilitary hands. Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 15:00
  • 1
    @Gaius I'd update that as a new question.
    – Jontia
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 16:02

In the Legends continuity it seems to be extremely difficult or expensive for private parties to buy a TIE fighter or X-Wing. In the books, most notably the X-Wing series, most groups not directly affiliated with the Rebellion/Republic or Imperial military relied on ships noted to be cheaper, such as the Z-95 Headhunter. However, salvaging individual parts of these ships was quite common, as "Uglies" cobbled together from parts of TIE fighters, X-Wings, Y-Wings and the like were used extensively by pirates and mercenary groups.


In the X-Wing novel Mercy Kill, we're shown a used-vehicles lot that specializes in military surplus:

This particular lot was thick with decommissioned military vehicles. Some were early-production-run vehicles that had failed to impress the soldiers testing them....

And then there were starfighters from the orbital base. Some were old and so worn that their lift wings drooped. Others, though, belonged to designs that were simply being phased out over time, such as the four classic Incom T-65 X-Wings....

It's mentioned that these vehicles, being destined for civilian ownership, are partially demilitarized; for instance, the X-Wings' proton torpedo launchers had been removed.

There's no mention of the sort of "broken" surplus discussed in @Jontia's answer, but that might simply be a lack of opportunity (it's peacetime, and the local base is small enough that it wouldn't have a constant stream of wrecked materiel from accidents).


One episode of Rebels (Disney canon) features Mining Guild Tie Fighters. Because they are not being operated directly by the Empire, they have reduced combat abilities, and are clearly marked with their affiliation. From what I can tell, it is unspecified how the Mining Guild acquires the Tie Fighters, except that the process is sanctioned by the Empire.


In The Last Jedi, Finn, Rose, and DJ steal an arms dealer's ship. While talking after making their escape from the casino, they go through the ship's computer and see that the dealer sells ships and weapons to both the First Order and the Resistance. Presumably, civilians could also buy from such private dealers if they ponied up enough credits.

See this video:


In a little blue planet known as Earth, bipeds (referred to as 'man') have produced fighter aircraft (not spacecraft). As time progressed, so did the technology, which created pool of older fighter aircraft that were sold to civilians.

The example shows that approximately 2 'man' lifetimes of productivity (5 million of their so-called 'dollars') could purchase a retired Sukhoi SU-27. The practice is that original military owners would sell or task the de-militarize equipment to private contractors, who would in turn sell the de-militarized hardware. It is reasonable to expect that in other galaxies (fictional or real) that a similar eco-system handles the lifecycle of similar military hardware.

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