In The Force Awakens, we see Poe Dameron and Finn use a TIE fighter to escape the First Order. Later, when Rey and Finn try to escape Jakku, we see that the stormtroopers chasing them in TIE fighters wear this back stormtrooper spacesuit. But if the TIE fighters have life support systems, why is it that the pilots of TIEs always wear them?

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    Original Trilogy TIE fighters don't have life support systems. The life support systems were strapped to their chest and that's why the pilots wear full face. I don't know about the new FO TIE fighters though and I don't care to learn lol Jun 25, 2020 at 16:50
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    LOL. Tbh Im pretty sure this is a plot hole, but I could only stomach the ST once so I could be wrong.
    – xpert
    Jun 25, 2020 at 16:53
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    there are so many plotholes in those 3 movies that it'd be near impossible to catalog them all. It's probably a plot hole or a retconned 'TIE special forces versions have life support' in the same way that they made a random 2 seater version just to have them escape. Jun 25, 2020 at 17:01
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    @xpert Pure speculation, but having Storm troopers and TIE pilots in full helmets simply makes them Faceless/Anonymous/Unrelatable bad guys. And on a real world note, astronauts today launch wearing full suits even though the capsules have life-support.
    – Peter M
    Jun 25, 2020 at 17:01
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    Does this answer your question? Why did the TIE fighter in The Force Awakens have life support? Jun 25, 2020 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


I'd imagine they wear them for the same reason as everyone travelling on a Soyuz wears a Sokol space suit. The real-world suits are designed for an environment where there is a pressure hull and life support, but since that can go wrong it also has its built-in pressurisation and life support as a precaution. If you lose people to depressurisation, you adopt extra measures to prevent it, and unlike larger Star Wars vessels with bulkhead doors, a TIE has no other way to deal with a hull breach. Being able to survive a non-catastrophic breach is a tactical gain, as well as not having to recruit and train another pilot. It's more surprising that the pilots of other small craft don't wear them.

In lots of movies set on earth, you see people in cars which have airbags and seatbelts. There doesn't need to be an explanation in the screenplay for such mundane precautions, I wouldn't expect one in the Star Wars canon, however Wraith Leader found "Though TIE vessels have minimal, perfunctory oxygen scrubbers and pressurized atmospheric seals, TIE pilots routinely wear full flight gear as a precaution." confirming that it's a precaution.

  • Good answer, but if this is the case with smaller craft why don't X-Wings pilots wear a spacesuit?
    – xpert
    Jun 26, 2020 at 0:01
  • @xpert yes, it is surprising that the pilots of other small craft don't wear them. Perhaps you could ask that as another question. Jun 26, 2020 at 9:54

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