Designing Weird, a review of set 75154: TIE Striker

In science fiction science is, well, fiction: the laws of physics can be put aside and substitute them with whatever fits the story. In Star Wars this means, among other things, spaceships with atmospheric flight dynamics in the vacuum of space. The X-wings fly like Spitfires, even the explosions spew flames and debris in the direction of airflow – which does not exist in space.

Bending the rules allows designing vehicles and spaceships that couldn’t possibly work if they were real. The ball and two flyswatters shaped T.I.E. fighter (Or TIE, short for Twin Ion Engines) is one of the oddities that came out of this. It’s the weirdest design ever. I love it!

[clickToTweet tweet=”In science fiction science is, well, fiction. @avanaut” quote=”In science fiction science is, well, fiction.”]

With the newly released Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie we get to know a new version of the TIE fighter, it’s called the TIE Striker. There has been variations of the TIE fighter earlier, so there isn’t really anything extraordinary about this. Yet there is!

This version of the TIE was still a bit of a mystery at the time I opened the Lego box. Seeing it for the first time in Lego I was not affected by the baggage of prior knowledge. There was no feeling of this and that being different compared to the real thing. It was free of all that and I found it very interesting.

The Lego version of the little fighter looks great. The benefit of being new works well, but it’s not the only thing this set has going for itself. The fighter no longer has an orb shaped fuselage but rather a cocktail frankfurter. The horizontally laid out wings are hinged in the middle and go up and down. It’s a landing procedure thing, I guess. There’s something charmingly butterflyesque about the design. You only have to add antennaes on top of the cockpit and you get yourself a Lego cyberpunk insect of a sorts.

Round tubular shapes are a challenge to create in Lego. If the diameter is not exactly right for pre-existing curved bricks, you may have to make a lot of compromises. This thing uses an ample number of slopes to get the fuselage shape right and, without prior reference, it looks amazing! There is a fair amount of greeblies on the fuselage to make it look busy. I like the (new?) light blue colour on some of the bricks, it works well with the grey and black majority of bricks. The colour scheme is calm and elegant. Using a grey droid body for controls and dashboard in the cockpit is a very cool detail.

I like this model, the concept is great and it looks well in Lego. The design is well balanced, nothing sticks out too much and the wings are big enough to not look budget cut.

Too bad it was criminally underused in the movie.

Darth Vader secretly used a personal TIE Striker every now and then. The wing layout provided a perfect shield not only from the falling snow, like in this case on the planet Hoth, but from radars and things like that. Taking a moment to meditate on a desolate empty ice fields under a protective shield was a way to release stress – which Darth had plenty.
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4 years ago

I must admit: I haven´t seen Rogue One so far (shame on me)- so your post made me visit the Lego site instantly and have a closer look at the TIE Striker. Now I do understand all the words you used to describe the latest TIE vehicle. I can only agree that at first look it reminds one of some insect- and that it´s definitely a cool looking spaceship! When out for dinner later tonight I will toast to the one soul that originally invented “Science Fiction” where in fact everything is possible, even a ship like this. I´ll probably… Read more »

4 years ago

I only remember we don’t get to see the TIE Striker a lot, but can’t remember when it is featured… I really need to go to the cinema to see the movie a second time!

4 years ago

Wait, Darth Vader used a Tie Striker? Cool!