The TIE Defender was never shown in the movies, though some sources claim that the ship took a hand in the Battle of Endor in The Return of the Jedi. I doubt it. The TIE Defender is, according to various EU sources, the most powerful of the TIE Fighters. It has shields, a hyperdrive, two ION cannons, four laser cannons, and a payload of warheads. It's more powerful than the B-Wing, more shielded than the X-Wing, and as fast as the TIE Intercepter or the A-Wing. It can beat any Rebel ship. It is the ULTIMATE starfighter. If they had ACTUALLY been at the Battle of Endor... then the Rebels wouldn't have won. This ship is featured in several books and in video games like X-Wing Alliance.
Okay, get ready for a story. A guy in my forums named Xerxes Fett (his website is http://roxent.com/xfett) had been criticizing my customs for some time. One of my worst customs that he criticized was my TIE Defender. So I decided to re-make it. And I did, creating a TIE Defender that was much like Xerxes's own custom TIE Defender. I even used his own instructions on his website to make the middle part that the wings are attached to. Again, Xerxes was not satisfied. So, in determintion, I ripped apart my re-make, saving only the cockpit... And now I have re-made it again! And this time, it is all original! And I didn't do it only for Xerxes Fett, I also did it to prove to some others who have e-mailed me about my Star Wars customs that I am a much better builder than I was when I made those old Star Wars thinsg. Don't believe me on how bad my original TIE Defender was? Go look in my Brickshelf gallery; I'm too embarrassed to show it to you myself.
This is an interesting shot because you can see the way I made the wings, by putting the black parts on top of the grey so that there is a thin grey rim around the edge of the wings, just like there is supposed to be on all TIE starfighters. I came up with the idea when I was building my second edition of my TIE Defender, but I thought it would take too long (and use too many parts) to make every wing using that method. However, after seeing it used to great effect by another LEGO builder (dang; every time you think you're the first one to think of something...), I decided to go ahead and do it. It looks very nice, I think.
This is not a good position from which to view the TIE Defender, especially if you're flying some wimpy Rebel A-Wing. You're about to die, little fighter. You'll note the black gun-looking things under the middle part of each wing. They're the "targeting sensors" also mentioned in the EGVV schematics.
Here is the Defender with the cockpit hatch opened up. As you can see, both the hatch and the cockpit pod are rounder than the standard LEGO designs, and they also don't have a dappled color pattern. The light grey vents on either side of the cockpit represent the "shield generators" hinted at in the EGVV schematics, which can be seen above.
A rear view of the TIE Defender. The actual engines of the ship are the three small red dots. TIE stands for Twin Ion Engines, and standard TIE Fighters only have two of them... so I guess on this ship it actually stands for Triple Ion Engines.
The first thing you might notice is that the laser cannons on the cockpit pod have been replaced with red cones. This is because, according to the schematics in the Star Wars Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (EGVV), what are laser cannons on a standard TIE Fighter are actually missile launchers on the Defender.
The wing angles aren't quite perfect. The bottom two are a little closer together than they are to the top wing. So they aren't perfectly even. But they're darn close, and I think it is impossible to get it perfect on this large a scale without building a very delicate model.
Here are two images of the cockpit pod's interior. I just looove those little trans-red holographic display panel things. I use them whenever I can! The controls wrap around the pilot for a cramped yet comfortable feel. Xerxes Fett said I should have put a control stick inside my old model. Well, I didn't want the ship to look his, so I put this fat grey thing there instead. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a control panel or a very large joystick-type thing, but whatever.
You're probably wondering why my pilot has dark red highlights on his suit. That's because he's the commander of the Crimson Death Squadron, of course! Okay, so I made that up. I actually just didn't have any solid black TIE pilot minifigs left built.
A side view of the ship. You'll notice that the laser cannons are smaller and positioned more correctly now. The wings are bigger and cover more of the ship as well. Yes, I left the cone booster on the back that Xerxes doesn't like. I think it really improves the overall look of the ship, and I know I've seen it on a TIE Defender image somewhere out there. I put a red glow on the back of it even though it isn't supposed to be an engine. I considered putting the Imperial emblem back there, since Xerxes HATES it when I do that! Hmm... now that I look at it again, maybe the ship's "neck" should be shorter. But there's no way I'm going back and changing it again! I've put ENOUGH work into this thing!
To prove that I actually did make my own support system this time instead of just using Xerxes's again, here is a shot of it. My old central design could barely support my old wings. Well, they couldn't support my new ones at ALL! So I had to start all over. I had to tear apart and re-make it about three more times to get it right. This time all of the wings have two Technic plus-shaped rods supporting them. this makes the ship much sturdier. I tried using only one Technic rod per wing, but then they wobbled all around. The wing supports should actually be a bit thinner than they are I guess, but this is the best I could do without making the ship really flimsy and fragile. It took a bit of work to get the Technic stuff all completely covered up too. I hope you like it.
Here are the schematics (from the EGVV), along with a rendered image of the ship (since it wasn't in any of the movies). The ship has been drawn and depicted and rendered in a variety of ways, some of which are slightly different-looking than others. So some LEGO TIE Defenders might look different than others as well, depending on what image the designer was basing his model off of. There really is no "official" look for the ship, since it was never in any of the movies.
When I started building this model, I was determined to make it as detailed as possible. See the laser cannons? Well, I thought they were really cool and detailed, but Xerxes said they were too big. And, after going back and looking at another picture of the ship, I guess I agree with him.
This image shows a technician guy working on the engine-stuff that can be accessed by removing a panel from the bottom of the ship. The reason I included this feature is because, on the set reviews on his website, Xerxes likes to fuss about the hidden storage compartments that LEGO puts on many of their official sets, because there should be engines there, not just empty space. So I put one on my model.
On the whole, this edition was WAY, WAY too fragile, since Xerxes's design (though his is actually a very smart design; don't get me wrong) could barely support my thicker and heavier wings. And, according to Xerxes, the wings STILL weren't big enough. So it was back to the old drawing board to create my newer design, seen above.
On the image of the rear end of the Defender, you can just barely see the red poking through a crack in the side. This is because I only had a limited number of the Technic pieces needed to replicate Xerxes Fett's method of making the central part of the TIE Defender.
This version was completely symmetrical (the wings were the exact same distance apart from each other) but it fell apart at a mere touch. My new version can be twirled around in circles and still not fall apart.
The Imperial TIE Interceptor is my favorite of the Empire's TIE (Twin Ion Engines) craft, though it is rarely seen in the movies. I'm pretty sure, in fact, that it is only shown in The Return of the Jedi, during the Battle of Endor. If you look at the swarms of TIE Fighters attacking the Rebels in seemingly random formations and yet miraculously avoiding hitting one another, you can definitely make out a few TIE Interceptors. Since the movie, the vehicle has also been featured in countless video games, books, toys, and other Star Wars merchandise.
After building my new and improved TIE Defender, I decided that I needed the TIE wings I had built to complete my model of the "Stingray" (Saber-Scorpion's Skipray Blastboat from my STar Wars Fan Fiction). I decided to use what was left of the Defender to make a new and improved TIE Interceptor as well! After all, I thought, it wouldn't be that hard. So here is the result, which I put more work into than I planned, but which turned out far better than I had ever expected...
I never did like the TIE Defender as much as the TIE Interceptor. The Interceptor is just so much more small and sleek and cool. It's my favorite TIE as far as looks are concerned. Too bad they don't get more screen time. Didn't the shape of this LEGO turn out great? I think so anyway...
Here is the pilot and his beautiful ship. Notice the red (actually dark red) markings on the pilot and the wings of his Interceptor. Those markings could possibly symbolize the Crimson Death Squadron as they did in my TIE Defender custom, but I think a lot of people would be happier if I said it was the 181st TIE Interceptor Squadron from Star Wars EU. So I'll say it: it's part of the 181st TIE Squadron.
The Interceptor didn't take nearly as much work to build as the Defender did... but I actually like it better, even after slaving away so hard on that blasted Defender. It took a lot of willpower to make myself tear that Defender up, but now I guess I'm glad I did. I kept the complex internal stabilization mechanism (in other words, little Technic thingy the wings were attached to) intact for future reference, however.
The reason the red markings are shaped like arrows is because that's the way they're shaped in my favorite Star Wars space fighter sim, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (not sure if colored markings were used in X-Wing Alliance though...). If you have never played X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter or X-Wing Alliance, then guess what? YOU'VE NEVER PLAYED A REAL STAR WARS GAME! They are what Star Wars games (at least the flying ones) should be. Rogue Squadron, eat your heart out.
Here's a rear shot. No Imperial logo on the back this time... instead I just put a black round thing, which I thought was probably the closest match to whatever that booster-looking thing back there is (by the way, I know it isn't the booster... because the two red dots are those... the Twin Ion Engines that the name TIE comes from).
About the review by Nicholas Humphreys: Yes, the official set came out a while after I made this. Despite what this guy says, I personally don't like the official TIE Interceptor set. It's not that bad, but it has all the flaws of previous official TIE sets (screwed up cockpit, garbled color scheme, etc.)
In reply to Steven: If there was a TIE Defender actually seen in Return of the Jedi, then I would have heard about it, and it would be in the Star Wars Databank. As it is, the Defender doesn't even have a "movies" tab in the Databank, so I seriously think you're wrong. It was probalby just an optical illusion; you really saw two or three TIE Interceptors close together. Of course, I'd prefer if you'd actually review the LEGO creation and let me know why you took off two stars...
This is such a good model that it truly warrants a parts inventory and build instructions like an official Lego model. I know it would be a lot of work, but this one would be very worth it. I have at least two TIE cockpit windscreens to play with on such a project, but for there to be only one of this model (yours) makes me very jealous!
I like it
January 31, 2009
Wow this is amazing. It deserves moc of the day, AND IT DID. I like the engines and basically the overall ship.
the defender is my favorite of all TIE. i saw it in a book at my friends house, it said "tie pilots are suicidal, interceptor pilots are insanely skilled, defender pilots are suicidal AND insanely skilled.
sweet also i noticed the little control room...One of the control panels are locked on to the bridge on a empirial cruser (or whatever there called)and thats an imperial ship soo.. ya i realy like this model.
Wow! I was going to build one of these soon but now I don't see the point. Great work! I like that I am not the only one building obscure Star Wars ships. I have seen so many republic gunships on this site that I think my eyes may bleed...
Love your version of the Tie Defender, don't care who Xerxes is or what he says, it's awesome. As for the custom Interceptor, AWESOME! By the way they didn't use the red markings in X-Wing Alliance, which is my close 2nd favorite Star Wars game, the ORIGINAL Rogue Squadron is #1 (it was the first SW game I played) , II was okay, and III? BLECH!
Amazing! Very accurate to the schematics! They also used the TIE Defender in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, if you upgraded your TIE Fighters to the highest level, the upgrade would be the TIE Defender. Great work!
Brilliant! You've got the dimensions almost perfect. It's all good except that ,as has already been said ,the cockpit is a little boxy. But that's a little difficult to remedy especially in the lego medium.
These are badass. I agree with you all the way, The Interceptor is just much better than the Defender in terms of looks. Keep an eye out on my page, I plan to post a TIE of eventually, I might even steal your wing designs too, if you don't mind, that is!!
I must admit, this is one of your best MOCs. Not only is it truly incredible in regards to detail and design, but you outdid anything I could do. I particularily like how the wings fold up, making it look almost like that picture in the Essential Guide to vehicles and Vessels. I don't realy like the way the grey edges on the wings turned out, and I really don't think even a TIE defender has that many controls. Post Script: Scorpions really do exist in Star Wars; otherwise how do you explan Quinlan Vos's ship the scorp-ion, which is not only named after the scorpion but looks like one as well? Not that that really belongs in this reveiw but......
That defender looks really wierd. But I like the interceptor a lot. And to every one of you who have reviewed TIE interceptors, Lego have done an OFFICIAL TIE INTERCEPTER. I'VE GOT IT. YOU SHOULD GET IT BECAUSE IT'S ACTUALLY VERY GOOD, from my point of view.
Those are really good. And you'd be surprised how few people have heard of the tie defender. I myself had no clue they existed untill I read the old droids and fighters guide. Just wondering, have you ever seen the TIE Interceptor collectors edition from LEGO?