The Star Wars galaxy is home to some of the most iconic spaceships in science fiction — the instantly recognisable X-Wing, the giant hulls of a Star Destroyer. Some, however, are just plain old goofy. Given that we recently learned about some of the new ships coming to Rogue One, we gathered up some of the silliest ships we could find. TIE Defender Art from Star Wars the Roleplaying Game: Starships of the Galaxy, by Ron Lemen.
11) CF9 Crossfire
Aft from Star Wars Legacy #13 by Sean Cooke.
Introduced in the Legacy era of Star Wars, 130 years after the events of A New Hope, the Crossfire was the primary starfighter of the Galactic Alliance. The ship of choice for the legendary Rogue Squadron, Crossfires were meant to share a design legacy with the X-Wing, but I'm pretty sure whoever designed it was drunk, accidentally looked the design drawing of an X-Wing flipped around and at a dodgy angle and then just decided to go with that.
The absurdly oversized "propeller" at the front (thankfully/sadly, it did not spin around) of the ship housed four blaster cannons in the tip of each wing, giving the Crossfire its "Crossfire" name, but man, does this thing look unwieldy as hell or what? And even harder to look out of?
10) TIE Vanguard
The TIE Vanguard as it appears in the Star Wars Customisable Card Game.
INT. SIENAR FLEET SYSTEMS CONFERENCE ROOM. A board on the wall reads "Starfighter Design Team Brainstorming Meeting".
Designer 1: Guys, the Empire needs us to make a new kind of TIE Fighter.
Designer 2: What, again!? There's already about 50 different variations, and if I'm honest, we kind of nailed it on the first go.
Designer 1: I know, I know, but if we don't come up with something at the end of this meeting, the Emperor's sending Lord Vader to come choke us all to death.
Designer 3: I have an idea.
Designer 1: Go ahead, Clive.
Designer 3: What if we took a TIE Fighter, chopped the top part of its solar panels off, and then bent them out a bit?
Designer 1: ...Clive, I think you just saved us all from a bit of choking. Get to work, people!
The E-Wing as it appears in Del Rey's The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. The Rebel Alliance loved itself some Alphabet fighters, apparently. The E-Wing was a heavy escort brought into action shortly after the fall of the Empire in the Expanded Universe, the first solely designed for the New Republic.
A replacement for the X-Wing, the E-Wing was basically an X-Wing with the top two S-Foils trimmed off, making it look like an "E" if only very specifically views from certain angles... and even then, an X-Wing would look like an "E" at the exact same angles anyway. To boot, when the E-Wing was first introduced it was plagued with weapons and system malfunctions, so many New Republic pilots just stuck with the much-cooler-looking X-Wing anyway.
8) Predator Fighter
Art from the Star Wars Roleplaying Game Legacy Era Campaign guide by Jeffrey Carlisle Another fighter from the Legacy era of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Predator Fighter took the cockpit of a TIE Fighter, and then slapped the silliest looking flappy wings on it and called it a day.
Nicknamed "Eyeballs" by Galactic Alliance pilots, the Predator was hated by most Imperial pilots at the time — its manoeuvrable wings were so flimsy that they often broke, and its cockpit was difficult to see out of. I also imagine having those gigantic wings moving around also made the Predator hilariously easy to hit, give the lack of protection around the cockpit.
7) Geonosian Solar Sailer
The only prequel era ship on our list, Count Dooku's luxurious barge is actually probably the only ship on here that's the most rooted in real world science — solar sails are an actual method of spaceship propulsion in use.
But as a starfighter idea in the Star Wars galaxy, it's perhaps an unwise source of propulsion in a galaxy that already has access to incredibly efficient starship engines and hyperspace travel. It's a weirdly archaic "Look at me poor people my yacht is in space" analogy. Also, I just want to note that this ship's full official name is the Punworcca 116-class interstellar sloop. Oh, Star Wars.
6) World Devastator
World Devastators on Mon Calamari from Dark Empire #2. Art by Cam Kennedy. Desperate times lead to desperate measures in the world of capital ship design — and there was no time more desperate for the Empire than after the death of the Emperor. The World Destroyers were basically gigantic factory ships, formerly known as Leviathans, that were adapted by carving out all of the ship-building tools and the strapping ginormous tractor beams to their underbellies.
They would slowly descend down to a planet, use the intensely powerful tractor beams to scoop up all sorts of material — people, buildings, natural resources — and break it down into resources that could be made into ships and other materials, before eventually breaking up the planet itself. Think of it as the galaxy's largest and most threatening Roomba.
The K-Wing as it appears in Fantasy Flight Games' X-Wing Miniatures Tabletop Strategy Game. Remember how I said the Rebel Alliance loves its Alphabet ships? Well, the K-Wing is the ultimate expression of the Alphabet ship in excess. Essentially a gunboat, the starfighter was jam packed with as many guns and bombs as it could be — with 18 different emplacements on it.
Also, it barely looks like the letter K. I swear to God, the real secret behind the Alphabet ship project was to have Imperial pilots stare at a ship long enough while going "How the hell does this resemble that letter!?" that an Alliance pilot could just blow them out of the sky without reproach.
4) TIE Defender
Introduced in the classic video game flight simulator Star Wars: TIE Fighter, the Defender was, on paper, the natural evolution of the TIE Fighter: it had a hyperdrive, it had shields, it had better cannons.
But look at the goddamn thing. It looks like someone accidentally misread the instructions on a TIE Interceptor model kit and somehow managed to not just glue the wings on the outside-in, but also glue a third one on for no reason.
3) Aleph-Class Starfighter
Sadly, there are no images available for the Aleph Starfighter, introduced in Aaron Allston's book Betrayal, the first in the Legacy of the Force series of novels. But I'm going to share with you the description given by the fine folks over at Wookiepeedia, who make it sound like the dumbest looking thing in the universe:
As the nickname "Twee" suggested, an Aleph resembled the head of a Twi'lek with two long, tapering drive units thrust back behind a ball-shaped cockpit pod, similar to that of a TIE/LN starfighter but somewhat larger. To add to the fighter's ungainly appearance, the cockpit was flanked by a quad laser turret on either side, likened by some personnel to a pair of earmuffs. These turrets were usually problematic to operate, and would often either fail to immediately respond or jam altogether.
On top of that, the Aleph-Class was apparently notoriously unreliable and difficult to use. Just an all-round piece of garbage, apparently. I'm just imaging the head of Hera from Star Wars Rebels floating around in space, with the world's shittiest guns attached to the side of her face.
2) The Sun Crusher
Ah, the terrible, terrible Sun Crusher. The Mary Sue of spaceships. This Starfighter-sized golden ice-cream-cone with guns attached had invulnerable armour that could deflect Death Star lasers, hyperdrive systems, oh, and torpedoes that could literally destroy entire star systems.
This terrible creation was so overpowered that its creator, novelist Kevin Anderson, eventually had Jedi Padawan Kyp Durron fly it into a black hole to take it out of the galaxy for good. Jesus Christ.
1) TIE Experimental M1
This abomination, made for the video game Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance, was apparently nicknamed the TIE Bizarro.
I have no words.