After watching 'Solo, a Star Wars Story', I am left wondering why the TIE cockpits that we saw there were red.

TIEs with red cockpits

To avoid confusion: I am not asking about the altogether new type of TIE featured prominently in the center of the image, that question has been answered elsewhere.

Since the movie takes place between Episode III and IV, I can imagine that the TIEs have not reached the design yet that we will see in 'Episode IV: A New Hope', with non-colored transparisteel. But what gets me wondering is that this red cockpit is also seen in the TIEs of Episodes set much later, e.g. in Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer.

Did 'red transparisteel' go out of fashion during the Galactic Empire and then make a comeback? Is it even transparisteel? Or are there actually a precursor and a more advanced version which both happen to be red? Or is it mood lighting inside the cockpit...?


2 Answers 2


Not having found any explanation anywhere, I come to the conclusion that indeed, it must be 'mood lighting'.

As this image search demonstrates, on any footage of TIE cockpits, there are always red console lights present. The best guess is thus probably that it is not tinted transparisteel, but cockpit lights that are supposed to cause the red glow.


This is an advanced version of TIE fighter, which is known as TIE Brute or TIE/rb.

The TIE/rb heavy starfighter, nicknamed the “TIE Brute,” boasts heavier armor and firepower than a standard TIE, with pivoting twin laser cannons arrayed on an outrigger. An MGX-300 integrated droid intelligence assists the pilot with operations.

From Cinemablend,

Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story introduces the new TIE Fighters shown above. They are known as TIE/rb, and Lucasfilm recently released more details on the ships, explaining:

Compensating for the relative fragility of the unshielded TIE starfighter is the armored TIE/rb, a reinforced heavy starfighter with much more powerful laser cannons.

Given that they have to fight with smugglers and during that, they might have to chase them through that dangerous route, an upgraded version of TIE fighter is required.

  • 2
    That was not the question I was asking. I realize my original title "Why the different TIE fighter design..." was misleading, sorry. I wanted to avoid spoilers in the title, but I guess it's not that bad a spoiler so I clarified my title and question. Jun 25, 2018 at 13:10

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