In the inaugural film in the Star Wars saga, George Lucas used vintage newsreel footage of arial dogfights to convey to his special effects team the type of battle scenes he wanted them to create between the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire.
Original TIE Fighter model used in Star Wars
This original model of an Imperial TIE Fighter, which is a Twin Ion Engine space craft, was used in the production of Star Wars climactic battle scenes that lead to the destruction of the Death Star super-weapon.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope movie poster
Colin Cantwell was responsible for the original TIE Fighter concept design, including the ball cockpit and distinctive hexagonal wings, and it makes for a suitably foreboding spacecraft for the evil Empire. Originally blue in colour, the limitations of bluescreen technology at the time (Star Wars was released in 1977) required the starship to be recoloured in a visual effects friendly grey.
TIE Fighter concept sketch
Apparently the signature screaming sound of a TIE Fighter was created by Ben Burtt, who mixed the trumpeting cry of an elephant with the sound of vehicles skidding along a wet road.
Actual Imperial TIE Fighter model on display
This iconic spacecraft model was on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando on September 22, 2010, alongside costumes for Star Wars villains Darth Vader and Darth Maul.
But the official behind-the-scenes companion book: The Making of Star Wars (TM): The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
Buy the movies: Star Wars Trilogy