Just about everything from the Star Wars mythos has gone down in the pop culture zeitgeist, including the vehicles. Even a casual moviegoer would be able to recognize an X-wing or a TIE Fighter given their prominence in the films, which means there's always a great deal of interest in the ships whenever a new Star Wars film is on the horizon. For The Force Awakens, some alterations were made to the classic designs to update them for the modern age, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured a new version of the Imperial walker. It's only logical to assume there will be more new vehicles for Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Not only do new ships and vehicles provide filmmakers with cool sci-fi tech to play with in the actual film, they give Lucasfilm's marketing partners a multitude of opportunities for tie-in products collectors can purchase. New details have emerged about Star Wars 8's methods of transportation that detail both of these aspects.
According to Making Star Wars, villain Kylo Ren is going to have a new personal ship in Episode VIII. Viewers of The Force Awakens saw his shuttle, but this time around, the former Ben Solo is flying his own TIE Fighter. It is referred to as the First Order TIE Advanced, and is modeled after Darth Vader's TIE from A New Hope (which famously had stylized wings). It's no secret that Kylo Ren is quite fond of his grandfather, and his Vader obsession has gone so far in Star Wars 8 that he's allegedly wearing a Darth Vader-influenced cape as part of his new costume. It's no surprise that he would want his personal TIE Fighter to look similar to the one used in the Battle of Yavin. A practical set of the ship was built at Pinewood Studios.
Apparently, Kylo won't have the only new TIE Fighter in Episode VIII. Per Star Wars Awakens, the plan is for there to be First Order TIE Bomber LEGO sets as part of this year's Force Friday event. They note that this does not mean those ships will have a "major role" in the sequel, but they should appear at some point. The Empire used TIE Bombers throughout the original trilogy, most notably when they were hunting for the Millennium Falcon in the asteroid field during The Empire Strikes Back. It will be interesting to see how the First Order incorporates them during their conflict. Perhaps the bombers will be used as part of a ground strike on the Resistance base or partake in a space battle. There's a possibility Kylo Ren leads the First Order in a dogfight, if he is indeed piloting his own TIE Fighter.
Since little is known about the film right now, fans will have to make do with speculation. Soon, though, Lucasfilm will rev up the marketing campaign with a teaser trailer and viewers can start to piece the puzzle together. The rumor mill has churned up several fascinating bits of information to consider, and many are eager for something more official to emerge. Hopefully we get a glance of the new Episode VIII ships whenever the first preview arrives.
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018