- "You'll find the Sienar Fleet Systems TIE Defender is the fastest, best-equipped starfighter in the galaxy."
- — An Imperial Flight Instructor
Although the design of the TIE Defender is over a decade old, it still has proven to be one of the most deadly starfighters ever created. It is the perfect culmination of speed, maneuverability, and power.
Three sets of angled quadanium solar gather panels cluster around the familiar circular cockpit. Using the latest in Sienar Fleet Systems technologies, a robust I-s4d solar ionization reactor powers the starfighter, while twin P-sz9.7 ion engines provide propulsion at an impressive 40 percent higher yield than the standard TIE/ln.
An SFS F-s5x flight avionics system translates the pilot's instructions into twisting acrobatic maneuvers. A triple array of maneuvering jets on the branching tri-wing assembly allows the TIE Defender to tumble through seemingly impossible dives and jinks, outshining the impressive TIE Interceptor in sheer agility.
Each wingtip holds powerful weapons. The two lower wings each hold a pair of SFS L-s9.3 laser cannons which can be fired singly or linked. The upper wing carries two Borstel NK-3 ion cannons, while the main hull of the craft supports a pair of M-g-2 general purpose warhead launchers. Enveloping the craft are forward and rear-projecting Novaldex shields, which protect the reinforced titanium hull.
Originally created by Imperial Admiral Demetrius Zaarin shortly after the Battle of Hoth, the Defender was supposed to replace the TIE Avenger as the Empire’s premiere starfighter. However, Zaarin soon went rogue and took the designs for the Defender with him, destroying several of the Empire’s Defender manufacturing plants as he did so. Although Zaarin was eventually killed and his plans foiled, the strife during these events saw the destruction of most of Zaarin's and the Empire’s TIE Defenders.
It wouldn't be until the rise of Emperor Damascus that the TIE Defender would see major service again. Damascus enacted a plan to replace the TIE Interceptor with the Defender during his major offensive against the New Republic. By the time of his death, every top Imperial fleet was outfitted with several squadrons of these fearsome starfighters.