The Twin Ion Engine Starfighter revolutionized fighter design and fundamentally reshaped Imperial military doctrine. Based around Raith Sienar's radical Clone Wars-era SIE-TIE twin ion engine concept, these ships were faster and more maneuverable than anything seen before, and the Empire eagerly began planning to have them replace their aging starfighter force. Though small and cheap, the first full production models lacked the power required to provide adequate shielding, hyperdrive, and life support systems. Far from being deal breakers, these flaws were seen as strengths by the capital-ship favoring military strategists of the time--without hyperdrive, pilots could not spontaneously defect, and the lack of shields or life support would demand an aggressive and decisive style of combat which would keep the mother ship from accumulating damage in prolonged fighter actions.
Though its combat record was impressive, the original T.I.E. series was eventually superseded by the robustly redesigned TIE/ln starfighter. Superficially similar, the TIE/ln series was designed with the lessons of the T.I.E. in mind, in particular allowing for an improved engine assembly and weapons systems. By the time the Galactic Civil War began in earnest, the original models had been relegated to remote, backwater postings. Tens of thousands of these units have also been sold at government auction, finding their way into planetary defense fleets, pirate organizations, and the strange hybrid fighter designs known as Uglies.