20 pieces of trivia you need to know about Star Wars

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TIE stands for Twin Ion Engines

You would be forgiven for not giving a second thought to TIE fighters, beyond the whooshing whirr that is associated with them in flight. The name TIE fighter wasn’t even used in the first movie A New Hope — the name only became popular with fans after the toys were released and a “Making Of” special aired on television.

According to modelmaker Joe Johnston, the acronym TIE stands for “Twin Ion Engines”, but there were a few options. It also could have stood for “Third Intergalactic Empire.”

The team at ILM effects were behind the names, since they used the terms X-wing, Y-wing and TIE fighter to differentiate the ships. In addition, the special effects term nicknamed the Millennium Falcon “The Porkburger”, since it was allegedly originally modeled on a hamburger with an olive next to it.

Unsurprisingly, this name didn’t catch on, probably because Han Solo, though a dirty boy, wouldn’t be caught dead in a ship called “The Porkburger.” Lando Calrissian couldn’t pay him to take that one off his hands.

Han would, however, love that the ship was originally referred to as “the pirate ship” because the name of the ship hadn’t been finalized when the storyboards were created. Han Solo wishes he were cool enough to call himself a pirate — look at how he reacted when Leia called him a scoundrel!

Some of the original appearances of the pirate ship became the Falcon, and it was replaced by the “Hamburger” version, but the original design of the ship became Leia’s blockade runner, first seen as it is captured by a Star Destroyer at the start of A New Hope.