The TIE Interceptor featured four recognizable pointed solar panels, and was a far deadlier opponent than the standard TIE/LN starfighter. Lacking both shields and a hyperdrive, it made up for its lack of defensive capabilities with a top speed of 1,250 kph owing to upgraded engines providing considerably improved maneuverability and speed. In addition, four laser canons on its wingtips allowed for far more firepower to overload the shields on an enemy craft. With the Empire placing its elite pilots into Interceptor cockpits to maximize the craft’s effectiveness, Interceptors were ideally suited for their main function: chasing down and eliminating rebel starfighters.
The TIE Interceptor was created by Sienar Fleet Systems upon realization that the TIE Advanced x1 would be too costly to mass-produce, and was also the Empire’s direct response to the Rebel Alliance’s introduction of faster starships. Despite this, it was not as fast as the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor, being 50 kph slower. By the time of the Battle of Endor, the TIE Interceptor and other newer TIE models made up 20% of the Empire’s starfighter fleet.
Many of the models of the TIE Interceptor used in Return of the Jedi have four laser cannons on their wingtips; however, the main model used in the “Return of the Jedi collection” section of the Blu-ray special edition only has two laser cannons total, on the top two wingtips. That may be due to the fragility of the model kit parts used to create the cannons, as publicity photos taken around the time of Return of the Jedi show the miniatures with four wingtip cannons.[source?]