An out-of-control TIE fighter spacecraft plummeted to the ground in Richmond this morning, killing 13 city residents, a pilot of the Galactic Empire and injuring several dozen others in what police are calling a “catastrophic” air disaster.
Officials said the errant starship hit the ground at a speed of nearly 700 miles per hour and immediately burst into flames after falling out of the sky from a galaxy far, far away.
A spokesman for Sienar Fleet Systems, which manufactures all variants of the TIE fighter – including the TIE bomber, TIE interceptor, and the TIE advanced prototype, created exclusively for the Dark Lord of the Sith – said the company was still determining the exact cause of the crash.
“At this point we do believe one of the TIE’s twin ion engines was hit by a laser cannon blast off a Rebel Alliance [X-wing] craft,” said Jonathan Kvarsis, an SFS spokesman, stopping short of wishing the TIE pilot’s family any condolences. “You must understand, these men are trained to be loyal to the Empire and will accomplish the mission at any cost, including their own petty lives.”
Witnesses said victims on the ground stood no chance in the crash of the TIE fighter, known for its speed, maneuverability and lack of a hyperdrive and shields.
“To think that one minute you can be walking down the street minding your own business, and the next you’re killed by a TIE fighter, it’s just tragic,” said David Ernst, who watched the TIE’s ball cockpit bounce several hundred yards and crash into a cafe.
Added Ernst: “You’re really not safe [from TIE fighters] anywhere these days.”