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Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor
Production information
Manufacturer

Kuat Systems Engineering[1]

Model

Eta-2 Actis Interceptor[2]

Class

Starfighter[2]

Cost

320,000 credits (240,000 used)[3]

Technical specifications
Length

5.47 meters[1]

Width

4.3 meters[1]

Height/depth

2.5 meters (wings extended)[1]

Maximum acceleration

5,200 G[1]

MGLT

125[4]

Maximum speed (atmosphere)

1,500 km/h[3]

Hyperdrive rating

Class 1.0 (with booster ring)[2]

Hyperdrive range

150,000 LY

Hyperdrive system

Syluire-45 hyperspace transport ring

Shielding

None[1]

Navigation system

10-jump memory (astromech droid)[3]

Armament
Crew
Passengers

None[2]

Cargo capacity

60 kilograms[2]

Consumables

2 days[2]

Usage
Availability

Military[3]

Role(s)
Year introduced

20 BBY

Era(s)
Affiliation

The Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor, sometimes referred to as the Jedi interceptor due to its popularity with Jedi pilots, was a Republic starfighter used late in the Clone Wars that shared design elements of the Delta-7 Aethersprite-class Jedi starfighter and the TIE/ln starfighter of the later Galactic Empire.

Contents

Characteristics

R2 units could interface directly with the Eta-2 through a dorsal socket.

At 5.47 meters in length, the Eta-2 was significantly shorter than the already diminutive Delta-7. The new fighter's mass was further reduced by removing much of the forward space-frame, leaving the front of the ship in a forked shape. Like its predecessor, it was also too small to hold an onboard hyperdrive. Because of this, the Eta-2 had to rely on carrier vessels or hyperspace transport rings for long-distance travel. However, the Actis did have room for a full astromech droid, instead of a truncated unit as was fitted into the Aethersprite.

Like the simultaneously developed ARC-170 and Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighters, the Eta-2 incorporated S-foils to radiate excess engine heat in the thick of combat, reducing the likelihood of damage to the craft. Occasionally, though not always, the lifting panels were opened during normal flight to further reduce stress on the engines. This design element would be carried on through the radiator panels of later TIE fighters, which, though unlike the Eta-2's foils were locked in static positions, served the same purpose.

Thanks mostly to the fact that its development occurred in the midst of a galactic civil war, the Eta-2 had more firepower at its disposal than the Delta-7—two large laser cannons and two ion cannons. While the size of its guns provided it with respectable firepower, the fighter's limited power systems restricted its ability to fire continuously. Raith Sienar's twin ion engine design allowed the Eta-2 to achieve a maximum acceleration of 5,200 g. Unlike the Delta-7, the standard Eta-2 was not equipped with shields, as Sienar reasoned that agility and speed were its best defense. However, a later variant did include shields, as well as slightly heavier armor and a stronger hull.[3]

Eta-2s that were flown by the Jedi were stripped down for even faster performance. Heavy sensors and flight instruments were removed, since they were unnecessary for a pilot with precognitive Force abilities. While most Jedi pilots flew Eta-2s more in line with the factory standard, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose fighters were red- or blue-hued against a white undercoat, some chose to customize theirs with unorthodox color schemes.

An Eta-2 cross-section.

Anakin Skywalker's first craft was painted a bright yellow color against a metallic undercoat. He said this was a tribute to his childhood Podracer, but some believe it was to draw attention to himself in battle. He lost it in the Battle of Coruscant when the Invisible Hand broke in half and temporarily flew under a more standard green and white paint scheme, which he used in the Mission to Mustafar, where he presumably left it. Saesee Tiin's was green, and Mace Windu's was purple.

When Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, he would receive a new black Eta-2. Vader piloted this Eta-2 during some of his early missions for Emperor Palpatine as the Great Jedi Purge continued, sometimes flanked by V-wing starfighters. Vader was assisted in the new fighter by R4-K5.

The standard fighter complement of a Venator-class Star Destroyer included 192 Eta-2 interceptors. The Eta-2 became one of the first starfighters in use by the Imperial Navy.

History

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Clone Wars

The targeting computer of an Eta-2 interceptor.
A prototype of the Eta-2 fighter.

The Eta-2 Actis was designed by Kuat Systems Engineering, following up on its success with the Aethersprite. It included and improved upon many design elements of the latter, the only drawback being the removal of shields, though this trade off reduced production cost and lightened the craft. A number of Jedi Knights voiced strong opposition to the new craft's lack of shielding, causing a shielded and more resilient variant to be developed.[3] Most importantly, it was much smaller than its predecessor, allowing far more Eta-2 ships to fit into hangars that could only hold a handful of Delta-7 craft.

The first prototype of the craft was deployed during the initial skirmishes with the Valahari and the craft was used by Anakin Skywalker to combat the advanced Tempest Zero starfighter used by Tofen Vane. The prototype proved itself in the Battle of the Veil Nebula where it managed to shoot down Vane's craft and thus aid in a Repuiblic victory against the Separatist forces. This concept led to much wider production and widespread deployment in the Republic Navy than the Delta-7 had seen, since the Delta-7 had been designed exclusively for the Jedi. It would also inspire the design and size rules that made the TIE fighters of the later Empire so cheap, modular, and effective.

Imperial era

An Eta-2 docking with a hyperspace transport ring.

Elements of the Eta-2 Actis design were used in the creation of Sienar Fleet Systems's TIE Fighter—most notably the vertical radiator panels and twin ion engines, not to mention the spoked viewing port, which was expanded in its TIE successor to become the fighter's main viewport.

However, the greatest legacy of the Actis-class was the philosophy behind it—that smaller, more nimble, unshielded, and relatively under-equipped fighters, when mass-produced, could be ultimately more effective than a lesser quantity of more expensive, bulkier, well-armed, and better-protected starfighters. This had been demonstrated in the Battle of Coruscant where the heavy fighters suffered significant losses at the hands of lighter and agile fighters. This opinion not only ushered in the dominance of the TIE series but spurred the phasing out of higher-quality fighters like the ARC-170.

This decision would come back to haunt the Imperial Navy, however, when the ARC's successor, the T-65 X-wing starfighter, proved superior to the TIE/ln swarms of the Empire and was pivotal in the defeat of the Empire in the Galactic Civil War. One difference between the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War was that most Eta-2 pilots were Jedi and were were able to survive due to the Force and good skill; TIE pilots were well-trained but few if any had an affinity for the Force and so casualty rates were higher than in the Clone Wars. Most Eta-2 pilots, by surviving, were able to develop into veterans but the high casualty rate of TIE pilots prevented them from gaining experience.

During the Galactic Civil War, some Eta-2s still remained operational in the Imperial Navy and were reserved for skilled pilots. Others were captured and used by the Rebel Alliance and other various parties, with similar requirements. After the conflict and during the establishment of the Galactic Alliance, a successor series known as the Eta-5 interceptor which were seen being used in the Second Galactic Civil War.

Behind the scenes

Designed for Revenge of the Sith, the Eta-2 interceptor was one of many aspects of the film designed to bridge the gap between RotS and the original trilogy. Intended to be reminiscent of both TIE Fighters and Vader's TIE Advanced x1 from A New Hope, the designers of the fighter included the segmented cockpit window of the original TIE Fighter as well as the bent wing formation and targeting systems seen on Vader's personal starfighter in ANH.

The name "Actis" was inspired by the Greek mythological character of the same name. Actis was one of the sons of Rhodus and Helios and one of a group of four brothers who were masters of naval navigation and betrayed one of their other siblings.

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, in keeping with the naming pattern established by the Delta-7 interceptor. The name Eta-2 (seven-two), therefore, may be a reference to the fact that the Actis-class was a direct successor to the Delta-7.

In Labyrinth of Evil, Anakin's and Obi-Wan's Eta-2 interceptors are described as being equipped with missile launchers. This discrepancy with official technical specifications has not yet been explained, but it may be a personal customization. The Hasbro-brand Jedi Starfighter action vehicles feature launching missiles, and in the Star Wars PocketModels Trading Card Game, a game piece depicting Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Interceptor is indicated as carrying proton torpedoes. Eta-2s in Star Wars: Battlefront II also include missile launchers, but this may be game mechanics, as the standard vessel is not equipped with them. Starships of the Galaxy explains that a few Eta-2s were equipped with up to four concussion missiles. This was a rare modification that usually required removal of the ion cannons and was only done for special missions.

Appearances

Wookieepedia has a collection of images related to Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor.
  • Star Wars The Clone Wars 12: Hero of the Confederacy, Part 3 (Prototype)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 21"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 22"
  •  "Means and Ends" - Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 6
  • Star Wars: Obsession (First appearance)
  •  "The Brink" - Clone Wars Adventures: Volume 4
  • Labyrinth of Evil
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 23"
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 25"
  • Star Wars Republic: The Siege of Saleucami
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith comic
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith game
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novel
  • Evil Eyes
  • Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
  • Star Wars Republic 78: Loyalties
  • Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game  (PS3, X-box and PC versions only) (Wreckage)
  •  Star Wars Galaxies – Rage of the Wookiees
  • Star Wars Rebellion: My Brother, My Enemy
  • Dark Nest III: The Swarm War (Appears in hologram)
  • Millennium Falcon

Non-canonical appearances

  • LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Sources

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6  Starships and Vehicles of Revenge of the Sith on Wizards.com (article)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
  4. Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
  5. Battlefront II: Prima Official Game Guide

External links


This article uses material from the "Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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