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Revision as of 14:28, 19 May 2013
Starfighters are vehicles commonly found in science fiction. Usually having a single pilot, armed with guided and unguided weaponry, agile and fast, they are the science fiction equivalent to modern-day jet fighters. Starfighters often lack FTL drives and are therefore dependent on larger carrier spacecraft for interstellar transportation.
As was discussed at Atomic Rockets and at this Stardestroyer.net thread, starfighters are probably not a logical vehicle to use in space combat, as they have no real advantages that a larger ship doesn't already have.
Starfighters in Star Wars
Both the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance use starfighters extensively in Star Wars. Before them, the Galactic Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems also used starfighters in large numbers.
The role of starfighters in a space battle is difficult to determine. The blaster and proton torpedo armament of starfighters has been described as inadequate to penetrate the shields of capital warships, but such ships generally regard starfighters as threats, and squadrons of fighters have successfully attacked warships on their own in spin-off series like Star Wars: The Clone Wars. How starfighters alone are able to threaten capital ships is a matter of speculation.