It’s not a very well known fact but in the pre-production for the very first Star Wars movie Lucasfilm actually made a working Tie Fighter prototype which they thought they would use to film the dog fights with X-Wing’s that were intended to take place in the Battle of Yavin, the climax of the movie.
The idea was that TIE would be filmed by way of it chasing a small light aircraft which was rigged with cameras. The light aircraft would make steep banking maneuvers with sharp twists and turns so as to mimic what film director George Lucas thought the X-Wings would fly like when being chased in a dog fight.
The first part was successful, the TIE made it into the air however the main thruster failed to ignite properly. With no propulsion available, the TIE pilot (Ex US Army Test Pilot, Gilbert Taylor) had no choice to immediately eject.
The TIE disintegrated on impact with the Earth and George Lucas was forced to use models to create the famous end battle of Star Wars.
And if you've read this far without getting the joke, I've got a Star Destroyer that's parked on Jakku to sell you!