The TIE/br boarding shuttle had an enlarged, hollow secondary pod with clamps and a hull-cutter. The primary pod was also large enough to be capable of retrieving escape pods. Although they generally were in the same design basis as the TIE/sa bomber, some had the pods inverted.
It was used to deliver small stormtrooper boarding parties onto captured or disabled ships when larger vessels such as the Gamma-class assault shuttle were not appropriate for the task. Unlike most craft in the TIE Series, the boarding craft was equipped with landing gear and was able to land on a hangar deck instead of in an overhead launch rack. Passengers could then disembark via a boarding ramp. It could also retrieve any life pods if an S.O.S. signal was transmitting.
In some cases, such as requiring a quick air extraction, the TIE/br was also equipped with a droplift ladder.
A TIE/br was used by Darth Vader in the capture of Princess Leia's CR90 corvette, Tantive IV, in 0 BBY. A TIE/br designated boarding craft 356 was hijacked by Han Solo and Sharlee after infiltrating and taking out its crew by using a life pod and SOS signal, in an attempt to ensure the planet of Constancia remained free from Imperial involvement and for Luke to deliver a message to the planet. A TIE Boarding Craft was also utilized by the T'Syriél members of the Stormtrooper Corps helmed by the Kaleesh warlord, General Bentilais san Sk'ar, to capture Princess Leia Organa and Aron Peacebringer on Shiva IV.
Behind the scenes
This ship was designed for the very first Star Wars film, but the exterior model would not make it into any scenes. The design would be resurrected for The Empire Strikes Back as the TIE bomber and the TIE shuttle. Likewise, the TIE/sa bomber itself also featured a similar usage to the TIE boarding craft in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, in the Raid at Bakura mission, as Wedge Antilles, if the player gets a Silver Medal or better, will have to hijack a TIE bomber in order to rescue Hobbie after he was shot down on Bakura.
- The Star Wars Sketchbook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe
- Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections
- The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 13
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 70
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: Chris Claremont"—Star Wars Insider 146 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook (First identified as TIE/br boarding shuttle)
- Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide