The N-1 Starfighter


Model: N-1 Starfighter
Affiliation: Naboo Military
Status: Space and Atmospheric fighter for Naboo defense
Crew: 1 Pilot, 1 Astromech Droid
Weapon: Twin Laser Cannons and Proton Torpedo Launcher

©1997 LucasFilm Ltd.

The Facts

The N-1 was featured prominently in the first trailer. Pictures of the craft have appeared on both the Official Star Wars Site, and in the French LucasFilm magazine. The CD "Behind the Magic" confirmed the name of the ship was the "N-1".

The following text comes from the toy box (courtesy of Fandom Menace:

"Threatened by the overwhelming power of the greedy Trade Federation, the leaders of Naboo depend on the agile Naboo fighter to defend their planet. Boasting spectacular speed and maneuverability, these ships have an interface for an R2 astromech droid - like R2-D2 - to monitor systems and assist in combat. Twin laser cannons and a proton torpedo launcher highlight the Naboo fighter's impressive weapons system."

Philip Wise at the Fandom Menace posted the sounds of a Naboo Starfighter flyby and weapons firing. They are from the Naboo Starfighter Hasbro toy, available next year. You can download the sounds below:

N-1 flyby
N-1 weapon

Philip also sent us this scan of two of the decals which are provided with the Starfighter toy. Very interesting to look at!

Be sure to check out the Fandom Menace for more pictures of the toy and its decals.


The second part of the video diary series is available on the official site. Reader Matt Campbell sent in the following description...

Some of the highlights include a look at some early designs for the Naboo fighter. I am sure glad George didn't pick the sailplane looking one. It looked like the plane that made the around the world flight. Yuck! Also included is a bunch of other designs, to be honest there are only two that looked really cool. The current fighter and the one right before it. On designs for the current fighter, you can see in writing "Z-1" written above it.

The three biggest highlights for me though were a full color model of the Z-1. Very cool looking. The chrome really stands out. George spins it around in his hands so you get a real good view of it. I hope Kenner had a chance to review this model because I want an accurate Z-1 BAD.

Also, Doug Chiang mentions something that I hope would come up about the prequel designs. He mentions that the designs from these films come from a more "human" element than the "functional" craft of the existing trilogy. I think that it is important to show that before the New Order, people took pride in their technology. Designs that were both functional and asthetic. After all, in the fall to darkness, one loses touch with humanity.

However cool this info is, NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU FOR THE LAST FEW SECONDS OF THE VIDEO. Actual storyboards sequenced together with sound effects. They are existing sound effects, but are cool regardless. They show Anakin standing below a Z-1 and then a Naboo fighter pilot (Ric Olie) reaching out to him, then the fighter taking off out of the hanger. This was so cool. I wish Lucasfilm would release more storyboards and artwork from the prequels. In my opinion, they are much cooler than seeing the pictures. Well, actually, I'd rather have both.

Anthony Evans sent in this picture of the fighter model:

You'll also note that the papers on the walls of the meeting room have been blurred to prevent giving away more secrets than they intended. They've caught on that we fans love to enlarge pictures. :)

Here are more picture from the video:

Fighter Prototype
Old Chiang X-Wing drawing
Old Chiang X-Wing drawing
Naboo Fighter Painting
Naboo Fighter R2 Drawing
Naboo Fighter Drawing
Fighter Prototype
Fighter Prototype
Fighter Prototype
Anakin Storyboard
Ric Olie Storyboard
Old Chiang X-Wing Cockpit drawing
Old Chiang R2 drawing
The Flanneled One


Next we have more pictures from the Insider. Roderick Vonhogen did us a huge favor and took our scan of the Naboo Fighter painting and removed the crease. It looks great!

Doug Chiang Fighter
Doug Chiang Naboo Fighters

These are all excellent shots from the Insider. Definitely worth getting a subscription.

Spy Reports

Various Sources: 5/10/98 - When you get wrapped up in so much prequel news, you sometimes forget what has been posted and what has not been posted. Sometimes we get letters and think, "Doh! We thought that had been posted on the page!" We had just such a revelation with the prequel fighters. Many people weren't sure if the fighters were space craft, air fighters, or underwater fighters. Well, as our informants have told us, the Naboo ships fight both in the atmosphere of the planet and in space. Many of you figured this out for yourselves from the recently revamped Official Site. The fighter graphics have tags that say "star fighter".

You're saying "But what about all that water speculation you've been posting?" Well, we were speculating on how those cool craft take off. Like sea-planes? It was just a theory. We still haven't heard the details on that. More to come later.

MODE: This craft is referred to as the "Z-1" at ILM. Its wings move up and down, and also have a swing function, somewhat similar to a Navy F-14. Computer Generated models of this ship have been created by ILM for use in Episode I.

THE BOTHAN SPY: These fighters sit in the Palace Hangars, and are used by the Naboo military. R2 droids enter the ship from below and are pulled upwards automatically, legs and all. These vehicles are used in the atmosphere rather than in space. SPOILERS BELOW (highlight to read):

Anakin flies one of these fighters in the battle near the end of the movie. He does very well, and is hailed as a hero after the battle. For a longer description of the battle, see our Spoilers section.

Note: all of the unofficial pictures of this ship currently in our possession were taken by The Bothan Spy, and first appeared on Ain't It Cool News.

Many of you have wondered about how R2-D2's legs fit in that yellow fighter. If you look at it, at first glance it doesn't look like there's any room for them. Do they come off? How does he fit in? For the answers, we checked in with Bothan Spy. Here's what he had to say:

"And as for R2, I asked this question during filming and even measured it. The legs do fit, with about 1mm to spare - which means the hull of the ship would have to be 1mm thick!! Either they're going to change the hull using CG, or it will just be a 'quirk'."

"During filming, an R2 was placed under the ship, and the color of the R2 required was "written" onto a piece of paper and stuck on the R2 unit! This was to tell ILM what kind of R2 would get sucked up into the ship. I.e. no R2s were actually put in the ships. The photos I sent with R2 in the ship are just his head, which was detachable and slotted on top of the ship!!

So there's the answer. His legs are actually parallel with the length of the ship, not perpendicular, and there's just barely any room to spare. Cool enough! You can even see the trap door underneath that he is sucked in to.

8/5/98 - Next, some of you in the Jedi Council Forums were wondering where the heck the guns are in the Naboo Fighter. For the answer, we turned to the ever lovin' Bothan Spy. He also told us about the pick-ups going on over there now:

"The pick-ups are scheduled from next Monday to next Saturday and that's all. Finito!

As for the guns, they're the cut-away grooves you see on top near the front. Lasers come out from there!"

MORE FROM MODE -- 10/29/97

Mode continues to snoop for us. Now he has some fascinating information for us on the CG ships they're making. For instance, here's what those pictures of the yellow fighter ships DON'T show:

"There has been work done on a ship called the Z-1. This is the same yellow ship that is featured in the various still photos on the official site. What is not visible on the official site, is the ship's wings. The wings apparently move up and down and also have a swing function sort of like a Navy F-14."

9/14/97 - AICN got more of those ship pics in color now:

Here's some commentary on the pics by the spy:

"Many have stated that there's no room for R2's legs. Well, as the second piccie shows, R2 enters the ship from below and is pulled upwards, automatically, legs 'n' all! It is true, however, that it is VERY tight for his 'shoulders' in there - if not impossible to fit at all. I understand ILM may be working on this problem and widening the hole." "The reason I grey-scaled the picture originally was because I did not want to spoil the surprise of their unusual colour! I also edited out the other ships you now see behind, because it shows their design a little too well! BUT - since producing the images, the OFFICIAL Star Wars site has posted their own versions which give away the colour and design of the ships anyway! So now there's no surprise to spoil, hence the full colour, unedited picture you see. These are NOT seaspeeders!! Don't be silly. These ships sit in the Palace Hanger on Coruscant. They are part of the Naboo military. Does Coruscant have a sea flooding into the palace? Nope. Anyway, the storyboards clearly show these ships flying in a blue, cloudy sky! Note: no stars or blackness - yes, a real sky!"

9/9/97 - Mode speaks again!!

The ship in the hanger pictures is the Z-1. The wings actually move and retract in a VTOL(vertical take-off and landing) sort of way. Mode says to keep in mind that the name Z-1 could be a code name used at ILM. The models and CGI images that he had seen of the ship had a strikingly different color scheme than the ones in the set photos.

Our Speculation

TINMAN: The name "Z-1" seems like a logical name for this ship, indicating that it is possibly a counterpart or precursor to the Z-95 Headhunter, a fighter which existed during the Prequel era (predating the X-wing). The Z-1 will quite possibly be to Episode 1 what the X-wing fighter was to Star Wars: A New Hope.

Scott, 8:30pm CST

Eliot Fish sent us some interesting speculation about the fighters a few days ago. He noted, as many have stated, that the hull of the fighter looks a lot like a speed boat. He also remembered the Bothan Spy's report about a river and a waterfall next to the hanger. Eliot wonders if maybe the fighters take off from the water like a seaplane? Some other friends of mine were wondering if maybe they fly over the edge of the waterfall? Or through it? Again, we haven't heard anything about it, but it is fun speculation.

On the same subject of the fighters, remember the comments from a few days ago about possible reflection effects? Tom deGray had some interesting comments in response to the post:

"I disagree with a couple of observations being made about the chrome Naboo fighters. First of all, having flown a number of old chrome airplanes, they look chrome-colored in the sky, except when light reflects off of them (then that blinds you). You couldn't notice reflections unless you were right next to the ship, and then it would be blurry (remember, chrome is not the same thing as a mirror). So I would be surprised (and disappointed from a realism standpoint) to see clear reflections bouncing off of them while flying. Secondly, IF they wanted these ships to be reflective, that would be easy to do for the in-flight shots. Remember, almost all shots will utilize CG ships and backgrounds. From an animation standpoint, all of the software ILM will be using will account for reflections. When modeling objects, you give them certain surface characteristics, and one of those is reflectivity. The 3d software will automatically reflect backgrounds off of the objects as appropriate. I do this all of the time in airplane animations with Lightwave - its easy."

Brian Linder, 8:30pm EST

Cropped Official Photo
Cropped Version of Official Photo

Greetings all!  Well, as many of you have already noticed, The Official Star Wars Site updated their Episode I section yesterday with a piece detailing the editing process.   In this update they included an image of writer/director George Lucas, and now Episode I co-editor Ben Burtt, viewing what appears to be an action sequence on a monitor.  Many of you have hypothesized about what this shot might depict.  Obviously, there are many possibilities.
I'd like to submit my theory, that the object on screen is one of the Naboo Fighters we've seen.  It isn't very yellow in that particular shot, but let's keep in mind this is probably an early animatic blueprint.   Also, take note that the long end of the fighter is it's tail.  It's flying off to the right of the frame.  Click the photo to the left and you can see a Naboo Fighter photo that has been composted on top of the official photo. 

Click for a larger image!
Speculative Interpretation (Click for the larger image!)

Compare the two photos, and it's easy to see that the wings are positioned very near the front of the aircraft. The tail extends quite far to the rear, well behind the engines on the tips of the wings.  The scene possibly depicts the fighter flying off after jettisoning it's payload, hence the trailing explosion.  Now, if one inspects the object in the lower left of the frame it isn't hard to surmise that this is one of the enemy tanks that we've seen (see composited image). It's facing us with turret slightly elevated.  Many of you have hypothesized that this scene is from a space battle.  However, since this is likely a rough animatic, it's possible that the surrounding environment simply hasn't been rendered or composited yet.  As previously stated, there are many possibilities.  It could indeed be a space battle, the scene could take place on the Naboo surface at night, or maybe the background elements are yet to be composited.  Regardless, it's fun to speculate!  I'm sure we all can't wait to see the finished product!  Stay tuned to!


This picture comes from the French LucasFilm magazine. Visible in the picture are Lucas, Sansweet, Snyder, and others. Click the thumbnail for a larger version.

Click here for more official Z-1 hangar images.

Click here for a large picture of a Z-1.

Click here for a pictures of the Z-1 taken by The Bothan Spy.

FAN PIC: Javier Fernandez has done one of the coolest fighter rendetions we've seen so far. Here's his description:

"I have done my first prequel picture using 3DS MAX 2, and Adobe Photoshop 4. I figured they are flying so low over the sea since their fuselage is boat shaped. To build the 3D model of the fighter I have used as reference all published photographs of it, making sure that it matches with all them. However there are obscured areas in those photographs that I had to invent. The only non-3D element is the sky. I just can?t wait to see what the guys at ILM have done with those cool ships."

Click here to view it!

FAN PIC:Randy Knoble did a great Quicktime rendering of the Naboo Fighter:

"I just took all the available pictures of it and did the most accurate model I could with what I could see. I used Studiopro to build and render it, and Mediapaint to add the words later. It does look like a speedboat, doesn't it...."

You can check it out here! You can send your compliments or questions to him at