Even though the First Order isn't the same as the Empire, the tyrannical organization introduced in The Force Awakens borrows several elements from its Imperial predecessor. The stormtroopers still make up the primary armies (albeit with some armor design adjustments), and the First Order's forces are flying around in the same kind of ships the Empire did, like Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters. The First Order even relied on a planet-destroying weapon to strike fear into their enemies! Well, the similarities to the Empire won't stop there in Episode VIII later this year, as Kylo Ren may be piloting his own specially-designed TIE Fighter.
Much like how Darth Vader flew a specialized TIE Fighter in A New Hope, Making Star Wars has heard that the Sith Lord's grandson have his own TIE Fighter to shoot down Resistance scum in during Episode VIII. However, the design will not so much resemble the ship below, but more like the TIE Strikers seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with the fuselage being "pill-shaped." There will also be some similarities to unused TIE Fighter designs from The Force Awakens, and you can head to the Making Star Wars site to see some concept art of that ship. It was also reported that this TIE Fighter was physically built at Pinewood Studios, which falls in line with Lucasfilm's renewed focus on practical effects and making as many elements in the new Star Wars movies feel "real." Remember those life-sized X-Wings in The Force Awakens?
Even before personal details about Kylo Ren were released to the public before The Force Awakens came out, it was clear that the Star Wars saga's new Force-powered antagonist was inspired by Darth Vader from the costume design. The movie confirmed that and then some, as it was revealed that Kylo is Anakin Skywalker's grandson, formerly known as Ben Solo, and he is desperately trying to live up to his grandfather's evil legacy. Which begs the question: did anyone tell Kylo Anakin redeemed himself before dying, or does he simply not care? Anyway, this customized TIE Fighter won't be the only way Kylo Ren will try to become more like Darth Vader, as he will also reportedly be wearing a magnificent black cape.
Along with Kylo Ren's TIE Fighter, Star Wars Awakens is reporting that Episode VIII will bring back TIE Bombers, ships that were introduced in The Empire Strikes Back to smoke out the Millennium Falcon when it was hiding from the Empire in a large asteroid. I guess when it comes to their vehicles, the First Order likes to follow that old phrase: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters on December 15.