Starfuries are probably the best space fighter design in the history of science fiction. The first time you see one spin around is amazing, because suddenly you realize that every other fighter you’ve seen has been designed with atmosphere in mind, and owing too much to planes and fighters we have now. It’s one of the first to really take into consideration what a fighter could really do in space.
I love you Star Wars, but you definitely didn’t do this.
What’s really cool about Starfuries is that they have four back, four front, and eight maneuver engines. In a zero gravity environment there is no air friction, and therefore the way for any spacecraft to change direction is to fire engine bursts in different directions.
Normal jets as we have them now are made to be aerodynamic, because of said air friction. Jets can turn by using wing flaps to tip the aircraft in different directions. This can make sense in, for example, the X-Wing, or in whatever the clonetroopers fly in Episode 3, (I assume they’re also designed to fly inside atmospheres) but makes no sense in space. On the other hand the Starfury is as aerodynamic as a brick, but that doesn’t matter in space.
Having the right combination of engine flares can make a very nifty design. NASA requested permission to use a similar concept, and named their craft after this in honour of it.
Also cool about the human designs is that their larger ships and space stations have rotating sections, as a way of creating artificial gravity. I presume that other sections of these ships don’t have gravity, which is why we always see the crew strapped to seats in those scenes.