We may see real-life combat laser technology like the Tie Fighter / X-Wing battles you see in Star Wars sooner than we thought.
The US Air Force claims that by 2020 fighter planes may be equipped with directed-energy weapons. Those could be used to disable incoming missiles, drones, and enemy aircraft for a much lower price than traditional missiles.
Air Force General Hawk Carlisle said:
We see the technology evolving and maturing to the stage where it really can be used. You could have an unlimited magazine…loitering aircraft that could address and access a wide variety of targets. I believe we’ll have a directed energy pod we can put on a fighter plane very soon.