Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
List of Star Wars weapons
The fictional Star Wars universe features an intricate array of different weapons, whose uses and powers range from interpersonal combat to destroying entire space stations or even planets and solar systems in single sweeps. Some of them resemble stereotypical science fiction weapons, while others, perhaps most notably the lightsaber, are uniquely associated with the franchise.
Blaster is a term that can be used interchangeably with the term "laser" for everyday conversation. Regardless, blasters and lasers are particle beam weapons, which fire a "bolt" of energy. The designs of blasters are a fair bit older than that of lasers, becoming less common in newer ships. With their design, blasters have high fire cycle rates, enabling them to multifire, a mode of fire in which the rate of discharge is increased at the cost of accuracy. Blasters, because they are weaker than laser of similar size, are limited to starfighters.
Among the oldest and most venerable of blaster technology is the triple blaster, which dates back to the old, old days of the Old Republic. It works by using three separate blasters connected to the same targeting system, often found in coordinated sets of two or four, to fire simultaneously on a target. No company still mass produces them, and by the Rise of the Empire, triple blasters become exceedingly rare.
An updated version of blaster technology is the autoblaster, a modern redesign. Designed for the B-wing fighter, it has an even higher rate of fire than other blasters, but is not available to other models until after the Battle of Endor.
Blasters are allowed on civilian vessels except for heavy blaster cannons during the Rise of the Empire, when they are restricted to corporations through the purchase of Imperial licenses.
The most common manufacturer of blasters during the films is BlasTech, which among other lines has a contract with both the Imperial Military and the Rebellion. It also manufactures the Protector civilian fighter-grade blaster line.
In the Star Wars Universe, laser cannons are like blasters, but much more powerful. They are usually used on fighters, freighters, and other small ships, as big warships use turbolasers. Quad laser cannons have been mentioned on the Millenium Falcon and the Trade Federation battleships. They consist of a regular laser or blaster cannon that is sent through a splitter to turn it into four beams.
Turbolasers are the immensely scaled up versions of the blaster and laser cannon that are shown on the films. They can also be planet-based weapons, with power to match their immense proportions. These can be seen on the Death Star as they are the turrets that the rebel fighters avoid with their speed and are shooting at them when they go down the trench.
Ion Cannons are designed to knock out electrical systems. They are often used on capital starships to facilitate the capture of enemy vessels. They can also be planet-based weapons, as seen in the Battle of Hoth when the Rebels used one to disable a Star Destroyer, allowing a transport to escape through the Imperial barricade.
Tractor beams (which are commonly used in most science-fiction works) are used by ships to bring small ships into the docking bay of large vessels. Tractor beams require their own generators, making them somewhat inefficient. The tractor beams aboard the Death Star took energy from the main reactor, giving them a constant flow of power and making it impossible for a vessel caught in it to escape. However, if one of the tractor beam's seven links to the reactor was severed, the projectors would be inactive and vessels would be allowed to escape, as Obi-Wan Kenobi discovered.
Gravity well projectors
While not weapons in the classic sense, gravity well projectors are used to artifically project a strong gravity field in an area of space where no major masses usually exist, making it impossible to use light-speed engines. The main function of any Interdictor-class ship is to use this effect to foil hit-and-run tactics and keep outmanuevered enemies from escaping.
These missiles came in different shapes and sizes, from capital ship-range to starfighters. The Millennium Falcon modified freighter, A-Wing Interceptors and Slave I patrol ship were armed with concussion missiles.
Proton torpedoes are guided torpedoes fired from tubes on various spacecraft. Their tubes commonly mounted on Rebel starfighters, torpedos are the staple warhead of the Rebel Alliance. It was one of these that was shot from Luke Skywalker's X-Wing into the exhaust port of the first Death Star that saved Yavin 4 and many other planets from sure destruction.
Personal ranged weapons
The standard weapon of classic science fiction, the ray gun, is also the most common weapon in the Star Wars universe, although the lasers of Star Wars are actually high power plasma weapons. There are many variations of blasters; pistols, carbines, cannons, assault rifles and even machine guns. For example, Princess Leia Organa wielded a Sporting Blaster when her ship was boarded by Darth Vader's forces, while Han Solo prefers a Heavy Blaster Pistol (a Blastech DL-44). The most common blaster is the E-11 blaster rifle, the standard weapon of Imperial Stormtroopers. Several of Star Wars' fictional weapons are modified from real-life blank firing prop guns; Han Solo's pistol is a customised Mauser C96, whilst the Stormtroopers carry Sterling submachine guns or MG42 WW2 German heavy machine guns (most easily seen in the detention center break-in in Episode IV).
The average output of a blaster (data from tech manuals) is about 8 megajoules. Starship scale blasters are called lasers, while capital scale blasters basing on a slightly expanded technology (supported by capacitors and turbines) are called turbolasers. According to official literature on blaster output, the heavy turbolasers mounted on the Old Republic-era Acclamator have an energy output of 200 gigatons per shot. Newer ships in the classic Star Destroyer line are equipped with much larger weapons.
The blasters supposedly operate off of a gas cartridge and a power pack, similar to the way lasers operate.
E-11 blaster rifle
The basic E-11 blaster rifle is 43.8 cm long (folded), and weighs 2.6 kilograms. The powercell housing opens on the left side of the action housing, above the trigger, giving the E-11 a very low profile (useful when shooting prone or from a barricade), with a standard powercell providing 100 shots. The blaster gas chamber contains sufficient supplies for thirty powercells.
All moving and/or metal parts are fitted with a corrosion-proof, vacuum-rated, dry lubricant. The top of the receiver has a universal, quick detach sight rail, which comes from the factory mounted with a light, ring reticle, 2x optical scope. The basic, three piece folding stock rides along the left side, under the powercell. When ordering from the factory, one may specify that they wish a fixed stock or a one-piece, right-folding stock at no extra cost.
DL-44 blaster pistol
The BlasTech DL-44 is a heavy blaster pistol. It packs far more power than most pistols, but this means that the power pack is exhausted after just 25 shots, as opposed to 100 or so shots from conventional pistols. This is the favorite weapon of Han Solo and Kyle Katarn.
The T-21 Rifle is a standard-issue Imperial Stormtrooper weapon, capable of powerful and rapid fire.
The CDEF weapons are usually seen as basic and low quality, dealing minimal damage and far from precise.
Apart from those mentioned in the movies there is a couple of other weapons mentioned in the novels, books and video games which followed them.
- Tenloss Disrupter Rifle: The Tenloss Disruptor Rifle is outlawed by the New Republic but is still produced on the black market and used by some outlaws and criminal elements. It can affect matter at the molecular level and rips apart living material with ease and speed. With the zoom scope, users of the rifle can assassinate someone from a great distance.
- Wookie Bowcaster: Originally a weapon which could only be handled by Wookies, this weapon is now used by other creatures at well. It shoots enery bolts (up to 5 at a time) or a sinlge bolt which bounces from surfaces.
- Imperial Heavy Repeater: A devastating weapon which fires very fast many metal bolts or a enery based detonator which disables all electronic devices where it lands.
- Golan Arms FC-1 Flechette: Like a shot-gun this weapon shoots scattered metal bolts which hurt enemies in near radius. It can also shoot two grenades which explode when striking the enemy.
- Stouker Concussion Rifle: The Stouker fires a concussive blast creating an explosion that spreads about 4 meters in diameter. The secondary mode's fire is less devastating in radius but has more impact on the target.
- Merr-Sonn PLX-2M Portable Missile System: The PLX-2M is an extremely powerful weapon that fires Arakyd 3T3 missiles. The sheer explosive power of the PLX-2M makes it dangerous to fire blindly in close quarters, but is extremely effective when used as a 'smart' tracking weapon.
- Trip Mines: Trip mines consist of a beam projector affixed to a shaped explosive casing. The laser activates once the trip mine is placed, extending a beam from the charge to the nearest surface that intersects its path. If this beam is broken or the charge is fired upon, the mine will detonate and damage anything caught within its radius.
- Detonation Packs: A detonation pack is a small explosive with a remote activator that can be triggered by the user. The pack is set in place or thrown and is then detonated whenever the user desires. Typically this is used to ambush enemies or blow open doors that are otherwise sealed to the user.
- Repeating Plasma Gun: ...
see main article: Lightsaber
The lightsaber is the traditional weapon of the Jedi Order. It usually consists of a cylindric hilt, about 30 centimeters long, which upon activation emits a colored blade of pure energy.
The energy sword is an ancient development in weaponry, consisting of a plasma charged blade powered by a power cell in the hilt, with a pair of velmorite crystals used for focusing. While similar to the lightsaber of the Jedi Knights, the energy sword is not comparable in strength to the Jedi weapon, although it is deadly precise. Energy swords have mainly ceremonial uses: Velmorian duel traditions settled disputes with energy swords, and very elderly jedi and sith use these for ceremonies.
Vibro-shiv / vibro-knife
Vibro-shivs/knives are razors or knife blades. A device within the hilt vibrates the blades at a tremendous rate, allowing them to become far more deadly and efficient.
Thermal detonators are highly unstable grenade-like weapons used primarily by bounty hunters and mercenaries. They cause enormous damage by initiating a fusion reaction upon detonation, with a blast radius of eight meters.
During the Battle of Hoth in the Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker destroyed an AT-AT by cutting a hole in it with his lightsaber and tossing in a thermal detonator. In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, a detonator was used by a disguised Princess Leia to help free Han Solo from his carbonite prison inside Jabba the Hutt's palace. The weapon has also been used in various Star Wars computer games.
- Slavicsek, Bill, Collins, Andy, and Wiker, JD (2002). Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game). Lucas Books. ISBN 0-7869-2876-X.
- Grubb, Jeff and Stephens, Owen K.C. (2002). Arms and Equipment Guide (Star Wars Roleplaying Game). Lucas Books. ISBN 0-7869-2782-8.
- Stephens, Owen K. C. (2001). Starships of the Galaxy (Star Wars Roleplaying Game). Lucas Books. ISBN 0-7869-1859-4.
- Turbolaser Commentaries - a study and quantitative assessment of Star Wars turbolasers
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