Guns in the Star Wars Universe are called blasters. They are never referred to as "guns". Blasters shoot lasers, which are highly concentrated beams of light which can do great damage. Most blaster pistols can be set for stun or kill modes.

Blaster is also the name of one of the Autobots in the Transformers cartoon. He transforms from a robot into a boombox (aka ghetto blaster). He also talks in "jive" talk. Like his Decepticon counterpart Soundwave--who transforms into a tape player--Blaster would carry several robots with him. These robots would sometimes stay in his chest (sicne they transformed into tapes), and he would eject them when the Autobots needed reinforcements.

Transforms from radio to robot and back!


"When the music is rockin, I'm rollin."

Finds all Earth music interesting, but it's rock'n'roll--good, hard and loud--that really sparks his circuits. In the forefront of any situation he's involved in. As AM/FM stereo cassette player, he can perform as deck plus receive radio signals of all frequencies with power outputs as low as 1/1,000,000 watt. Acts as Autobot communications center...can transmit up to 4,000 miles. Carries electro-scrambler gun that disrupts electrical devices.

  • Strength: 8
  • Intelligence: 8
  • Speed: 2
  • Endurance: 8
  • Rank: 7
  • Courage: 9
  • Firepower: 7
  • Skill: 9
Transformers Tech Specs

Blaster was rolled out in the second year as the Autobot counterpart to Soundwave, although they didn't think to create any Autobot cassettes to fit inside him until the following year. Despite the funky red-and-grey coloring job, it was fun to pretend you had a real boombox to carry around back before you could afford a real one. Plus his robot mode looked mighty cool. The cartoon gave him an equally fun personality, and paired him up with Tracks on one or two occasions.

In fact, the Japanese toys that became Blaster and Soundwave were both part of the same Takara toy line, but only Soundwave was chosen for the first round of toys. This is obvious, when you think about it: the Decepticons were all about fighting and espionage, while the Autobots were, well, automobiles and trucks, so Blaster wouldn't have fit into the Autobot lineup. Only after they had broken the rules by adding Stunticons and Aerialbots to the "wrong" teams did it seem plausible to add Blaster as well, but by that time, the cassettes were all on the Decepticon side. New ones had to be created before the Autobots could have a cassette force of their own.

Closely related to blaster rifles, blaster pistols are smaller, less accurate, and less powerful. They are also much more concealable, and much cheaper, while still packing more than enough punch to kill a human.

In a galaxy consumed by conflict, weapons are a dangerous but necessary fact of life. The most common sidearm is the high-energy laser/particle beam weapon known as a blaster.

Blasters come in many different shapes, styles, and varieties, ranging from tiny "hold-out blasters" to incredibly powerful E-Web heavy repeating blasters. Vehicles and starships almost always weild incredibly powerful laser cannon blasters. Blasters offer many advantages, including reliability, portability, ease of maintainance and repair, and the ability to deliver a great deal of damage.

How it works:
When a blaster is fired, a small amount of high-energy blaster gas moves from the gas chamber to the gas conversion enabler (usually referred to as an XCiter). There the gas is excited by the weapon's power pack. The size of the power pack is proportional to the size and/or power output of the blaster: bigger blaster = more power. The laser cannons on starships like the Death Star and Star Destroyers each require their own reactor or power generator, delivering enough power to supply most small cities.

The excited gas passes into the actuating blaster module, which processes the gas into a beam comprised of intense energy particles coupled with light. The prismatic crystal housing focuses the beam, which is further focused, or "galvanized", as it passes through the blaster's barrel. The final particle beam, or "bolt", contains high-energy particles that cause damage to anything they hit; the bolt's visible light is a harmless by-product of this reaction.

Most blasters have an optimum range of 30 meters and a maximum range of 120 meters. The bolt will pierce stormtrooper armor or the force field and skin of a light spacecraft, but will not puncture the force field of a larger starship.

The blaster gas chamber on a standard BlasTech DH-17 Blaster Pistol holds enough gas for 500 shots, while the power pack will be drained in 100 shots. The pistol is normally semiautomatic (fires one shot every time the trigger is pulled), but fully automatic fire is available, albeit not reccomended, as the power pack will be drained in 20 seconds, and explosive overloads can occasionaly occur.

Thanks to Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technologyby Bill Smith, from which I gleaned this information.
The year is 2085 and the Robotrons have destroyed the human race!

Blaster was the 1983 followup to the wildly popular title Williams title Robotron 2084. Although the only things that the two games have in common are the design team, and their use of the Robotron world. Blaster was a very early example of a 3-D raster game, but it did not do real polygon 3-D, instead it had literally thousands of hand generates images that simulated 3-D with the help of expensive "sprite zooming" hardware. The high production cost of this game (combined with the fact that it was released in the middle of the arcade crash of '83), led to it having a very short production run, when compared to other Williams games.

This title was originally known as "Master Blaster" but the name was changed because of an Apple pinball program called "Bill Budges Raster Blaster". A few years later another company (SunSoft) would release a game called "Blaster Master", which was wildly successful. "Master Blaster" was also the name of a pair of characters in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome as well. I think Williams could have probably stuck with their original name without any problems.

Your mission? Save the World!

You control your spaceship against wave after wave of enemy fighters, while trying to save the stranded astronauts that represent the last remaining humans. You enemies attack you both with weapons, and by making suicide runs at your ship (is anyone ever going to make a space game where enemy space ships don't try to crash into you?).

There are twenty different levels to this game (there were originally supposed to be thirty, but the last ten were cut for budget reasons). There are a total of 11 different kinds of levels (out of the twenty total). They are Planetoid Waves, Robot Grid Waves, Saucerland Waves, Vampire Waves, Time Tunnel Waves, Outer Space Waves, Enduro Waves, Cat World Waves, and Mastermind Waves (there are two of each of these). There are also 2 unique waves that occur only once, they are Armageddon and Paradise. You can select your starting wave when you begin your game (choose from Planetoids, Robot Grid, Saucerland, and Vampires).

Once the game begins, start blasting or dodging everything in sight, except for the astronauts, which you are supposed to save by running into them. You can be hit three times before you die, you actually have an energy meter, but you always die in three hits, no matter what the three hits are. When you die, the window of your cockpit breaks, and you move onto your next life. This is a difficult game, but thankfully you can continue by inserting another quarter, but only on your first time through. The continue option is gone once you begin your second time through the game.

Your enemies always appear in groups, and you get extra points for taking out an entire group, so it is best to shoot at everything. There is also another bonus available in most waves, that is a 100,000 point bonus for killing all the enemies in the level (which is also the same amount of points required for a free man). Your only break from the action comes in the form of the two "Time Tunnel" levels, which have no enemies at all, only astronauts waiting to be saved (in a marathon game, this is your chance to run to the bathroom for a quick pee).

The hardest level is "Armageddon" where you will be attacked by every enemy type in the game (other levels only have a few different enemies). After this level you move onto the "Paradise" level, which doesn't have any enemies or astronauts, you just get to fly around and watch a show (this is your other chance to take a bathroom break). After "Paradise" the game gives you a million extra points, three extra lives (instead of the 10 lives that a million points should have given you), and starts you over at level 10. Remember, there is no continuing after this point. One should expect as much from a machine

Blaster was available in four different versions, 3 dedicated cabinets and a conversion kit.

The most common version was in a normal upright cabinet, similar in design to the one Stargate used, most of these have been converted over the years, and they are hard to find today.

The rarest version is the cockpit version. There were only three of them made. Two of them are accounted for, the other one seems to have vanished. Don't get your hopes up about finding the lost one, as it hasn't been seen since 1983, and was probably destroyed long ago.

The conversion kit version was fairly common, it included to hardware to install Blaster into most pre-existing arcade cabinets, This is a good one to try and piece together, because you don't have to try and locate one of the few remaining Blaster machines to install your parts into. But annoyingly, it used a different set of boards that were not compatible with the other versions.

Now for the coolest one. The famous "DuraMold" cabinet. The DuraMold was a large circular arcade cabinet made completely out of thick plastic. These things were very attractive, and almost impossible to damage. But they were expensive, and had a fatal design flaw. They shrank slightly in the first few months after they were made. In some cases the shrinking machine would eject its monitor, and send it flying across the room. Williams quickly developed a fix for this, but no one wanted DuraMolds after hearing about them shooting monitors across arcades, and impaling them on other machines. Don't worry about that happening anymore, if it was going to happen to your DuraMold cabinet, then it would have happened a long time ago (if you are still worried, then remount your monitor behind the little monitor tunnel, you only need to move it back about half an inch). The DuraMold Blaster was all black and had yellow graphics on the control panel and marquee.

All Blaster machines used a 49-Way optical joystick that had two buttons mounted on it. This stick is out of production, but you can make a good copy using parts from a standard 49-Way and a two button flight stick.

Stop blabbering, and tell me where I can play!

Your options in playing Blaster are very limited. It was never properly ported to any other system. But luckily it is supported rather well by MAME, you will need an analog flight stick in order to play it correctly that way.

You may want to add this to your arcade game collection, and all I can tell you is "good luck". This is not a common title, and they are expensive whenever they do show up. It is not unheard of for a DuraMold version to go for $1600 or more, while the cockpit version has been valued at over $10,000. The normal uprights and conversion kit ones are a bit cheaper, but even they go for around $1000. Of course your prices may vary, mine are based on research done in March of 2002.

The Blaster is an absolutely ridiculous invention from South Africa, designed to help aggressively lower crime. Before I get into what it does, though, a few words about South Africa are required.

During the mid-to-late 1990s (I am unaware of any data more current than that: if anyone has more recent facts I'd be glad to hear them), violent crime--especially carjackings--was a huge problem for the South Africans. According to Snopes, it was calculated that in 1997 there were 434 murders, 7,210 thefts, 1,218 armed robberies and 952 rapes every week. For comparison's sake, "South Africa's 1997 murder rate was 52 people per 100,000, compared with a U.S. rate of 6.8 the same year."

Again, one of the most frequent crimes in South Africa is carjacking. In 1998 alone there were over 13,000 carjackings, taking place anywhere from traffic lights and stop signs to parking lots and even peoples' driveways. Needless to say, car owners live in fear of having their car stolen and themselves or their family hurt in the process.

Which brings us to the Blaster. This device is literally a driver-operated flamethrower mounted under the front doors of the vehicle. From CNN:

"The Blaster squirts liquefied gas from a bottle in the automobile's trunk through two nozzles... The gas is then ignited by an electric spark, with fiery consequences."
When a potential hijacker approaches the car, the driver presses a button next to the pedals and two giant gouts of flame are released, one on either side of the vehicle. I am not making this up: to see an absolutely amazing QuickTime video clip of the Blaster in action, see the link at the bottom of this write-up.

According to the inventor, Charl Fourie, the Blaster is not intended to kill the attacker, but merely to blind them for life. "A person is not going to stand there for a minute while you roast him. It will fend off the attacker, and that's the end of it." Medical experts seem to disagree with this assessment, however.

To the best of my knowledge, and according to all of the sources I looked at, the Blaster is still legal. I certainly hope that anyone planning on stealing a car in South Africa has second thoughts about it now.



In the fictional universe of Star Wars, the most common weapon is the ''blaster''. This category of plasma-converting laser-firing rayguns includes various handheld pistols, mounted rifles, and other powerful weapons.

The majority of the blasters used in the Star Wars movies are real firearms modified in appearance to look futuristic. These firearms are modified and fire blank cartridges to provide a muzzle-flash on camera; laser bolts are added and animated in post-production.

The blaster pistol is the standard ranged weapon of military personnel and civilians in the galaxy. Blasters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, delivering a wide variety of damage and range capabilities. There are 3 main types of blaster features within the Star Wars Universe:

*Blaster pistol - small weapon that is usually easy to conceal, usable in one hand, and semi-automatic
*Blaster rifle - any of various shouldered weapons that may range from large, long-distance sidearms to carbines and military rifles
*Blaster cannon - a bulky variant of the handheld blaster that fires large, high-powered bolts or multiple bolts at once

The basic blaster technology of intensifying a beam of energy into a deadly bolt is scalable, and largely the same despite the differences in weapon types and sizes. The interior mechanisms of a tiny hold-out blaster, a blaster pistol, a large blaster rifle, and a turbolaser cannon are based on the same theories and principles. A squeeze of a trigger emits volatile blaster gas into a conversion chamber, where it is excited by energy from the weapon's power source. The agitated gas is then funneled through the actuating blaster module, where it is processed into an intense particle or plasma projectile. A prismatic crystal focuses the beam, and passes it through a refinement chamber which galvanizes the beam into its final bolt shaped like a cone with a high ballistic coefficient.

The ''BlasTech A-280'' blaster rifle is used by soldiers of the Rebel Alliance and the New Republic. This blaster was also used by rebels during the Battle of Hoth in ''The Empire Strikes Back'' and during the Battle of Endor in ''Return of the Jedi''.

The BlasTech A-280 blaster rifle prop that was seen in ''The Empire Strikes Back'' was built from the World War II-era German Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle. The A-280 blaster rifles that were seen in the hands of the Rebel Alliance commandos in ''Return of the Jedi'' were a mixture of the original A-280 blaster rifles from ''The Empire Strikes Back'' and A-280s that were built from parts and components from the M-16/AR-15/M4 series of rifles, especially parts and components from Colt Commando rifles. This blaster also made an appearance on Star Wars Battlefront series for the Rebel alliance.

The ''BlasTech DH-17'' is a weapon used by both the Imperial Navy and the Rebel Alliance. It is designed to pierce blaster armor but not a ship's hull.
In the films, the DH-17 prop, like the E-11 prop, was based on the Sterling machine gun.

The ''BlasTech DL-44'' is very popular among space traders and smugglers. Both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker carried this weapon. This weapon is based on the German Mauser C96.

The ''BlasTech DLT-19'' is the standard-issue heavy blaster rifle carried by Imperial stormtroopers based on Tatooine. Due to its farther shooting range it is known to be used as an anti-aircraft weapon to shoot down such vehicles as the swoop bike, or even light Airspeeders. The DLT-19 is based on the German MG 34/MG-42 machine gun. In the Star Wars Battlefront series, it is used a sniper rifle more than a normal rifle.

The ''E-11'' blaster rifle is the standard-issue weapon for Imperial stormtroopers in the film series. It is a usable weapon in all games of the Dark Forces series. In the films, the E-11 prop was made from the British Sterling submachine gun.

The ''DC-15'' blaster rifle is a common weapon used by the Galactic Republic clone troopers. This was seen being carried by a majority of clone troopers in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Unlike most blasters, which fire red or green lasers, this weapons fires blue lasers. The DC-15A  is based off parts from the German MG-34 General Purpose Machine Gun from World War II, which was used as the basis weapon for the BlasTech DLT-19 Heavy Blaster Rifle in the Original Trilogy, and components from the BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle that were carried by the Imperial Stormtroopers from the original Star Wars trilogy.

The ''DC-17'' rifle is a modified ''DC-15'' rifle. Differences include RPG anti-armor rounds and intensified plasma rounds. It is the primary player weapon in Star Wars: Republic Commando.


*Sansweet, Stephen J., "Star Wars Encyclopedia", 1998, ISBN 0-345-40227-8
*Slavicsek, Bill, Collins, Andy, and Wiker, JD, "Revised Core Rulebook", 2002, ISBN 0-7869-2876-X

* The Parts of Star Wars - a detailed website on the weapons of the ''Star Wars'' saga

Blast"er (?), n.

One who, or that which, blasts or destroys.


© Webster 1913.

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