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