When Luke Skywalker first met Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, he heard two opposite opinions about blasters. Obi-Wan called them clumsy and random, while Han’s DL-44 heavy blaster pistol was his best friend beside Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon. No matter whose opinion you tended to follow, blasters were the dominant weapons in the galaxy.
Throughout the centuries, blasters evolved into a myriad of models and sizes with specific functions. Powerful mega corporations such as BlasTech Industries, Merr-Sonn Munitions Inc., SoroSuub Corporation, and Czerka Arms were the most successful weapons manufacturers. Blaster pistols could be used with one hand and were easy to carry on a belt or in a holster. The difference between a blaster pistol and a heavy blaster pistol (such as Solo’s DL-44) was that the latter models were heavier to use and delivered more powerful blasts, albeit with a shorter maximum range. A generic blaster pistol weighed about 500 grams, could deliver 100 shots per pack, and had a maximum range of 120 meters. In this article we’ll check out some better-known blaster pistol models (don’t expect any hold-out blasters, sporting blasters, heavy blaster pistols, or blaster rifles).
Every blaster’s basic function was very similar. Excitable gases, housed in a Gas Chamber, were driven into the XCiter gas conversion where they were excited by energy from the blaster’s power pack. The excited gasses were moved to the Actuating Blaster Module and released as a beam of intense energy and light. That energy was focused when it passed down the barrel of the blaster. The light of a blaster was a byproduct, since it was the released energy that gave the bolt its punch. Most models had different settings, such as stun-powered, low-powered, and high-powered.
Galactic Civil War
The BlasTech DH-17 was used by both sides in the Galactic Civil War. Rebel Fleet Troopers used this blaster, but it was also the weapon of the Death Star Troopers. It was considered the workhorse of the blaster pistols and had a slightly longer range than most models.
The BlasTech SE-14C was an upgraded version of the regular SE-14. This model could also be used as an automatic weapon and was drawn by Doctor Cornelius Evazan when he threatened Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Evazan’s partner in crime, the Aqualish Ponda Baba, also used a SE-14C, as well as a modified BlasTech DL-21, a compact model that produced scattered charges. The Echo Base troopers of the Rebel Alliance sometimes used this model as a secondary weapon.
The Merr-Sonn Model 57 looked very similar to BlasTech’s DL-44. The Rebel Alliance acquired some of these blasters from an arms dealer on Ord Mantell. Luke Skywalker used a Model 57 during his journey to Dagobah and Bespin. On Bespin, the Cloud City Wing Guards used the BlasTech Relby-k23 as their primary weapon. The chrome-colored model was banned from the civilian market by the Empire, because the beam of the Relby-k23 caused even more excruciating pain than a blast from another model.
The BlasTech DL-18 was an older, common, and versatile blaster that influenced the design of many models. It was quite common among criminal organizations and it was used regularly by Jabba the Hutt’s henchmen and skiff guards. Before he fell into the rancor pit, Luke Skywalker pointed a DL-18, which he had grabbed with the Force from Nizuc Bek. During the Battle of Carkoon, Taym Dren-garen shot Luke in his cybernetic replacement hand with a DL-18. But not only criminals used the DL-18. Kanan Jarrus, Spectre 1 of the Lothal rebels, used a DL-18 in the fashion of true gunslinger. Merr-Sonn’s Model 44 was another DL-44 spin-off with a very short barrel and the main competitor on the market for the DL-18.
The SoroSuub ELG-3A, nicknamed the “Diplomat’s Blaster,” was one of Padmé Amidala’s favorite blaster models. This was a very light weapon to carry, but it delivered the damage of a blaster pistol. It was intended primarily for bodyguards and politicians. The BlastTech DH-23 “Outback” was a very durable model and basically a modification of the DH-17.
The DX-13, with double triggers, was perfect for the long, spider-like fingers of the bounty hunter Aurra Sing. Master Plo Koon destroyed two of Sing’s DX-13s on Florrum during the Clone Wars. The Merr-Sonn “DeathHammer” Model 434 gained its nickname because bounty hunters liked its durability and power. Because the model was so prevalent, many owners customized their 434.
The KYD-21 was a small blaster used by the Clawdite Zam Wesell when she attempted to ambush Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Outlander Club on Coruscant. Despite its size, this blaster was quite powerful and lethal.
The WESTAR-34 blaster pistol wasn’t the most powerful model, but it was very precise and agile to use. Jango Fett owned a pair of WESTAR-34s made from the expensive Dallorian alloy. A young Boba Fett followed the example of his father and used similar blasters during the Clone Wars.
The Kueget LN-21, also known as the Alderaan Target Blaster, was a compact model used by Bail Organa and his entourage during the end of the Clone Wars. Some sources claim this weapon could only stun people.
Clone Wars, Rebels, and Fett
The A-43 Hushabye was a pistol used by police inspector Tan Divo during the Clone Wars when he investigated the death of Senator Onaconda Farr.
Baron Notluwiski Papanoida favored two GL-77 pistols, made by the Pantoran Weaponsmiths. The Snivvian bounty hunter Sinrich was also known to favor a GL-77.
Cad Bane, the most infamous bounty hunter during the Clone Wars, used two modified BlasTech LL-30S pistols which he called the “Persuaders.” Twi’lek freedom fighter Cham Syndulla and Hondo Ohnaka’s pirates also used LL-30S models from time to time.
The Concordian Crescent Technologies built the WESTAR-35, a Mandalorian pistol that was used by Death Watch members and their leader Pre Vizsla during the Clone Wars. Sabine Wren, Spectre 5 of the Lothal rebels, also favored two WESTAR-35s. Devaronian crime lord Cikatro Vizago utilized a model known as Vilmarh’s Revenge. This model was built by DevTech Sidearms.
When Lando Calrissian was looking for fortune on Lothal five years before the Battle of Yavin, he got into trouble with the criminal Azmorigan. Lando was then armed with a BlasTech X-8 Night Sniper model. The Sacros K-11, nicknamed “The Disintegrator,” was one of the weapons used by Boba Fett during the Galactic Civil War.
Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider (Rogues Gallery) and has written four character back stories for ‘What’s the Story?’
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