Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Light sabers are not made of light, nor have they anything to do with lasers (even if there are people who mistakenly refer to them as "laser swords").

Blaster bolts are also not lasers. They travel significantly slower than light, they travel even slower than ordinary bullets fired by gunpowder. (called slug throwers on the Star Wars universe)

Was there any use of lasers ever presented in the Star Wars universe, either as we use them today, or as weapons?

By laser I mean something which behaves like laser does, even if it's not called by that name in a movie or book. If something is called a laser (in the script or by fans) but clearly doesn't work like a laser (for example, it travels slowly, and in visible blocks) it doesn't count.

share|improve this question
1  
It can. Currently the only limit for using lasers as weapons is their size, weight, and high power consumption connected with inefficient storage of power. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_laser#Military –  vsz Aug 15 at 10:04
1  
And the fact they would cut through a hull if used inside a ship, and the fact that there are numerous better choices of weapon.... –  James Sheridan Aug 15 at 10:16
2  
The Deathstar uses "turbo lasers" for defence (dialogue in ANH) –  Gaius Aug 15 at 11:23
8  
@JamesSheridan - nobody told that to Unites States Navy –  DVK Aug 15 at 13:43
1  
@JamesSheridan : Using lasers to shoot down missiles is not ridiculous at all. They already have working prototypes. We are very far from making military lasers man-portable (if it ever becomes possible at all), as the equivalent to the energy stored chemically in a cartridge would require huge and heavy batteries. However, when mounting them on ships, size and weight is not a problem. And why invest at all? Lasers can shoot down incoming missiles much faster than bullets. And today you need million-dollar missiles to shoot down a speedboat full of terrorists, whose equipment costs a few 100$. –  vsz Aug 16 at 6:25

6 Answers 6

If a character in the Star Wars universe says laser, you can safely assume they don't actually mean lasers. However, there is one Expanded Universe reference that explicitly refers to the weaponizing of lasers.

Does it count? Maybe.

In the EU novel Junior Jedi Knights: Vader's Fortress R2-D2 uses a mirror to reflect lasers. They explicitly made a point that they were lasers and not blasters, which is why the mirror worked.

Without warning, bright steaks of laser fire crisscrossed the courtyard.

...

"Blaster bolts!" Uldir yelped in his ear.

"Yeah, that's exactly what my brother Jacen always says," Anakin muttered. "Only this time they're lasers, not blasters."

...

Laser bolts continued to streak across the entry hall and through the doorway.

...

"Do you think you can use that little mirror gadget that Uncle Luke installed in your head to deflect some of the laser bolts back so that one of us can get in and disable the lasers?"

"But that little mirror can't protect Artoo from blaster bolts," Tahiri objected. Her bright green eyes were wide with alarm.

"That's true," Anakin said. "But these are lasers. Lasers are just concentrated light. A mirror can deflect laser beams. Artoo should be fine-as long as he doesn't get shot."

Before Anakin could say any more, ArtooDetoo beeped once again and rolled into action. Laser blasts shot toward the little droid as he trundled into the huge entry area. He reflected the first and second bolts back in the direction of the lasers that had shot them. To Anakin's surprise, one of the deflected blasts struck the laser that had fired it. The laser exploded with muffled sizzles and thumps. Artoo moved forward and caught the third bolt on his reflector as well.

There's a strong argument to be made that they still aren't behaving like actual lasers. Tahiri confuses the lasers for blasters. From their description, they seem to behave exactly blasters except for being reflected. They're definitely visible and probably slow.

The authorial intent was clearly that these were actual laser weapons. But they ended up getting the behavior wrong. This can't be explained away as lasers simply being an incorrect colloquial term. Anakin describes them concentrated light. They are different enough from blasters that Anakin can identify them as lasers immediately. Which also means they are common enough that Anakin has seen laser weapons before.

So where does that leave us? I'm inclined to go with authorial intent but I think we're stuck firmly in the realm of maybe here.

share|improve this answer
    
They can be "lasers" in the Star Wars universe, but a real laser cant be reflected by a simple mirror. –  Zato Aug 19 at 11:32
    
@Zato Well, that depends on their power. There is a real-world concern about using anti-personnel lasers exactly because they would tend to reflect of specular surfaces, not just outright mirrors. It might also destroy the mirror of course, but a part of the pulse would likely be reflected. But yeah, doesn't sound like lasers - if they could mistake them for blaster bolts at all, it doesn't really scream "laser". –  Luaan Sep 30 at 8:11

After extensive research on the materials I have, wookiepedia and even google.

No, there are no "lasers" in Star Wars as existing today in real life. And yes, blaster technology is different from real lasers, they form a particle beam that can be deflected.

Maybe the "lasers" in Star Wars are simply:

As it is doubtful if "lasers" in Star Wars share the same principles of generation or fundamental nature as true lasers, it is possibly short for "Laser induced plasma weapon" or something similar but never properly retconned.

Source

share|improve this answer
5  
Just like Mathematics underlies all of Physics, so does JKR Maths underlie all of LucasPhysics –  DVK Aug 15 at 14:00
3  
Sorry, but I'm reversing my vote in light of DrewS's correct answer that indeed showed a weaponized laser in canon. As is often, Wikia is wrong :) –  DVK Aug 16 at 4:36

enter image description here

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Superlaser

"super laser beams"

"... central lens... focusing lenses... amplification crystal..."

Without a medium reflecting the beam to your eye, there will be gaps. These are not 'blocks', you simply cannot see the beam at that location.

share|improve this answer
5  
"The superlaser was composed of several exotic matter beams accelerated" those aren't lasers, the only relation is the name, after that the similarity ends –  Tom J Nowell Aug 15 at 22:49
1  
Whoever is upvoting this, this answer is wrong! –  DVK Aug 16 at 4:36
1  
Agreed, wiki isn't helping my case here. If you only watch the movies, this behaves in the way the OP is looking for. –  Mazura Aug 16 at 14:51
    
If you were of the opinion that light is matter, would this fit? How would 'exotic matter' pass through an amplification crystal? Is the content of that wiki page G-cannon? –  Mazura Aug 16 at 18:46

At about 1:00 into Episode III, you can see a blue beam of light come from a proto-Star Destroyer and blow up a Separatist craft. Is this a laser, exactly? I don't know, but it's much closer than any other weapon in the SW universe, Death Star weaponry excluded.

Laser blast from Ep 3 Star Destroyer

share|improve this answer
2  
If you can see it travel, it ain't a laser. –  Chris B. Behrens Aug 18 at 20:00
2  
You can't see it travel. You can see it reflecting off dust and debris in space between the two ships. –  Scott Aug 18 at 20:06
    
@Scott So that is what resonates when you detonate a sonic weapon in an asteroid dogfight... somehow our laws of physics should not be taken too literally when discussing Star Wars. :-) –  BMWurm Aug 19 at 15:43
    
@BMWurm I'm sure there are plenty of people here who would gladly discuss SW sonic weapons in great detail if you wanted to pose that question. My point was that in the film you don't see the leading edge of the light beam move, you just see it appear, at least holding out the possibility it could be a laser. I feel that the filmmakers were much more sensitive to these sorts of things making the prequels as opposed to the people making the underfunded and relatively low-budget originals. –  Scott Aug 19 at 15:46
    
@Scott I think that question exists already (or mentioned at least: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/2912/30726). You are right though: it does not have a propagating edge and there certainly could be enough debris floating around to make it visible. –  BMWurm Aug 19 at 15:54

The Low Altitude Assault Transport (LAAT) has laser turret pods as well as laser cannons.

LAAT

share|improve this answer
    
Well, I did not remember that. But in my view, the laser turret are just blasters that form a large "particle beam" because they cam be deflected by the shields(magnetic barriers). Upvote anyway. –  Zato Aug 15 at 19:38
    
@Zato you might be right about the turret pods, but the twin cannons on the front appear to functions similiarly to the Death Star's primary gun. –  Monty129 Aug 15 at 21:06

Weaponized lasers exist in Star Wars universe. In an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, once Windu, Kenobi and Skywalker were lured into a trap where they were attacked by multiple laser beams.

An Interesting Fact: Lightsabers can reflect laser.

(I am still searching for the episode name/number. Please, don't downvote.)

share|improve this answer
    
You sure that's lasers and not blaster bolts? Even in DrewS answer, Anakin has R2 use a mirror, not a lightsaber. –  Mazura Sep 5 at 23:56
    
@Mazura Yeah, that was laser. That was continuous beam of light, not something in chunk. –  Sachin Shekhar Sep 6 at 0:13

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.