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This detail has not escaped me, being a fan of the X-Wing / Tie Fighter series and trying to do my own interpretation of a low-poly 3D model of a Snowspeeder...

I've gotten many reference images, and found the most movie-accurate ones show a clear inward angle on the cannons. This means the convergence point would be extremely close and make it impossible to hit anything beyond a certain distance as the shots would splay outwards beyond that distance.

I could make my own argument that their designed to converge at the longest effective range, after which the energy in the blast starts to dissipate, but is there any "canon" reason? (So to speak...)

But even then, it looks to me that the convergence distance on those would be mere meters in front of the craft if you traced them forwards... which I've done below.

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  • Maybe they’re not meant to converge. – Paul D. Waite Sep 19 '15 at 14:39
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    This is standard operating procedure for fighter aircraft in the real world. The angle is usually adjustable to adapt to different circumstances, and that might be true of the snowspeeders. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Sep 19 '15 at 23:45
  • @WadCheber, that is a good point, I did not realise this. – Domarius Sep 21 '15 at 13:46
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Snowspeeders, like the more traditional snubfighters, had their blasters set to a particular 'zero' - the point where the blasts would converge. This point was adjustable in X-wings, the TIE family of fighters, and most other snubfighter designs.

This was the range at which the weapons were most effective, and could be adjusted to allow for the mission parameters - an assault at ground targets might end up with a longer zero, while an anticipated dogfight would lead to a shorter one, allowing for better snapshots.

This is discussed extensively in one of the books of the X-Wing saga, by Michael Stackpole - Wedge Antilles discusses the upcoming mission with his mechanic, who explains the decisions he made in zeroing the weapons (they chose a mid-point between dogfight and long-range, as the mission called for a ground assault and likely dogfight during extraction).

Most likely, the models you see in screenshots don't accurately reflect the firing angle of the bolts, just the angle at which the mechanisms are assembled. Most blaster-style weapons seem to be able to fire significantly off-bore, up to 15-20 degrees away from a straight line down the barrel. The energy projectors at the end of the weapons could be adjusted to control this, which is likely how the zeroing distance was selected.

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    ...Welp, that's good enough for me. I'm now going to "un-straighten" the cannons on my 3D models :) Thanks! That was a fantastic explanation. I love that they actually discussed this aspect of dog-fighting in one of the books. I suppose if this is in our fighter aircraft (as a previous commenter mentioned), perceptive Star Wars story writers would be certain to include this. – Domarius Sep 21 '15 at 13:45
  • Really, if you enjoy fighters, the X-Wing series is a great read. Books 1-4 focus on Rogue Squadron, and 5-7 are focused on Wraith Squadron (a new squadron focused on commando/infiltration, not just blowing things up). Book 9 is a heavily character-driven one focused on Wedge. Book 8...um, don't read book 8. – Jeff Sep 21 '15 at 14:02
  • @Jeff No no, read 8, not 9. 8 wraps a bunch of plots from the book and the comic series. 9 is just a silly book. And skip 10, it was terrible. – Mark Oct 15 '15 at 19:17

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