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One common trope in the world of Star Trek—from the original series and beyond—is a phaser being set to “overload” which causes it to self-destruct; essentially turning it into an improvised explosive device. See the video below from the original Star Trek to see what I mean.

So that got me thinking: Can “blasters” in the Star Wars universe similarly “overload” and self-destruct? Based on what we see on-screen in Star Wars, blasters—and similar weapons—behave less like laser weapons which have a core energy source and more like projectile weapons that need to be reloaded with the equivalent of “bullets” it seems. Perhaps some kind of energy storage “battery”—of some sort—is used that discharge blasts into bursts of power?

So could that energy that is used as an ammunition source in a blaster somehow be set to explode outside of it’s standard/expected usage in the weapon itself?

Please provide citations and in-universe examples; legends or canon details are fine.

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From the new canon novel Ahsoka, Chapter 1:

She pulled the blaster out of her bag. Quickly, she unseated the overload dowels in the ammo pack and set the blaster on the ground. Now she had to move...

She reached the open area just as the blaster exploded.

Yes, blasters - or at least their ammo packs - can be set to overload and will cause an explosion.

'Overload dowels' had been mentioned before in Legends material, but this is the first mention of them that I'm aware of in the new canon. It seems that the overload dowels are elements of the ammo pack that prevent the pack's energy from building up and exploding - think of them as the safety valve. Without the safety, the whole thing goes boom.

  • Excellent answer! – JakeGould Feb 15 '17 at 15:58
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Technically one should be able to make a blaster overload however the process would be more involved than the pressing a few buttons like they do to overload the phasers

Blasters are basically projectile weapons that utilize a battery pack to excite gas into plasma to use as the projectile, if you physically short the battery pack it would probably explode however the explosion may or may not "cook off" the remaining ammunition into a plasma explosion.

  • 2
    Is this a comment or an answer? Reads like a comment and it has no citations. – JakeGould Feb 15 '17 at 12:42

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