Planetary shields are a common part of Star Wars lore. However, in most cases, they appear to be something that is raised and lowered in their entirety.

In Rogue One we see a shield which does not have this limitation. It shields the whole planet continuously except for a small gate which can be opened.

The shield gate

This seems like a good idea but I don't recall hearing about such a device in any of the old Legends or new canon books that I have read. Is this a new feature for the Star Wars universe?

If it is new to Star Wars, we are left with the thought that it was inspired by the air gate from Spaceballs(!)

oh no spaceballs

Has this ever been admitted to?

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    I can answer the question of how the gate came to be (concept-wise). I don't, however know the answer whether any other shield gates exist in the Star Wars universe.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 13:08
  • what is "this" that you cite as the possible inspiration? It's just an image but no explanation of what film / show it is from / when it was made
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 13:15
  • Would you accept an answer from Legends?
    – Null
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 13:34
  • @Null yes legends is acceptable. Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 14:11
  • sadly there would have one possible example but we never see if it is anything like it. In the empire strikes back they open the shield for short moments to get their transports through. So this COULD be similar or the shield getting lowered.
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 22:21

3 Answers 3


In X-Wing:Wedge's Gamble it talks about Coruscant having two overlapping shields with the ability to open specific sections of the shield to allow ships through without dropping the whole thing.

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    My first thought too.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 18:37

The earliest we see a planetary shield in Legends is roughly 3632 BBY. In the game Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire, which is set between 3637 BBY and 3631 BBY, there is a shield protecting the planet of Odessen.

In Canon, Scarif and Starkiller Base are the only known full planetary shields.

IRL is as follows:

  1. Odessen in October 2015
  2. Starkiller Base in December 2015
  3. Scarif in December 2016
  • 1
    Thanks, I was asking specially about a shield with a gate, rather than one that has to be completely dropped Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 14:53
  • 2
    @JeremyFrench - All of the "The Old Republic" games are Legends titles, even those that were in progress after 2014.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 18:10
  • 1
    In canon Alderaan also has a planetary shield
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 21:44
  • 1
    This answer doesn't address the question
    – user45623
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 5:29

I remember a full planetary shield in the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. I think they had a way to open only a part of it.

I may be combining the shield(s) and the methods used by Thrawn to penetrate the shield to mis-remember though. It has been many years since I read that.

  • He cloaks a ship and has SD fire shots at the ships under the shields (they slipped through before) and those ships open fire just as the SD's shots hit the shield so that it looks like he has a weapon that penetrates shields. This convinces the planetary government to lower the shields completely and surrender. Unsure whether they had a shield gate or no, but this is the first reference to full planet shields I know. Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 13:50

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