10

What happens if two blaster bolts meet?

Do they:

  • Cross?
  • Ricochet?
  • Cancel each other out?
  • Do you mean what happens in real life or in the Star Wars universe? – Mike Scott Oct 3 '18 at 12:55
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    starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Double_blaster - From legends... – Valorum Oct 3 '18 at 13:03
  • Might want to clarify the question a little bit. I'm assuming you mean, for example, Han fires a blaster at a Stormtrooper. That same Stormtrooper fires the exact same powered/type of blaster, and the bolts meet head on in the air? – Joe Oct 3 '18 at 13:14
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    @Joe that is impossible, we all know stormtroopers cannot aim properly. :-) – Max Oct 3 '18 at 14:37
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    If they work like the Death Star's main weapon, they merge and change direction. – Gaultheria Oct 3 '18 at 18:51
3

Probably pass through each other with no effect

The Databank entry for blaster pistols says:

The standard ranged weapon of both military personnel and civilians in the galaxy, the blaster pistol fires cohesive bursts of light-based energy called bolts.
Blaster Pistol | Databank

(emphasis mine)

The Databank goes on to say:

While blasters do deliver a searing concussive blast, they can be foiled by magnetic seals and deflector shields.
Blaster Pistol | Databank

We see this most often with lightsabers (which have a magnetic seal), but notice that other blaster bolts are not included.

Therefore, it seems likely that the bolts have no interaction with each other since they are light-based without a magnetic containment.

Additionally, we never see bolts deflecting each other. Certainly not conclusive proof, but there have been plenty of opportunities, so it's worth noting.

  • I don't think this answer is correct, Wookiepedia says that in Canon blaster bolts are plasma, not light/lasers. Plasma is a state of matter, not energy, it has physical mass, which means that if it collides with something else with physical mass (another blaster bolt) it will interact, not pass through as light would. In Legends blaster bolts are described more as a particle weapon, but particle weapons also rely on physical mass, particles that are either positively or negatively charged. Whether plasma or a particle beam, both are physical, both would interact in a collision. – Phyneas Nov 14 at 14:54
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    @Phyneas, Databank is from Lucasfilms. They are a higher source than wookieepedia. – amflare Nov 14 at 15:15
  • That still doesn't change physics. If blaster bolts are pure light then magnetic seals can't block them. Magnetic fields can't block electromagnetic waves unless they have a plasma window inside them which can absorb some of the electromagnetic energy. The only thing that can deflect light is incredibly powerful gravity, and the only thing that can reflect light is a mirror, so how do lightsabers get pure light blaster bolts to bounce off them cohesively? – Phyneas Nov 14 at 15:26
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    @Phyneas are you really trying to use real world physics to describe the physics in a universe where real world physics is notoriously thrown out the window for "rule of cool"? – Edlothiad Nov 14 at 15:35
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    @Phyneas I took no sides on what blaster bolts are made of. I merely stated that Star Wars rarely matches up with real world physics, and instead opts for the Rule-of-Cool to determine it's physics. If the creators want blaster bolts to be matter but pass through each other they WILL do exactly that. There's no point discussing our understanding of physics when it doesn't apply to the situation here. You should reread my comment... – Edlothiad Nov 14 at 16:28
-1

Assuming physics works the same way in the Star Wars universe as it does in ours, they would collide and scatter each other in some way.

In Canon, blaster bolts are described as plasma, which is a state of matter, it has physical mass, and when mass collides with something else with physical mass (another blaster bolt), they will interact and the particles will bounce off each other in whatever way the laws of physics demand that they do based on their type, velocity, angle and so on.

In Legends, blaster bolts are described as particle beam weapons. As far as we know, particle beam weapons rely on positively or negatively charged accelerated particles, which also have mass, and should they interact, would also collide and bounce off each other in whatever way the laws of physics demand that they do.

In neither Canon nor Legends are blaster bolts described as being made of light or lasers - if they were, then they would pass through each other as light does not interact with itself/each other (except at very high energies or in very specific situations.). In Star Wars when they use the word "laser" they actually often mean some kind of particle beam/plasma weapon as is discussed here.

Lastly, the reason why blaster bolts can be deflected by lightsabers and especially by deflector shields is precisely because they do have mass and whether they are plasma or particle beams, have a non-neutral charge as well. My answer here discusses the nature of shields in Star Wars and their real-life physics somewhat, but the long and the short of it is that in the Star Wars universe deflector shields can only block physical mass, not (electromagnetic) energy, i.e. lasers, and since in-universe deflectors shields exist precisely to block blaster bolts of whatever origin or potency, that confirms blaster bolts are made of physical mass, not pure energy (light) and thus if they do collide, they will interact and scatter.

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