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In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith the Clone Troopers mainly use blasters that fire blue:

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However, in the Galactic Civil War era the troopers mainly use blasters that fire red:

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Why is that?

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    @DavRob60: I'm not sure that's really a duplicate. First and foremost, it is not clear whether this is a in-universe or out-of-universe question (the default being the former). Then, it is a related but not identical question. – bitmask Sep 13 '13 at 11:46
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    Red color signifies Terror which is what Emperor wanted. – Baby Yoda May 2 '15 at 6:42
  • The emperor didn't want to terrorize people. Terrorizing people leads to rebellion. – user16696 May 2 '15 at 7:35
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    What movies are you watching, @user16696 ? "Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station." - one of the Emperor's most trusted liutenants. – J Doe Jan 9 '17 at 21:21

11 Answers 11

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The explanation with good evil is ... well ok-ish I guess. BUT

The Clone troopers used the DC 15A blaster rifle for most of their active time. It was the standard issue rifle.

The Storm troopers used E11 blaster rifle. The E11 is based on the DC 15A and it had 3 settings (lethal, stun, sting). The E11 was standard issue for Storm troopers.

So beam colour can be because it was an ENTIRELY different weapon or it can be because clone troopers used stun and sting settings and Storm troopers only used lethal setting. (speculation on my part here)

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    In A New Hope the stun setting used on Leia emits a circular wave rather than a straight beam – user46509 Jan 12 '16 at 9:17
  • @AncalagonTheBlack Yes and she is shot by a Storm trooper that has the E11 rifle. that rifle does have 3 different settings so the stun can be blue circular on tv so we, the viewers can experience the difference. – Cherubel Jan 12 '16 at 9:47
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The switch from red to blue signified the clones fall from grace. Throughout the SW films, blue represented good while red represented evil.

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    Plus to this. I see far too little understanding that books, movies, comics, and any work of fiction will contain literary devices. Forcing an in-universe explanation, or treating Star Wars as a documentary, is like trying to fit a camel-shaped peg into a round hole. This answer is more valid and more important than an in-universe after-thought. – Gorchestopher H Sep 13 '13 at 13:48
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    Problem with this explanation is that Han Solo's blaster fired red beams too (see the image here), and X-Wings fired red shots while TIE Fighters fired green. – Hypnosifl Jan 12 '16 at 6:41
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    How do you fit a camel through the eye of a needle? First purée the camel, then force the purée through a funnel and into the needle's eye.—paraphrase of John Varley – rosesunhill Mar 9 '16 at 2:48
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    I agree with @Hypnosifl. The colors of blaster bolts have never seemed to have any connection to alignment. – DCOPTimDowd Jul 3 '17 at 18:11
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In the EU, the gas used in the blasters indicated color.

Speculation:

The Republic may simply have used a different provider before becoming the Empire and color changed as stocks of the blue gas dropped. Also, different versions of weapons, such as cannons verses hand weapons, might require a more condensed gas or a different type of gas to maintain the excited charge.

As the Republic became the Empire and mopped up the Separatists, they would have more access to the production of other gasses, and over time those gasses may have been easier to produce or Imperials (and Palpatine) changed the color to signify a new order in the galaxy. (Not the NEW ORDER of Episode VII, but a new government.)

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My theory to why the clones use blue blaster shots is because they are firing ion bolts made to disable droid ls more easily rather than kill organic beings.

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    Plausible, given the common trope of representing everything electricity or ion-related as blue. Can you find a source? Maybe a wiki page for those rifles? – Gallifreyan Dec 24 '16 at 20:21
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My answer: An in - universe explanation is that the blaster colour was determined by gas color, and the Republic and Empire had access to the high quality green and blue gas. The Republic may have also used ion bolts (which are blue) to counter the Separatist battle droids. When the Empire took over, the Stormtroopers began using a new type of blaster, and Palpatine may have chosen red as the color of their blast to show change and terror. The Rebels most likely used all red bolts because they were cheaper. An out of universe explanation would be that in the originals, the colours weren't well planned, so everybody used red blasters and the Empire used green turbolasers to look terrifying in evil. While in the prequels, more had been planned and they had more money, so the clones stuck to mostly blue to symbolize good, and the Separatists used all red to symbolize evil

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Technically, I believe, the clone troopers also used blasters with ion charges that are more effective against droids (ion weapons surpass armor and affect computer/machine systems). As the clone wars wind down into a resistance against terrorists and dissidents of a biological origin, then the expense for ion charged blast bolts is not needed by empire troops.

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    This may well be true, but you don't mention colors at all – The Fallen Sep 17 '13 at 13:48
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Its just used to distinguish good from evil for the viewers. For example, in SW: The Clone Wars S05E01, some of Hondo's own men turn against him, and their blaster shot colour changes from blue to red while Hondo's other mens blaster stay blue. Now, everyone in the same team usually has the same blaster colour, right? And they coudn't have changed their colour to red just because now they're the "bad guys." To themselves, they weren't bad. So the colours are just to show to the viewers that blue is good and red is bad from the point of view of the main character...

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I think that the clone blasters were blue because they were actually ion blaster rounds to help combat the electrical systems used by the separatists droid army

  • Welcome to the site! Do you have any sources to support this answer? – tobiasvl Feb 16 '17 at 8:06
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I think it depends on what rounds they used. The clones had rounds that shot blue. It could have been to signify their side. But maybe the rounds were tested and it just so happened that the most efficient rounds were blue. If you watch Star Wars the Clone Wars or play Star Wars Battlefront 2, then you know each gun can shoot any color. For example, on several occasions especially with the pirates, they had DC-15a blasters or sometimes ever DC-17 pistol. But they were shooting a different color besides blue. The pirates shot red rounds out of them, and I think someone else shot green. In Battlefront 2 when you change the type of ammunition for the DC-15LE and several other guns, they shoot a different color. Red, blue, or green.

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Ok, these are all good theories. Practically speaking, Georgie wasn't planning ahead with all the more after the first movie. Red is there most easily recognizable "laser" color. Green lasers are quite common as well. It's recognizable. In the originals, there was somewhat of a difference made between space and the insides of ships, surface of planets in terms of lighting. Most blasters were red. Spaceships shot green stuff because it was. Sickly looking, and gave the right atmosphere. Blue was part of the image overhaul that changed fiercesome Stormtroopers into 'heroic' clones...

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    Welcome to SFFSE! This answer doesn't really contain any sources to support anything you've asserted - if you could find such sources it would greatly improve the credibility of your answer. – Often Right Apr 5 '16 at 0:31
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The reason why clone trooper blaster bolts are blue is because the bolts are actually plasma. Plasma color was blue. Red color I a'int really sure what it is. Green blaster bolts I a'int sure either. The only time we see green color bolts is in The Phantom Menace when Padme and some other troops capture Nute Gunray. If you want to count the genosian guns as green bolts (even thought they are green color) you can. Hope this answers all questions and helps.

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    So basically, you ain't sure? – Rand al'Thor Mar 9 '16 at 1:34
  • Ain't sure about what? All I know is that the blue color bolts represent plasma, but red and green I don't know what stand for. – Logan Hetke Mar 9 '16 at 1:34

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