A question I've always had when watching the Star Wars franchise is: Why use laser guns? I understand it's a different galaxy and technology may have advanced differently than on earth, but surely at some point they could have developed something similar to traditional guns.

Especially against the Jedi, where lasers move slow enough such that they can be stopped real time by a beam of light. Or against anyone really with decent reaction time and good eyesight.

It just seems to me that the super slow speed of lasers is constantly getting people killed and is just impractical. Snipers would be almost useless in Star Wars.

Also it's not like their laser guns are massively more powerful than a bullet; we see them hit walls and unarmored people and it doesn't seem to do more damage than a typical rifle round.

So why are they using such an ineffective weapon? Or why can't they at least make the lasers move faster?

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    Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/13695/…. The answers there seem to cover this question too. – Ixrec Jun 11 '15 at 22:19
  • @Ixrec - Agreed. It seems very dupey indeed. – Valorum Jun 11 '15 at 22:20
  • @Richard It does seem to be a dupe, although I guess I'm still curious why there aren't significantly more firearms in Star Wars. At least for situations were faster or physical projectiles are needed. – FreshWaterTaffy Jun 11 '15 at 22:29
  • @FreshWaterTaffy They do have torpedoes, like the ones that killed the Death Star. – Jack B Nimble Jun 11 '15 at 22:40

I would think bullets are far more useful. In the movies the laser blasts move slower. I'm sure they do for movie reasons, to show or ole they were fired, but kept within the context of the movie.. They move slow.

Also take into account there's different kinds of bullets. Lasers hit and pass through. Bullets can get lodged and cause even more damage.

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  • Laser (or more accurately plasma) blasters are slower? Are they slower than tracer rounds? Because you can see those, given the right conditions. I just think of the blasters in Star Wars as any light level tracer rounds which burn you. youtube.com/watch?v=CSXLnOq7xrE – Jack B Nimble Jun 11 '15 at 22:23
  • Even taking out the speed, I still believe bullets win by sheer numbers. There are far more kinds that can do many different things once they hit you. – Michael Mickiewicz Jun 11 '15 at 22:27
  • @Jack B Nimble: Given the right conditions, you don't even need tracer rounds. You can see pistol bullets, and shotgun - humm, what would you call the shot exiting a shotgun? - pellets, if you stand at a slight angle behind the shooter. And of course a REAL laser a) moves at the speed of light; and b) couldn't be seen unless it reflects off dust/water droplets in the air. – jamesqf Jun 11 '15 at 22:45
  • Real leaders would move at the speed if light. We're talking in context to how they're shown moving on the movies. – Michael Mickiewicz Jun 11 '15 at 23:03
  • In the SW universe we see evidence of different kinds of lasers from the different colors. In our universe there are different kinds as well and the behavior is determined by color (frequency/wavelength) as well. Everything from invisible UV laser to strange X-ray lasers that heats up its shadow rather than the surface it hits (so shooting someone with an x-ray laser will burn a hole the opposite side of where you hit) – slebetman Jun 12 '15 at 1:27

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