Are there any examples in canon or Legends of a blaster backfiring or exploding due to impact or enemy fire?

Since some blasters use tibanna gas to increase their damage output, is it possible that this gas could explode? While reading up on tibanna gas it sounds like it isn't too volatile on its own, but maybe being compressed and weaponized gives it explosive potential.


Yes, various models such as the E-web, Subaqua, and others as described below, were prone to overheating, for various reasons, and exploding. From the Wookieepedia page for blasters:

A side effect of firing blasters was the gas conversion enabler heating up as gas was energized by the power pack, which could cause blasters to overheat, sometimes to the point of destruction..

  • If blasters are poorly maintained or improperly modified they can overheat/melt/explode.

  • Either the E-11 (the standard issue sidearm for Stormtroopers) or the E-11b (a modified variant of the E-11) was also known for overheating, but Wookieepedia is confused about which it is.

  • If they are overused by being set to an overload shot (one maximally powerful burst), as described here:

However, some disruptor pistols were capable of being set to overload, a setting which greatly increased the pistol’s power for a single shot. Unfortunately this usually resulted in the firearm being rendered useless, due to the weapon’s internals suffering damage from focusing even more energy into what was already an unstable form of tibanna gas particles.

  • If they are overused by being fired on full automatic as described here:

However, setting the weapon to full automatic fire drained the power pack in less than twenty seconds, and the wielder ran the risk of overheating the internal components and causing an explosive overload.

  • A specific example of this is the death of Granta Omega, who died when his E-web overheated and exploded, severely wounding him before Obi-wan Kenobi finished him off:

Omega manned an E-web against Kenobi. His weapon overheated and exploded. Omega was thrown against a wall. He made another attempt to attack Kenobi, but was too weak, and Obi-Wan was forced to kill Omega with his lightsaber.

N.B.1. I was not able to find any canon examples of a blaster exploding due to enemy fire, but that does not mean that they don’t exist.

N.B.2. I found a non-canon reference to intentionally overloading a blaster and then throwing it away, and thus using it as a grenade, but I am not confident in the source.


In the The Old Republic: Annihilation there is an example of a blaster exploding:

Karrid runs for the command pod and Theron throws is ruined blaster inside, activating it just before the pod closes. The blaster explodes, killing Karrid. source

this occurs because:

Theron Shan uses the blaster barrel as a lever to open a door and it is bent.

Found a link to the book that describes why the blaster explodes later on in the novel, second paragraph from the bottom:

link (caution there may be spoilers here if you haven't finished)

  • 1
    In this case, does it explode because the blaster bolt is trapped inside the barrel when the blaster is activated? That makes sense.
    – recognizer
    Aug 26 '15 at 15:03
  • 1
    I haven't read it in some time and don't have a copy handy but I believe it was related to heat not venting properly and the tibana gas becoming overheated.
    – kylieCatt
    Aug 26 '15 at 15:05
  • 1
    It's worth pointing out that the blaster was somewhat usable with the bent barrel. It was only after a few uses that it failed.
    – kylieCatt
    Aug 26 '15 at 15:12

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