The Merr-Sonn BB-23 heavy blaster cannon was an anti-personnel weapon used by heavy weapon specialists in the Sith Lord Darth Krayt's Imperial Army during the Second Imperial Civil War. The BB-23 was of considerable size and could unleash a great deal of damage against enemy infantry, gaining it the nickname "big gun." However, the blaster cannon had to be reloaded after every four shots, requiring the user to carry around a large amount of ammunition. The stormtrooper Jes Gistang of Joker Squad used a BB-23 heavy blaster cannon during the Empire's assault on Borosk, a planet controlled by the rival Empire-in-exile, in 137 ABY. During the second day of fighting, Gistang was killed in an explosion that also incinerated her BB-23.
- "Jes Gistang cut swaths with the big gun. It did a lot of damage, but every four shots it needed a new power pack."
- ―Anson Trask
The BB-23 heavy blaster cannon was an anti-personnel blaster manufactured by Merr-Sonn Munitions, Inc.. The BB-23 was larger than most standard blasters, weighing twenty-two kilograms, and could be braced to provide additional support. It caused a large amount of damage in a single shot, and wreaked havoc on groups of ground infantry that were spaced too close together; for these reasons, the blaster cannon was given the nickname "big gun." It cost 4,200 credits and was available for military use only.
However, the BB-23 heavy blaster cannon's main drawbacks were its size and copious use of ammunition. The user was required to wield the blaster cannon with two hands to support its weight, and, because of the weapon's power, it expended a great deal of energy per shot, requiring a new power pack after every four rounds. Due to this limitation, it was necessary for the user to carry several power packs into battle and to reload the BB-23 constantly, both of which could become a hindrance on the battlefield. The power packs themselves were susceptible to detonation if hit by a laser bolt. The heavy blaster cannon had an optimum firing range of up to 75 meters and a maximum range of 375 meters.
- "There were a couple of problems with the big gun that Gistang used. All those extra power packs are vulnerable to stray blaster bolts."
- ―Anson Trask
The BB-23 heavy blaster cannon was used by heavy weapon specialists in Darth Krayt's Imperial Army during the Second Imperial Civil War. Jes Gistang, a heavy weapon specialist and stormtrooper in Joker Squad—a unit in the 407th Stormtrooper Division serving Krayt's Empire—utilized a BB-23 during the war. In 137 ABY, Joker Squad and the rest of the 407th were dispatched from their headquarters on the planet Yinchorr to participate in an assault on the planet Borosk, defended by the 908th Stormtrooper Division, which had recently defected to former Galactic Emperor Roan Fel's Empire-in-exile.
On the first day of fighting, Joker Squad was among the first forces that attacked the 908th's headquarters. During the battle, Gistang used her BB-23 to great effect, killing a number of enemy stormtroopers with her powerful blaster cannon. However, she was forced to continually reload her weapon, and, at one point, her squadmate Anson Trask had to shoot a 908th stormtrooper who was targeting Gistang while she tried to put a fresh power pack into her blaster cannon.
During the second phase of the battle, Joker Squad pushed deeper into the 908th's base, eventually reaching a mess hall containing a number of 908th stormtroopers. In the resulting lightfight, a stray blaster bolt hit one of the many power packs that Gistang was carrying on her belt for her BB-23, releasing the energy within. Both she and her weapon were consumed in the resulting explosion.
Behind the scenes
The BB-23 heavy blaster cannon first appeared in the fourth issue of the Star Wars: Legacy comic series, Noob, published on October 11, 2006. The BB-23 was only identified by its nickname, the "big gun," in the comic. It was finally given its official designation with the publication of the Legacy Era Campaign Guide on March 17, 2009. In that same year, an action figure of Jes Gistang, along with her BB-23, was released as part of Hasbro's Star Wars: The Legacy Collection Joker Squad six-pack.
The Legacy Era Campaign Guide states that the BB-23 heavy blaster cannon held ten shots per power pack. However, this contradicts Noob, which makes it clear that the BB-23 had to be reloaded after every four shots. For consistency, this article assumes the BB-23 held four shots per power pack.
- Legacy (2006) 4 (First appearance)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I ("Gistang, Jes") (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy Era Campaign Guide (First identified as BB-23 heavy blaster cannon)
Notes and references
- Legacy Era Campaign Guide
- Legacy (2006) 4
- The Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook rule system establishes that all weapons of a certain type use the same base ranges. As the BB-23 heavy blaster cannon is an inaccurate heavy weapon, according to the Legacy Era Campaign Guide, it has an optimum range from 0 to 50 squares and a maximum range of 250 squares, according to page 129 of the Saga Edition Core Rulebook. Each square represents a distance of 1.5 meters, according to page 146 of the book, which gives the weapon an optimum range from 0 to 75 meters and a maximum range of 375 meters.