- "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
- ―Han Solo, to Luke Skywalker on the supposed advantages of a blaster over a lightsaber
Operating under the same principles as laser weaponry and firing at least partially by means of magnetic induction, blasters converted energy-rich gas to a glowing particle beam that could pierce and melt through targets. They came in a variety of sizes and shapes, including blaster pistols, blaster rifles, reconfigurable blasters, and blaster cannons. Blaster artillery could also be attached on droids and vehicles.
They could deliver variable levels of damage intensity, from stun to kill settings. Blaster bolts could also deliver a variable degree of concussive force on impact, which allowed it potential cause additional damage around the impact area, depending on the level of hardness and density of the target. As such, some blaster hits could cause bleeding instead of burning, or could do both, with the force of the impact being enough to rupture organs and break bone, especially if the target is armored in any way. Despite their blazing concussive blasts, those ranged energized particle weapons could be countered by magnetic seals and deflector shields. The blade of a lightsaber could also deflect incoming blaster bolts. In the Security Forces of Naboo, some blasters were equipped with ascension guns. Some blasters could fire low-powered training bolts characterized by their orange color.
Blaster bolts came in different colors. Red was the most common color, and was made from cheaper gas. This color was used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Rebel Alliance, the Galactic Empire, and the First Order. Blue was used by the Galactic Republic, and the Resistance. This was an ionized type of blaster bolt that specialized in disabling machinery such as droids but was also effective against organic beings. Green was used by Naboo Security Forces, and the Umbarans, as well as the Starfighter Corps of the Galactic Empire. This was a more expensive and more powerful type of blaster gas. Yellow was used by Mandalorians. Purple was used by the Geonosian Starfighters, the Malevolence and most notably the Magna Guards.[source?] Purple was also used by the Techno Union octuptarra tri-droid variants on the planet Skako Minor. Orange was used by the Marksman-H training remote and training droids on Kamino as a low power and non-lethal type of blaster bolt. Cyan was a low-powered version of the blue blaster bolt that was used by clone cadets in their training sessions against training droids.[source?]