The hand-carved cesta was used as a staff-like melee weapon or a blocking device, but also doubled as a means of launching boomas at targets. Essentially a larger version of the atlatl, the cesta was tipped with a cradle large enough to accommodate a single energy ball. When used to hurl energy balls, the cesta was slightly more accurate than an atlatl. A proficient Gungan warrior used his cesta to fling a booma around one hundred meters, though such throws were not always accurate due to the primitive nature of the weapon. Because of their culture, Gungans had a natural proficiency when wielding the cesta, whereas others who were not trained with it would have trouble wielding it. The cesta's cradle was often decorated with carvings of symbols and icons of personal significance to individual warriors. Survivors of the Battle of Grassy Plains memorialized their fallen comrades by carving their names into the handles of their cestas.
Cestas were commonly used by the militiagungs of the Gungan Grand Army. General Tobler Ceel set up a training ground near Lake Paonga known as the Scrumma Jawbone, which served as a "shooting range" for cesta, atlatl and arbalest users.
Cestas were rarely found outside Gungun culture.
Behind the scenes
Star Wars: Episode I The Visual Dictionary labels two different weapons as the "cesta", one of which is a simple throwing spear, the other is a cup-tipped weapon which other sources have correctly identified as the atlatl. The Encyclopedia entry on StarWars.com seems to confirm this with a picture of Jar Jar Binks wielding a throwing spear.
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (Mentioned only)
- Episode I Adventures 11: Pirates from Beyond the Sea
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode I toy line
- Star Wars: Power of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode I The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Episode I Insider's Guide
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 18 (GUN3-4, Gungan Weapons)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- Star Wars Fandex Deluxe Edition
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare