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"The material is called cortosis. It's very rare—I've heard stories about it, but never seen any. It's rumored to have unusually high energy absorption and transmission coefficients, to the point where many energy weapon blasts will be dissipated along the fibers without damaging the fibers themselves."

Cortosis was a metal that could be found on the planets Dinzo and Mokivj.


"It's also soft and frangible, useless for building into armor or other protective materials. […] It appears they've found a method for weaving the cortosis into a network within a protective matrix. An energy impact is therefore dissipated across the entire network and throughout the entire droid armor shell."
―Thrawn, on the normal reality of cortosis versus that seen in an armor[2]
Cortosis mine-TWC

A cortosis mine on the planet Dinzo.

Cortosis was a metal that had a very high energy absorption rate and transmission coefficients, which allowed even the energy of a blaster bolt to be dissipated upon contact. One of the strongest minerals in the galaxy, cortosis could even withstand the blow of a lightsaber and briefly short out its blade. It could also redirect the heat of explosions, as discovered when General Anakin Skywalker attempted to collapse the entrance of a cortosis mine, and the resulting explosion breached through Mokivj's crust.[2] Apart from its physical properties, cortosis could also affect a Force-sensitive's ability to use the Force, as helmets made from the material isolated the wearer's thoughts and prevented others from sensing them.[3]

Despite these advantages, cortosis was very fragile in its natural state, making it normally useless as armor. However, it was possible to, with effort, turn cortosis into an armor. When faced with an example of cortosis armor, the Chiss tactician Mitth'raw'nuruodo "Thrawn" theorized that the cortosis was woven into the armor network as part of a defense matrix, thereby ensuring any incoming energy weapon—such as a blaster shot or the swing of a lightsaber—was dissipated throughout the whole of the armor network. Nonetheless, cortosis armor had difficulties with prolonged energy attacks, such as those of lightning guns, which would overload the material,[2] as well as brute force strikes which could shatter it.[7]

Many of the best suits of Mandalorian armor utilized cortosis weave,[8] an energy-resistant mesh composed of cortosis ore. Cortosis could also be forged into a cortosis staff or cortosis sword, melee weapons that retained the defensive properties of cortosis, while cortosis weave was additionally used in the creation of the cortosis shield.[9]


Old Republic Era[]

During the Era of the Sith, in the time of the Old Republic, the Ascendant created the Null Blade with a cortosis alloy as part of their battle with the Sith Order. The Null Blade could briefly short out lightsabers. However, the blade was not reinforced and thus could still be cut by a lightsaber. The blade was never completed before the Ascendant were slaughtered by the Sith.[6]

High Republic Era[]

"Cortosis. Handy against lightsabers, but also a sensory deprivation headpiece. Like we used as younglings."
―The Stranger, on his helmet, to Osha Aniseya[3]

Cortosis was used as part of the Stranger's armor in a lightsaber battle against Jedi.

During the High Republic Era, the Sith known as "the Stranger"[7] wore a gauntlet and helmet forged from cortosis.[10] The mask enabled him to keep his identity hidden from others, including his apprentice, Mae-ho Aniseya. In a lightsaber duel on the planet Khofar, the Stranger incorporated his cortosis gear into his unconventional combat style and used it to great effect against several Jedi, who found their lightsabers briefly shortcircuted upon contact with their enemy's gear. The Stranger's helmet also protected against telepathy, stating that removing it would allow Jedi Master Sol to read his thoughts. Despite its effectiveness in disrupting lightsabers, the Stranger's cortosis armour was vulnerable to more direct physical blows, as Padawan Jecki Lon was able to smash his helmet with several blows from the hilt of her lightsaber while Yord Fandar successfully destroyed his cortosis gauntlet with a similar attack. While the Stranger would briefly lose his helmet in the struggle, revealing his public identity of Qimir to his foes, he reclaimed the mask before making his way to Mae's unconscious sister, Verosha Aniseya.[7]

Clone Wars[]

"My skin graft is a cortosis mesh–a holdover from the days when I advised manufacturers in the field late in the Clone Wars. I can assure you, young lady–every bolt you fire against me will carry directly into your friend."
―Count Denetrius Vidian reveals his skin graft is cortosis mesh[5]

During the Clone Wars, the Grysks, who used cortosis for energy management, told Count Dooku of an effective way to use cortosis against the Galactic Republic. By specially weaving cortosis fibers within a protective matrix, it was possible to create armor that was both durable and immune to blaster fire. The cortosis armor also redirected the energy of a lightsaber back into itself, causing the lightsaber to temporarily shut down upon contact. Duke Solha was placed in charge of creating a series of B2-series super battle droids equipped with the armor and, under the supervision of Darth Sidious, clone trooper armor that could be used for Order 66. This was discovered by Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, and the Chiss Mitth'raw'nuruodo "Thrawn," who proceeded to destroy the clone trooper armor and sabotage the battle droids so they would overheat minutes after activating. However, desperate to ensure the CIS could not use its mines, Skywalker rigged them to explode with Mokivj's lava flows. Instead, the cortosis in the ground redirected the heat across the world, devastating it.[2]

Also during the Clone Wars, the cyborg business analyst Count Denetrius Vidian had a cortosis mesh skin graft installed on his body. Years later in the Imperial Era, when Vidian was attacked by the Jedi-in-hiding Kanan Jarrus and the Twi'lek pilot Hera Syndulla, the Count was able to utilize the graft to conduct energy from a blaster bolt fired by Syndulla into Jarrus, who Vidian was holding at the time.[5]

Imperial Era[]

"But look at your lightsaber."
"Whoa. That sword neutralized it?"
"That's the power of cortosis alloy for you."
―Miril and Aphra[6]

The Spark Eternal-possessed Aphra briefly battles Vader with the Null Blade.

The Tagge Corporation used cortosis to produce the Tagge protoblade, a plasma blade weapon intended to replicate a lightsaber,[11] in 3 ABY.[12] The protoblade took the form of a gauntlet from which a blade extended and was energized with plasma. The gauntlet had a cortosis core to protect the weapon's wielder, but the core could also cause the blade to lose power and cease to function as a plasma weapon. Nevertheless, the unpowered Tagge protoblade remained lethal as an edged melee weapon.[11]

Trapped within her memories and the memories of Miril by the Ascendant's Spark Eternal artificial intelligence, which was unleashed back into the galaxy during the Imperial Era, Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra was shown the Null Blade by Miril in her memories. When she used a curved-hilt lightsaber to strike the blade, she discovered it could neutralize a lightsaber, though only temporarily, because of the cortosis.[6] Later, the Spark Eternal used the Null Blade—which by that time was able to stand up to lightsaber strikes—against Darth Vader in the Battle at the Amaxine Station and succeeded in shorting out his lightsaber. Vader, however, responded with a Force push that removed the Spark from Aphra's body.[13]

Behind the scenes[]

Cortosis first appeared in the new Star Wars canon in A New Dawn, a novel by John Jackson Miller that was published in 2014.[5] In the Star Wars Legends continuity, it first appeared in the novel I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole, published in 1998.[14]


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