Deflector shields, also known as force shields, were energy fields that could protect starships, battle stations, ground-based structures, and even armies from enemy assault. Several varieties of deflector shields existed, including ray shields, which deflected or scattered energy (although they were not always powerful enough to fully negate enemy fire), and particle shields, which diffused impacts from high-velocity projectiles and proton weapons. A third type of shield, a concussion shield, repelled space debris and other solid objects. Most starships utilized a combination of ray and particle shielding for maximum protection, while larger ships could require multiple projectors to fully protect the ship, with a shield's intensity gradually diminishing with distance from its projector. Some shields were one-way shields that only allowed a person to come in through the shield, but prevented passage back out through the shield. Droidekas had a built-in shield that deflected normal blaster fire but could not stop solid objects such as a thermal detonators or people from passing through, so long as they moved slowly enough.
After the "dreadnought era" ended with the development of cutting-edge turbolasers that could tear apart ray shields, battleships only returned to the spacelanes after Verpine shipbuilders revolutionized deflector shield design, only to fall out of favor once again amid economic strains and Republic restrictions on capital ships larger than modern cruisers.
Some uses of deflector-shield technology included the Confederacy of Independent Systems' shield around its droid forces during the Battle of Christophsis, preventing the Grand Army of the Republic from attacking until the shield generator was destroyed. The Millennium Falcon, a light freighter, also had a deflector shield, while the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station had a deflector shield powered by a deflector dish on the forest moon of Endor.
During the time of the Clone Wars, the militaries of the Unknown Regions used electrostatic barriers similar in purpose to the deflector shields, but much less powerful. This led Thrawn to bring a deflector shield generator he termed a "Republic energy shield" from the Separatist droid factory on Mokivj back to his people after assisting Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker on his mission to Batuu. Thrawn would later use the "Republic energy shield" in the Battle over Primea to help defeat the Nikardun General Yiv the Benevolent, thus ending the Nikardun conquests.
Rebel Alliance and Imperial troops used portable shields that could be deployed on any surface. The shield was projected by a small generator and formed a dome that could protect several individuals. The portable shield could deflect any blaster fire coming from outside or inside. However, because it was designed as a shield for ground troops, it allowed solid objects and people to pass through it. A well-thrown detonator could destroy the generator and anything inside the shield. The shield also had a limited durability, weakening when shot, with the color of the shield eventually changing from blue to orange and finally red before disappearing as the generator overheated.
Some types of deflector shields could not be used under specific environmental circumstances. The Xyston-class Star Destroyer, for example, could not activate its shields while parked inside the electrically-charged atmosphere of the planet Exegol.
The Resistance MC85 Star Cruiser Raddus was equipped with experimental deflector shielding. These shields were said to be far stronger than regular ones and took the noticeable appearance of a normally invisible bubble around the ship.
- Rogue One: Recon A Star Wars 360 Experience (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A War on Two Fronts"
- Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars film
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising
- Thrawn: Alliances
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Incredible Cross-Sections